Review: Apple's 11-inch iPad Pro is stunningly powerful, with a few key limitations

Posted:
in iPad edited November 16
Most reviews of the 2018 iPad Pro focus on asking if the new device can finally replace a laptop -- but that's the wrong question. The real question is, does Apple truly want the iPad Pro to replace a laptop?

11-inch iPad Pro
11-inch iPad Pro

What you get

The 10.5-inch version has a screen-size increase to 11 inches, with the bezel changes allowing it to fit in within the same-sized body without majorly changing the case dimensions. It is 5.9mm thick, and is one of the thinnest products Apple has ever made, with it weighing far less than the original iPad at just one pound as compared to 1.5 pounds.

11-inch iPad Pro vs 10.5-inch thickness
11-inch iPad Pro vs 10.5-inch thickness


The screens are now branded Liquid Retina and have rounded corners, using the same pixel masking techniques as used on the iPhone XR, as well as a new backlight design. Support for wide color, True-Tone, and the 120Hz ProMotion technology are also included.

11-inch iPad Pro rounded display
11-inch iPad Pro rounded display


Powering the two models is the all new A12X Bionic processor, produced on a 7-nanometer process and consisting of 10 billion transistors. The eight cores onboard include four performance cores and four for efficiency, with Apple claiming single core performance up 35 percent and multi-core workloads 90 percent faster than the previous model. Our own testing showed results in that ballpark.

Apple claims the iPad Pros are faster than 92 percent of all portable PCs sold in the last year.

The Apple-designed graphics processing in the iPad Pro consists of a seven-core GPU, which is said to be a thousand times faster than the original iPad. Apple claims the iPad Pro sports the equivalent of the graphics found in an Xbox One S, in a product that's 94-percent smaller.

The chip also uses the latest generation of neural engine, capable of 5 trillion operations per second.

These new models switch the front 7-megapixal camera for a similar-resolution TrueDepth camera, which means Portrait mode comes to the iPad for the first time, though it's limited to selfies. Those portrait photos do get all of the latest additions Apple has made to this feature such as adjustable Depth Control for the bokeh and background blur. The back camera, in comparison, gained only minor improvements, retaining the same 12 megapixels as before albeit losing a lens element in the assembly.






Apple hasn't highlighted the exact changes to the camera other than to say it has been "redesigned" but we can make reasonable guesses based on the corresponding cameras on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Based on the sample images we took which are a bit more vivid and slightly better in low light settings, Apple likely increased the pixel pitch to allow more light to be taken in by the sensor. Photos also fire off faster thanks again to that A12X processor and the new Neural Engine.

The camera is equipped with Smart HDR, a quad-LED True Tone flash, and an f/1.8 aperture. It records 4K video at up to 60fps which is double the frame rate from last year, with 120fps at 1080p and 240fps at 720p slo-mo video options.

The new models continue to use four speakers for audio, this time with woofer and tweeter pairs. This provides added stereo representation and definition to some already great speakers. There is also Gigabit-class LTE connectivity, as well as eSIM support for cellular network access.

What we think

The iPad Pro was long overdue for a reworking after carrying over the same general aesthetic since 2013's iPad Air. Apple clearly didn't want your revolutionary iPad Pro feeling like last year's old model, so it changed nearly everything.

The 2018 iPad Pro has a lot of firsts -- the first rounded corner display in an iPad, the first with Face ID, and the first with a USB 3.1 type C port. Beyond requiring more space for internal components like TrueDepth, an overhaul this major almost screams for a design refresh.

11-inch iPad Pro USB-C Port
11-inch iPad Pro USB-C Port


It's pretty clear by the specs alone that the 11-inch iPad Pro does everything better than the 2017 10.5 inch model. The bigger screen in the same footprint is obvious, and so is the performance.

Apple Pencil

On top of the larger design changes and additions, Apple Pencil gets its first redesign, one that replaces Lightning charging and pairing of the first version with a wireless system. Just bring the new Apple Pencil near the charging window on the side of the iPad, and it magnetically snaps into place. Within moments, it's paired and charging.

