Thoughts: 12.9 (first gen) to new 10.5 and back

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Max Your Macs, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Max Your Macs macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Hey everyone,

    I have posted a few comments here and there about this subject but just wondering if anyone else has been in the same decision-making situation. If so, I’d like to hear your feedback.

    I have had the first gen 12.9" 32GB wifi since Day 1. Using ASK, Apple silicone back cover and also an Apple Smart Cover when the ASK is not needed. Apple Pencil as well has been great. I really wasn’t looking to upgrade when the new models came out but I came across a great deal on an open box 10.5" at Best Buy and you know how that spontaneous ‘I think I should try this out’ thing hits so I bought it.

    Yeah, ProMotion, to me at least, makes a wee bit of difference but it gets lost after a few minutes use. Apple Pencil performance is a little quicker but I didn’t find it too bad in the first place on my gen 1. True Tone I absolutely hate so I keep it turned off - I find it just warms up the screen so much that it is anything but ‘true’ tone. Looks like an orange filter over the whole screen. The new cameras are great too but really, how often does that get used? The older camera works just fine for scans and in-a-pinch photos.

    The one thing about the 10.5" is the smaller form factor for holding and carrying around. Definitely way better than the giant 12.9. But, those compromises come in at the expense of a more limited software keyboard and Compact iPhone apps using Split View and other elements that must be shrunk down to fit the smaller, yet very useable screen.

    I don’t need both of these but the resale for the 12.9 is amazingly low. I have owned many, many iPads since the original on launch day in 2010 and I don’t think I have ever seen value plummet so much as in these. I really hate to give the 12.9 away for a ridiculously low price so I am trying to figure out the benefit - if any - there is in keeping the 10.5 or returning it. They are both great devices and either would fit my needs just fine but I am wondering if anyone else has made a similar move then ended up sticking with their gen 1 or selling it and moving forward with the 10.5.

    Thanks for reading this and your experiences.
  2. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
  3. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    I went from gen one 12.9 to 9.7, and now am back with gen two 12.9.

    Th smaller size was nice at first, but I eventually missed the size.

    I don't really notice promotion enough to care, but I do love trutone. Non trutone devices are just too blue now.

    If you're happy with the storage, the first gen 12.9 is still pretty nice.
  4. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    this is the thing there will be different situations for when the smaller size is better than the bigger one. In the perfect worls having both is ideal but money wise it simply isn't realistic for many people.
  5. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    I bought both the 12.9 and the 9.7 when they respectively first came out.
    Both with ASK and pencil, both with silicon case.
    I’ve got the 12.9 now for about 1,5 years and am still using it daily.
    The 9.7 was my notepad/secondary screen when working on the 12.9.
    This worked brilliantly for me. Copying something on my 9.7 and I could paste it on the 12.9.
    Having split screen on the 12.9 writing in one document (Ulysses e.g.) and having a pdf next to it.
    Then I can use safari on the 9.7 and not be too much by safari distracted when writing.

    One thing that bothered me a lot was the cramped ASK on the 9.7. I just couldn’t type blind on it, I was back to two-finger-typing, which annoyed me a great deal. Another thing is that when using the 9.7 as a notepad, I always had a little bit of a word left over at the and of the line.

    Then my fathers iPad Air (1) went fubar, so I gave him my 9.7, with ASK and myself the 10,5. The 10,5 ASK is much, much better. I think it is about 95-96% of the 12.9 keyboard, but that minimal difference doesn’t bother me when using it.
    the promotion is a gimmick, or so I thought, but it enables me to keep reading even when I scroll (slowly) and it reduces eye-strain when reading for prolonged times. It’s really noticeable when going back to the 12.9 (but I’m not going to replace that).
    Also the increase from 9.7 to 10.5 doesn’t sound much and I wouldn’t upgrade from the iPad Pro 9.7 to the 10.5 for it. But in real life use it makes writing notes a tad easier. A bit more text per line, a bit better overview on webpages. Look at it like this: if your local coffee shop decides to increase the price 20% it makes a serious difference. 20% more screen real estate is also a serious increase and noticeable in real use.

    When I’m on the go, the 10.5 is capable of handling all my (work) requirements, where the 9.7 was just not enough and I often took my 12.9 and my 9.7 with me, just to be sure.
    When I’m in my office I have the 12.9 with a Logitech K380 keyboard and a YOHANN iPad stand, combined with the 10.5 as a notepad/reference/search engine.
    For me the 12.9 (“even” first gen) combined with the 10.5 is a dream team.

    TL;DR, I would have never replaced my iPP 9.7 with the 10.5 if I didn’t give my 9.7 to my father. But the 10.5 is a big improvement over the 9.7. Incremental on many points in themselves, but a serious improvement overall.
    Having a 12.9 and a 10.5 together is a dream team and you might want to keep both.
    If I wouln’t be able to keep both, I would keep the 12.9 because it is more versatile in use, even when it is larger/more cumbersome to carry.
  6. Max Your Macs thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Thanks for all your replies. I thought about the gen 2 12.9" but honestly, I don't see it as a huge upgrade really from the gen 1. I would like more storage but it's not that big of an issue since I use several cloud storage options just fine.

    Some people may differ but I agree with David58117, ProMotion just isn't THAT big of a deal to me. I'm not the first to say it but Apple should really have split the difference a little better between the 9.7 and 12.9 to something like 11.5. That would possibly have allowed for the better software keyboard and full apps while still making the size a little more mobile than the 12.9. That would be the perfect device I think.

    And yes, for me it doesn't make financial (or any other) sense to have both as I really only need one iPad.

    Another thing.... I just installed the iOS 11 Beta on my 12.9 to see how that would change/update the usability and I must say, it really does make it a new machine and runs just fine. A couple third party apps keep crashing but I expected that with a beta so that's a non-issue. I haven't installed it on the 10.5 but I'm wondering if it makes for a better experience on that size or if the Split View and third apps are just too small to benefit?
  7. Dunbar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I noticed a pretty big difference with Pro Motion. It makes the touch based animations feel much smoother and more responsive. Clicking on links doesn't seem that much faster on the gen 2 iPad Pros. I ended up ordering a gen 2 12.9 because of how much I use it while at home. The 10.5 is great to take with you but the screen is too small to get heavy use when I'm home and don't need the portability it affords you.
  8. infernoguy macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    I'm glad you wrote this...

    I've been in the same boat. I have a first gen 12.9 that I bought second hand and the 9.7 that has LTE. I'm finding the combo very efficient as the 12.9 has the ASK permanently attached sine its basically a laptop replacement and the 9.7 is my "larger screen" when the iPhone just doesn't cut it for browsing. The combo works so well that I sold my 2016 MacBook Retina and outside of my work Dell laptop, I'm all in on iOS for personal use.

    I just went back to 10.3.3 from 11 PB2 because there were too many glitches for my taste. The positive is that iOS 11 will be a game changer for all our iPad devices.
  9. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    You're right on par with exactly how I use the iPad in and out of my house. The 10.5 will be with me for traveling And the 12.9 iPad will be my stationary device. The Promotion display was easily my favorite feature and makes a huge difference in how responsive interacting with the display is.

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