In the past I’ve barked about how I didn’t need or want an iPad Pro. I thought I was content with my iPad Air 2 so I more or less wrote off the iPad Pro. Well I finally bought one, and I’m here to tell you that I couldn’t have been more wrong about the iPad Pro.
I just happened to be at the Apple Store and couldn’t help myself
But before I tell you why I was wrong about the iPad Pro, let me tell you how I ended up with one in the first place. A friend of mine expressed a desire to buy my iPad Air 2 in some text messages, and he happened to be at the mall where the local Apple Store is located.
After some back and forth via messages, we agreed on a price and I said I’d meet him at the mall. When I got there we met right in front of the Apple Store (you know where this is going, right?) and did the transaction. We chatted for a few minutes and then he walked off to head home. But I was left standing in front of the Apple Store with a tidy amount of cash burning a huge hole in my wallet.
Lying to myself about my true purpose in entering the Apple Store (I told myself I was just there to look around and I wouldn’t buy anything), I immediately headed for the tables that held the iPad Pro. I picked one up and started using it.
A few minutes later I was the proud owner of a space grey, Wi-Fi only, 128GB iPad Pro. I also managed to snag an Apple Pencil. I took a pass on Apple’s keyboard and smart cover though. The keyboard case only has one viewing angle, so it was useless to me. And the smart cover (the silicone one) didn’t appeal to me when I touched it and looked at it.
So I headed home with my iPad Pro, loaded with guilt after all the dismissive remarks I had made in previous posts on this blog. After all, hadn’t I written this thing off already? What the heck was I doing bringing one home? Well sometimes you just have to admit that you were wrong and that’s definitely the case with the iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro is the best e-reader I’ve ever used
After getting my iPad Pro home and setting it up, I started using it for the same things I used my iPad Air 2 for: reading ebooks, Web pages, comics, Reddit (via BaconReader) and other kinds of content.
I soon realized that the iPad Pro was hands down the best e-reader I’ve ever used. The bigger screen made it so much more comfortable to page through ebooks, view my favorite Web sites and read comics. The difference in the screen size had a huge impact on me in a way that I did not expect.
Take comics, for example. I could read them on my iPad Air 2, but I always ended up having to zoom in at times to read dialogue bubbles. But that was not the case with the iPad Pro. Comics look absolutely amazing. I can see all of the beautiful art in more detail, and reading the dialogue bubbles is a breeze (even with my aging eyeballs).
Web pages also are much easier and more comfortable to view. I found myself able to read discussion forums like the MacRumors Forum and other favorite sites of mine without having to zoom in and out, or turn the iPad on its side into landscape mode.
I also loved how much text was displayed on the screen when I fired up Amazon’s Kindle app to read ebooks. I have a Kindle Voyage too, but the iPad Pro just blows it right out of the water. Oh sure, the Voyage is still a great e-reader and it’s a bit easier to hold than the iPad Pro. But the iPad Pro’s screen beats it hands down when it comes to seeing text. The Kindle Voyage just feels too tiny at this point.
Great sound: The iPad Pro and audiobooks
Speaking of books, I also noticed something else that I did not expect. I listen to a lot of Audible audiobooks, and the iPad Pro makes them sound terrific. I always download the highest quality audiobook from Audible’s site, and I was very pleased indeed when I tapped the play button and heard what Tolkien’s “Return of the King” sounded like on the iPad Pro.
Don’t get me wrong here, the iPad Air 2 also had good sound. But the four speakers of the iPad Pro just take it up a notch and you can really hear the difference. The sound on the iPad Pro seems richer and fuller when listening to an audiobook.
I also fired up Amazon Music (I prefer it to Apple Music), and music sounded phenomenal on the iPad Pro. I hadn’t considered that at all when I bought it. The big screen was what really motivated me, but the great sound was an unexpected but delightful surprise.
The iPad Pro, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Another fantastic part of the iPad Pro experience is Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. I used to watch movies and TV shows from both services on my iPad Air 2, and they looked great. But the iPad Pro’s huge screen just takes the experience to another level altogether.
And the iPad Pro’s four speakers also help to make watching video content a much better experience than on the smaller iPads. The sound is significantly better in any TV show or movie. Frankly, Apple would do very well to include four speakers in the next version of the iPad Air because they do make a big difference.
I’m much more likely to use my iPad Pro more often to TV shows and movies than I did when I had my iPad Air 2. I can’t imagine viewing them on a smaller iPad now after using the iPad Pro while laying in bed.
Games are glorious on the iPad Pro
I haven’t been gaming in iOS very much lately, having bought a Nintendo 3Ds a while back. But I did take some time to try out games like Order and Chaos 2, Marvel’s Contest of Champions and a few other games.
Wow! The iPad Pro’s hardware really shined when running games. The 64-bit A9X chip chewed right though every game I tried. The games also sounded great with the iPad Pro’s four speakers. And they looked amazing on the big screen too.
I really can’t overemphasize the impact of the screen on the overall experience gaming in iOS. It really does make a big difference as you can more easily see all of the gorgeous graphics and details in each of the games.
I enjoyed playing games on the iPad Pro in a way that I hadn’t for ages on any iOS device. So I suspect that it may woo me away from the Nintendo 3Ds for a while as I explore more games that can make use of the iPad Pro’s beautiful screen.
If you’re looking for some games, see an earlier post I did about 16 gorgeous games for the iPad Pro and see also 16 games with spectacular sound that take great advantage of the iPad Pro’s four speakers.
But what about the iPad Pro replacing a laptop?
One of the most boring and tedious arguments associated with the iPad Pro is whether or not it can replace a laptop. My answer to that is simply this: who cares? I didn’t buy it for that purpose. I bought it to use as an iPad for all of my usual media needs.
I might get a bluetooth keyboard for it at some point, but that’s just more for convenience. When it comes to work I’ll stick with my iMac. The iPad Pro could certainly do some of the stuff I do on my iMac or Macbook Pro, but I really just don’t care to use it that way.
The iPad Pro is the best iPad ever and I was quite wrong about it
For me the iPad Pro is the iPad the way it should have always been. The hardware is terrific and should meet my needs for the next few years. The iPad Pro is very fast, light and easy to hold considering its size. But the 12.9-inch screen makes it the ultimate iPad when it comes to reading e-books, comics or Web pages. Yes, it’s really that good.
I freely confess that I was wrong about the iPad Pro. If I could change one thing about it, however, it would be the name. The iPad Pro really should be called the iPad Plus. Calling it “pro” has given some folks (myself included) the idea that it’s more about work than anything else, and that just isn’t true.
Simply put, the iPad Pro is the best iPad that Apple has ever created. And you don’t have to be a professional to buy one and love using it.
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