Ryan Author and sole creator of That Virtual Boy and its content, including articles, tools, and apps.

The new iPad Pro 9.7 vs iPad 3

I decided it was finally time. Time to replace the iPad 3 (arguably the worst iPad ever made) with the iPad Pro 9.7 (arguably the best iPad ever made). If you're considering a similar upgrade, I hope you find this post useful!

Anyone familiar with the iPad 3 has likely had a very similar experiences to mine - so I'll jump right into the things I noticed first when using the new iPad Pro.

:: Comparing the two

  1. It's incredibly light! The iPad 3 was so heavy, reading always required two hands to hold the tablet. Not very accommodating to extended reading sessions.

  2. The screen is worlds better. Way less reflection, and true tone is easy on the eyes. True Tone alone sold me on this device.

  3. Hey is that a lightning connection?

  4. Touch ID. Anyone else caught yourself trying to unlock your old iPad with touch ID after getting so used to it from your iPhone?

  5. Performance. I use my iPad for all sorts of different things: reading books, comic books, working remotely using things like Outlook, Horizon View, Office Suite, Socialcast - the iPad 3 just couldn't keep up with this type of use. It was essentially ok at doing one thing at a time (usually just reading, but even then sometimes iBooks would have a hard time keeping up with page turns and loading content). I used to cringe any time I tried web browsing on the iPad 3 because of how painfully slow it was. Loading up Safari on the iPad Pro is nothing short of a joy to use.

  6. iOS 10. The iPad 3 was left out of the iOS 10 club. Once you're cut off from Apple's updates, you slowly start to become cutoff from app updates as well. You're left behind in this outdated ecosystem and no one's sorry for you. iOS 10 on the iPad Pro makes the tablet much more convenient to use as an every day go-to device. Doesn't matter what the task at hand is, the iPad Pro can get it done in a snap.

  7. Speakers. Going from 1 speaker to 4 speakers means no more cupping the corner at full volume trying to sing along to Doc McStuffins with my daughter.

:: Other things I've noticed

  • I'm not sure why the iPad Pro is advertised as fingerprint-resistant. Mine gets plenty of finger prints all over and they're actually more difficult to wipe off than the iPad 3.

  • The lack of a dedicated Mute switch is a bit odd. I do miss being able to quickly mute all aspects of the device without having to interact with the software. I've noticed that even when I hold down the volume all the way to (what I thought was) mute the device, I could still hear clicking on the keyboard. I had to actually swipe up on Control Center and click the Mute Button to truly mute the iPad Pro.

  • Split Screen Multitasking sounds amazing, but in real world use it's taking me longer to get used to than I anticipated. Could be due to the fact that I forget it's even there since it's still such a new feature for me.

  • Picture-In-Picture is great, when the app supports it. So far I've found Netflix does, but Hulu doesn't.

It's a very welcome upgrade for my use. I can easily see myself traveling to a customer site or for vacation and bringing just the iPad Pro to handle any computing needs. Especially when paired with Horizon View and the Lighting to HDMI adapter.


Looking for more? Check out my pal Dale's iPhone 7 Review.

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