Comparing Scrivener on 10.5 iPad Pro vs 12.9?

I’m looking to upgrade my gear. I have Scrivener for both macOS and iOS, currently on the 9.7inch iPad Pro.
The larger 12.9inch intrigues me, though I read many comments to the effect it is a bit unwieldy. Apple’s specs claim the 10.5inch is almost 20% larger than my 9.7inch.

Is the 12.9inch a big step up in usefulness in Scrivener vs the 10.5inch? And for any of you who have the 12.9inch: is that model really too bulky?

I mostly use the iPad around the house, so lugging it around wouldn’t be too much of a problem for me.


I jumped from an iPad Air (1st gen) to the 1st gen 12.9", which I am still using currently. Whereas I cannot comment on the 10.5, I can say that I took the plunge on the 12.9" because of the Pencil support , and because I do plenty of PDF annotating. That size, being the virtual equivalent of an A4 page, just made sense to me.

The 9.7" was always just too cramped, with it inevitably requiring manual scrolling around my PDF’s. The 12.9"? None of that. It makes annotating an absolute pleasure.

Regarding Scrivener, I would imagine the big question would be how frequently you multitask between two apps, side-by-side? If not often, then surely the 10.5” would be just fine, given the brilliance of the text magnification/zoom in Scrivener’s.

If yes, then focus in on that. On the 12.9”, everything on each ‘side’ is still fairly big, and accordingly easy to use. Not sure how that experience would be on a 10.5”. It might be fine, but that’s probably the key point to check with someone who has one.

I would have made more mention about the size, but if you’re predominantly at home, then it really shouldn’t be an issue. I use mine at meetings at work every day, and comfortably carry it around all over the place. I wouldn’t want to use it standing for long, but at home/desk/coffee table, it’s perfectly fine.

Good luck with the choice - and keep in mind there might be new one’s unveiled ay WWDC in June!

PS - I was late to the game, and only bought a Smart Keyboard a few weeks back. Wow. Quite the game-changer. But that’s a different topic all together! 8)

The 12.9” is almost A4 in size so it feels very natural to read, annotate and do other stuff.
About split screen with two apps: the big Pro is the same size as two 9.7 side by side.

… and the big Pro is great as extra display together with my 12” Macbook, using the Duet app.

I have the 12.9. It’s a dream with Apple’s keyboard. In fact on a recent os trip I left the MacBook behind and worked exclusively on the iPad, including Scrivener and work communications.

I do a lot of writing using Scrivener, and switch back and forth on projects between my iMac and the iPad. On the iPad, I have used Scrivener extensively in split screen mode (usually with iBooks, but also Safari. I have also done a lot of writing in Scrivener not using split screen mode. When traveling for a few weeks at a time in the past three years all I take is my iPad.

I originally had a 12.9" Pro with the Smart Keyboard and travelled only with the iPad Pro. The screen is great and I did like the large size of the screen. However, even with just the Smart Keyboard, the package weighed well over two pounds–more than the weight of the 12" MacBook. I bought and used a back cover with the Smart Keyboard for protection, which made it even bulkier. I felt like I was carrying around a laptop.

The biggest concern I had about switching to the 10.5" was whether it was wide enough to really touch type on the Smart Keyboard. Turns out, for me, it was. There was essentially no adjustment time to the new keyboard size. I find the 10.5" to be nearly the perfect size for me. It is much lighter that the 12.9".

The 12.9" iPad Pro weighs 1.57 lbs. With Smart Keyboard the weight is 2.28 lbs.

The 10.5" iPad Pro weights 1.03 lbs. With Smart Keyboard, the weight is 1.57 lbs.

That’s more that 30% difference, and, for me, it made the difference.

I also quickly adjusted to the smaller screen size of the 10.5" and don’t miss the 12.9" size except when I used Duet. Turns out, Duet really isn’t that useful to me–I can live with my 27" iMac screen by itself.

The primary difference for me between the two is the really sleek portability of the 10.5 vs the 12.9. If I want to just hold the iPad alone, without keyboard, (which I sometimes do), the 10.5 is much more manageable that the 12.9.

So, having used both extensively both with Scrivener, and lots of other applications, I stuck with the 10.5 and have no regrets.