iPad Pro Review: Bigger Isn't Always Better - InformationWeek
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11/29/2015
12:06 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iPad Pro Review: Bigger Isn't Always Better

Apple's professional-grade tablet is a massive slate that may replace a laptop for some -- but definitely not all -- mobile professionals. Here's a look at where the iPad Pro rises to the occasion and where it falls flat.
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(Image: Eric Zeman)

(Image: Eric Zeman)

The iPad Pro is a brand-new tablet from Apple. And it's bigger, faster, and more powerful than any previous iPad. Apple claims this device can handle the workload often reserved for laptops. While it can, to a degree, there are a number of aspects holding it back from productivity nirvana.

I am an iPad fan. I've used an iPad every day since the first-generation iPad arrived in 2010. My current tablet is the iPad Air 2 with LTE, which, as far as I am concerned, is about the most portable and powerful computer available (when paired with a Bluetooth keyboard). I put the tablet to use in many different ways, whether it's catching up on email, browsing the web, watching movies, playing games, or, yes, doing my job.

[See Surface Pro 4 Vs. iPad Pro: High-End Hybrid Showdown.]

The iPad is my preferred computing device, but it's not perfect. There are definitely instances when I require a laptop and, I'm sorry to say, the iPad Pro does not change that equation.

Even so, the hardware is fantastic. Apple designs the most attractive and highest-quality tablets in the market, and the iPad Pro is its piece de resistance.

I delve into several aspects of the slate, including an up-close look at its hardware, software, screen, buttons, controls, app compatibility as well as my biggest complaints.

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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MNotherday
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MNotherday,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/20/2015 | 12:42:28 PM
Re: Size and apps
vnewman2-I agree with some of many of the comments, but none completely. If that makes sense. As a college administrator (and no, unfortunately NOT one of the high paid ones!), my better half purchased a Pro for me after a promotion. Cost aside, I spent most of my time in meetings and on the run, so mobility is a must. I've been using an Air for that purpose, a MacBook Pro for more productivity, and a Mac-mini as an office computer both at home and at the college. I have been using the MacBook more and more, the Minis the least, and the iPad's the most. I keep the iPad Air for social gatherings (I even have an iPad Mini for real social, but must have for business discussion meetings), and now use the Pro for nearly everything else. I DO NOT use an external keyboard for it. If I am going to carry that much weight or need that kind of special power, the MacBook Pro is the choice. But it has been going out with me less and less. When I need to connect to office computers, I VM. I use the Apple suite of apps, but for work the Microsoft suite. When VMing, Word pops up a special glass keyboard with all the keys, including CNTL! For spreadsheets and other business needs, there is nothing I can't do on the Pro. I have to remember which device is the right "tool" for the job. And thanks to iCloud movement, all the data I work on is on every device, when and where I need it. The Pro, s perfect for what it does best. It is not a toy, bedroom, I front of the TV (I do), replacement for everyone. But is does replace the laptop for those who use a laptop to do the things Pro does best. Just MMHO, but wanted to agree the you and add some! Sorry so long! And it CERTAINLY is a conversation starter... :-)
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
12/19/2015 | 9:40:54 PM
Re: The iPad I've been waiting for
@Joe S.,  Good point, time to take out the reading glasses! lol  However, they can just zoom in to magnify what's on the screen of the smaller devices.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 2:54:06 PM
Re: Size and apps
I will say this - it is definitely a conversation starter! 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2015 | 1:18:42 PM
Re: Size and apps
@vnewman2,

Thank your for your comment and sharing your experience.

I think this aludes to what many have been voicing, that the Ipad Pro isn't really looking to replace existing Ipad users, but maybe provide that additional functionality that specific users (students, business areas) are seeking.

I definitly think the Ipad Pro will find it's market, but it might not be as massly accepted as consumers with Ipad. Like you said, the size itself will make it difficult for those carrying small bags (which wasn't a concern for regular Ipads)
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/7/2015 | 4:53:32 PM
Re: Size and apps
So after using it for a little over a week now, my thoughts are basically the same - it does take the place of certain laptop functions, but not all. It may actually prolong the replacement of my MacBook as I feel I can get by a little longer now with my old one. One interesting note - where I didn't have issues setting my old iPad out on a table while out to dinner (for my son to mess around on) - the size of the iPad Pro makes it really uncomfortable to do that. For lack of a better way to put it, the size is obnoxious in social settings, I think.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
12/7/2015 | 11:25:51 AM
Re: Size and apps
@vnewman2,

I'm in tune with your initial thoughts.... I think the Ipad Pro is more of a test for Apple to see if this sticks or not.

If we look at there current product portfolio, this falls in a very short space between an Ipad Air and a MacBook. It has sufficient horsepower to provide business professionals a good environment, but it doens't provide the experience that would make it a true replacement device.

I think Microsoft did a better job at distinguising it's Surface Pro 3. It's specifically aimed at productivity, where it's looking for people to use it sitting down in a desk (the fact that the can use it on the go is a plus). But where business users see it's real value is the space saving (it's like carrying around a portfolio).

I think the Ipad Pro will find an area where it'll be succesful, but I think it'll be more as an extension device to a MacBook and not as Ipad Tablet

 
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
12/5/2015 | 8:52:02 AM
Another embarrassing Apple fail
Apple once again cannot produce enough product. I recently came across an iPad Pro commercial where it clearly states that delivery will be delayed due to product shortage. On top of that, the commercial was targeted at the German market and another note stated that the keyboard is only available with US layout.

So the company with the most cash on hand in the entire universe shows again how utterly inept it is when it comes to execution. Yes, it might be some marketing gag to suggest shortages giving the illusion that the product is in high demand, but since a decade Apple products are in high demand. By now Apple should have figured out how to add another few thousand lowly paid Chinese to glue the iPads together. The failure to do just that is just embarrissing. I have no idea why nobody at Apple gets canned for that nor why Cook is still CEO being that inept in execution and why shareholders don't sell their stock given that Apple is apparently not interested in selling more product.

That the keyboard is only available with US layout is simply limitless arrogance, but that is typical for many US companies who never think about internationalization. Especially with a keyboard it is very easy to adjust to locales. Swap out the keys and handle the rest in software. Seriously? Apple is incapable of doing that? If they flub up something that simple I wonder what else they failed at. Given the price point of Apple gear it is not unreasonable to expect much better from them....and go to their web store, order an item, and have it delivered next day.

Odd that nobody covers that issue, are there that many that still think just because the Apple logo is on something it is automatically special?
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
12/5/2015 | 12:04:32 AM
Re: Bigger is not always better
It's easy to say than to do - the usability expert needs to figure out the "best size" for most of people.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/4/2015 | 5:47:45 PM
Re: Size and apps
I purchased one this week for our household. My inital thoughts are WOW it is huge. And Awkward. And I feel like it has an identity crisis - am I a notebook or a notePAD? More to follow...
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/4/2015 | 4:41:07 PM
Re: Size and apps
That's the right message. There are just a few verticals that really make sense.
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