When Apple unveiled the original iPad in 2010, many people were immediately dismissive of the iPad as a device claiming “it is just a larger iPhone”. Were they wrong, no, they were not. It was a larger iPhone. But that is the whole point, it was a larger iPhone. Until that point, iPhones were only 3.5-inches diagonally. It was quite a leap to jump to a 9.7-inch screen.
As time has gone on, the function of the iPad began a slow refinement. Being based on many of the same aspects as its smaller brethren, it did not mimick it entirely. Instead it began to create its own distinct place in the iOS lineup.
The ability to use a larger screen made some tasks, like watching a movie, playing a game, or even doing some administrative tasks. Even with the excitement of a new product, it had become primarily for most individuals, a consumption device. Apple decided to make a change.
At their Fall event in September, Apple unveiled their latest product, the iPad Pro. For this article, I will not go into my full thoughts on the iPad Pro, because I have only had it for three days. Along with this, I do not yet have one of the crucial aspects to the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil. In leiu of being able to provide a full review, I thought I would provide my initial thoughts on the product. So here they are.
When you first look at the 12.9-inch iPad Pro one word comes to mind BIG. It really is a large device. The screen resolution of 2732 pixels tall by 2048 wide makes it the largest iPad Apple has created. There are almost 5.6 million pixels on the screen. That is a huge number of pixels. The resolution of the screen means that if you use two applications in split-screen mode you will be able to use two iPad applications as if they were full size.
One of my own aspirations of owning an iPad has always been the ability to have it be a portable workstation. Despite every intention to have it be so, the iPad Air 2 just was not the right device for me to be able to do this. However, the iPad Pro appears to be capable of this. As far as I can surmise, the differential between the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro is the split screen capability. While it is available on the iPad Air 2, the ability to effecitvely have two iPad Air 2’s side-by-side makes all of the difference.
There is one aspect to the iPad that I do not normally utilize, the speakers. I normally have headphones in my ears all the time, and typically the headphones are connected to my iPhone since that is entirely portable and can go with me everywhere. I have used the iPad Pro speakers a bit, and they are definitely louder than both my iPhone 6s Plus as well as the iPad Air 2. In order to get the same level of audio I have to turn the iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Air 2 volumes up much higher than the iPad Pro.
Despite all that is good that I have experienced thus far with the iPad Pro, there have been a couple of issues that I have encountered as well.
One of the changes that must have been made in order to accomodate the Apple Pencil means that something on the coating has been changed. Unlike other iOS devices, including the 6th Generation iPod Touch, all have an oloeophobic coating. This means that it should be resistant to fingerprints. With the iPad Pro, however, the screen seems to attract fingerprints more than the other iOS devices. It is not necessarily a huge problem, but something that I noticed.
Earlier I mentioned that some thought the original iPad was just a larger iPhone. The same can be applied with the iPad Pro and it would be more accurate. The iPad Pro has the same layout as other iPads, meaning that the grid layout is five icons wide with four rows. With the larger resolution, one would think that Apple could increaes the number of icons in the grid, but they have not. It is entirely possible that this will change with a future release of iOS, but as of right now it has not.
One of the things I have done since I initially got the original iPad was to have a bluetooth keyboard connected, again in the vain of getting some productive work accomplished. With the iPad Pro I have connected my Magic Keyboard and have actually been able to accomplish some work; including typing this entire post using the iPad Pro. The issue I seem to be having though has been with some key presses not being recognized. If it were happening in only one area, I would say it was that application, but it happens quite a bit in Safari. It does not seem to be a consistent issue either. I am sure it will get fixed in a future version of iOS, but for now it is an issue.
Overall I am enjoying the iPad Pro. The split view that allows two iPad Air 2 applications appear side-by-side has been a productivity boost. The only real downside now is that if I’ve been using my iPad Pro for a while and go back to my iPhone 6s Plus, the iPhone 6s Plus looks really small. I am going to continue to use the iPad Pro and provide a full review at some point in the future.