I checked Twitter at about 7:15AM CST this morning and left for the office around 7:30AM CST. By the time I arrived at 7:45AM CST, Apple’s latest iPad Pros had dropped. There was no time to read about the new iPads and accessories — I ordered a 256GB, Wi-Fi, Silver, 11-inch iPad Pro with Cactus Smart Folio case and then began reading about the new devices after putting in the order.
I received an email yesterday from Marcus P. asking whether I would be keeping my 12.9-inch iPad Pro or if I’d be moving to the smaller 11-inch iPad Pro. I intended on writing a blog post to answer his email from the very start, but I didn’t expect brand new iPad Pros to drop the next day. Alas, Marcus has his ultimate answer.
Why the 11-inch this time?
I use my 12.9-inch iPad Pro for a lot of work purposes. The full size Smart Folio Keyboard lends itself well for responding to emails and messages at the office, or for writing short blog posts like this one. The big display also works great for multi-tasking, editing photos, and more.
But I can’t remember the last time I pulled out this iPad to read the news or answer messages on the couch. This iPad has been effectively rendered itself to being a desktop iPad. Some people swear by this 12.9-inch size. But I just can’t get comfortable using this iPad anywhere other than a desk.
My ultimate reservation about the 11-inch iPad Pro has always been the Smart Keyboard size. I’ve tested the size in the Apple Store on numerous occasions and always came away feeling I’d hate to use the small keyboard for any sort of long form writing. I’m sure I’ll get used to the smaller app windows when multi-tasking. I’m sure photo editing won’t be impeded in any major sort of way. But I’m most afraid of that smaller hardware keyboard.
The upcoming Magic Keyboard doesn’t really change any of these reservations, though its additional features definitely make it worth a try. How they’ll be able to cram a trackpad into that tiny keyboard is beyond me. But, with hard key caps, additional key travel, backlighting, and an additional USB-C port, it’ll certainly be worth an extended trial run. The extra USB-C port on its own may well change how certain people use the iPad Pro — I could very easily see the new Magic Keyboard becoming a dock more than a keyboard, as the extra port allows for a powered connection and the ability to instantly undock by simply grabbing the iPad. USB-C docks are sure to see a boost in usage with this new Magic Keyboard.
And the trackpad, of course, will be revolutionary for some. The accessibility cursor currently available has gone almost unused for me, so I’m unsure how cursor support will affect my usage. We’ll see.
Ultimately though, the Magic Keyboard to me is secondary this time around, even though it would have been the primary driver in any prior iPad buying decision. For every other iPad, it’s always been about how I can do more writing and more work on the device. This time, I’m wanting to have more fun with the device.
The iPad and Smart Folio are set to arrive on March 25 or 26th. I’ve shipped them to my home, as I assume I’ll be working from home at that point in time. And on the day of arrival, I’m sure there won’t be any real working from home.