Thoughts on my 11, the size of 12.9, keyboard and Pencil 2.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by canyonblue737, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. canyonblue737, Nov 7, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

    canyonblue737 macrumors 65816

    Jan 10, 2005
    Long morning, very first world morning. Received my iPad Pro 11 inch Wi-Fi, returned it without opening and got a Space Gray 11 inch LTE at the local Apple Store which I later activated at a Verizon store. Alongside all of this I purchased the keyboard folio and Pencil 2.

    1. I am a big traveler as an airline pilot. I spend half the week on the road in airports, airplanes, busses, hotels and more. The 10.5 was a great size for me so the plan has always been to get the new 11 but the 12.9 being smaller this year was very tempting. I spent quite a bit of time with it in the store and bottom line, it’s gorgeous but still very, very large. It’s the *ideal* device if you plan on using your iPad as a laptop replacement with the keyboard most of the time, in controlled settings like home and the office. It’s clearly MUCH better for any kind of drawing or handwriting vs. the 11. It would also be better for photo and movie editing than the 11, but the 11 also does a nice job with that the difference for that isn’t as great I feel. Where it falls down for me is when you fold the cover back and hold it in portrait like reading a book, its way, way too big. No way would I want to use this device by hand in an airplane seat, on a train, or even laying in bed unless I was sitting straight up and working formally with it. No way would I want to hand hold it in portrait to read a book or instapaper it would look and feel absurd to me. For me this device is all about having a keyboard when I want to write long posts like this on the road, and a bigger screen than my iPhone XS for watching movies and YouTube, often while laying in bed or sitting in a cramped economy seat. Even with my Waterfield sleeve and folio attached the 11 is very portable and with always available unlimited LTE for ME its perfect. If I had a 9-5 in an office that I drove to, and only traveled for vacations or something the 12.9 would be a no brainer. Don’t let people fool you however, the 12.9 is still really large and almost 50% heavier than the 11.

    2. The new folio keyboard is better and worse. When all closed up it looks so much nicer with a smooth flat front cover and full protection for the back of the iPad (finally!). It magnetically latches in 2 positions now and does so with FAR more stability making it feel much more like a laptop, in particular when you have it on your lap. There is no “movie” position that hides the keyboard as it stands like the old version but I have no problem with that as I always felt that position was too unstable for me to feel comfortable in the old version. The real problems begin when you fold it back so you can hand hold the iPad. The nice part of folding it back is it magnetically latches the front cover to the back cover for extra security. The bad part? You can feel the keys at all times when you hold the iPad and even though they are deactivated it feels WEIRD to the extreme as the keys press in and out. Hopefully I will get used to it as time goes on because the folio is just so nice in terms of size and flexibility and I don’t want some big heavy clamshell keyboard to take with me on the road. It’s a bummer because folded back the keyboard of the old 10.5 felt great and this one doesn’t. I think we just have to go with it because I’m not sure there is a better option right now and I really want a keyboard.

    3. The pencil is SO much nicer. First off it is thinner and shorter and just feels better in the hand. The flat side makes it grip better and more like a real pencil. The matte texture really makes it feel even MORE secure. It just FEELS better, instantly. It charges super quick, I went from 50% in the box to 100% in maybe 15-20 minutes? The magnetic click is nice and it is pretty secure but unlike the other reviews of people shaking their iPads and it not coming off, I’m here to tell you that maybe true but if you physically touch or bump it the pencil will fall off. You will still need a safe place to store the pencil most of the time, don’t dare leave it attached in a bag or it will come off. Don’t carry the iPad under your arm without careful attention or you could drop the pencil. The magnetic attachment point is really for A) super easy charging and B) a place to store the pencil while you are USING the iPad so you know where to grab it. It’s not a PERMANENT storage location if you get my meaning.

