My new 2021 iPad Pro 11-inch is the best one yet

I wasn’t going to spend much time posting about yet another iPad upgrade, but I am so pleased by my new iPad Pro that I had to write about it.

I ordered it on May 1, with a delivery window of May 22-28 and it arrived this morning, a day early. Pao thought it was snacks for him. But he did get a nice, long walk before I opened it up. We lucked out in that the rains paused for his walk (we are in the middle of rainy season). Anyway…

Basically I love everything about the new iPad Pro that I didn’t like about my previous one. The other one was a 2018 iPad Pro 12.9 inch that I inherited from Dave. He barely used it, and I also barely used it, mainly because it was just too heavy and large to use as a tablet, even resting on my lap. For work, I use a MacBook Pro, so see the iPad being used mostly as a tablet. It’s larger than my iPhone, and comfortable for reading books, checking news and social media sites, and maybe other stuff like doing some photo editing. Importantly, it can also be used as an emergency work backup and travel device with the Apple smart keyboard folio case. I already confirmed I can do real text editing, server access, and file transfer with it. So it’s good to have with me even when out for the day in case I need to access a server for a client. But it needed to be more portable.

So I sold the 12.9 inch one and used some Apple gift cards that had piled up and upgraded/downscaled. And I love it.

I was able to set it up within minutes with an iCloud backup of the 12.9 inch and everything truly “just worked.” Here is a quick (just 38 seconds) unpacking and setting up video:

It is amazingly fast! The new M1 processor and all that RAM really make a difference. I look forward to seeing what the new Apple cpu MacBook Pros are like later this year. The size and weight are perfect to hold in my hands even without resting it on anything. The onscreen keyboard is even easier to use because of the more reasonable size.

Off the bat, in addition to the high speed, I immediately noticed how improved the camera is over my old iPhone X. There is a new portrait mode in the new higher-res front camera, and a very interesting 2x zoom out. There are new features for the front camera that are especially useful for things like Zoom meetings. At some point I will also upgrade my older iPhone X to make use of the better camera specs and features that have come out the last four years. I didn’t think the zoom out would be that interesting until I tried it.

My current carrier contract is with SoftBank and includes unlimited 4G and 5G (at lower cost than my old 5 GB limited contract), but I need to bring my iPad over to the SoftBank store on Sunday to have it registered as a 5G device in order to use that. So it’s 4G when on cellular today.

Anyway, I don’t want to go into too much detail. I just want to say it’s the best iPad I ever had, I’m glad I did the trade, and look forward to what it might be able to do. Here are just a few photos.

Nice and thin, lightweight, and easy to hold in one hand.
The new rear lens has higher res and interesting zoom out features (though no optical zoom in like on the iPhones). The front facing camera has many new features.
The front camera portrait mode works really well.

OK, I am determined to get some actual work done today, so will stop here.

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