I thought Apple was silly when it first introduced the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. A few months later, I believed Apple was scamming customers when it followed it up with the still-uber-expensive iPad Pro 9.7, a smaller model with most of the same features.
I didn’t think it was going to be a really productive tablet, and I doubted the claims that people actually worked from one. Instead, a few months back, I bought an ASUS Chromebook Flip, which I still love, and was more envious of colleagues with the powerful Surface Pro 4, which I’ve since used.
A couple of weeks ago, though, as I started looking forward to my upcoming trip to IFA in Berlin, I began researching a new tablet for myself. I wanted something that would enable me to work on-the-go, but also something for movies, light gaming and staying in touch with my wife from abroad.
I walked into Best Buy, as I’m still apt to do when I want to try something I haven’t reviewed, and started playing around with the tablets. I was first struck by the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, a tablet that’s currently priced at a budget-friendly $349 and which features a gorgeous display. I know it’s also getting long in the tooth, though, so that wasn’t going to work. Then I thought, heck, my colleagues love the iPad Pro, maybe I’ll give it a look.
The price scared me. All in, for the 128GB iPad Pro 9.7, with the keyboard and Apple Pencil, I was looking at $1,000 or so. Knowing Best Buy’s return policy, though, I figured I could give it a try for 14 days and then return it if it didn’t work out for me. So far it has, and it’s not going back to Best Buy
The iPad Pro 9.7 has changed my work habits. When I wake up in the morning, I’ll take it from my nightstand and start the day sitting at my kitchen table, reading the news, drinking coffee, and cruising through Twitter. If there’s something big going on, I’ll write a story before I take my wife to the train. The rest of the day is spent on my Windows 10 PC in my office, for the most part, until the evening when I return to the iPad Pro. I’ll finish editing and scheduling posts for some of our west coast writers from the iPad Pro while doing the daily NYT Crossword, for example, an app that I found isn’t available on Android tablets.
I love the portability. If I decide to change my work habits, I’ll bring the iPad Pro with me in the car, ready to edit or write a story from a coffee shop or diner over lunch. It’s lighter than my other devices and offers exactly what I need. And while my Chromebook offered a similar experience in terms of productivity, the better display, comfortable keyboard (it’s really amazing) and larger selection of apps keep bringing me back to the iPad Pro.
At night, before bed, it’s the perfect tablet for browsing the WSJ and NYT apps, chatting with friends on GroupMe and reading books. The Night Shift feature, which I love, filters out blue light so it’s easier to fall asleep. Then, when I decide to hit the sack, I put the iPad Pro on my bedside table and the cycle begins anew.
I’m quick to criticize new products, our readers know that all too well, but I was wrong about the iPad Pro.