Until a couple of months ago, I was still using an iPad 2. Well, recently I had been actually using it a lot less, but it was still the iPad I used. iPad 2 is almost pre-historic in tech-terms, so obviously I needed a new one.
In February that I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. iPad Air 3 (as it was thought to be at the time – it turned out to be the 9.7-inch iPad Pro) was rumoured to be coming in March; arguably I should’ve waited for that to come along before making a purchase. But, I’m impatient. I wanted a new iPad and I wanted it now, so I decided to give the new (12.9-inch) Pro a try.
I was a little bit worried I’d end up wishing I’d waited for the new 9.7-inch model. The Pro is big; maybe I’d find it too big?
Well, so far, I like it. Having the bigger screen is obviously great while using the device, and for me it’s worth the portability trade-off (although it’s not like it’s life-changing). The best thing about it for me is the keyboard. It completely changes the way I use the iPad.
iPad has always been a great content-consumption device, but that’s mostly all it was to me before. Now though, with the keyboard, I’m able to do productive stuff with it as well. Writing more than a sentence or two on it has become a practical thing to do.
But it’s not just the fact that you have a keyboard to type on, it’s also the way the iPad stands more upright when in its typing position. It’s a much more comfortable position to use it in, whether on a desk or on your lap, and I find myself more focused on what I’m actually doing.
Having keyboard shortcuts is also great for productivity. CMD-Tab to switch apps on iPad? Great.
Of course, all of these keyboard-related benefits can be had on any other iPad with the addition of a keyboard. But this is about me and my experience of going from iPad 2 to iPad Pro, OK? I will say that the official Apple Smart Keyboard is really nice, and (thanks to the Smart Connector) using it is seamless.
I should also mention the new multitasking features in iOS 9 – yet another thing that makes this iPad so much more productive. Again, this isn’t exclusive to the Pro, but it is new to me (iPad 2 doesn’t support these multitasking features).
This iPad is also fast – really fast – and having more RAM (4 GB) than we’ve seen in an iOS device before is also nice (it’s particularly welcome when you’ve got multiple tabs open in Safari). I haven’t used the new Apple Pencil much (except for a quick play with a display model in the store), and I don’t really have a reason to get one, but some of the things I’ve seen people create with it look really cool.
I’m really enjoying this new tablet so far. It’s allowing me to be productive at times/places I wouldn’t have been able to be before. I find iOS and iPad a more relaxing and/or focussed combination for certain tasks than I do OS X and my Mac, so it’s good to be able to add some productive tasks to that list.
I certainly wouldn’t say it’s for everyone, though. If maximum portability is high on your priority list, go for a smaller one. Otherwise, it is a really great device.