    A last few things? I’m not concerned about “black bar” gate knowing apps will get updated, its not an issue. Apps like Procreate, Things, 1Password and more already fully support the 11, the rest of the important will shortly. I *do* like the slightly wider form factor of the 11 because it means 16x9 movies display larger than expected for this size device and I spend a lot of time with video on this thing. I almost went Wi-Fi, I used a generous 20 GB hotspot plan from my iPhone with my 10.5 and starting the hotspot didn’t take much effort with the “instant hospot” feature of iOS but I figured I would treat myself and get the iPad its own account and know that it is ALWAYS up to date and synced with calendars, messages etc. and ready to go on a moments notice so I will be far more likely to pull out my iPad vs. my iPhone. I do think price is spiraling out of control but here I am paying for it. I’m blessed to have disposable income and these are just fun devices I’m convinced are the future of computing.

    PS: All typed on my iPad, not bad even with the smaller keyboard.
  2. chfilm macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    Agree 100% with your assessment, Sir! I‘m really a bit sad about the Keyboard folio. Cmon Jonny, we know you can do better than this!
  3. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Thanks for the review! For me the most relevant part was the Apple Pencil since I only have the smart folio. Haven't seen many reviews go very in-depth on charging time. I have been wondering about that since the old one would charge pretty quickly. Curious about what charging from 0 is like, but it seems unlikely to get that low now. I also haven't heard anyone mention it being thinner so that's interesting. How does it pull across the screen friction wise vs. the old one? I heard a reviewer mention that it felt like it had more drag like a real pencil. I imagine when I'm walking downtown or across campus I'll have the pencil on the side but be holding it there so that the pencil is inside my grip under my arm. I feel like if it detects that the lid is closed and the Pencil separates it should make some kind of a pulse sound to warn you in case it falls off and you don't notice it.

    I'm still waiting for mine to arrive but if it's anything like past Apple orders it won't be until the end of the day.
  4. Grolubao macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2008
    London, UK
    Totally agree. Went to the Apple Store today and tried both extensively. Although the 12.9 is incredibly small for its size it is still not great for portability, specially the weight.
    I agree that if the iPad is your only device then sure the 12.9 otherwise the 11 is great. I have a 15" macbook pro at home so I'll not be using it at home, only in bed so the 11 is perfect for that.
  5. richpjr macrumors 68040


    May 9, 2006
    How hard is it to remove the iPad from the keyboard?
  6. mathewr macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2007
    Thanks for this write up. I currently have 10.5 and keep going back and forth between the 11 and 12.9 as the 12.9 is smaller now. But since this won’t replace my laptop which I also need a new one cause my 15 inch mbp is from 2012. I’m going to go with 11 inch. Thanks!
  7. canyonblue737 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 10, 2005
    Extremely easy. You just need a place to lay the cover which is easy at home but less convenient on the road.
  8. richpjr macrumors 68040


    May 9, 2006
    Thanks, was curious about it and likely won't get to go play with one in person before the weekend. I'd likely want the protection on the road, but perhaps not so much at home.
  9. canyonblue737 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 10, 2005
    Yeah the old one took 1 second to remove this one maybe 3 seconds. It’s simple, you’ll like it with that plan.
  10. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009
    Thanks, very informative. I'm also thinking of getting the 12.9 (has 9.7) because it is not so much smaller, but perhaps it's still too big.

    That is exactly why I have always had LTE iPads. I like that my iPad is always online, even though I could use the hotspot from my phone. A luxury, an expensive luxury, but it just feel that makes the iPad more iPad: an always on tablet.
  11. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    Thanks for this! I got my new 11 inch this morning, but I’m anxiously awaiting my folio and pencil. (IPad came from Verizon via FedEx, Folio is coming from Apple via UPS, and I’m going to have to go pick up a pencil in store after the folio comes, because the one I ordered isn’t going to ship for awhile—so I’ll cancel it.)

    I do have the 2017 12.9, and I travel a fair amount, and I’m planning on basically what you said... I think the 12.9 will still be my primary work machine at home (I teach online, including solving problems on a whiteboard for students to see). But I’m really excited for the 11 inch to throw in my purse around town, and I’d like to travel with just the 11 inch unless I plan to work a whole lot on the trip. For a trip with just a handful of sessions with students (or none! Wouldn’t that be nice?), I’d like to just travel with the 11 inch.

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10 November 7, 2018