What Could We Do With a 16-inch iPad Pro?

Anything we want

Key Takeaways

  • Apple is mulling a giant, up-to-16-inch iPad.
  • The big screen would be amazing for drawing, multitasking, and movies.
  • Even at 16-inches, the iPad would still be more portable than the biggest MacBook Pro.
M1 iPad Pro with magic keyboard and apple pencil

Apple

Apple is working on a larger iPad, perhaps as big as 16-inches. Bigger is often better, but when does an iPad get too big?

According to a reliable rumor source, Apple is weighing up the pros and cons of a giant iPad. Many folks might laugh and call such a thing ridiculous. Others—those who love the large 12.9-inch iPad Pro—are thinking a 16-incher can’t come soon enough. But what are the upsides and downsides of such a huge, thin tablet?

"Large-scale computing—the type you'd normally get from a desktop—could become more of a reality on a big iPad display. It's also just a great tool for anyone who needs that screen real estate, such as digital artists, videographers, etc.," Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review, told Lifewire via email.

What Is It Good For?

There are plenty of advantages to a bigger workspace. You could run two apps side-by-side, at full size. You could enjoy movies and games on the bigger screen. The larger body might also mean bigger, better speakers.

"I own more than 30 tablets and it is safe to say that the size of the device directly affects the way we use them," Bruno Brasil of Drawing Tablet World told Lifewire via email. "A 16-inch iPad Pro would allow digital artists to work faster and add details to artwork without having to use the zoom tool. Being able to paint longer and continuous strokes would also lead to more organic-looking digital illustrations."

In fact, most respondents to my requests for comment mentioned using a 16-inch iPad as a drawing tablet. When it comes to sketching, a bigger canvas is almost always better.

Person using the Sketchboard Pro drawing tablet

Braintreehouse, LLC

"Many of our users are professional designers (architects, filmmakers, industrial designers). Users like this want a large surface to work on, so their ideas can spread out. Certainly portability suffers, but I think many pro users would use it on a desk with a product like the Sketchboard Pro stand," David Brittain, co-founder and CEO of TopHatch, a company that makes infinite-canvas sketching app Concepts, told Lifewire via email.

But as Brittain points out, that big screen brings tradeoffs.

Big iPad, Big Problems

The most obvious problem is size and weight. The M1 iPad Pro is already a hair heavier than the previous model, which is, itself, quite weighty compared to the 11-inch iPad Pro.

"A 16-inch iPad, on the other hand, would be cumbersome to transport," iPad user Bowen Khong, the founder of ForexToStocks, told Lifewire via email. "If the M1 iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard is already bulky, a 16-inch variant would be even worse. Some of the iPad's tablet features, such as portability, lightweight, and the ability to accomplish simple tasks on it, would be lost with such a large device."

"I own more than thirty tablets and it is safe to say that the size of the device directly affects the way we use them."

And if it stays as slim as existing iPad Pros, a 16-inch model would be quite bendy. I already bent a 2018 iPad Pro without even realizing. A larger version could be much worse.

"Tablets are one of the least durable tech tools we have at home," says Brasil. "The fact that they have a screen that is virtually always exposed makes them highly prone to damage. A larger iPad would probably break easier than the current devices sold by Apple."

One of the iPad’s biggest advantages over the Mac is its modularity. You can use it as a tablet, pair it with a keyboard, or use an Apple Pencil. But the accessories, especially the magic keyboard and trackpad, add bulk.

"Portability will be an issue. You're basically making a less functional touch-screen laptop at that point. Also, the larger screen size won't increase processing power so people may be misled into buying it," says Costa.

Bigger Really Is Better

In the end, though, most big iPad fans would jump at the chance for yet more inches, this author included. After all, the 16-inch MacBook isn’t considered to be too big, and that comes with a keyboard attached.

"I would absolutely use a 16-inch iPad Pro," said Brasil. "I already own two iPads and I tend to go with the larger one whenever I need to get real work done. I can only imagine that a super large iPad would improve my workflow."

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