When the 12.9″ iPad Pro was released in November of 2015, it definitely caused a bit of a stir. A device with a larger screen than many laptops, new multitasking features, and advanced stylus support demanded that we rethink what the iPad was and what it could be. Considering that the momentum had last swung in the opposite direction with the release of the iPad Mini and its successors, the iPad Pro was a definite departure from the norm. I’m pretty sure that is exactly what Apple wanted at the time.
However, as time has gone on, we have gotten a 9.7″ version of the Pro that seems to have taken the spotlight off of the original device. We also can’t ignore the fact that iPad sales have been in continuous decline since before the 12.9″ Pro was released, and that we may soon have a new device with an in-between screen size. Has Apple lost interest in the original Pro, or is it possible that they think (or research is telling them) that it is just too big?
All that said, I’m wondering where the 12.9″ iPad Pro fits into the lineup now. I understand that it is a LARGE device and it obviously isn’t as portable as the 9.7″ Pro, especially when you put them both in cases. However, there really is something to be said for a mobile device with enough screen real estate to easily multitask on, or run Duet and turn it into a very usable secondary monitor. The big boy can handle some things that smaller iPads will struggle with.
As for my own experience, I have stuck with the 12.9″, even after taking a hard look at the 9.7 when it was released. It really fits the way I want to use the device now. I have the iPhone 7 Plus, so I’ve got a pretty good size screen on my phone, and it goes everywhere that I do. I don’t need the iPad to fill those kinds of roles. I use mine as a hybrid computer, especially for various tasks at work.
My Pro gets a lot of run as a video player, and it is really hard to beat in that regard. I spend a fair amount of time on the road for work, so it is very handy having a big screen Netflix player with great speakers with me. My work laptop is pretty much all business, all the time, and I like it that way. I actually prefer to have a separate larger device for my personal use, and the Pro takes care of what I need to do effectively. I also use my Pro as a second screen quite a bit on the road, whether connected to my laptop via Duet, or just as a document viewer and email machine so I can keep my laptop focused on a specific work task. In both of these use cases, the larger size actually works in my favor more than the size and added weight work against me.
A fast growing use case for me is what I am doing right at this moment- writing. I have used various Bluetooth keyboards and keyboard cases with my past iPads and used to do a lot of blog post drafting in the past. However, that was about the extent of what I could do with an iPad at that time. These days I alternate between a ZAGG Slimbook keyboard case and a more traditional case/stand with a full-sized but portable Logitech K811 Bluetooth keyboard. These keyboards paired with the WordPress app have become my weapon of choice for all of my personal writing, and even some of work. All but one of the articles I have posted here and at iPad Insight have been written, edited, and published using only my Pro. With the right keyboard, this size iPad Pro is just a killer writing machine- a downright pleasure to use. The screen size also allows plenty of room to pull in the Mail app or Safari to grab bits of information, copy links, and do research for whatever I’m writing, which I think is the biggest reason that I like the 12.9″ model.
I could go on with other ways that I use my iPad Pro, but that will keep for another day. I am more interested about what you, our readers, think about the 12.9″ iPad Pro. Do you have the big iPad Pro like me? If so, what has your experience been? Is there anyone who traded down to the 9.7″ model when it came out? If so, are you happy with your downsize? Are any of you strongly considering moving to the 10.5″ device, if it is more than just a rumor?
Sometimes the 12.9″ iPad Pro feels like the odd man out device these days. With the iPad refresh rumors regularly repeating that an updated 12.9″ Pro is coming, I feel more confident that it is at least hanging on in Apple’s plans for now. However, I still wonder about its long term future, which is a big reason why I am interested in hearing what all of you out there think.