11-inch iPad Pro Connecting to Apple Pencil
11-inch iPad Pro Connecting to Apple Pencil


The new Apple Pencil also features tap gesture controls, which we'll go in-depth with in our upcoming Apple Pencil version 2 review. We had to shake the iPad Pro like madmen to break the Apple Pencil's magnetic grip, so we're sure it won't fall off with regular use.

The new Smart Keyboard Folio now covers both the front and the back of the iPad Pro thanks to 102 magnets inside of the iPad and a relocated Smart Connector. While we aren't excited by the Smart Keyboard Folio, the Apple Pencil sits freely in its new home without being bothered by the new keyboard. Thanks to that, we expect third-party keyboards to accommodate a cutout for the new Apple Pencil's charging connector.

Retina display gets better

There are complaints that Apple stuck with LCD technology instead of shifting to OLED like the latest iPhones. It's true that an OLED panel would go a long way toward improving color accuracy and perhaps battery life, but iPad Pro's LCD is anything but antiquated and has features even the iPhone can't touch yet, such as ProMotion.

ProMotion allows the display to refresh up to 120 times a second for smooth animations and precise Apple Pencil tracking. Not only that, but it can dynamically adapt down to a refresh rate of only 24 times a second to match the content you're viewing so you're not wasting battery life.

Because of ProMotion, the Apple Pencil's input lag remains so minimal that it almost feels like you're using a pencil on a physical piece of paper.

Face ID benefits more than just authentication

Now that Touch ID is gone, iPad's massive top and bottom bezels are too, bringing the display closer to a user's hands in all orientations. Game user interfaces that have been updated for the iPad Pro are closer to the edge of iPad in landscape orientation for a much better experience.

11-inch iPad Pro black bars with apps not supported the new display
11-inch iPad Pro black bars with apps not supported the new display


Unfortunately, the 11-inch iPad Pro creates yet another aspect ratio for app developers to deal with, and because of it, a large number of third-party apps and games have not been updated. At present, the iPad Pro is forced to scale most software presently available, resulting in unsightly black bars and unused screen real estate.

Blistering speed, to what end?

Apple's A12X Bionic breaks benchmark records. In our initial testing, it exported a 4K HEVC video in half the time it took the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to do so.

Games, apps, and the user interface all already run fantastically on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. We only noticed a small difference between the new and the old iPad Pros in performance while editing photos in Photoshop, and there wasn't much of a difference when exporting them.

In the end it comes down to software. Right now, the new iPad Pro lacks the app support needed to take advantage of all of that power, whether it be a true multitasking interface or an easily accessible file system.

Does Apple truly want the iPad Pro to replace a laptop? It already has for a large segment of the larger computing audience. But, if you're reading this review because you're trying to decide whether it will work for you, Apple has made some specific, key choices that may well prevent it.

Your data, Apple's Files, and mass storage

Apple said that "A high-performance computer deserves a high-performance connector," which is USB 3.1 type C, but software support for that port and what it brings to the table in the iPad is extremely limited.

11-inch iPad Pro USB-C SD Card reader
11-inch iPad Pro USB-C SD Card reader


Yes, you can connect a USB-C SD card reader and import photos and videos, but limitations abound when connecting a flash drive or hard drive. Without a supporting app, only photos/videos can be imported from these devices, and even then you must place them in a folder titled DCIM ahead of time.

Even if you could connect an external drive without restriction, Apple's Files app is limited and reliant on other apps that can handle the data. You can't edit photos or videos without first importing them into your camera roll, which then starts syncing them to your iCloud if you have that enabled.

We tried importing video clips directly from our Sony A7iii digital camera and they simply didn't show up. We discovered that iOS only recognizes and is able to import files that are within the DCIM folder and have names that are exactly 8 characters long with a three letter DOS-style suffix.

11-inch iPad Pro Connected to camera
11-inch iPad Pro Connected to camera


To fix this, we had to go to our Mac and manually rename and move the video clips to the DCIM folder.

Going big, and external

Apple also showed off the ability to connect the iPad Pro to an external display, but with most software, it simply mirrors the iPad display. Regardless of what developers ultimately do with the ability, you still have to look down at your iPad Pro to control it.

11-inch iPad Pro display mirroring
11-inch iPad Pro display mirroring


This is by design, and intentional. Apple doesn't appear to have any interest in the Samsung Dex concept, where users can plug in a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to a mobile device, and get work done that way.

Apple could do this, it has just chosen not to. Apple could also put macOS X on it, but it has also chosen to not do that nor is it showing any signs of doing so, at least in this device format.

Scoring the iPad Pro

The latest iPad Pro defies conventional scoring. There is no way to give it one numerical value spanning every possible use case, or aspect of creation or consumption.

Despite Apple's claims back in the '80s that the Mac was the computer for the rest of us, the actual fulfillment of that came with the iPhone, and then the iPad, and this extends to this, the most powerful iOS device that the company has created. This all comes down, again, to who is "us," though.

For the vast majority of AppleInsider readers, the iPad and iPhone won't replace our Macs or PCs. From a peripheral perspective, our workflows don't accommodate the lack of a mouse very well, to say nothing of overcoming inertia from using a "computer" for years if not decades.

However, the iPad, and iPad Pro can, and have, been able to replace this orthodox view of a "computer" for many years now. The iPad is a computer, and has always been. There is no one, true definition of computing, nor one universal direction that the future of it must go to.

Whether or not the iPad Pro fits into your personal workflow and can replace your MacBook Pro, PC workstation, or iMac is a matter for you to decide. It's got the horsepower to do so, it may just not have the flexibility. As the evolution has progressed, use cases that prioritize the iPad over other platforms are no less valid than any other, and there's no reason to look down or deride anybody who's made the shift to Apple's fondleslab full-time.

If you're primarily a content consumer, the new iPad will certainly fit the bill with a gross level of overkill for the chosen task. It is far more than capable of creating text, digital art, and animation, but falls down a slight bit on video creation not from a lack of power, but this lack of flexibility.

For the content consumer, the iPad Pro is a 4 out of 5 not because of what it can't do, but because of that overkill. For the content creator that has embraced iOS and all that it entails, the 10.5-inch 2018 iPad Pro is a solid 4.5 out of 5, with a slight ding for the ridiculous limitation on mass storage, reliance on the DCIM folder, and the weakness of the Files app. If you're a developer and are just going to use it for that -- or try to -- don't bother.

Where to buy

Apple authorized resellers offer a variety of perks on iPad Pro purchases, including no sales tax on orders shipped outside New York and New Jersey at Adorama, plus free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Shoppers can also take advantage of financing incentives with the Adorama Credit Card, such as no interest when paid in full within six months on iPad Pro orders over $500 -- or no interest when paid in full within 12 months on iPad Pros over $1,000. With the holidays fast approaching, having a little extra time to pay off the purchase can be beneficial.

Units on backorder are filled on a first come, first served basis, so you'll want to reserve your spot in line today for the fastest availability. Adorama will not charge your credit card until your order is ready to ship.

Those looking for an iPad Pro right away can also shop in-stock models at Abt.com with no sales tax collected on orders shipped outside Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

For deals across all iPad lines, be sure to check out our iPad Price Guide.

11" iPad Pros

  • 11" iPad Pro 64GB Silver Wi-Fi Only
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  • 11" iPad Pro 64GB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
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    ($64 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 64GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $949.00
    ($76 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 64GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $949.00
    ($76 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 256GB Silver Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $949.00
    ($76 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 256GB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $949.00
    ($76 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 256GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,099.00
    ($88 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 256GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,099.00
    ($88 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 512GB Silver Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,149.00
    ($92 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 512GB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,149.00
    ($92 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 512GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,299.00
    ($104 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 512GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,299.00
    ($104 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 1TB Silver Wi-Fi Only
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  • 11" iPad Pro 1TB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,549.00
    ($124 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 1TB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,699.00
    ($135 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 11" iPad Pro 1TB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,699.00
    ($135 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
11" iPad Pro accessories

  • Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) for 2018 iPad Pro
    Buy for $129.00
    ($10 off in tax outside NY & NJ*)
  • Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for 11" iPad Pro
    Buy for $179.00
    ($15 off in tax outside NY & NJ*)
    *Adorama will not collect sales tax on orders shipped outside NY & NJ. iPads priced $500 or more are eligible for no interest financing for 6 to 12 months with the Adorama Credit Card.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 121
    Apple finally got the hardware right, actually, they exceeded everyone's expectations. Now we need those killer apps, Photoshop is a start but it's not a destination. I hope they convince Adobe to port Xd; it's a perfect iPad use case.
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 121
    sbills96sbills96 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I use my MacBook Pro for developing apps with Xcode.  Unless I can get the full experience of that on an iPad, I'll stick with my MBP.  I've heard podcasts with people speculating that there may be an "Xcode lite" available for the iPad around WWDC 2019 which I think would be interesting to play around with.  Mainly I use my iPad for movie viewing on long plane trips.  I'm curious to hear what others think.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 121
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,208member
    Here we go with two myths, which have been disliked, but still make the rounds.

    OLED is more accurate than LCD. Not true.lcd can be just as accurate as OLED. It just depends on how far the company is willing to go with it. So far, pro graphics monitors are almost entirely LCD. It’s not cost. Also, we get to a pint where it’s impossible to see improve,Mets in accuracy. Then it doesn’t matter what screen tech you use. If we can’t see it, it doesn’t matter. That’s true with resolution as well. OLED manufacturers strain to get sufficient brightness, so they rely on adding another Doreen sub pixel, or a white pixel. Those have negative effects on sharpness, so an OLED screen needs to be 30-40% higher in resolution to appear as sharp as the lower Rez LCD. Let’s not forget the controversy over Samsung’s Pentile technology where criticisms were that text was coarse and crude looking, and graphics were jaggy and backgrounds were grainy looking. That only went away with a much higher resolution screen, which uses more power, and requires a more powerful SoC to fed it, which then itself uses more power.

    as far as efficiency goes, we/ve already been reading, and talking about - on this very site, about how OLED screens may be giving shorter battery life, not longer. I’ve been fighting the incorrect propaganda from OLED manufactures, and companies that use them, about how they’re more efficient, when they’re not.

    i know I sound like a broken record on this. But writers really need to get up to speed on the technologies they’re writing about. It’s not just here, it’s everywhere. One person says something, and everyone else repeats it.
    edited November 15 thtgilly33chiamacplusplusJWSCpscooter63capt. obviousradarthekatchasmurahara
  • Reply 4 of 121
    Apple will skip OLED for iPads and use MicroLED when it’s ready for mass production. Probably sometime after 2020. 
    gilly33chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,759member
    If you're primarily a content consumer, the new iPad will certainly fit the bill with a gross level of overkill for the chosen task. It is far more than capable of creating text, digital art, and animation, but falls down a slight bit on video creation not from a lack of power, but a lack of flexibility.
    Yeah, they have to fix the software/workflow side of things. It doesn't really matter how powerful it is until that is the case.
    I guess what I'm wondering at this point, is wouldn't most of the above be just fine with a $329 iPad regular?
    (I ask this not simply in jest, but as someone who is headed towards a more powerful Mac and probably iPad for mobile use... as much as I'd like an iPad Pro, I just don't think I can justify the extra cost.)
    GeorgeBMaclarryawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 121
    Software comes down to third parties AND the price they can expect to get for bringing a desktop or console version of something to iOS. If you want desktop level apps and features or console level apps and features, then you'll need to be willing to pay much higher prices for software to get it. How many users are actually willing to do that? Probably not enough at the moment, but subscription pricing could move the needle some.
    edited November 15 gilly33albegarc
  • Reply 7 of 121
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,693administrator
    cgWerks said:
    If you're primarily a content consumer, the new iPad will certainly fit the bill with a gross level of overkill for the chosen task. It is far more than capable of creating text, digital art, and animation, but falls down a slight bit on video creation not from a lack of power, but a lack of flexibility.
    Yeah, they have to fix the software/workflow side of things. It doesn't really matter how powerful it is until that is the case.
    I guess what I'm wondering at this point, is wouldn't most of the above be just fine with a $329 iPad regular?
    (I ask this not simply in jest, but as someone who is headed towards a more powerful Mac and probably iPad for mobile use... as much as I'd like an iPad Pro, I just don't think I can justify the extra cost.)
    I personally have a first-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. While the processing speed is roughly equivalent to the sixth generation iPad (the $329 of which you speak), I have the larger size because most of what I read demands it. I've opted for more powerful Macs, and a less powerful iPad, given my own use case.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 121
    thttht Posts: 2,967member
    Screenshot of the onscreen keyboard, please?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 121
    thttht Posts: 2,967member
    The Pencil is thicker than the iPad? If so, if you lay it flat on a table, the Pencil will be dislodged?
  • Reply 10 of 121
    The limitations seem to be tied to iOS. Apple is about halfway there with a true padOS, but they need to get going and finish the split. The iPad will always be crippled until they do. No, I don't want macOS on an iPad. It's not optimized for tablet use. And no I don't want a mouse. That would be redundant. But better access to peripherals, and external volumes would be a huge start.
    cgWerksgilly33redgeminipaStrangeDaysmattinozcapt. obviouswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 121
    EXCELLENT analysis!   Thank You!

