iPad Pro To buy the iPad Pro 12.9" or not? That is the question!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by KaliPaige, Jun 8, 2016.


Judging on my usage scenarios, should I buy the iPad Pro?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
  1. KaliPaige macrumors member


    Feb 9, 2016
    I've got an iPad Mini that I like to use as my main portable PC. Generally I use it for lightweight tasks like web browsing on the couch, checking my email, streaming video, instant messaging, and referencing notes at work.

    I'm also a power user that works in an IT environment where I run multiple virtual machines on my Surface Pro 3; however, I am also somewhat of a hobbyist writer and digital artist who might want to take these skills further should I feel myself capable. Yet I find myself dissatisfied with the Surface Pro 3 as a tablet because it just doesn't fit into the iOS ecosystem. I try to use it as a tablet but miss the quality of apps that are so readily available on my Mini 4, as well as the ability to use iMessage, FaceTime, and make phone calls to family and friends.

    Here's the dilemma. I want to buy an iPad Pro 12.9" to replace the Surface Pro 3 with. I think I could live without the ability to run full Windows applications, as I can always just use VMware on my desktop at work, and do more in-depth photo/text editing tasks on my gaming desktop at home. But does it seem silly to any of you to use multiple iPads? I fell in love with the Apple Pencil when I found out how much smoother a drawing experience it was than the Surface Pen, and the Smart Keyboard looks like a sexy and portable alternative to the Logitech K480 Bluetooth keyboard I pack around.

    I would definitely want to keep the Mini around. Why? It's the perfect size for an eReader and bedtime device when I just want to hold it close and watch some YouTube or Netflix. And the size of it means that I can hold the device in both hands and type with the same speed and precision that I can my iPhone.

    Yet looking at the iPad Pro 12.9", I definitely see a use case for it. What do you guys think? Please give me your thoughts on the subject; I would really appreciate it!
  2. annay49 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    I've only had the iPad pro 12.9 for a little while but I've already fallen in love with it. I had an iPad Air and sold it when I upgraded.

    I can see a use case for holding on to the mini for reading in bed and what not, but I find the 12.9 pro perfect for that as well. I think you'll like replacing the surface pro if you're not using any full applications for it to enjoy the drawing capabilities of the pro.

    I'd say, buy it and keep your mini for a test run. If you find yourself gravitating towards the pro later on you can always sell it. :)
  3. Charlie74 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2014
    Before you do anything, install Remix OS on your Surface Pro 3. The installer for it will do everything for you, just download it in Windows, open, when done reboot. You will than be presented with two boot options, choose Remix OS. The Surfaces Sylus will work under Remix OS just fine. you can also try Phoenix OS or Console OS if you don't like Remix OS. By doing so you will be able to use most of the apps your using now on your Mini. The iOS ecosystem is kind of a misconception as you will be able to open up anything you create on your Mini in Remix OS and visa versa and like I already said before, many of the apps for iOS are available for Android as well. Not only that but you will be getting a much more powerful OS without all the restrictions that come with the iPad Pro. Just try it before you pay $1300 for a tablet that is identical to your Mini, just bigger and faster. You say you won't miss the power now but you will later, mark my words, the iPad Pro can quickly become a virtual prison from an IT specialist. Though if you can live with using your Mini as a computer, than I guess you can with an iPad Pro as the OS used is identical. Using a keyboard and Pencil doesn't really change that experince all that much, especially if your already using a keyboard and Bluetooth stylus like the Intuit Pixel with your Mini and if your not, why not?

  4. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    in exile
    For background... I own a 12.9 iPP, Surface 2, various tablets, notebooks, and desktops.

    Although your observations regarding the Surface are correct, the iPad Pro 12.9 does not initially appear to be a good fit for you IMO. Primarily because of the need to run VMs, secondarily because you plan on keeping the Mini.

    I have been able to replace my 11" Macbook Air + iPad Air 2 with a 12.9 iPad Pro. For those times when I need to work on OSX, I use Jump Desktop on my iPad to remotely connect to my iMac in my home office.

