We’ve already seen the Disney and Pixar teams go hands-on with Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro and now Apple is showing the device off to people in other fields. Fraser Speirs, the head of Computing and IT at Cedars School of Excellence, says he attended a preview event in London to try out the iPad Pro and spent about an hour with it. Speirs took to Twitter to voice some of his thoughts about the usefulness of iPad Pro in education and in general…
Regarding the Apple Pencil, Speirs said that it was “extremely impressive” and the “best iPad stylus” he has ever used with near-perfect palm rejection. He noted that there was no perceptible lag and that it offered a direct drawing a writing experience – huge for animation and note taking. Speirs said the Pencil was “weighty but not heavy” and very balanced, much like a quality pen.
When it comes to the size of the device, Speirs used an interesting analogy: “iPad Pro is more like carrying a binder where the Air is a document folder.” He noted that the overall size was bigger than he expected, making for a very wide and expansive work space. Due to the increased weight of the device, Speirs said that the most comfortable carrying position will most likely be forearm cradling.
Regarding the keyboard setup, Speirs said the Smart Keyboard is a “bit fiddly” and that while it’s a decent enough option, there’s a lot of material to “flip n’ fold,” likening it to a newspaper. The on-screen keyboard has been much enhanced, Speirs noted though, saying it’s definitely a step-up in power.
In terms of software, Speirs was very fond of the multitasking capabilities, saying “it’s like two iPads stuck together.” He also said it’s very enjoyable toward entirely on one half of the display, meaning there won’t be much switching in and out of the multitasking interface, which is huge for research and note taking in education. Speirs also noted that the general performance of the device was excellent and that even in some apps that weren’t yet optimized for the larger display there were no visual issues.
In terms of the device’s usefulness in education, a market that Apple definitely hopes to penetrate with iPad Pro, Speirs said the device has huge potential, especially for teachers. He said that while the device is too expensive in its current state for mass deployment to students, but it’s a “potentially awesome” device for teachers. Speirs explained that for kids growing up with iOS, the iPad Pro could be useful in a college environment, as well.
In the end, Speirs said that “If you’re the kind of person who uses Editorial, Keynote, Pythonista, Office, Adobe, Omni and Panic apps, you should look at iPad Pro.” He said that while content consumption on the device is great, the true selling point is its creativity and productivity features.
It’s also important to note that Apple told Speirs that it will offer a non-keyboard Smart Cover and a silicone back cover for iPad Pro, but no Smart Case. You can read much more about Speirs’ impressions of the iPad Pro on his Twitter account.
Hope this has been useful. I’m really enthusiastic for the iPad Pro, Pencil and new/enhanced apps. Not so sure about the Smart Keyboard.