    Essentially:  iPad could be a laptop replacement, but Apple has reversed their course (or stalled it?) and so far, chooses not to go there.   It's not a technical limitation but an administrative one.   I find that sad.

    My personal experience last night with my 6th grade grandson doing his homework on his 3 year old HP:
    Grandson:   "This laptop sucks!   It's not working!"   (It was running slowly)
    Me:  "Use your new iPad that I just bought you."
    Grandson:  "No way, i love it, but it sucks for homework"

    Do I buy him an MBA or MBP?   Huh?  I just spent $700 on an iPad.  Now I'm supposed to spend $1,500-$2,000 on a tiny 13" MacBook to replace his 15" laptop?   I don't think so.

    Likewise:  CNBC summarized it this way:
    "I tested the new iPad Pro and it still can't replace my laptop like Apple says it can.
    Despite what Apple has said time and time again, I can't actually do work on the iPad Pro, which means it didn't replace my work laptop at all.
    I need to be able to write and chat in my corporate Slack chat app, draft up a story in the web browser, pop open the email app and edit photos, often all at once, or quickly switch between them without thinking. I can do all of this and switch between each app in seconds on a Mac or a Windows 10 computer mostly thanks to a mouse. But the lack of a mouse and a true multitasking environment makes all of this much more cumbersome on an iPad."

    I think Apple is painting themselves into a corner -- restricting MacBooks to THIS narrow niche (light, thin and expensive) and iPads to THAT narrow niche (content only).

    I find that frustrating:  I want to give Apple my money.  But I need them to produce a product that meets my needs or the needs of my grandson.   If the absence of that product were due to a technical limitation I would understand.   But, because it is either an administrative limitation or an inept design team (maybe both?), I find that disturbing and worrisome.




    gilly33cgWerkscroprlarrya
  • Reply 12 of 121
    EXCELLENT analysis!   Thank You!

    Essentially:  iPad could be a laptop replacement, but Apple has reversed their course (or stalled it?) and so far, chooses not to go there.   It's not a technical limitation but an administrative one.   I find that sad.

    My personal experience last night with my 6th grade grandson doing his homework on his 3 year old HP:
    Grandson:   "This laptop sucks!   It's not working!"   (It was running slowly)
    Me:  "Use your new iPad that I just bought you."
    Grandson:  "No way, i love it, but it sucks for homework"

    Do I buy him an MBA or MBP?   Huh?  I just spent $700 on an iPad.  Now I'm supposed to spend $1,500-$2,000 on a tiny 13" MacBook to replace his 15" laptop?   I don't think so.