    If anything, I'd recommend buying a Macbook Air instead. The MBA + iPad Mini make a great mobile combination... and with beefed up RAM and storage, you'd be able to run multiple VMs. But then again it depends upon what system you have at home (if you have one).
  5. jmeas macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2015
    San Jose
    My use case sounds pretty similar to yours. I have a 9.7" Pro rather than a Mini, but use it in addition to the 12.9". I'm glad I have both.

    I recommend you buy it and try it out for 2 weeks. If you like it, then great. If not, you can return it, no questions asked.
  6. Osty macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    Melbourne, AU
    I second the notion of keeping your mini and buying an Air unless you really want Pen input and are prepared to sacrifice the ability to run VMs and desktop software.

    That said, the Pro is a pretty compelling device for writers (like myself) and artists (I wish!). Scrivener for iOS is in beta, Ulyssess for iOS is already out and as for art (at least related to writing), I love this guy's work: http://www.fantasticmaps.com/ He's move 95% of his artistic workflow to the iPad Pro.
  7. scotttnz macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    My opinion? You said that you have a gaming desktop at home. Any semi-decent desktop is likely to be loads better for running VMs than a surface pro. Memory is usually the thing that runs out first if you are running more than a couple of VMs, and it is a lot easier to add memory to a desktop.
    It is one of the reasons that I can see me having a desktop machine for the foreseeable future. The other reason is that I love big screens (I have a 40" on my desktop) and that is one of the reasons I am considering getting a 12.9" iPad Pro. My iPad gets used a lot more than my desktop, so I'd really like the bigger screen on the device I use most often.
    I have nothing against the Surface Pro, my son is a gamer and uses a Windows 10 gaming desktop, and a Surface Pro for school. While the iPad Pro does fit in the iOS ecosystem better, the flip side is that the Surface Pro fits in the Windows 10 ecosystem better (which is why my son ended up with a surface in a predominantly apple household), and you seem to have a foot in each camp, so you need to decide which ecosystem is more important for your tablet to fit into.
  8. drewjonn, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2016

    drewjonn macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    At your position, I'd ditch the Windows tablet at once and reconsider if the iPad Pro worths your overpaid money.

    Seems that you're good with the iPad Mini though. I personally would prefer to have no more than one tablet at a time. I'd recommend checking out the 9.7" iPad Pro and decide if it suits your needs. With pencil and keyboard, you might have to spend over $1000, make it count.

    Good luck.
  9. Charlie74 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2014

    Why would you ditch a perfectly good tablet? I simply do not understand this need to always have something newer and different. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Surface Pro 3, especially when you can install an alternative OS on it, including OSX. I wasn't pleased with my Asus Chi T300 running Windows, it just didn't feel like a proper tablet, so I simply washed away Widows 10 and installed Remix OS and Solus, a fantastic new Linux Distro that looks and runs amazingly. My son is now using it as his iPad stolen at school.

    The Chi felt like a brand new tablet after I installed these OS's, it even gained 2 hours of battery life for a total of 9 hours when running Remix OS. It has an Intuit Pixel stylus, my new absolute favorite stylus of all time and is the same one I use on my IPad Pro as I prefer being able to use a stylus where ever I want to, including the desktop. Instead of hunting around for compatible apps to use with Pencil. It's fast has pressure sensitvty and palm rejection, etc. The apps I use with it: ArtRage, Inkredible, Infinite Painter, Infinte Design, SpaceDraw, SketchBook Pro, MediaBang, Skedio, Paper, DecoSketch, PencilSketch, Artecture, ArtFlow, Adobe Illustrator, Evernote, OneNote, etc. It has all the Adobe apps, LightRoom, Premiere Clip, Illustrator, Photoshop Mix, Photshop Sketch, Fill & Sign, Connect, Scout, Content Viewer, Captive Prime, Capture CC, etc. It has all the Microsoft apps, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Skype, etc. Mindmapping apps: SimplMind Pro, Mind Vector, etc. Every Social app you can think of Instagram (runs in landscape), Google Plus, Twitter, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Pinterest, Vine, LinkedIn, Facebook, BBM. Maps: both Google and Here (great for offline navigation). 3D modeling: SpaceDraw (the most comprehensive 3D modeling app ever made for mobile OS's, it's simply fantastic, Blender fantastic), AutoCad 360, Qubism, 123D Scuplt+, 123D Catch, Fusion 360, Scan 3D, A360, Kubity, AutoQ3D CAD, HomeStyler, OnShape, etc. PDF apps: PDF Tools (great app), Foxit, MaxiPDF, PDF Max Pro, Xodo, etc. Tons of utilities, All in One ToolBox, DropBox, OneNote, Box, GDrive, Mega (all of my cloud services are mounted as local folders in which every app can access directly as if it was accessing a local folder), FX File Explorer, ES FileManger, Xterminal, S Note, etc.

