Dorico for iPad 11" or 12.9"?

Hey guys,

I’m planning to buy an iPad this year for Dorico and other notation purposes. I already have a 15" laptop which works well, but I want something on the go to carry around as apos to having it, well… on the desktop.
So, my question is for those who have, and are working with either one or both size displays. Pro 12.9"or Pro 11"/Air 10.9".
What can you say are the Pros and Cons of using Dorico with either screens, general size and carrying position of it? How comfortable or practical is it working with it while carrying it in portrait orientation?

Keep in mind I’m asking completely from a ease of carrying while working and not screen real estate (Which I’m sure the 12.9" model is off coarse the much better option) standpoint and not having it as Laptop, horizontally with Keyboard, orientation.

The main purpose being for Engraving and Annotation. It’s not to say which one is better, just some input on what it’s like working with either one.

Thanks, Nicolas.

Bigger is better, as usual… :upside_down_face:


Nicolas, I have the 12.9" iPadPro - and sometimes I find it a bit uncomfortable to handle, f.e. it’s a bit heavy if one tries to hold it with one hand. The 11" might be a bit more ergonomic in that way.
As an additional item to ones other luggage one would probably pack the 11" more easily without second thoughts.

1 Like

I have the 11" Pro (M1), and it works well in either portrait or landscape orientation.
Portrait, a page of A4 fits at roughly 50% actual size, but given the high pixel density, it’s still very clear and readable.

Landscape, I can get an A4 page fitting the width at 100% actual size, but obviously only half the page at a time.

I have the Keyboard/Covery Thingy™, so I can use the shortcuts. I have to take this off if I want to put it on a piano music stand, which it then sits on happily. You can sit the iPad on a desk in portrait with the keyboard on, but obviously it’s sideways, which is weird. I do have an alternative stand, though…

Most of my frustrations concern the limitations of the iPad version, compared to Dorico Pro on the desktop. And things like additional fonts. Or limitations of iOS itself.

I find the 11" is small enough to carry in your hand easily enough. Probably too big for a pocket, unless you’ve got one of those shoplifters “poacher’s pockets” in a big coat.

My 16" laptop is too unwieldy for an airplane tray-table, but the iPad is just fine.

I’m not going to write a symphony on it, but for sketching stuff, making edits, and just reading through Dorico files, it’s brilliant.

1 Like

I had the 11" and recently got the 12.9". If there’s any chance at all that you are going to use it for performing music (with forScore, Newsik, etc.) and not just Dorico, I find the bigger one is a lot better. Of course I’m now the age that I wear progressives so your eyes may be better, LOL! I’m not sure I ever used Dorico with the 11" in anything but landscape orientation (I had the Logitech keyboard case with it) so I can’t really comment on that aspect.

I’m honestly not crazy using about Dorico on the iPad for some of the same reasons Ben listed above. Not having my fonts and sounds sorta kills it for me with actually doing serious work. I have used it for some quick transcriptions before, which I then transferred to my desktop. If you just plan on tweaking the engraving and annotating the file, then it might be ok. Keep in mind your normal default font may or may not be available on the iPad though, so that might make editing the engraving challenging if there are font substitutions occurring.

Steinberg’s Cubasis 3 is a nice app for a quick mix too. It only works in Landscape though IIRC.

1 Like

I’ve been wondering about getting Cubasis, (because Logic is only available as a subscription, and you can’t export from Garageband). I see that there is an “LE” free download, so I may try that. Though that would inevitably lead to needing it on the desktop as well…

1 Like

I’ve held off on the desktop version since I use Pro Tools, but would gladly switch if there was another benefit, like better Dorico - Cubase integration. (Avid just announced better Sibelius - Pro Tools integration at NAMM this week too.)

1 Like

I kept starting a new thread on that matter to keep the developers updated on how crucial for most users it is, I find that a World War happens between Purist Notation Software users and Hybrid (DAW/Notation) Composers like myself. It lead me last time to report my own post and mute notifications to it completely… I have no idea if there is anyone still alive there but it was really getting too personal.

Anywho, I highly recommend Cubasis and Cubase in fact. But yes no expectations between the integration of the two, Dorico and Cubase… I think from a developer standpoint, you’d have more Integration between Dorico and Protools.


I struggled with the same decision - 12.9 vs 11 inch ipad pro and settled on the 11" after researching what other people had to say. Mainly that the 11 was so much easier to take with you everywhere, it’s portability was the reason most people left their 12.9 at home and took the 11 OTG (on the go). People who had a 12.9 generally said they opted to bring a laptop with them instead since the laptop and 12.9 are so close in size. I am absolutely in love with my 16gb ram, 1tb, m1 11" and never leave home without it. These toys, err ‘tools’, are absolute Ferrari’s. My ipad pro m1 doesn’t even shrug at something like the Brandenburg. In contrast my 2017 ipad pro 10.5 starts Dorico to crashing when I add a 3rd or 4th voice to an empty score. The extra ram is a Godsend when dealing with 24bit samples and lots of instrumentation in a score.