    Likewise:  CNBC summarized it this way:
    "I tested the new iPad Pro and it still can't replace my laptop like Apple says it can.
    Despite what Apple has said time and time again, I can't actually do work on the iPad Pro, which means it didn't replace my work laptop at all.
    I need to be able to write and chat in my corporate Slack chat app, draft up a story in the web browser, pop open the email app and edit photos, often all at once, or quickly switch between them without thinking. I can do all of this and switch between each app in seconds on a Mac or a Windows 10 computer mostly thanks to a mouse. But the lack of a mouse and a true multitasking environment makes all of this much more cumbersome on an iPad."

    I think Apple is painting themselves into a corner -- restricting MacBooks to THIS narrow niche (light, thin and expensive) and iPads to THAT narrow niche (content only).

    I find that frustrating:  I want to give Apple my money.  But I need them to produce a product that meets my needs or the needs of my grandson.   If the absence of that product were due to a technical limitation I would understand.   But, because it is either an administrative limitation or an inept design team (maybe both?), I find that disturbing and worrisome.




    Sounds like the Retina MBA would be better suited for his needs.
  • Reply 13 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,759member
    Software comes down to third parties AND the price they can expect to get for bringing a desktop or console version of something to iOS. If you want desktop level apps and features or console level apps and features, then you'll need to be willing to pay much higher prices for software to get it. How many users are actually willing to do that? Probably not enough at the moment, but subscription pricing could move the needle some.
    Yes and no, I think.

    First, in terms of pricing, iOS stuff can run a bit more on the quantity model, as there are just SO many potential customers. Of course, that depends on the niche, but it's likely any niche is bigger on a platform with billions of users than millions. So, while I'm all for developers making more money, it might be possible to to get the numbers on iOS such that they can make a good living and keep the prices lower.

    Second, while I agree about 3rd parties bringing better software, I think there is still a lot of hampering of that by a poor foundation from Apple (in terms of workflow). Apple really needs to up their game and make iOS more a pro product (in terms of workflow), and then more developers will start to treat it as a more professional platform.

    Mike Wuerthele said:
    I personally have a first-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. While the processing speed is roughly equivalent to the sixth generation iPad (the $329 of which you speak), I have the larger size because most of what I read demands it. I've opted for more powerful Macs, and a less powerful iPad, given my own use case.
    Yeah, that would be too big for me, but I hear what you're saying. I guess I'm wondering how much more one really gets from an iPad Pro over a regular iPad, given that a lot of the power is overkill in the iPad Pro.... unless of course one has some specific tasks that need it.

    There are feature differences, like FaceID, more-full-screen, higher refresh rate, and such, but most of those wouldn't impact productivity much. I need to do more research, as I just haven't followed iPad much lately, but I'm trying to figure out what the big differentiator is between regular and pro (or if it's just a bunch of niceties added).

    I guess one is the pencil, but since I can't draw to save my life, I wouldn't appreciate that anyway. :)

    DAalseth said:
    The limitations seem to be tied to iOS. Apple is about halfway there with a true padOS, but they need to get going and finish the split. The iPad will always be crippled until they do. No, I don't want macOS on an iPad. It's not optimized for tablet use. And no I don't want a mouse. That would be redundant. But better access to peripherals, and external volumes would be a huge start.
    I mostly agree, but I'd take the mouse/trackpad input capability. One of the biggest problems I had when using my iPad back when I did my iPad-only-for-mobile experiment, was how hard it was to do things like quick text selection, or really, even reaching up to touch the screen while working (which is why I find the touch-screen laptop craze a bit odd) to be a pain and huge productivity killer.

