Apple’s iPad Pro, Review

Design

It’s a little hefty at over 700g, but that doesn’t tell the whole story – this is a tablet with a brilliant screen, powerful speakers and a great accessory ecosystem.ipad pro - design 2 The new stylus that allows you to annotate and sketch and do all manner of things, but if you saw Adobe laying out magazine pages on the stage with the little white pole you’d understand.The design of the iPad Pro might sound like it’s designed for the enterprise sector, but really it’s just a really decent work tool that’s fused with a top of the range tablet. Given there’s no iPad Air 2 on offer this year, this is the top of the range tablet and as such has to be considered as much a consumer item as anything else.It was clear that the split screen view in iOS 9 was conceived for the iPad Pro, as there’s just so much that you can do with that screen real estate. I get infuriated with companies that show how powerful their tablet is by letting you shrink a movie down to the size of a postage stamp and allow you to do other tasks in the background, but again Apple’s done it.The split screen view is good because most of the time it’s not proper split screen and that’s the right thing to do. This is still a tablet, not a laptop replacement, and as such you don’t need a million windows open at any one time. Being able to browse news and still do an Excel document is good when it’s just a column slid in from the right of the screen.

ipad pro - design

screen and resolution

The iPad Pro features a 12.9-inch (diagonal) display with a resolution of 2732 x 2048. That gives a pixel density of 264.68 (according to the excellent Pixel Density Calculator) – that’s the same density as the iPad Air 2 across a far larger screen, and a total of 5.6 million pixels.ipad pro - screenThe iPad Pro offers 78 percent more screen space than the iPad Air 2. Its width is the same as the iPad Air 2’s length, which makes it easy to run apps optimized for the smaller device in portrait, with the Pro in landscape orientation. Running two side by side would work well, too, thanks to the Split View in iOS 9.

 

Pencil

The upshot of the iPad Pro is that it’s just a fantastically powerful tablet,ipad pro - pencil one that can do pretty much anything offered by app developers at the moment. High resolution graphics, levels of pressure from the Apple pencil… it’s all well within its capabilities.The Apple Pencil is an odd thing to have added in. It’s very good at sketching – one of the best I’ve tried when it comes to handwriting recognition and didn’t get confused by my fist rubbing the screen at the same time.

 

keyboard

It will cost you $170, but you can finally buy an Apple keyboard for an iPad. It’s powered by a special data and power transmitter on one side of the iPad, right where the cover magnetically attaches, which looks like three small circles.As a cover, the keyboard is unwieldy. You have to fold it one too many times, making it awkward to quickly maneuver shut. However, when you prop it up, the keyboard snaps into place. We weren’t able to use it on our laps, but because it’s magnetic, there is a chance it might not be too awkward to use sitting down. It has some flex to it, but it doesn’t feel cheap.Covering the keyboard is a slick fabric mesh of sorts. Apple says it used special fabrics to transmit power through the keyboard, which sounds a little like magic but seems to work somehow.

ipad pro - keyboardThe Pro keyboard has a better feel than Microsoft’s Surface Pro keyboard, though they’re similar in size. Each key has a solid click to it, and an indentation that helps your fingers know where to rest.Better still is iOS 9 support for keyboard shortcuts. Holding the Command button down in any app will bring up a menu of possible keyboard shortcuts you can use. As we mentioned earlier, the best of these is Command + Tab, which lets you scroll through recent apps at a breakneck pace.

 

speaker and audio specs

The iPad Pro has a four-speaker audio system, as was rumored beforehand.ipad pro - speaker The company observed that this is the first time an Apple product has offered this; we’re willing to take their word for it.What does this quad-speaker setup produce in practice? Three times the audio volume of the iPad Air 2, according to Apple. The setup also re-balances the sound performance depending on the way you’re holding it. Something else to put to the test in our labs.

 

OS

The iPad Pro will run iOS 9 – it’s a mobile operating system, and that means a world of difference. Apple has worked to make iOS 9 better suited for productivity, whether it’s split-screen app support or holding two fingers down on the software keyboard to turn it into a trackpad. But it’s still very simplified compared to, say, a Mac, and power users might be frustrated at the streamlined nature. Here’s what could change the equation a bit: 3D Touch, the newly-enhanced version of Force Touch. The pressure-sensitive inputs let you press harder on the screen to access deeper options, such as menus, and it all looks and sounds extremely intuitive. That might be enough of a difference-maker to turn the iPad Pro into a productivity powerhouse.
ipad pro - os

battery life

According to Apple the iPad Pro will have a battery life of 10 hours. As with the speed metrics, we’d like to test that out for ourselves, but Apple tends to if anything underestimate the battery performance of its products.One other element worth mentioning in relation to battery life: Apple says that the iPad Pro is at present the only iOS device that automatically adjusts its screen refresh rate depending on the amount of movement on screen – something which the company says allows it to save power when it isn’t needed.

 

Conclusion

It’s fast, has an eye-popping high-res screen, offers sensible multitasking modes that increase its usability, and has two accessories that make it useful to whole new groups of people.This is an iPad that will do more than play some games, help you read email, and stream Netflix in your bedroom . Apple wants its iPad to grow up, and the iPad Pro might just help it get a job. But hey, don’t worry. On the weekends it’s even better at streaming Netflix than your old iPad.