Since Apple’s big announcement earlier this week, I’ve received a lot of emails from people asking me whether or not I would keep my jumbo iPad Pro or, if I had the choice, trade it in for the newer, smaller, 9.7 inch iPad Pro.
In my case, I would keep the big one. In my head, I’ve run the little mental exercises watching a truck run over my big iPad Pro (cringe) and then determining which one I would buy.
The new 9.7 inch iPad Pro has some additional features in terms of a better camera and a screen that adjusts ambient light but none of that is really a reason to choose one over the other for most people. To me, the big question is whether you want it really big or just kind of big. I can understand why some people hate the big iPad because of the unwieldy screen size but I’m just so damn productive with it.
Split screen on the big iPad Pro is amazing. Apps are nearly full size and super easy to read and manipulate. Reading and annotating documents on the large-size iPad Pro is also a joy. Combined with the Apple Pencil, I’m chewing through hundred page contracts like nobody’s business. One of my most productive workflows is annotating a document on the iPad Pro with the pencil while sliding in the Dragon Anywhere app to dictate notes about certain sections as I read and annotate. I then send the annotated contract along with my notes to the client.
Another workflow that I’m enjoying is Apple Mail on the left and OmniFocus on the right every morning as I work through my email and task list. I find this more efficient then working through the same data on my laptop and, just as importantly, more delightful.
Another benefit is the general category of typing. The Apple keyboard cover works just fine for me and takes very little space. The big iPad Pro is also the first iPad that I’ve been able to easily type on glass, particularly in landscape. I’ve tried a lot of 9.7 inch iPad keyboards and none of them are as good as what I’m using on the big iPad Pro. They are just too cramped.
While all of these workflows would be possible on the 9.7 inch iPad Pro, they would also be more difficult. I’m sure I would like the increased portability of the smaller iPad Pro but for me it’s not worth it. One way I’ve cheated on this a bit is that I have an aging iPad mini that works fine when portability is king.
I get that everyone is different and, frankly, for most people the 9.7 inch iPad Pro is probably the right answer but I can also tell you that having used the large iPad Pro now for several months, it’s the most productive I’ve ever been with an iPad and I’m not giving it up anytime soon.