Some thoughts on the new iPad Pro 11 Inch
So I bought a 10.5 inch iPad Pro 64GB last December as a Christmas gift to myself. When the new 2018 iPad Pro came out, I mulled over it for a bit, and decided to buy one and use it for a few weeks before selling my 10.5 inch, to make sure I liked it. Boy am I glad I did that, because I returned the 2018 iPad Pro within two weeks and resumed using my 10.5 inch and I am confident I made the right choice. When I bought it a year ago, I firmly believed that the 2017, 10.5 inch iPad Pro was the single best piece of technology apple has ever made, and a year later, having used the newest iteration of iPad Pro, I still believe that. Here are my thoughts:
-Design: The iPad Pro 10.5 is the perfect dimensions. By squishing the side bezels to tiny little strips and reducing the forehead and chin of the iPad Pro, apple was able to keep the home button and Touch ID that many of us love without making the device look archaic. I am tired of hearing YouTubers say “all iPads before the 11 inch look ancient”. The 10.5 was hailed as an object of glorious beauty when it came out literally last year – are we so quick to change our minds? The 10.5 is sleek, the chamfered curved edges are comfortable to hold and look sleek and luxurious. It is thin and light, the bezels are remarkably small without sacrificing features, the shape is ergonomic and svelte, and the camera is small and stylish. By contrast, I found the 11 inch to feel, well, chunky. It feels like a tool, not a piece of art. It feels sharp on the edges, and annoying to hold. Even though it is technically thinner than the 10.5, it feels thicker. The camera bump is massive (and why?? It has a WORSE camera than the 10.5 inch!)
-Bezels and headphone jack. Alright this one is contentious but I do not find that removing the home button has helped the 11 inch iPad Pro any. As a computer-replacement, Face ID is kind of annoying since it is often on my desk or lying on my bed. I like hitting the home button to turn it on, when I have greasy fingers or don’t want to touch the screen. Touch ID is the most practical way to sign in. And the headphone jack?? What kind of computer doesn’t have a standard 3.5MM jack? If I can’t plug it into my computer speakers it ain’t a computer.
-Accessories. This one is a toss up. I am conflicted about the new folio keyboard – on the one hand, it is more stable on the lap than the old Smart Keyboard, but on the downside it clips on to the whole back, making it harder to remove. I like my Smart Keyboard because of how it snaps on and off my iPad 10.5 inch in like half a second. As for Apple Pencil, no contest, the old one is ridiculous and the new one is way better. The look, lack of buttons, and charging systems for the old pencil are all super dumb and annoying.
-Performance. Yeah I get that the iPad 2018 is technically faster. But a Maserati is technically faster than a Honda Civic, but we don’t all need Maseratis do we? Trying to keep up with the absolute fastest tech is a hobby that will cost one thousands and thousands of dollars a year. The simple fact is there’s something new every year, and it is always technically faster, but that doesn’t make previous models obsolete or even ineffective. With its 4GB of Ram and A10X fusion (which lets not forget, just 6 months ago was being touted as an absolute monster and better than most MBP models), the 10.5 inch is not only fast enough, but still blistering fast, and will continue to be that way for at least another year or two.
Concluding thoughts: I like the 2018 iPad Pro, its fine, but its a first iteration of something new, and its gonna take apple some time (and at least another generation) to get it right. Meanwhile, the 10.5 inch is, in my opinion, the single most perfectly engineered, overpowered, well designed, beautiful piece of tech apple has ever constructed.