The iPad Pro 9.7″ – two days in

2016-03-31 15.31.02-1

A quick review of my new iPad Pro 9.7″ after roughly 24 hours of use. The very short version is that I’m hugely impressed. Read on if you’d like to know why.

Size, shape and weight

The iPad Pro 9.7″ is the same size and weight as my iPad Air 2, which is great for portability. On the other hand, it’s not exactly the same. The existing iPad Air 2 flip covers won’t work with this Pro model – apparently the internal magnets are placed differently, so while it sticks to the left hand side, it won’t stay closed on the right.

I actually tried to buy a cover two days running in the Apple Store, but it was unavailable. I’ll order one online and meanwhile, I’ll use the iPad Air 2 model I have and just treat it extra carefully. My existing Logitech Bluetooth keyboard works perfectly with it, so I think I’ll stick with that for the time being, rather than getting of the Apple models.

In use

In terms of usage, it’s lightning fast, even compared to the Air 2. Very responsive and punchy. Okay, so I’m not exactly launching the space shuttle using it, but everything I’ve thrown at it so far works like a charm.

The quad speakers are really, really impressive and represent a significant upgrade on the old model. Despite reading all about these before getting my iPad, I was still surprised at both how loud and clear the sound was. It’s been a pleasure to listen to podcasts.

The screen is just gorgeous. Clear, bright and adapting to various lighting conditions. Using it outdoors is a lot easier than the iPad Air 2 (or indeed, my iPhone 6s Plus!). I was a tad sceptical of Jim Dalrymple’s glowing review on The Loop, but I can report that he’s absolutely correct. This is a big step up for the iPad, making it more of a flexible device I think.

The Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil is nothing short of a revelation and I’m embarrassed to say I’m loving colouring in, courtesy of Pigment. I’d tried it out on the larger Pro models while in Apple Stores, but this was always under the watchful supervision of a security guard or a slightly pushy Apple Store employee. Using it for a few hours has demonstrated how it’s a class above every other stylus I’ve tried on an iPad.

Drawing shapes and cartoons aside, I definitely need practice at taking notes for more serious stuff. I’d love if Evernote would introduce a stencil interface, like they have on the Android platform.

(Actually, using a stylus on a screen has reminded me of the joy of using a Palm Pilot! Though I doubt Apple will introduce that same kind of handwriting recognition.)

All in all

All in all, I love it so far. Is it a laptop replacement? Well, as ever, it really depends on what you do with your laptop. Mine is overwhelmingly used for writing, social media distractions, managing emails, taking notes, managing tasks and projects and so on. I don’t edit audio or video, nor do I code.

All of these I can do quite well on the iPad Pro. In fact, I’ve written this post on it, using the Bluetooth keyboard and my new favourite writing app, Editorial. While I don’t think I’d write another academic dissertation on this, for shorter documents, blog posts and general notes, it’s definitely more than enough.

Let’s see what the next few weeks bring.

7 comments on “The iPad Pro 9.7″ – two days in

  1. We’ve been awaiting your thoughts and look forward to hearing more! For several of us the question is not so much about replacing our Mac, but is it worth replacing our old iPads?

    Apple – as ever – are doing their bit. One of the key features of iOS 9.3 is Night Shift. However, that is not being made available to owners of non-Air iPads. As a very light sleeper, I’m often awake in the early hours and was looking forward to the new feature. But I can always use my iPhone 6S Plus without disturbing my wife. So, do I really NEED a new iPad Pro?


    • MacPsych

      I think you’ll find it a significant upgrade from your existing iPad.

      But “need” is a strong word – I honestly think few people *need* it. It’s safe to say it’s by far the best iPad Apple have released and I’ve felt the improvements compared to my iPad Air 2, which is no slouch itself.


  2. stevemorton

    I forgot to mention…. On my roundabout trip to Rotterdam (France>London>Rotterdam then back by train to France!) I went through duty free in London City Airport! I picked up an iPad Pro 256GB Wifi only model and the smart keyboard too. I’ve ordered the pencil as well after trying one out in Rotterdam. I don’t really need the cellular coverage for the limited amount of travelling I currently do.

    I am loving the iPad Pro, it has upped my usage of the iPad considerably I don’t have to think as hard now when it comes to ‘how do I do this’ with it.

    The smart keyboard is great as well, with the assistance of a friend of mine I quickly worked out how to get £ instead of $ on it too!

    My iPad 3 was restored to factory settings and some apps installed on it and passed to Mrs M, who doesn’t use it a lot yet, but does find the larger screen better than using her phone if she is doing things on Twitter or Facebook!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent! Glad you’re enjoying it. What are you using the pencil for?


      • stevemorton

        It hasn’t arrived yet! Enroute! But I’m hoping it will be useful for adding quick notes to photos which I do fairly often these days but I end up having to use a laptop or a desktop to do it!
        But I saw your other post and I’ve noted down to look at Good Notes


        • Yes, I still like Good Notes. I also often use the Apple Pencil to swipe between pages in documents. A replacement for my finger! Congrats and hope you enjoy all your new kit. And Mrs M too!


  3. Pingback: Alexa? Welcome home. – MacPsych.me

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