    The reason why I went through all of that is to show you that apps for Android do actually exist, in fact I have over %90 of the apps I was running on my iPad Pro on the Chi as well, the ones I couldn't find it didn't matter as I found fantastic alternatives and a lot more that wasn't available on iOS, including a full LAMP server, Apache, PHP, MySQL which can be turned on and off like a server to save memory, though with 8GB of RAM you don't really have to be all that memory conscious. I can run multiple apps in the background, including a terminal that is compiling an application, while streaming a video to my TV wirelessly, while ripping/encoding a BluRAY from a connected USB Drive, while uploading a 40GB backup file, all in the background, while working on CodeEnvy, Excel, Chrome and Outlook in the foreground, all running side by side with REmix's multi-windowed mode, I can also Have apps up on the tablet and the external monitor at that same time as Android supports extending the desktop unlike iOS which is just mirroring, I can also modify the desktops DPI for the external monitor in order to make it look more like traditional desktop OS by simply using another app called, Second Screen.

    The point of all of this, don't get rid of your Surface Pro 3, you can make it into a powerful tablet and than desktop OS when you need it. Best of both worlds. Actually three, as you can also connect it to your TV and use it as a TV Set-Box, just install your favorite video apps, all available and Kodi, don't forget about Kodi as it's awesome. Also all of this is easily done, even installing Remix OS, you just simply download the install program in Windows, click on it and than when asked to reboot, reboot, than simply just choose which OS you want to start, couldn't be easier. Everything else can be found in the Play Store, nothing has to be hacked or modified, all of this is just plugin play. So the argument of most people wouldn't go through all of this falls flat as if you can install an app, you can do this.

    Do your self a favor and at least try it first, if you don't like it, than buy the iPad Pro but I guarantee as you are a IT Prefessional you will have to make a lot of comprises with iOS.
  10. drewjonn, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016

    drewjonn macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    I didn't have the strength nor patience to read all of them, I don't even see the needs to explain that loads of information regarding a Microsoft gadget as this forum is an iPad forum.

    Point is, the OP is even trying to replace his Surface with the iPad Pro at first place, so he suggested to get rid of it and maybe also the iPad Mini since the 9.7" should be able to fulfill what he needs. I prefer to stick to one kind of OS at a time. Fact is, the only gadget that runs Windows at my home is my Xbox One.
  11. Charlie74 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2014
    Okay, it's your money, though I have to say, if I were to do it all over again, I would have waited for the iPad Pro 9.7. The bigger one is just to, well big, as such I never bring it anywhere. I went out and got a Pixel C for my mobile needs, an incredible tablet by the way but I won't bore you with details as it seems you can't be bothered. Good luck.
  12. drewjonn macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    Lol I haven't bought any of them yet, I'm going to wait for the iPP2 to be out. Hopefully this November, but being realistic next March. I think the 12.9" would suit me just fine since I'm an active Office user.

    Well, the 12.9" iPP has very similar size to the Surface Pro, the tablet that you were arguing for. Yeah, I won't be bothered with any other brand so it's all going to be inside the Apple context, ofc, I'm a fanboy :p
  13. Jasmynp, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016

    Jasmynp macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2011
    East Coast, USA
    get the pro and use it for 13 days with your surface in a desk somewhere. If it does what you need, keep it. It will quickly show you if it suits your needs or not. For me, it's great for consumption, reading, going on forums, Reddit, etc and also for some apps (banking and the like) but when I want to email, organzie myself, write, etc I got for my 2015 MacBook.

    The iPad Pro started to show it's limits when I really needed a trackpad or more robust OS.

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