    But, yes, Apple could do a ton to improve things. I think they need kind of a philosophical change, though... which maybe has begun (i.e.: files app). I think they started with this idea (which might have been Jobs'?) that such a device didn't need a file-system exposed to the user and those kind of things. That was a big mistake. People think in that way of organization, and I don't think that's just a legacy way of thinking.
  • Reply 14 of 121
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,790member
    sbills96 said:
    I use my MacBook Pro for developing apps with Xcode.  Unless I can get the full experience of that on an iPad, I'll stick with my MBP.  I've heard podcasts with people speculating that there may be an "Xcode lite" available for the iPad around WWDC 2019 which I think would be interesting to play around with.  Mainly I use my iPad for movie viewing on long plane trips.  I'm curious to hear what others think.
    I think I completely agree with your assessment and usage profile. I'm not sure where Apple will take the iPad Pro because it is now a 9 Pound Hammer being used to drive brads. Even if Apple retrofitted the iPad Pro and iOS to fully support keypad and pointing device what you'd end up with is basically Apple's version of a Surface Book, i.e., a compromised notebook. At that point I'd much rather have all that power wrapped up in a MacBook Air form factor and clamshell case rather than a tablet with a floppy keyboard and small trackpad. I love the iPad Pro but as Apple continues to refine it beyond the pinnacle of what we currently conceive tablets being used for, and with little regard to what the refinement does to the selling price, it has started to become a solution in search of a problem.  Another point is that oftentimes the price of a product goes a long way towards defining the applications for which the product will be used, regardless of what the product is actually capable of doing. When you've paid for the 9 Pound Hammer you're going to be looking for some bigass nails to drive. Perhaps apps requiring a 9 Pound Hammer will be coming soon. 
    cgWerksmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 121
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,280member
    DAalseth said:
    The limitations seem to be tied to iOS. Apple is about halfway there with a true padOS, but they need to get going and finish the split. The iPad will always be crippled until they do. No, I don't want macOS on an iPad. It's not optimized for tablet use. And no I don't want a mouse. That would be redundant. But better access to peripherals, and external volumes would be a huge start.
    You may not want a mouse, but honestly, it makes no sense to have to look down at the iPad to select something when mirroring to a larger display. The picture above makes this abundantly clear. I'd be interested to hear from Apple exactly what they intend the use case to be for mirroring in 4K. As it stands, the 4K display mirroring is really only useful as a display for audiences, collaborative work scenarios, and checking the work details you're doing on the smaller iPad screen. It doesn't begin to substitute for a real desktop environment, and the Pencil is no real substitute for a mouse either, especially given the additional steps necessary to pick it up and put it down while typing. 
    cgWerkswilliamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 121
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,737member
    sbills96 said:
    Mainly I use my iPad for movie viewing on long plane trips.  I'm curious to hear what others think.
    I haven't purchased any iPads recently. I tried to watch a movie on a plane using my iPad mini 3 using high quality noise cancelling on-ear headphones but the max volume was still not quite enough to overcome the background noise. I do have very acute hearing, but I was trying to watch a movie that had a lot of soft dialogue. I suppose an action thriller would be louder, but my genre preferences are documentaries, biographical, mystery or romantic films which are all fairly quiet.
  • Reply 17 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,759member
    GeorgeBMac said:
    ... My personal experience last night with my 6th grade grandson doing his homework on his 3 year old HP:
    Grandson:   "This laptop sucks!   It's not working!"   (It was running slowly)
    Me:  "Use your new iPad that I just bought you."
    Grandson:  "No way, i love it, but it sucks for homework"

    Do I buy him an MBA or MBP?   Huh?  I just spent $700 on an iPad.  Now I'm supposed to spend $1,500-$2,000 on a tiny 13" MacBook to replace his 15" laptop?   I don't think so.

    Likewise:  CNBC summarized it this way:
    "I tested the new iPad Pro and it still can't replace my laptop like Apple says it can.
    Despite what Apple has said time and time again, I can't actually do work on the iPad Pro, which means it didn't replace my work laptop at all.
    I need to be able to write and chat in my corporate Slack chat app, draft up a story in the web browser, pop open the email app and edit photos, often all at once, or quickly switch between them without thinking. I can do all of this and switch between each app in seconds on a Mac or a Windows 10 computer mostly thanks to a mouse. But the lack of a mouse and a true multitasking environment makes all of this much more cumbersome on an iPad."
    I think the iPad could become what he/we need if Apple works on the OS and makes a few crucial decisions. It just isn't there right now, and yes, because of a few decisions and the lack of some 'workflow' substance on the OS (and then more good 3rd party software that will follow).

