iPad Pro, Day Two: Not A Laptop, But A Very Good iPad
It's interesting the way the strange becomes normal with familiarity. The iPad Pro felt enormous yesterday and its unwieldiness and awkwardness when used as a tablet informed most of my first impressions. At least some of that is Apple's fault - no Smart Keyboard or Pencil being available at launch really hurts the appeal of the iPad Pro.
By day two I've eased some of these problems by acquiring a Bluetooth keyboard and a using the Pro propped up on a desk. It still feels big, but only when looking at it beside a 'normal' sized iPad.
The split keyboard / screen interaction remains cumbersome. There's just no substitute for using a mouse pointer in desktop mode. Continually having to raise a hand to prod at the screen isn't something that I'm going to grow to love, that's for sure.
Multi-tasking using split screen view is interesting. Two apps side by side is definitely something that's usable, however it isn't a brilliantly implemented tool. Install enough apps that support multitasking and having to scroll down the list of apps to find the one you want becomes a chore.
Conversely, there are still too many apps that aren't supported. I've said before that being able to swipe between apps on a iPad Air is all the multitasking that the iPad needs. However for those times when I wanted to view a document whilst writing about it the iPad Pro's screen was a definitive positive.
Aside from that though I don't feel the screen size is a worthy trade-off for the weight and size of the iPad Pro. The more powerful internals don't make a huge difference in day to day usage - it feels as quick as other iPads but no quicker. Side by side there's a hair's difference, but no more.
More than ever I'm convinced that the iPad Pro is just a bigger iPad. For some that will be enough, personally I'm missing the usability of the Air more than I'm enjoying the bigger screen of the Pro. Others may find the opposite to be true. It's a good iPad, a very good iPad in fact. But so are the Air and the Mini.
In either case this remains - at least for now - a device which complements your laptop rather than replaces it. In three sizes.