I have been using an iPad 2 for almost five years now. Gradually, the iPad has grown on me, evolving from what was a pure consumption device to a mobile computer that I could rely on. In fact, over the past three years I have seldom taken my PC to record an interview or cover an event; the iPad has been more than enough.
When Apple launched the iPad Pro I was excited enough to think it would be able to replace my PC altogether. But after using the iPad Pro for a few weeks, I thought the size made it a bit unwieldy. I was always trying to make sure nothing happened to that gorgeous, but extra large, screen. This is when Apple announced the new, smaller, iPad Pro. Is this the tablet upgrade I have been waiting for? I chronicle my week with the new tab in town.
Day 5: Should you buy
So, should you buy this tablet and who should buy this tablet. I will say this is a great tablet for second generation users, those who have been using an iPad for a few years now and wants to upgrade. This will let them push the limits and do much more. And being once such users I am certain for most of us, the iPad is already a laptop replacement. If you are one such user, then just go for it with your eyes closed. This is the best tab out there.
Then who shouldn’t buy? If you are one of those who uses a tab just to read and send mail, browse trough websites or books, this it makes no sense to spend more on the iPad Pro. That is because the other, more affordable, tablets from Apple are great for those tasks.
I would like to add one thing here. If you are one of those who needs to use the Pencil a lot, then go for the larger iPad Pro. You will love the extra real estate there and you will be more creative that way.
My verdict is that the new iPad Pro is the closest you can get to a perfect tablet at the moment, and even better than the larger version which has a niche use case in my books.
Day 4: What a camera
I have never really found a good use for a tablet camera. The tablet is never the only device with me and there is always something that has a better camera and is more handy. However, I am sure we have all seen people who record everything with their tablet cameras. The iPad Pro is just for those people. In fact, the camera on this tablet is good enough for people like me to start clicking photos with it.
What really appeals to me is the kind of textures and that this camera can throw up. I think this is done intentionally because more people are likely to shoot documents, fabrics and the like with a tablet and not landscapes or portraits.
Those who scan a lot of documents while at work or while reading will love this camera and how it adds to their productivity.
Day 3: These keys
With the keypad attached, I have noticed that tendency is to use less of the touchscreen. This is new to me for on the older iPad I used just the screen. Also, my accuracy rates have not really improved with this keyboard. It had picked up in a day or so while using larger iPad Pro. No such luck and I continue to make embarrassing mistakes.
I used the Pencil too. But I doubt this hard stylus from Apple will find many takers along with the smaller screen size. The stylus is sort of made for the larger iPad and that is where you will use it to its full potential. That said the Pencil in works exactly the same way as it does on the older iPad Pro, giving the same pressure sensitivity and strokes.
Day 2: Going to work
Having used an iPad for many years, it is only natural that I have some favourite apps. For me, the one app that adds to my productivity is Sound Note, which records voice as I take down notes, usually while interviewing someone. And it was no surprise that this was one of the first apps I used, that too to record a telephonic interview. I had my phone on speaker as the app recorded and I took down notes. I have done this a lot of times before, using the same iPhone 6s Plus, but the audio quality has not been that great. With the new iPad Pro I could straight away make out that the microphone was much superior as the audio quality was way better.
I type a lot on the iPad, and on this one has a softer feel on the screen. It could be just because my old iPad has worn out with the constant tapping on it. But yes it does feel good.
I also tried listening to some music on the tablet and the experience seemed as good as on the larger iPad Pro. Both of these have top-notch audio, maybe the best even in a mobile device. So for those looking at this primarily as a consumption device, the iPad Pro offers a great experience. But if you want to use it only as a consumption device it might just be better to get a more affordable iPad.
Day 1: Setting up and discovering new apps
I have used tablets of all shapes and sizes. But the size of the iPad 2 is still my favourite and I think it is the most practical of the lot, if you want to work on it as well. This is what I like the most about the new iPad Pro too. The 9.7-inch size will make it more popular and mass than its larger sibling, which will become a niche tab preferred by artists and other scribblers.
I am using the new iPad Pro with the smaller keyboard attachment from Apple, as well as the Pencil. Mind you, the Pencil is almost the same size as the tablet now. The keyboard is the same stuff as on the larger iPad Pro, just smaller. This is where it gets a bit tricky as it is tougher to type on a 9.7-inch keyboard, and my accuracy rates were all over the place in the initial few hours. I had to try and tell my fingers not to race, so that I could start figuring out the stuff I was actually typing.
With both the keyboard and an Apple silicone back cover, the iPad Pro added a few millimeters in thickness, but still stays well in your hand, almost like a book.
Setting up a new iOS device is now quite easy and with the Apple log in you can just install everything you had on your older device. However, I preferred a clean slate and did not download the apps I had accumulated over the past five years on to the new device.
This new iPad comes with iOS 9.3 in the box and thanks to Night Shift I ensured that Kindle was among the first apps I downloaded, along with the new Jhumpa Lahiri book. I like the warmth of the night shift screen and have a feeling the new iOS version will help me read more for sure. I have to see if this will help me sleep better too.
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