When spending over £1000 on a tech set up (iPad, Pencil and Magic Keyboard) you would expect perfection. Well this set up isn’t but its very, very close.
The IPad Pro itself
The biggest decision I needed to make was around screen size but in the end I went with the 11” figuring that Apple was bound to solve the multi-monitor support issue with iPadOS14 (boy how I seem to have got that wrong) – anyway I will save my thoughts on the software and services part of the equation for the next part in this series.
More than likely you are familiar with the aesthetics of an iPad with its rounded corners, impossible thinness and quality fit and finish. That is not to say despite the familiarity with the look and feel of it does not mean it cannot still delight. I am still astonished on how powerful a computer this is in a such a small package that feels great in the hand a can flip in to being a near laptop.
Looking at the screen you cannot discern a pixel, brightness is high, so high in fact I have to keep turning it down rather than up, and True Tone works tremendously. Colours our vibrant and punchy but when viewing photos are realistic.
The Magic Keyboard
It is without doubt, despite some negatives, that the magic keyboard adds a missing piece to the iPad puzzle. The smart folio keyboard was good and forced you to interact with the screen but with the advent of trackpad/mouse support it opened up another dimension to the iPad. The Magic Keyboard unlocks this by integrating a trackpad with the keyboard itself unlike the smart folio.
I really like typing on the keyboard as it has great travel and a subtle but satisfying click noise – not too loud nor too quiet. the backlighting works well on the automatic setting. Even on this 11” version I did not find the keyboard to cramped as was able to type consistently accurate and at good speed. Warning though it will not feel as good a typing experience on a Mac or full sized laptop keyboard but it isn’t a big compromise when you think of the added benefits an iPad gives you.
The trackpad is glass which helps keep off oils from accumulating and is responsive. As with the keyboard despite its small size I quickly adjusted. (PRO TIP – go into settings and adjust the speed of the cursor higher as this helps with scrolling and enable the tap feature).
The fact that the keyboard connects with iPad directly means no sync issues via Bluetooth and therefore no dropped or missing text. Definitely a positive especially for writers.
However, the Magic Keyboard is not without fault. Using it on your lap for example is possible and works but due to all the weight being held above the keyboard, where you attach the iPad , means that it can tip backwards and I have found using my palms in the area next to the trackpad ensures balance. I have also purchased from Amazon a non-keyboard case for couch surfing and reading. You can see my purchase here and I highly recommend it.
Overall the Magic Keyboard moves the iPad close to being a laptop replacement and indeed for most people can replace an ageing Mac or other traditional laptop. However, given I have access to a lot of tech (I work as a G Suite reseller so have access to work Macs, Chromebooks and PC’s) would I personally choose an iPad over say a MacBook Air (price is roughly the same so it’s a fair comparison) ? I’ll answer that in my next instalment!
The Apple Pencil
The pencil is a must have add on for the iPad. It works fantastically well for text selection, the new Scribble technology announced for iPadOS14 and of course drawing.
See my short video on how selecting text using the pencil.
Apple have improved the charging technology from the first generation by charging on the iPad itself not via the lightning connector.
There is no lag. At least not that I can discern. Just superb. I can even write this in Ulysses (my markdown editor of choice) via the pencil and the translation into typed text is astonishingly accurate.
Battery and other things
Battery life is long and exceeds 8 hours even whilst powering the Magic Keyboard and you could get more if you adjusted settings or when travelling by turning off Wi-Fi and keeping the brightness down.
Whilst for me not the most important part of purchasing an iPad the camera is in fact very good and the iPad itself with its bigger canvas makes for an excellent viewfinder. in this 2020 model Apple added the LiDAR array for VR use. I’ll talk about this in future instalments.
Well that finishes this second part on my thoughts on the 2020 iPad Pro and my next instalment will focus on software and applications. Thanks for reading and if you have any comments please leave them below!