iPad Pro 11 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Apple/iOS' started by dstrauss, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I looked but couldn't find a discussion thread for the iPad Pro 11, so here we go...

    My good friends (@lovelaptops , @b52hbuff , @djas and others) over in the Surface Go Thread have already started the intervention to save me from straying from the PC tablet universe, and their thoughts are much appreciated (and most have occurred to me already as well). This experiment may be even shorter lived than the Surface Go, as Apple only allows you to tinker for two weeks. To answer one question quickly - why drop the SG LTE after all the good praise:
    • The SG was just too "pokey" for this wannabe Tim Taylor
    • The form factor was great, but it was a tablet for me, not a full time device for all purposes
    • Surface Pen - not necessarily the SG's fault, but still just meh at best
    • If I was going to have pure tablet play as a second device, it had to hold its own as a tablet, and that's where Windows 10 is its own weakest, and worst, enemy
    • AND, I really missed Kindle and Texture (and no Win32 or cloud versions suffice)
    So, I'm test driving the iPP 11 to see if it can do enough of the "Microsoft things" to justify its high price over a plain old iPad (9.7 or 10.5). I can always fall back to one of those for the "pure tablet play" if not. I think the absence of a mouse or trackpad will be a killer in that regard, so it may not be a keeper, and of course the "regular" iPad will work just fine for my "tablety" side. So far, however, the quality of the Office apps on iOS is pretty good, and iOS OneNote is far better than OneNote UWP in my humble opinion - why?

    Apple Pencil 2. Here I am going to climb the soapbox for a rant at Microsoft. I owned an iPad Pro 10.5 (now in the hands of our newly minted Ph.D. daughter), and the original Pencil, despite the noisy tapping and slippery pen nib on the glass, was ALREADY better than the latest generation Surface Pen. Fast forward one year, the tapping is less noticeable, the friction on the screen is better, and the inking experience is at least 80% of the way between Surface Pen and Wacom EMR (S-Pen). I am a shaky old man (well, not THAT old) that can't draw worth a flip, but here's a picture of some slowly drawn diagonal lines in OneNote - where's the jitter?

    StraightLines.JPG
    In one generation Apple has leapfrogged Microsoft on pen technology, and it is Microsoft, not Apple, that has been the huge proponent for pens and note taking. Except for the nib still being too hard, the Apple Pencil 2 is nipping at the heals of Wacom EMR. It fails, like the Surface Pen, for relying on magnets to hold it in place, BUT, is far superior in that the magnetic location also charges it for you - pretty sweet (and much better than the b-hole plug of the first design).

    One other quick observation about the iPP11 - VPN performance. Setup was a simple as could be; connected first try; and browsing our network shares with FileBrowser was nearly instantaneous and as smooth as could be, as was opening files from the NAS in FileBrowser (for a look) or in Word and Excel for editing. Now this is also where it starts to break down, having to save locally or to OneDrive or another cloud service (haven't figured out how to save back to the NAS); NO TRACKPAD OR MOUSE (grrrrrrrrrrrr); and no real file explorer (double grrrrrrrrrrrr).

    BUT - I really enjoyed reading NatGeo and returning to my Kindle book about the Apple Watch (anyone spot a theme developing here...)
     
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  2. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Good points, as a tablet experience which to me prioritizes hand friendliness and the best touch interface, Apple is the king of the hill . Plus the app ecosystem (including the store which is a critical aspect of discovery) is way ahead of anyone else.

    I think WOS devices could give Apple a serious run if MS got serious about the tablet interface of Windows.

    Last but not least, while you are taking a walk on the alternate OS side, are you going to check out the Samsung Tab S4? My daughter loves hers and the S Pen, screen and battery life are outstanding. Plus DEX produces a workable desktop like environment including mouse support.
     
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  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I would have IF they had slotted a yellow S-Pen in the frame...that tore it for me. Pricing is definitely better; mouse support too; but I already own a bunch of iOS apps and I prefer the Office apps (especially OneNote) in iOS.

    I forgot to mention in my first report - the Apple Pencil 2 has another big improvement - matte finish - so it doesn't feel like it is falling out of your hand all the time.

    Riddle me this old buddy - why in the world doesn't Samsung take the GB 2, put a Y class processor in it, offer up to 16gb RAM and 512gb SSD, AND PUT THE YELLOW S-PEN IN A PROPER SILO, and rule the 2-in-1 market?
     
  4. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Wow, so many great points in all directions! (Though that newly minted PhD is the topper - congrats @dstrauss!) It strikes me that 2019 will be a hugely transitional year in mobile computing, due largely to the potential commercial viability of WOA (WOS?). It would really blow a huge hole into all the device formats from pure tablets to light duty laptops. Leaving my "partisan" leanings aside I think the iPad is the most vulnerable should the Qualcomm 8CX meet its expectations - with Intel being set as huge collateral damage. Windows is a hugely inefficient OS - hogs cpu/gpu resource and eats up battery life - but if Qualcomm can come through with its own "bionic" chipset to rip through Windows' clunky instruction set. Of course, tiny, meek MS just doesn't have the resources - or knowledge of how to write more efficient code for Office apps in conjunction with a 10S product that could truly compete w/IOS, so thankfully Qualcomm sees the huge opportunity of creating an elegantly brutish processor to make desktop Windows apps - and products from other fat, lazy, rich dinosaurs, like Adobe run like they are feather-light on a Windows tablet or convertible form factor. Let's hope Samsung (most likely) HP, Lenovo and Dell can figure out how to bundle the right hardware features into new Surface/Galaxy Book-like products with WOS as the betting heart.

