Should I get an iPad Pro For My Small Business?

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Maybe. There is a lot to consider when answering that question and we have broken it all down for you.

It’s Huge. Stop Saying it Like it’s a Bad Thing.

iPad Pro Size and Dimensions Image via Panic co-founder Steven Frank.

The iPad Pro’s gargantuan size poses either a logistical challenge, or an asset, depending on your business needs. If your business requires you to use a tablet while standing or moving around a lot, it can get a little uncomfortable. One handed handling of a tablet that big is not easy. Sales people or real estate agents may find that a smaller tablet better suits their needs when interacting with clients, but may find that the iPad Pro makes a great addition to their office workspace.

Weighing in at 1.57 lbs, with a 12.9-inch screen, and 6.9 mm (.27 inch) width, the size of the iPad Pro lends itself to being in stationary settings, unlike the iPad family’s middle child, the iPad Air or the iPad Mini. You need a stable place to rest it, unfurl the keyboard, and take notes. Balancing it on your lap while trying to type is possible but precarious and ostentatious at best. You’d be better off taking notes with the Apple pencil. According to the team of iPad Pro testers over at Pixar, “It has perfect palm rejection,” great for scribbling away notes.

Is the iPad Pro too big?

Hulking iPad Pro

Well, what are you used to? Do you lug around a laptop? Then an iPad Pro is a svelte switchover for you. Are you used to handling a feather light iPad Mini when you interact with clients? Then you might have some adjusting to do to an iPad Pro weighing the equivalent of a bag and a half of coffee beans.

Generally speaking, use a lighter iPad (Air or Mini) if you want to be nimble and on your feet with it, and use an iPad Pro if you want to downsize your laptop, or if you do a lot of sketching or note taking at a desk.

Who is the ipad Pro For?

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This is one of the biggest questions we are all asking ourselves. We know what it's for, just not who it's meant for. Since a 128GB iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil clocks in at about the same price as a 256GB Macbook, many are left wondering which device is for them.

Apple is touting the iPad Pro as a content creation and productivity device that can create spreadsheets, touch up photos, make music, edit videos, and more. All of these things can also be done on a traditional laptop. So it might come down to a question of preferences. How many times have you had people leaving their greasy finger prints on your Macbook screen as they try to pinch and zoom, swipe away, or tap to select something this week? People expect touch capability these days and are growing more accustomed to interacting with their devices in a more tactile, direct manner.

The Verge said it well when they said "The iPad Pro may not be a play for today's productivity market, but the productivity market that develops in the years to come. It's very possible that hybrid devices like the iPad Pro could come to replace the typical laptop. Already, some businesses seem to be adopting them on the grounds of portability and ease of use — Apple is even working with IBM to develop specialized software and services for professionals to work with. And if younger generations prefer the touchscreen to the trackpad, the iPad Pro could eventually become their main computer."

The day is coming, and it is not far away, when tapping away at a keyboard on a "dumb screen" device will seem like the stone age. If you are one who constantly tries to pinch to zoom on actual newspaper images, swipes right on paper magazines to change the page, and prefers a more tactile approach to digital productivity, then the iPad Pro is right up your ally.

Is there an App for that?

iPad Pro + iPad Stylus = iTennis

Here is where the real conundrum lies with the iPad Pro: App availability. If your business relies on a type of database system that is run on a PC you will either have to switch over to a comparable iOS system, if that is Microsoft based you may be in luck with compatible Apps (although they will make you pay). If not, though, you might end up having to make your own internal App for your company’s system. However, if your business does not rely heavily on proprietary software and specialized systems, then existing app options should work just fine for you.

Major players are on the cusp of producing apps optimized for businesses on the iPad Pro, like Adobe and Microsoft. While we wait for developers to produce iPad Pro Apps, Apple cleverly avoided a painful interim of stretched, distorted apps, because the iPad Pro is the same width as the iPad Air’s height, so Apps can be displayed that size, unaffected.

One edge the Pro has on its smaller siblings is that screen real estate is as spacious as Texas. iOS 9’s “Split View” is pretty cool on the iPad Mini and Air, but it really roars to life, into its true form, on the iPad Pro. The “Picture in Picture” iOS 9 feature lets you simultaneously run a video and an app, such as a note taker. With all that luxurious screen space, it’s an easy feature to use.

What else do I need to know?

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Power and speed: the A9X chip used on iPad Pro is reported by Apple to be faster than 80% of portable PC processors that have shipped in the past year.

Display: 5.6 million pixels, the highest of any iOS device.

Camera: The front‑facing FaceTime HD camera is great for business calls. The back camera is great for multitasking document scanning, or project pictures when in the field.

Battery life: 10 hours.

Cost: If you are looking to make choice for giving your employees some new tech, keep in mind the cost. The iPad Pro (32GB) version, runs $799. However things quickly add up, and if you go with the 128GB version with a keyboard you are looking at about the same cost as a Macbook.

Accessories: Apple Pencil is $99 and the Smart Keyboard, $169. Also, allot money for a case protect your investment.

Training: Most people find that iOS has almost no learning curve, so little training is required when giving it to employees who likely have iPhones anyways.

Wow Factor: The iPad Pro is a shining new beacon of technology, at least for this year. The retina display is stunning, and presentations really shine on it.

The Verdict:

Apple is a consistently high-quality brand that delivers. Major companies are integrating it into their workplace, like the above mentioned Pixar, and General Electric too. With major players like that in tow, they are going to make sure it is a success. If your needs align with the iPad Pros’s capabilities, go for it. And revel in it with abandon. It's a great piece of tech.

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