Saturday, December 5, 2015

So I went to Best Buy...

And man is the new iPad Pro big. Like, BIG. Wow. All the pictures on the internet can't do it justice. It made the iPad air next to it look like a toy. It also kind of confirmed how I've felt about the iPad since I first saw the first gen one in a Best Buy years ago - it's too big and too small.

We still have our first gen iPad. It's currently got about a dozen toddler games on it and a lot of restrictions and my three-year-old loves it. He gets a little iPad time when the one-year-old naps and I get some much needed quiet time. But it's really big to him. He doesn't really hold it, he just sets it places.

I tolerated that iPad for two years as a music reader, then upgraded to the retina iPad hoping the higher resolution and clearer text would make reading easier. Not really. But the thinness and battery life (especially the batter life) made it worth not going back to the various windows tablet pcs I had tried along the way. But it really was too small.

I've also had a handful of 7-8 inch tablets over the years, and for me, 8 inches is the ideal size for reading. I currently have a Samsung Note 8 that I'm currently working through Man In the High Castle on (which I'm sadly pretty disappointed in - the story, not the tablet, love the tablet). I've used the stylus plenty in the short time I've had it. Now that One Note supports inking in the Android app, the Galaxy Note 8 makes a fantastic little notepad device, but much thinner, lighter, and with longer battery life than even the best of the 8 inch windows Intel Atom BayTrail based tablets (and I got to try and review pretty much all of them during my time at PCWorld).

So the 10 inch iPad was always too big to be a good reader/companion notepad and too small to be the music reader I really wanted. But the iPad Pro....on man, that thing's the perfect size. It's SO BIG. It's a good thing the Pencil still shows as shipping 4-5 weeks out on Apple's website or I might have already picked one up. As it is, we're considering heading out to an Apple store later this afternoon so I can see how the Pencil works with Forscore. The displays in Apple stores are supposedly running Forscore and have the Pencil available to test. Best Buy did not have either of those things.

BUT! Best Buy also had a Surface Book. As if the iPad Pro wasn't awesome enough. I had less than a minute to oogle the Surface Book before I had to go wrangle small children, but man is it also nice. AND BIG. As much as I like my current hybrid tablet set up, I'd pick up a Surface book in a hot minute if it could be had for under $1000.

But alas, the model I want is $1899. Do I really need a dedicated GPU? Not really, no. But my Sims sure would look pretty. So, realistically, I could go with the $1699 model, but it's out of stock. I've already tried using a machine with a 128GB SSD as my main machine and it was maxed. I can store stuff on a microSD card, because windows machines can do that (side eye going to you Apple). But it was tight. So, theoretically, I could make the $1499 model work. But that's still too much.

And I'm still left with the dilemma that I'd rather not have my primary computer sitting on a music stand at every gig. I'd like to consolidate. I have too many machines. But I don't think I'm ready to commit my primary computer to do double duty as a gig machine. I'm not willing to trade my Surface Pro 3 for an iPad Pro until the Pencil is available, and that's only if the Forscore will see the Pencil as pick up and write and not require tapping into edit mode.

So, I'll sit here and try really hard to not buy things. Must. Not. Buy. Things.

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