Comparing iPad Pros

I remember being a kid when our family got a new kitten. We had two other cats at the time and this kitten made those full grown cats look like giants. That feeling came right back when I picked up the iPad Pro 12.9″ when it was launched. There were moments when I would pick up my new iPad Pro and just start laughing to myself at the sheer size of the thing.

It was so big in comparison to my iPad Air. The entire thing felt absurd — it’s even bigger than my MacBook. But unlike with my cats, the smaller iPad never grew larger to normalize things. Instead I just got rid of the iPad Air and my 12.9″ iPad felt normal after a bit.

But then I decided to add the 9.7″ iPad Pro to the mix, just what everyone needs. Who needs two iPads?

When I picked up the iPad Pro 9.7″ the other day I was taken right back to those kitten moments and when I first got my larger iPad Pro. The 9.7″ model just feels so tiny now. At one point I thought I was holding our old iPad mini and not the new iPad Pro — the size difference is one I am still trying to get used to.

It’s all relative, but make no mistake about it: these two devices have massively different size implications.

I’ll be posting about these two devices more, but this post serves to answer the question I am most often asked: which iPad Pro should I get? I’ve been hesitant to weigh in on this, but now having used both enough, I have some thoughts to relay.

For me which iPad depends on just one thing: do you want the iPad Pro to be your only, or main, computer? If your answer to that is yes, then you need the 12.9″ and not the smaller sibling.

The two reasons for this are: screen size and keyboard size. Both are bigger and easier to use with the larger iPad Pro. I personally cannot imagine trying to use the 9.7″ iPad Pro as my only machine, it can be done, but no thanks.

However, if you don’t want the iPad Pro to be your main computer, but perhaps just a backup to your current computers, then the 9.7″ iPad Pro seems like it would be a fantastic fit there. It’s like the 11″ MacBook Air: sure some people use it as their only computer, but it makes for a far better second computer.

I stuck to the iPad Air 2 for my regular size iPad, and have the 12.9 iPad Pro as my primary portable workstation actually.

That said, it’s nice to see a good side-by-side comparison of the two iPad Pros, and there’s a lot to be said for the larger screen on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, especially if you’re a creative professional. I think it comes down to how you are going to use the devices.