I have used it for some time and as with all in this life, it has it's pros an cons. I like the modern, intuitive interface, free updates and web maps, for example. It's a simple software and is good for basic measuring tasks that most of the surveyors do. Sometimes I miss some more surveyor oriented features that SurvCE or some other software have, but it all depends on what kind of work you do and what is your workflow.
You have a basic manual traverse / layout function under the CAD -> Draw -> Layout. But this tool creates lines, not only points.
From what I see SurvCE is cut down from Leica's Smartworx Viva which I am most familiar with and it sounds like X-pad has even further reduced capacity? It look ok for total station work but for GNSS seems a bit limited (ok for grid surveying but not ground to grid to ellipsoidal/geodetic)?
With the Leica for inverse/traverse you can use grid azimuths and ellipsoidal distances which is how our cadastral system is defined but it appears the inverse function in X-pad only used grid azimuths/distances or is there some way of setting it to do ground or ellipsoidal distances?
The workflow here for all work is to fix points in the field with feature codes + string attributes for the point and then use a mapfile in 12d desktop software to draw topo plans. Here all survey pick up is points based, lines are only defined between surveyed points. Its a real concern if it can't do a traverse from point to point, that's a basic feature any surveying package I've used has and even my calculator can do.
You can see both grid and ground distances (but not ellipsoidal) if you turn on the "To cartographic plane (grid)" option under Coordinate System -> Ground to grid scale factor. You can simply choose a point for an automatic calculation of the scale factor. Be aware that the elevation scale is set separately. Starting to think about it, i guess if you don't turn on the elevation scale, you should see ellipsoidal distance instead of the ground distance.
In my opinion, both Carlson and Leica definitely offer more in pure surveying / geodetic work. More info to see, more features to turn on/off so that you can get all the information that you need. X-PAD offers a simpler, better, prettier interface and several cool features when comparing to Carlson, but definitely lacks behind in the "surveying" aspect. Regarding coding, X-PAD is the most limited between the three software. You don't have a separate attribute field and you can't do line coding for common field-to-finish routines - you can't create codes where they consist of
But X-PAD works better with Geomax instruments when compared to Carlson. Hope this helps somehow..
From the (v3.0 from 2014) manual it looks like you can have a point code and then add GIS attributes to it maybe? For example a code + string of TB1 (top of bank, string 1) could be used by entering TB as the code and setting a GIS attribute for that point of "string" and then you enter the string in?
12d software is the direct competitor of autocad civil 3d in NZ/Aust for civil designers and is the only horse in the race when it comes to cadastral surveying as it links the best with Landonline (Govt. run digital database) we we lodge our survey datasets with (no paper plans here in NZ since 2007)