When it arrived in the big box from T-Mobile, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the iPad Pro. I mean, I'd seen the announcement, and I'd looked at the press info that Apple had sent out, but that doesn't really give you an idea of the look and feel of something until you hold it. So when I held it, the first thing I felt was its size.
The iPad Pro is big. The 12.9-inch screen is as big as on some laptops that take up a lot more desktop space. The actual display area of the iPad Pro's screen is slightly smaller than the one on my Lenovo ThinkPad T-430, but the difference is small. The size means it's easy to read documents and emails without strain and you can actually read the material in both sides of the split screen when you start multitasking.
Multitasking has worked on the iPad for a little while now, but with the larger screen it's far more useful. I can, for example, open a chart for navigation on half the screen and the weather in the area that I'm flying through on the other half. I could have done this before, but now each of the split screen halves is about as large as the full screen would have been on the older iPads.
Of course, you also can do more prosaic things such as opening a Microsoft Word document in part of the screen, and your email in the other part, which is something I do frequently and which hasn't been very useful on an iPad until now.
The additional screen size has some other useful aspects as well, some of which may seem minor, but that will matter a lot to some users. For example, when you create a folder with several apps on the new iPad, you can see 16 apps in the first page of the folder, versus nine on the smaller iPads.
This economy of space doesn't extend to the main screen, unfortunately, so you can only see a four by five grid of icons on the screen, despite the fact that the larger screen clearly could hold more.
By now you've noticed that I've spent a great deal of time discussing the size of the iPad Pro because that's the most obvious difference between this tablet and all the other iPad models.
But there are other differences that you would expect with any new Apple device. For one thing, it's much faster than previous iPads, nearly twice as fast, according to Apple. The display is better than HD at 2732 x 2048 pixels, with a 264 dot per-inch resolution.
That big, very high-resolution screen means images are clear and easy to read. Photos appear in their native resolution most of the time.