iPad Pro first impressions

by Jeff Hilimire on November 23, 2015

For the past 2+ months I’ve used only the iPad 2 and a keyboard case. No laptop or other computer. I’ve been doing this to determine if, for me personally, the iPad Pro could replace a laptop in my life.  The answer was a resounding, “YES,” so when the iPad Pro came out I jumped on it immediately. 

Here is my initial review:

Let’s start with this: This review is probably a little premature, since I don’t have the keyboard case for the iPad Pro yet….WHAT?! That’s right, the freaking keyboard case isn’t available yet for most people, which is insane since the main reason for getting this device is that its a laptop replacement, and without a keyboard its just a huge iPad. So, major fail right out of the gate on Apple’s part not having enough keyboard cases in stock.

This is what my setup should look like:


But this is what it does look like:

As you can see, I’m currently using the iPad Pro with an old bluetooth keyboard that I have. That works just fine, though not as portable, so I’ll give my first impressions based on this method of usage.

Oh, and the Pencil is also not in stock, but that’s not nearly as much of a deal-breaker for most people. Though I am excited to try it out.

The iPad Pro is incredibly fast. Zippy is the word I’ve been using to describe it. Maybe its because I had been using the two-year old iPad 2, but I’m amazed by the speed of this device.

The wifi is also super fast. It’s noticably faster than my iPhone and my old iPad. I’ve long complained that the wifi at my house is pretty slow, but on the iPad Pro its much faster.

The screen is of course beautiful, but the size is terrific for actually working. Writing blog posts (like this one), using Google Spreadsheets, working on presentations, all of those things are great on this device. The screen is bigger than the Macbook I was using a few months ago. And its full-on retina, which is great.

It seems to be mostly unusable in portrait mode. This thing was clearly designed for landscape use, IMHO. When I hold it in portrait I feel a little ridiculous.

The speakers are terrific. Audio quality is good, not amazing, but they have four speakers so you don’t need any additional speakers to watch movies.

Mulit-tasking works well. This device will never be as good at multi-tasking as a laptop, but the two screens side by side is really nice. Honestly one of the things I like about working on this device is that its easier to focus because its more of a single-use device. 

The battery life is ridiculous. I easily seem to get 10 hours of battery life, if not more. 

Cellular connection rocks. Being able to always be online is tremendous, and I’m still amazed that most laptops don’t allow for this. That, and the battery life, make this the best “travel” laptop you could own.

At this point, other than the lack of a keyboard case, I can’t find much to complain about. Perhaps that’s because I had been using an old iPad 2 for months so this is better in every way. Or perhaps its because this device is fantastic :)


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