I think there is a large segment of apple users who have zero interest in an iPad. It’s either not powerful enough for daily work or they can use their iPhone in place of it. I was in that same boat for a long time until I found myself purchasing an iPad mini 4 last year. I had pretty mixed feelings about it… I could actually get a fair amount done on the “mini” device, but I quickly found myself hating every keyboard attachment available for it. It was just too small.
Fast forward to WWDC ’17, and I watched the apple team reveal the anticipated new productivity features for ios11 and iPad. The addition of a “Files” app, drag and drop, along with a new app dock, really spiked my interest. I genuinely felt that iPad might be worth another shot, so I reset my iPad mini 4 and trekked 30 minutes across town to the Apple Store to trade it in. Let’s just say I don’t usually look forward to Apple Store trips, but on this day I walked out with a space gray, 10.5 inch iPad Pro with 256GBs of storage and a smart keyboard case. The trade-in value of my iPad mini 4 was enough to cover the keyboard case ($160). I would’ve sold the mini myself, but I was honestly ready to just see it go…
After about a day with the new device, I wanted to offer some initial thoughts:
It’s fast, crazy fast. You know that feeling when you get a new device or piece of technology that is perfectly optimized for that moment in software time? The iPad Pro is that and more. It seriously blows through any and every task I have thrown at it. Animations are smooth as butter and even editing a few quick video clips was cake for this thing. I can’t wait to see how far I can push it.
The screen is beautiful. One of the big selling points for the 2017 iPad Pro is the new 120hz screen that can dynamically change the refresh rate based on the app you are in or task you are performing. I read a few articles beforehand that talked up this new screen, but I can now confirm that it is no joke. Animations have a sexy new appeal to them. They just seem to be smoother all around.
10.5 inches is the perfect size. I could not stand the iPad Mini 4 and the mini accessories that came with it. I felt like that was my biggest limiting factor when trying to get real work done. However, the 10.5 is damn near perfect. I can comfortably split screen apps, and the Smart Keyboard case types like butter. The keys on the input device are perfectly spaced for my hands as well.
IOS11 can’t get here soon enough. iOS10 is great operating system, but you just can’t help but feel like the iPad Pro is a Ferrari going through endless speed bumps. It can handle so much more than what iOS10 can do. I was previously running the iOS 11 beta on my iPad mini 4, but it was just too buggy to consider putting it on my new device right now.
The speakers sound really good. I don’t usually listen to music or podcasts on anything other than my studio monitors or headphones, but that may change with this ipad. The sound is surprisingly full for a portable device. It’s definitely better than my 2016 MacBook Pro and my iPhone 7.
With all of those basics out of the way, we’re about 24 hours in and I’m loving this thing so far. The true test will come once I can take it out in the wild and get some work done using iOS 11. I’ll probably keep updating this post as I discover new strengths and weaknesses of the iPad Pro. Thanks for reading!