Yes, it does.
Like everyone else, seeing it for the first time made me think, “Wow. That’s big.”
Which is some kind of Doctor Who TARDIS witchcraft at work, because most people already use larger screens. I’m on a 15.6-inch notebook at the moment. The 4:3 ratio of the iPad Pro messes with our size perception.
I did two things with it:
1) Opened the Paper app to try the Apple Pencil (which was in a tray next to the Pro, without any security tether attached to it). It was just a quick test. It turns out it wasn’t the best test of the Pencil to do. Paper has latency.
2) My Google Books PDF tests. I threw the full 290-megabytes version of The American Magazine at it. Then I did: Surface Japan, Fairy Tales from the Far North, The People of the Abyss, Thunderbirds Are Go 1966, The Thinking Machine, Secret Service: The Bradys: The Queen of Chinatown, LIFE July 1969 Moon, and Stuntman. I went frikkin wild with the PDFs!
The Pencil was heavier and longer than I expected (behave!). But it feels nice and looks Apple-classy. I’ll have to try it with some apps that don’t have Latency Inside.
iBooks continues to improve. With Google Books, the iPad Pro is now at ninety-five percent of being the perfect device for Google Books PDFs. I still experienced a periodic — but unpredictable — spinner with Surface Japan and Secret Service, two problematic PDFs that still require several seconds for their total page count to render — while “ordinary” PDFs such as Thunderbirds and LIFE render their total number of pages instantly.
I want everyone to keep in mind that these tests are with the included iBooks.
With an app such as Goodreader — made to handle PDFs — the iPad Pro (and maybe even the iPad Air 2) could be one-hundred percent of the perfect device for Google Books PDFs.
That’s basically all I did. And that took an hour. (Factor in download time, paging through PDFs, screensnapping, uploading screensnaps to blog space, etc.)
Not all is yet well with it, iOS 9, and Safari. I got this when doing a Preview of a blog post (a blog post I can’t yet do, because of image storage shortage; image reduced in size):
There were Safari rendering issues, with sometimes nothing but a gray screen appearing! I don’t know why. I don’t recall that happening with past iPad tests. Apple needs to fix that ASAP or people will be up in arms because of the price of the device. This problem is inexcusable.
There are lots more I want to try (someone on a Pro next to me made a point of trying the stereo speakers): YouTube, Hulu, splitscreen, PDFs from this post, and more.
I couldn’t do a video of my tests using another iPad Pro because of the way the Apple Store had them set up. They alternate between those lying flat and those attached to the keyboard cover. I didn’t want to mess with removing the keyboard.
Speaking of the keyboard — I tried it and didn’t like it. The design is just weird. Although I could type on it just fine, the feel of it and my eyes’ perception of it just made it an unpleasant experience. It also seems ridiculously narrow (from front to back). Microsoft got it right the first time with their original Type Covers (I haven’t tried the latest versions for the Surface).
Availability is already constrained. The Apple Store already sold out of every version except the one with 32GBs of internal storage. They cited a wait time of three-to-five days for other ones. And actually recommended people instead go online to order one(!).
An iPad this size changes everything for me. It’s the Google Books PDF machine I’ve been waiting for since iPhone 1.0.
And it really emphasizes what Steve Jobs said when he introduced iPad 1.0: