When I first contemplated getting an iPad Pro I wanted to know all of the cons before spending the money. Naturally, I did a bunch of research on this topic & inevitably purchased one.
So What are some of the iPad Pro Cons that I’ve found?
- The glass screen is too slippery when drawing.
- Limited Operating System.
- Standard Charge Time is 4-6 hours
- No Track Pad/Mouse
- No headphone jack
- Apple Pencil doesn’t charge via EMR.
- Apple Pencil’s pressure is mediocre.
- Advertised cost vs Actual Cost
In this post, I’ll provide more information for each con. Keep in mind a lot of these cons can easily be remedied, so I’ll provide the simplest solution for each con below so you decide if the new iPad Pro is right for you. I’ll also provide a link too cheaper iPads just in case the price point is too high.
1. Glass Screen
Why its a con
To be fair the iPad Pro’s glass screen is made from quality glass. My complaint isn’t because the screen is flawed but more about the lack of innovation for such an expensively priced tablet.
For example, within the last couple of years, Wacom released their Cintiq Pro which comes w/ a matte etched glass. This matte etched glass does two things, reduce glare & create a paper-like texture when drawing.
While Wacom is making generational leaps w/ their screen tablet Apple seems more interested in finding new ways to charge you for their new accessories.
So why is a paper textured matte screen so important?
It’s important because it provides the right amount of friction to control the movement of your pen.
The inclusion of paper-like friction on a screen keeps the Pen from sliding uncontrollably.
Because the iPad Pro’s screen is a smooth frictionless glass it’s more difficult to hold the Apple Pencil steady when making lines or strokes.
After using the Apple Pencil for an extended period of time you’ll begin to notice you’re using more grip strength then should be necessary causing your hand to fatigue & even cramp if you use it long enough.
The easiest solution is to purchase a quality screen protector that provides a paper-like surface to draw on.
2. Limited Operating System
Why Its A Con
To be fair the limitations of the iPad Pro’s operating system are largely blown out of proportion. I’m someone who uses my iPad Pro as my primary computer & drawing tablet so it’s not like it’s horrible.
But if I’m being honest it doesn’t have the software or apps equivalent to a desktop, yet.
Eventually, the limited operating system will be solved with further updates. For now, it’s possible to use your iPad as a computer even w/ certain apps being limited.
For example, photoshop is very limited on the iPad but it can be replaced w/ the Procreate app.
3. Charge time
Why Its A Con
It takes roughly 4-6 hours to fully charge your iPad Pro w/ the standard iPad Pro charger.
While the battery life is pretty good at 10 hours, it feels a little inconvenient to have to wait that long.
Sure you Fast charge your iPad Pro in 2-3 hours by using a Macbook pro power adapter but that product is unfortunately sold separately.
The more you read this list, the more you’ll notice a massive trend of necessary accessories being sold separately.
The best solution is to purchase a Macbook Pro power adapter, which will charge you iPad Pro to 100% power in 2-3 hours.
5. No Track Pad
Why Its A Con
Although the touch screen & Apple Pencil allow for greater accuracy when drawing, there are situations where the presence of a mouse/trackpad is more convenient & accurate.
For example, the trackpad on a MacBook requires far less movement than using your fingers or a stylus on the iPad Pro’s touch screen. I find my arm fatigues just scrolling for an extended period of time on my iPad where I never seem to have that issue sitting at my desktop computer.
There’s also an issue w/ accuracy. It’s rare, but there are times when I’m changing the size of an image or shape in the Procreate app, & it’s difficult to get the control I need w/ my fingertips or the Apple Pencil.
The big problem is as you’re using your fingers to adjust the size of an image, the second you release your finger from the screen it picks up on the micro-movement of your hand & changes whatever size you had it set too.
The videos below show me trying to perfectly place an image over a duplicate version of it. It took me 22 min to do this on the iPad Pro & 5 seconds on my desktop.
Moving a shape on the iPad Pro in Procreate
Moving a shape on my Desktop in Photoshop
W/ the presence of iOS 13 the iPad Pro can now be used w/ a mouse. Which makes using the iPad Pro a lot more convenient. I’ll be writing an article on this asap!
In regard to moving images in Procreate, your best option is to connect a Bluetooth keyboard & use the arrow keys to move images around.
6. No Headphone Jack
Why Its A Con
This was slightly annoying because I like to listen to Apple Music while I draw/write on my iPad Pro. I mean I have the Apple Music app on my iPad Pro but no headphone jack.
Apple’s obsession w/ pushing the culture towards wireless is honestly getting out of hand. I just spent a little over a thousand dollars on this thing & I can’t even listen to music w/ it. It seems a little unfair.
Give Apple more money & buy the Airpods.
I bought mine specifically because I like to listen to music while I work on my iPad Pro, & I don’t like to keep my phone too close to me when working. The temptation to check my text or Instagram is just something I don’t need.
I didn’t realize how convenient the Airpods were until I upgraded. So in a way, it worked out. But it’s still kind of aggressive to put a product out thats so incompatible w/ other Apple products that have become a staple.
Why Its A Con
Disclaimer: the iPad Pro isn’t going to fall apart on you & all 4 of mine have all lasted upwards of 8 months w/ the exception of my latest because it’s new.
That said they are bendable by humans who don’t lift, which is kind of sad.
But if you’re not reckless w/ expensive tech or purposefully trying to bend your tablet you’ll be fine.
That said If you’re investing in a piece of tech that costs upwards of $600 you’re probably going to want to buy a case for it & be take care of it.
I’ve owned multiple iPad Pros & have never had an issue w/ durability although I know I can break them w/ ease.
I’m also known to be pretty heavy-handed & I’ve had no issues. So I think it’s safe to say you’re most likely not going to bend your iPad.
8. Apple Pencil Doesn’t Use EMR
Why Its A Con
So when Wacom puts out a tablet you don’t have to buy the stylus it comes free. & sure the iPad Pro does so much more than drawing & there’s a case to be made that a stylus would be wasteful.
But if If I’m going to pay extra for a stylus from one of the biggest tech companies in the world why does it do less then a free stylus.
For example, the most basic Wacom Pen tablet does not need to be charged because it uses EMR technology to charge itself while you draw w/ it.
Don’t get me wrong I love the magnetic charging feature the new iPad Pro has but It does feel a little outdated when my even my 7-year-old Wacom stylus auto charges while I draw.
There is none…
8. Apple Pencil Has Medicare Pen Pressure
Why Its A Con
To be fair the Apple Pencil 2nd Gen’s pressure levels feel like they’re about 4,096 which is good. In fact, you can make great art w/ just 2,048 levels of pressure.
But most professional drawing tablets have about 8,192 levels of pressure. & some of these tablets are a quarter of the price of the cheapest iPad Pro. So in 2019, I think it’s safe to say if your pressure levels feel like half of the current standard for professional drawing tablets you need to step it up.
What’s even worse is, I’m just guessing the pressure levels based on a decade of experience w/ digital art. Apple never shares the pressure levels of the Apple Pencil. Which seems a bit weird.
There is none…
9. Advertised Cost vs. Actual Cost
Why Its A Con?
The advertised cost of the iPad Pro is likely not the price you’ll be spending. In all honesty, it can go either way. Either you end up paying more than the listed price or less.
So let’s get into the different hidden costs that aren’t advertised in the iPad Pros overall cost.
- The Apple Pencil $129
- Airpods $159-199
- Cellular data $100-200
- Screen Protector $32
- Case $99
- Brydge Keyboard $179
To be fair not everyone is going to be interested in purchasing a keyboard or the apple pencil. But it’s impossible to get the most out of your device if you don’t own at least one of the things on the list above.
I can’t listen to music without Airpods in public. I can’t effortlessly type on the iPad Pro without the Brydge Keyboard because typing on glass is inaccurate due to the lack of tactile keys.
I can’t travel without a case because of the iPad Pro is infamously bendable. Nor can I ergonomically draw on my iPad without a case that allows a comfortable viewing angle.
When you’re investing in a piece of tech whether it’s for art, business, school, or personal use always make sure you know exactly how much you’ll end up spending on it, otherwise, how do you know if somethings worth the price if you don’t truly know the price.
All that said you’re looking at spending anywhere from $600-$2k.
The iPad Pro is actually within a pretty affordable range when you consider the price of the average touch screen computer drawing tablet is higher & most of them don’t provide half the computing power iPad Pro does.
Final Verdict + Link To Other iPads
Although the iPad Pro has it’s cons It’s still a lot cheaper than the other professional-quality screen & computer drawing tablets.
A lot of the issues on this list can be solved & although Apple is always generous with pricing their accesories I use my iPad Pro every day.
Is the iPad Pro good for travel?
Yes, with the right case it’s perfect for travel. It’s battery life lasts up to 10 hours & it has wifi capabilities. There is even a cellular version available for purchase.
Is the iPad Pro good for students?
If you’re an art student the iPad Pro is one of the best investments because of its drawing apps, note-taking apps, computing capabilities, as well as its slim portable size.
Where can I get a cheap iPad Pro?
What You Should Do Now
Check out my review of the iPad Pro for a more balenced perspective
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To see what I’m currently working on