Old iPad Pro 9.7 vs new iPad Pro 12.9

by Volker Weber


If you decided you do not want a new iPad Pro, I have to apologize. I am completely at awe and there is so much stuff to discover and learn, that I will need to write a lot more posts about it.

One of the reasons this machine changes the game for me completely was my decision to go with the bigger one. I was coming from an iPad Pro 9.7 which was state-of-the-art two years ago. It still has a better screen than the current consumer iPad, but a slower chipset and was of course much more expensive. 9.7" is the original iPad screen size and it's perfect for lounging and browsing the web. If you want to read a book, you can go smaller to the iPad mini or better yet, to a Kindle.

As a serious work device, bigger is better. The new iPad Pro 12.9 is actually the third generation. The first one came out before the Pro 9.7, the second was released with the iPad Pro 10.5. The new iPad Pro 11 has the same size as the Pro 10.5, just a slightly larger screen.


If you put a first or second generation 12.9 next to the 9.7, the size difference between the two machines is even more pronounced. If you already have one of those machines, I don't really think you need to the new 12.9. Yes, the bezel is smaller, but you are already used to a large tablet. You are running exactly the same software and your chipset is most likely fast enough.

The new Pro 11 isn't small in any respect, but I was simply blown away by the larger one. Also, the keyboard is not constrained in any way. It's exactly the same size as my Apple desktop keyboard or any MacBook Pro keyboard. The 4x3 screen is taller than the typical 16:9 aspect ration found in modern laptops and even taller than the 3:2 Surface display. That's working in my favor since I can see more lines of texts and I am less interested in watching movies on this machine.

Where the larger screen makes a huge difference is when you have many items on screen or when you want to draw something with Pencil. In the first photo I have 10 pages plus 5 half pages on iPad Pro 9.7 vs 21 plus 7 on the iPad Pro 12.9. I am also using split screen view for multiple apps for the first time. The smaller iPad was always to constrained for this use. So far I have not included drag&drop between windows into my routine. I am still learning.


Do you also have access to 11” iPad pro? How would that smaller size impact your daily work, when compared to the 12.9?

Dominique Roller, 2018-11-11

Yes, I do. Having looked at both, I decided to go with the larger one.

Volker Weber, 2018-11-11

I whish there was a version w/o the back camera.

I never needed it on an iPad and it would then be such a sleek device...

Johannes Matzke, 2018-11-11

I purchased a 2nd gen iPad 12.9 a year ago. It is large, but “pulls you into” the immersive experience. No regrets. Mind mapping with Apple Pencil is fantastic.

Michael Sampson, 2018-11-12

@Johannes: Ein Dremel und etwas Pattex Powerknete und das Problem ist gelöst. :D

Patrick Bohr, 2018-11-12


Johannes Matzke, 2018-11-12

Old vowe.net archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe