Many people on Twitter keep asking me about a full review of my new 13” iPad Pro (Apple insists on calling it 12.9”) with its gorgeous white Magic Keyboard. As I recently posted my new home office 2022 setup and streaming set, people saw the iPad featured in there as still my main computer - #iPadOnly style. Three months ago I switched to a bigger iPad Pro and a white keyboard - [and my initial reactions were positive] - but don’t I regret getting a chunkier iPad and a keyboard that will probably get very filthy very fast? Well, to find out check out my 3-month review:
- The bigger mini-led screen is… glorious!
- The white Magic Keyboard
- More bulk and weight
- The M1 processor
- The 5G cellular speeds
- The 16GB of RAM in the 1TB model
- Why there’s no “download all” on Photos or iCloud files?
- The battery life
- Overall I’m very happy with the new 13” iPad Pro!
The bigger mini-led screen is… glorious!
I got completely used to the bigger screen. Is the new normal size for me. The two additional inches of screen estate make lots of difference on iPadOS. I can rock two apps in split-screen no problem and work very comfortably.
However I’m not in split-screen all the time. I use many apps in full screen (like I’m typing these words in iA Writer in focus mode) and it feels good.
The mini-led screen is fantastic. I’m a dark mode all the way kind of guy, so I really appreciate many apps looking beautifully on this screen with their dark or black backgrounds.
As we traveled recently much more than last year with kids, the iPad has also been our go-to watching device. As me and my wife put our kids to sleep, we pull out the iPad, each of us puts on their AirPods Pro headphones and we connect them both to the iPad… and we can have a moment to ourselves to share an episode of our favorite show or a movie. Watching on the iPad’s mini-led screen at night with the AirPods Pro headphones is a great experience.
The white Magic Keyboard
I’m so happy I got the white keyboard. After 3 months it looks brand new and still looks gorgeous. It’s so much joy to be typing on it every day. I feel like I want to write more just because I get to write on this keyboard.
I’m not a very fashion-minded individual but the color combo of the silver iPad Pro and the white Magic Keyboard is something else. It makes me smile every time I use it.
More bulk and weight
As I mentioned in my initial impressions article, the bulk of both the “naked iPad” and the “iPad with keyboard combo” is a little more than that of 11” but not as much as I feared. The 11” iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard was already heavy and this one is just a little heavier. Not a dramatic change so I got used to it pretty quickly!
What I love about the whole concept of Magic Keyboard is the fact that the iPad is fully protected by the keyboard when they’re together, but when you need it as just a tablet, you can pop it out magnetically without any additional bulk or cover and use it easily.
And a bare-bones iPad Pro without any cover is simply beautiful and joy to use and I’m still strong enough to manipulate it with one hand.
The M1 processor
The new iPad comes also with a great new Apple silicon and modem improvements. Here’s what I think about those.
I’m sure the M1 processor is crazy fast, but I just don’t feel a noticeable speed difference compared to my older iPad Pros. The iPad Pros have been fast enough for some time now.
This one is also fast. That’s it.
The 5G cellular speeds
Choosing a cellular option for the iPad has always been an additional expense of more than a hundred bucks and that’s why many people don’t go for it. Currently for the iPad Pro it’s a whopping $200 bucks extra.
And it’s still worth it. Especially if you don’t need an additional cellular plan for it. I just got a second SIM on my current unlmited 5G iPhone plan and I just put it in the iPad.
It’s worth it, because with the iPad Pro I’m online all the time. I don’t need to tether my iPhone connection. I don’t need to search for Wi-Fi hotspots. I open up the iPad and it’s instantly ready for me and it’s online. I’m on the line! all of the time.
The new M1 Macs still don’t have that.
And the 5G speeds are great. Where I live the 5G coverage is pretty good and increasing so I never ever ask for Wi-Fi passwords anywhere. Not in cafes, not in restaurants, not in the hotel rooms. Not even when I’m visiting friends. My 5G Internet speed is usually faster than any local Wi-Fi hotspot I’d find.
The 16GB of RAM in the 1TB model
As the iPad is my main computer and this time around I was hoping to buy it for longer than just one year, I decided to go for the very expensive 1TB model which has not 8GB of RAM but 16GB. I researched the subject a lot and came to the conclusion that for normal iPad users this upgrade doesn’t make sense, but for me it might, especially as the iPadOS15 was promised to take advantage of RAM more.
Well, after 3 months with it I’m not sure it was worth it. Many apps still reload when you open them again. I’m not sure if it’s the app developer’s fault, the iPadOS fault or what…
And I’m definitely not using the 1TB of space at all. I’m currently using ~150GB of space. Which brings me to this:
Why there’s no “download all” on Photos or iCloud files?
Having so much storage space I’d love to have an option to be able to just download all of my iCloud files.
And photos? Same as I have on my iMac - give me all the originals. And if not all then give me some settings so I can decide to download all the originals from the last year or two? Or download all my videos? This way when I want to edit a video, it’s right there, I don’t have to wait getting it from the iCloud servers.
I know the iPadOS is meant to be settings-free and do everything for you, but real pro users like myself that are true #iPadOnly practitioners should be able to have some advanced settings to take advantage of this vast storage.
The battery life
This is the only downside of this iPad I can think of. I don’t get the consistent 10 hour of battery life anymore. It’s more like 7-8 hours under normal usage. Still full-day of battery life but not near as much as the new M1 MacBooks get. I guess this new gorgeous screen needs its juice and on the other hand, I don’t want the iPad to get heavier.
Overall I’m very happy with the new 13” iPad Pro!
Three months in and I’m as happy as I was when I got it. Maybe a little bit more as I’ve just gotten used to this new iPad so much that this has become my new standard of #iPadOnly productivity. I can’t recommend it enough.