I have had possession of my 11in iPad Pro for just over 24 hours now and wanted to share some thoughts. I also picked up the new Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. I am coming from the first gen 12. 9in iPad Pro with the Logitech Create keyboard and Apple Pencil.
The 11in iPad Pro has a slightly larger screen than the 10. 5in iPad Pro and is capable of running split view apps at full size, unlike the 10. 5in iPad Pro. This is something I am happy about since my previous iPad was also capable of and is super handy when working show notes for iOSDocked and Apple Juice Cast. I was growling a little old with the bulk of the 12. 9in iPad and was considering a change to the smaller sized one.
Device Size & Weight
This iPad is super slim and light. That's a given when coming from the 12. 9 beast, but even compared to the 10. 5in iPad you can feel the difference. I figured since the new Pro had an 11in screen, I wouldn't be missing the 12. 9 in too much. I feel like I may be wrong. Not necessarily for the screen, but for the keyboard.
This is my first go with Apple's Smart Keyboard. The material has a texture to it that feels like it has a little grip. It's not a smooth feel, and I like it. The keyboard also has two viewing angles, I'm not sure which one I like yet. There are a few things I'm missing from the Logitech keyboard:
Backlit Keys - I enjoyed having the lit keys for when I was using the device in low light.
Function keys - The function keys allowed quick access to brightness, volume, and various other things
Size - I knew there was going to be a reduction in the keyboard size, I wasn't expecting it to be as drastic as it is.
I wasn't the biggest fan of the original Apple Pencil for many reasons (charging, method, endless rolling, no safe keeping place). The new Pencil solves all of that. It has a flat edge, and that significantly reduces the rolling. As for the was charging, the new pencil charges while it's magnetically attached to the iPad. Two birds, one stone. As for the usage of the pencil, I use it occasionally for coloring (it is very relaxing) and for photo editing. The new pencil also has a fun feature that allows you to double tap and change brushes. Third-party apps will be able to make this customizable.
This is by far my favorite feature on the new iPad. Touch ID was good, for a while. I work with my hands a lot, and my skin is beat up. Now, my iPhone 5-8 had minimal issues with my finger. For some reason, the sensor on the iPad really didn't like my finger, so I was continually imputing my password. Face ID on the iPad is blazing fast, just like on iPhone XS and it is so convenient. Love it.
I don't have many thoughts on this yet. While being able to charge your iPhone with your iPad is a cool feature, I don't know how often I will actually use it. You can also connect to your USB-C equipped camera for photo importing. This is a feature I never used.
The iPad Pro is a very powerful device. With the 11in you get more screen real estate than the 10. 5in in a smaller form factor due to the edge to edge display. The 12.9in iPad retains the screen size while reducing the bezels and making the device smaller than the original. The new compact size of both models is compelling, the new pencil features are fun, and the keyboard is convenient. Should you get one? I can't answer that. Only you can. You are looking at an entry point of $800.00, and that's for the WiFi 11in model with 64 GB of storage. Add $130 for the Pencil and $180 for the Smart Keyboard, and you are over $1100. 00 before taxes. If the iPad is your primary computing device, go for it. If you are new to the iPad and don't need all of the bells and whistles, then stick with the 10. 5in Pro starting at $650 or the 10. 5in iPad starting at $330. I didn't *need* the new iPad, but I wanted it for Face ID. So far I'm pleased with my purchase though I do miss the larger size a little bit. I'm sure I will overcome that. I'd love to hear your feedback below.