Just some thoughts before/after ordering 9.7 Pro
So first off I am an Apple fanboy. I just love Apple over Windows and currently own a late 2013 MBP for my main work device and an iPhone 6s Plus. I run Windows on Parallels when I absolutely have to use Windows and that's it.
So I have never owned a tablet. I don't know why, but I never really felt I wanted an in-between device between my MBP and iPhone. I always felt the larger iPAD Pro was too big and the Air 2 just wasn't powerful enough to justify my needing it since I do a lot of Office suite work and note taking for grad school. Then the 9.7 came along and I really started doing my research...
I'm an IT professional by trade and I am also a current grad student. With that in mind, I really compared the iPAD with Microsoft's Surface Pro because in many cases I need a reliable form of Windows to run certain programs and sometimes my VM setup just falls short. I also questioned the fact that the Surface is running a full OS while the iPAD is running a mobile OS. And lastly, I looked at what I wanted to use it for.
I ended up going with a 9.7 128gb with pencil and smart keyboard. Here's why:
1) I want to get rid of all my 5 subject notepads and convert them onto a tablet. I like writing out notes because I learn better that way, and by doing it on a tablet I save space, more organized, and more green. Both systems can do that but the Apple pencil got really good reviews so I chose that tool.
2) I hate Windows. Simply put, I felt like I would be disappointed being stuck in Windows, however, I do question why Apple will not start putting at least a hybrid version of OS X on the new IPAD Pro. I feel they are losing some the market because of this and Tim Cook is wrong in thinking this is a full laptop replacement because it can't be considered that without simple things such as file management. That's subjective, but that's my stance on that and it would of made my decision easier had Apple went with something more OS X - ish.
3) I already have 2 Apple products so full integration between the 3 devices will be nice. iMessage, FaceTime, sharing Word/Excel docs between them, etc.
4) Cost. I think at first glance some would see the Surface as cheaper. But when you compare performance I feel you need to bump the surface up to the i5 processor / 128gb storage and that's about $200 more with their smart keyboard purchase, granted you get a bigger screen on the Surface, but I am not considering the tablets as MBP replacements and more like a convenience luxury item between my phone and MBP workhorse.
5) Battery life. A tablet to me is a luxury device. Meaning I don't want to be troubled charging it much and iPAD seems to have great battery life.
My biggest questions I won't be able to answer until I have the product. Maybe you current iPAD enthusiasts can chime in here. Like will I be able to use split view effectively on a 9.7" screen? I could easily change my order to the larger screen but I really don't want something that big in my briefcase with my MBP. However, will I be disappointed when trying to split view? I will be using split screen a lot with grad school projects so between that and note taking are the 2 biggest uses. I am also hoping to dabble some in the art apps as well to use the pencil more. Also are there other uses that this will be good for that I am not seeing? Like once I have it maybe I'll think "I don't know why I didn't get a tablet sooner." I hope so. Otherwise it's hard to justify the $1000 I just invested in this. Maybe a slight case of buyer's remorse but I am definitely excited at same time