    dewme said:
    ... Even if Apple retrofitted the iPad Pro and iOS to fully support keypad and pointing device what you'd end up with is basically Apple's version of a Surface Book, i.e., a compromised notebook. At that point I'd much rather have all that power wrapped up in a MacBook Air form factor and clamshell case rather than a tablet with a floppy keyboard and small trackpad. ...
    Well said. That's kind of how I feel about the laptop/tablet-as-laptop too.
    I guess the target market is those who can only have one device and try to suit all their needs? So, it ends up being a jack of all trades, master of none?

    But, I think with some work, they could eliminate enough of the downsides that it becomes more of a desktop/mobile divide rather than a tablet/laptop one. If the tablet can get good-enough, then I don't *need* a laptop, which eliminates a device if I want the power of a desktop... and then I don't need to try and make the laptop be a desktop either.

    As an aside, one thing I found in my time using my iPad for mobile, is that when going to meetings and such, the tablet was less socially intrusive than a laptop, or less awkward. I'm not sure how that would be now that people are more used to them, or just having lots of gadgets about while meeting. But, there was something different about just pulling out the iPad and folding it up on the smart cover, than pulling out a laptop. Of course, that also meant typing on the iPad screen... but for those situations, that was typically fine, too. Then I'd use a real keyboard for more serious writing (say, at a coffee shop, or at a seminar... if there was a table).
  • Reply 18 of 121
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,077member
    Apple finally got the hardware right, actually, they exceeded everyone's expectations. Now we need those killer apps, Photoshop is a start but it's not a destination. I hope they convince Adobe to port Xd; it's a perfect iPad use case.
    I hoped for thunderbold 3 because that would have made the perfect extendable device (putting the system bus outside the iPad).
    Killer apps are nice but it would be very nice if we got (a) Unix (prompt) first.
    Currently we have a million apps performing one function if we are lucky, but we need one app to perform a billion functions to be able to do it all.
    tht
  • Reply 19 of 121
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,759member
    sbills96 said:
    Mainly I use my iPad for movie viewing on long plane trips.  I'm curious to hear what others think.
    Well, my experiment with this was back in the later iPad 2 days, so much has changed (I'm about to embark on it again). But, it will depend on what you need to do.

    I found the iPad quite nice in terms of portability (but laptops weren't nearly as small as now), and as mentioned above, social acceptability for things like taking notes in meetings and such. It was also nice for travel, or just browsing, etc. It was great for reading (though I'd often just use my phone for that now).

    It was somewhat adequate for writing, or research/writing, though as noted by others, a laptop would be better, so it's a compromise.

    When I stated my experiment, I was finishing up grad-school and doing mostly writing/research work, a few classes/seminars, etc. When I started to get more into website design/development, it quickly fell apart. I just wasn't able to efficiently do that kind of work on it, and eventually went laptop.

    I'm getting back out of that, at least in terms of where I personally need to have that capability while mobile. So, I'm headed back towards desktop power, and reduced mobile. So, I think I can - now - safely ditch the laptop and go iPad again. The workflow should also be better this time around, but as others have noted (and the article) it's still far more limited than it should be.

    I'm going to be doing more writing, researching, podcasting, video editing, etc. but I don't plan on doing the latter of those while mobile. I think I'd jump out a window or something if I had to try and do those on an iPad. I can understand GeorgeBMac's grandson's frustration there. Sadly, there is a whole class of work that just isn't iPad at this point, or at least which if it can be done on an iPad, is horribly frustrating to do so.

    As for watching movies, I'd probably just use my phone and hold it closer. :) If that's all I wanted to do, I'd not bring an iPad along on my trip.
  • Reply 20 of 121
    tht said:
    The Pencil is thicker than the iPad? If so, if you lay it flat on a table, the Pencil will be dislodged?
    No issue at all. It shifts slightly but is perfectly secure even when you lift it back up. I happen to have the keyboard/case for it which works very well also with the pencil.
    watto_cobra
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