10 Quick ‘First Impressions’ of the Apple iPad Pro

Several of us have said before that it is hard to truly assess a ‘daily use’ item in a quick review done in a day or two of use immediately after a product launch. Maybe there are updates coming so we are less critical in that area, or maybe we can accommodate a behavior change in the short term that we can’t over the long haul. So instead of a ‘review’, I wanted to post 10 first impressions of the new iPad Pro. Of course, I am writing this post on the Pro!

10 Quick 'First Impressions' of the Apple iPad Pro

I think it is important to understand and realize that the iPad Pro is NOT a Microsoft Surface or another so-called ‘hybrid’. The Surface is a great piece of hardware, but it is functionally a touch-screen laptop first and foremost.

  • 1. OMG Huge! Really, I know this is the whole thing about the iPad Pro and has been reported to death, but you need to feel it to believe it. This is NOT a one-handed device, NOT something you will just grab-n-go with. It is an ‘intentional carry’ all the way.
  • 2. Thin & Light: In spite of being huge, it weighs less than my iPad Air 2 with Belkin keyboard case, and because of the way the weight is distributed it actually feels lighter than my old first-gen iPad. Crazy.
  • 3. Wasted Space: Perhaps the most telling issue is that you only get 20 icons per screen. Same as the other iPads, and it has been highlighted that there are more pixels between icons on the home screen than on the original iPhone! It feels weird and wasteful. I have 5 pages of icons (main, entertainment, productivity, music and games), but with more apps per page I could easily drop to 3 pages.
  • 4. Gorgeous Screen I caught up on Supergirl while doing some prep work for my busy week ahead, and it is like working in front of the TV. Games, images, everything is just amazing to view. Especially since I have been mainly using the non-Retina Macbook Air 11.6.
  • 5. Old Apps Look Weird: I love Mailbox app for email, but am considering switching to the built-in Mail app because the app is optimized for a smaller, low-res screen. It reminds me of the mid-90s when we suddenly got 17″ monitors and high-resolution graphics cards, and you seemed to be constantly battling too-small fonts or way-too-large app UI design.
  • 6. Media and Other Apps Look Awesome: But when you find an app that is updated for the iPad Pro, you can really appreciate the vast expanse of screen space. WordPress, Microsoft Office, the Apple apps, and more are all just gorgeous.
  • 7. Missing Accessories Are Inexcusable: Here is my #1 complaint: I am typing this on my Zagg Universal Bluetooth keyboard, which I love, but I ordered my Pro within an hour or so of pre-orders opening up and STILL have a 1-2 week wait for the keyboard. With so much knowledge, not having their supply chain ready for the pencil and keyboard accessories for this kind of device is a major failure for Apple.
  • 8. iOS 9 Never Worked Better: Aside from typing this on the Pro, I am also involved in a text message discussion with my son at college. Multitasking, picture-in-picture, and so on all work amazingly well…SO much better than even on the iPad Air 2.
  • 9. Too Much iPad, Not Enough Pro! Right now the iPad Pro really doesn’t do much more than the iPad Air 2 , it is more powerful, has more memory, but with the same OS version that treats it the same, you would be hard pressed to see the difference. That really needs to change to make this more than just a ‘big screen iPad with fancy accessories’. Will it happen? I hope so-there is a load of potential here.
  • 10. I’ve Got the POWER! I keep talking about it, but this thing is really powerful! Load times for games are fast, task switching and working in apps is a breeze, and I have had more than 15 tabs open without noticing reloading. This thing is definitely the ‘power user tablet’.

I have also read a bunch of people expressing disappointment in the iPad Pro, due to size, lack of accessories, not being a true hybrid, pricing, and so on. For me, with each hour I use it I am increasingly pleased with it. It is huge and has me scrambling for a new case to use (a bunch of Gear Diary folks were discussing our old bags that no longer work-I have a Sena that has been my go-to iPad bag since 2010 that won’t cut it anymore), but no reason NOT to use the iPad.

What are your thoughts: do you have an iPad Pro, plan to get one, plan NOT to get one? Let us know!

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

1 Comment on "10 Quick ‘First Impressions’ of the Apple iPad Pro"

  1. Christopher Gavula | November 16, 2015 at 10:44 pm |

    I picked up the iPad Pro on the release day and I agree with a lot of your impressions. It picked up the Logitech Create keyboard but I found myself disappointed in it so I returned it. I’m just using the onscreen keyboard and a Logitech BT keyboard and anxiously awaiting the Apple Pencil I ordered.

    I like this Device more and more each day but it really needs Pro apps to be released to show what this is really capable of. I really believe that we are moving toward lightweight OSes and apps and this is a good first step down that path.

    A few observations:

    * I had hoped the “connected” keyboards would support long key-dress for foreign character typing – something that no BT keyboards support, but sadly the Logitech didn’t support it and it may be an OS level thing, but I’m hoping they address this, it’s one of my favorite OSX features and Apple does multi-language typing FAR superior to any option available on ANY Windows device. Please extend this to iOS hard keyboards!

    * Please let us put more icons on the screen at one time! The empty space feels weird!

    * What happened to the mute/orientation toggle switch? Why get rid of it?

    * I’ve played some games that can use a controller like Asphalt 8 and they play better and more smoothly than the do on a Surface Pro 3 (i5). Very impressive!

    * Rumor says that the iPad Pro also has full USB 3.0 support. I’m curious as to what will be supported in the near future and how it will be implemented.

    I think today the potential of the device is more than the actuality, but I think that actuality will be in the near future and I’m really looking forward to what apps and accessories will be coming in the near future!

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