While I have long claimed Apple products are good for long life, and I usually hold a MacBook for 4-5 years, the company continues to persuade me to buy new iPads.
I went quickly from the original iPad to iPad 2. So to the air. So Air 2. So 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Then, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
There is also no doubt that it's going to sell me a new iPad this year; There is only a small question mark in my mind about which one …
I thought I could resist 10.5-inch iPad, but a brief practical comparison soon showed me wrong.  The difference between 9.7 and 10.5 inches does not sound so much on paper, and it did not work significantly when I went from smaller to larger size. But when I went back from the big to the smaller screen, even after just a quarter-hour of use, this difference suddenly felt like a much bigger one I'd ever guessed.
It was a similar story with the smooth roll. It felt like a very small improvement, hardly worth noting – until I went back to my old iPad. Then there was a bigger deal.
The difference between 10.5 inches and 11 inches is even smaller, of course, but I suspect that the same can be true this year.
But although the larger screen size does not sell this year's iPad Pro to me, I already know that Face ID will. After getting used to it on my iPhone X, it now feels clunky having to use my thumb to unlock my iPad. I know, I know: it is the definition itself of a first world problem. But I love Face ID.
As with all generations of iPad, I'm sure there will be other improvements that may not sound like much when considered individually, but will add to a better overall experience.
So I already know that I'm going to buy a new iPad this year – what I do not know for sure is which one.
Remember, I tried out 12.9-inch iPad. My first impression was very positive, although I had some concerns about portability. Today, I was totally fond of the machine, but felt I could not justify owning both it and a MacBook Air so I had to choose between the two.
On day 5 I was really torn. I had already decided that it was too manageable for a particular use: either reading or watching Netflix in bed. It should also not replace MacBook Air. But I absolutely loved this screen. I was trying to decide if I could justify holding both 9.7 inch and 12.9 inch iPads, and finally I decided it was just too extravagant.
But the expectation is that Apple will take contradictory approaches to the two models. With the 11-inch iPad, Apple keeps the external dimensions just like the 10.5-inch, and uses the smaller settings to increase the screen size. However, with 12.9-inch the word is that the screen size remains unchanged, while the reduction of bezel is used to reduce the physical size of the device.
This means that this year's 12.9-inch model will be at least a bit more portable.
Not, I suspect, to make it a practical replacement for my 10.5-inch model. My guess is that it will still be too big for ebook reading in bed (a big use of my iPad) and it will still be too big to routinely carry with me the way I do my existing one.
Another factor is that I often use the iPad with a Brydge keyboard. I love the way that it effectively transforms the device from a tablet to a laptop. The size difference between the 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch models was probably that I needed a new one to relieve the OCD pain that resulted from the two halves, which no longer matched the size. However, if the 11-inch man has the same physical dimensions, it will be good.
But if I switched to the 12.9-inch model, I would need another keyboard. And a new Smart Cover. And thinking about it, a new shoulder bag. There are quite a few hidden costs involved in a change in external dimensions.
However, there is another personal factor in play. Before we moved, I used to use the MacBook Pro as a living room. It was that I used to play music, download with Facebook, surf the web and so on. In our apartment now, but our enjoyment of the view – the main reason we bought it – means that we spend almost all our time on the glazed balcony. More time viewing the view and less time watching a screen means I've switched to iPad as my evening device.
So I have a thought. While two iPads seemed too extravagant, it may not be the case in the circumstances. Perhaps I could keep my 10.5-inch model like the device I carry with me when it's mobile and as I read ebooks in bed. And then I have the new 12.9-inch model that I use in the evening and enjoy the amazing screen size.
I'd still need a smart cover for it, but there's no need for a keyboard or a new shoulder bag. 19659002] This idea still feels extravagant. Especially when I have to admit the risk that the 10.5-inch iPad suddenly may feel even more like old technology when I use the shiny new 12.9-inch one, and increase the risk that I'll actually buy two new iPads this year!
However, as I have claimed before, if we sell our old device, we never pay as much as it looks. The annual ownership cost of an iPad is usually well below $ 100, and I think it's excellent value and not remotely hard to justify. So two iPads? Not as extravagant as it may seem …
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