    Meantime, @dstrauss my brother, sorry you have to make what are - all jabbing (earned and required!) aside - trade offs and compromises which shouldn't be necessary in late 2018. An SG with a little more grunt and better battery life, a GB like the GB2 but also with Y-class power. I'd love to be in the product planning meerings when those decisions were made!

    Peace all!
     
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  5. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I am an incessant whiner and impossible to please, so starting with those shackles is always a deep hole to begin with!

    I see little hope, for some time to come, of QC 8CX even providing enough "brute force" to make Windows 10 performance and battery competitive in the tablet size device market. It is just as much the integration of the A12 Bionic chip and iOS that makes teh iPP11 the beast it is. And even that is "smoke and mirrors" because of the caching and pre-fetch wizardry of the Apple programmers as much as the pure processor performance.

    Right now, this is Windows 10...

    [​IMG]

    The needs of the many (1,000,000,000) outweigh the needs of the few, so backward compatibility far exceeds the capacity to break free from the legacy ball and chain. The closest they have come is in Office for iOS, and they have ABANDONED that quest on the Windows 10 side. For good reason - even all of us super geeks here demand Office 2016 et al as our day to day tools of the trade. It's like saying we are all going to have use 1/4" battery operated hand drills when in fact we need (want) 1/2" impact drivers.

    There is a path out, and you have hit on it numerous times - my experience with the GB12 and the fact I keep going back to it time and again.
    • The SB2 is a great system, as a laptop, but truly overkill for what I really need
    • SG and iPP11 both lack apps and strengths I need in a daily driver
    • GB12, like ALL Windows 2-in-1's, is a very good laptop replacements, but poor tablet outside of the browser
    • 12" is the minimum for a daily driver - sorry @Bronsky - but a sub-12" screen is just too small, even in single window mode
    As is, the GB12 is still the best compromise solution of form factor, power, battery life, and pen feel (Wacom EMR uber alles). It desperately needs LTE, more SSD, and more battery (16gb RAM would be nice too). The 12" 3:2 screen experience is about perfect (maybe smaller bezels). All in all, it is as close to an all-in-one solution right now as there is - even assuming the Spectre Folio EVER gets its 4k display.
     
  6. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member

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    So here are the interesting things that are unclear right now.

    1. Windows on Snapdragon is a completely different beast than on intel. Windows on intel is a bloated overstuffed mess, primarily because of the need to support legacy devices, software libraries etc. WOS could be free of all that. In fact on our two WOS devices, if you strip out the X86 emulation code you have a remarkably small OS native load (about 1.4GB) and you get a noticeable speed bump on the WOS native apps (excel opens virtually instantly...)

    2. Apple has an acknowledged substantial lead in performance on their own ARM based chips both on benchmarks and in user experience. IOS apps and the UI truly are butter smooth on all modern iPads.

    Or do they?
    It's possible and even likely that a big factor is that IOS has no legacy code to deal with and they have been especially vigilant about killing legacy code quickly and efficiently. e.g. 32 bit apps

    3. ARM and/or WOS has an inherently more efficient power utilization design than I86 simply because they started out as mobile chips versus the "more power, clock speed, cache" that has been intels approach up until fairly recently with the m series and y series chips. There hasn't been in the market yet any ARM based chip solely designed for performance.

    4. ARM software has other native advantages potentially, among them better support for multiple cores and more efficient uses of chip resources such as "turboing" or power states. Plus given the world seems to be headed to a more connected shared processing model like Adobe is doing with their creative cloud apps, it reduced the load on the individual pc processor.

    Related to that, our developers all claim that modern connected apps are easier to create and debug on ARM architectures than intel. This includes sampling and debugging. I'm not a programmer but I trust the ones I know and again it makes sense since the legacy requirements are much smaller.

    So there's my weekly soapbox stand. It is going to be a fun time again to be a tech fan I think. The most since the initial rise of the PC.

    PS: We are getting one of the QUALCOMM reference PCs with the new chip in for long term testing next month. I'll share what I can (probably will be limited by NDA to some degree)
     
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  7. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    In his own words:
    Your many words inspire me beyond measure, oh great man of so many decisions!
     
  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Fake News!
     
  9. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    What he ^ said. (Isn't that the same thing I said, just with prettier [and correct, accurate and meaningful] words?):D

    Seriously, that is extremely encouraging coming from you, @desertlap. Thank you.
     
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  10. Chris_Kez

    Chris_Kez Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I think Windows on ARM will primarily hurt Intel. I don't see Apple being a big loser as a result of WOA. In the tablet/2-in-1 space iOS will still have a more appealing touch-centric app platform. There are more and better touch apps (and developers). I'm not a developer so I can't properly explain why-- but whether it is pen or touch, there is a feeling of immediacy and almost physical responsiveness in iOS that is missing from Windows. And there is just no critical mass of Windows developers pushing the boundaries; in fact there is seemingly no meaningful new development in Windows apps. I think WOA helps keep Windows relevant longer, and maybe keeps Chrome books at bay a little longer, but Apple will keep doing what it is doing, selling 10 million iPads or whatever quarter after quarter.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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