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iPad Pro: 5 things I like (and 5 I don't)

With just one day of use, there are several iPad Pro pluses and minuses that are standing out to me, not even counting how iOS can be limiting for some people.

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Topic: iPad
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1 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

Multi-tasking is made for the big screen

Some of the new iOS 9 multi-tasking features are available for other Apple devices, but they shine on the iPad Pro 12.9-inch display.

I'm already getting more done on  the Pro than with any iPad before it, seamlessly using a pair of apps at once, including cutting and pasting from one to another.

Not all iOS apps take full advantage of this yet, however. Those that do, show more content or are more effective to use on the big display.

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2 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

A content consumption monster

Once the workday is done, iPad Pro becomes a fantastic content consumption device for movies and audio.

Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, HBO Now, you name it: It's a richer experience with the large screen and four speakers which are much louder thanks to a new design that sacrifices a little space for a larger battery.

Bass and treble are automatically balanced between the top and bottom speakers, no matter which way you hold the iPad Pro.

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3 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

Keyboard shortcuts make for faster navigation

This isn't a feature that's specific to the iPad Pro since it works on all iOS tablets when paired with a Bluetooth keyboard.

However, I'm finding it's the quickest way to switch between active apps on such a large tablet.

Just tap Command + Tab to bring up the list of running apps or to toggle through the list.

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4 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

A performance beast

I haven't run benchmarks on the hardware but it's clear in use that the Apple A9x chip paired with 4 GB of memory handles everything you can throw at it.

There's no reloading of browser tabs, fast gameplay, and not one case (yet) of performance lag.

As shown in the picture, others, such as Forbes, have run benchmarks, and found the iPad Pro hardware is two to five times faster than most other mobile devices; particularly in the graphics department.

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5 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

A long charging cable? Thanks!

It might seem like a small, insignificant detail, but I love that Apple shipped a two meter long USB to Lightning Cable with the 12W power brick.

That suggests to me that Apple expects iPad Pro for use on a desk -- where outlets may be further from reach -- just as much as a lap.

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6 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

Slow to charge though

While the long charging cord is welcome, the long charging time isn't.

iPad Pro should run for 10 hours on a charge -- that's about what I saw on day one -- but takes more than four hours to recharge fully.

Perhaps Apple should have included a 15W or greater power brick, assuming the battery inside the tablet can handle it.

These days, Quick Charge technology is becoming commonplace in high-end mobile devices; it's time Apple jumped on board with iPad Pro.

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7 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

Not nearly as portable

Although the iPad Pro doesn't feel heavy for its size, I don't think I'd carry it around to all the same places I would with an iPad mini or iPad Air.

I tote those devices in hand, but the iPad Pro feels like it should be in a carry bag. Again, I suspect Apple is aiming this more for experiences in lean back situations and on desks; less so for carrying everywhere.

Over time, I'll see how much I leave the house with iPad Pro.

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8 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

Too much reliance on touch?

This may be the main dealbreaker for  many people considering an iPad Pro and it's weighing on my own mind as well.

There's simply no official iOS support for a mouse or trackpad. That means you're either relying on keyboard shortcuts or extending your arm for all navigation on screen.

Some productivity activities are best suited for mouse or trackpad usage, which may eliminate iPad Pro from being efficient in those cases.

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9 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

Wait, no split keyboard?

The software keyboard in iOS supports undocking and a split screen mode; but not on the iPad Pro.

Yes, you can undock the software keyboard in either portrait or landscape mode as shown. But you can't split it for better two handed use in portrait mode.

That seems like an oversight to me, although it's one that Apple can add through a software update.

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10 of 10 Kevin Tofel/ZDNet

Look at the empty space

I understand that Apple is trying to assert a familiar look and feel across all of its tablets but the home screen and icons can look silly on iPad Pro.

There's plenty of room to expand beyond the four row and five column grid on the larger display, if Apple would allow it.

Even one extra column would make a difference and I hope Apple adjusts this in the future.

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