The latest iPad Pro is the tech giant’s most radically redesigned tablet since the debut of the original iPad in 2010. Available with an 11- or 12.9-inch display, the newcomer has a fresh new design, more power than ever, groundbreaking hardware features, and accessories that will help you make the most out of its capabilities.
Apple’s signature iPad home button has been dropped by Apple for an all-screen setup with a gesture-based user interface. Another longtime iPad staple, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor has been replaced with a Face ID feature, whose seamless functionality is already a hit among iPhone users.
After a week with a 12.9-inch variant of the latest iPad Pro, I was impressed by the blend of looks, craftsmanship, power, and versatility the tablet offers. Unless you are a demanding professional who needs to run more than two apps side by side, the iPad Pro is perfectly capable of replacing an ultrabook. Below are the reasons why:
The iPad Pro is Mind-Bogglingly Powerful
The all-new Apple A12X Bionic chip of the iPad Pro is a new gold standard for the industry. Its architecture consists of four high-performance cores, a quartet of power-efficient ones, a custom GPU designed by Apple, and the latest Neural Engine iteration for advanced machine-learning capabilities.
According to Apple, the A12X Bionic chip makes the new iPad Pro more powerful than 92% of portable computers sold over the last year. Rather impressively, this percentage includes top-shelf notebooks with an Intel Core i7 processor on board.
During my testing, the iPad Pro felt blisteringly fast on all occasions. Any task I performed happened instantly — from opening and switching between apps, all the way to editing high-resolution photos in Pixelmator, among others. Best of all, the tablet easily made it through a full day of use between charges.
Using Face ID on the iPad Pro felt as instant as it does on the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. I really like that the feature works in both landscape and portrait mode.
The iPad Pro Has a Gorgeous Liquid Retina Display
The Liquid Retina touchscreen of the new iPad Pro is fantastic and handily better than most laptop displays with similar size. It is bright, incredibly sharp, and, thanks to P3 color-gamut compatibility, ready for pro-grade work.
My favorite bit about the iPad Pro’s display is a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, which comes courtesy of Apple’s ProMotion tech. It enables the slate to deliver ultra smooth on-screen action on every occasion. The feature really came in handy while I was using the Apple Pencil.
The iPad Pro Is Light and Insanely Thin
Weighing just 1.4 pounds and measuring less than 6 millimeters thin, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro I tested is noticeably lighter than even the most elegant ultrabooks. Even when equipped with the Smart Keyboard Folio, the tablet is much easier to carry around than any laptop.
The iPad Pro Is Incredibly Versatile
Unlike any run-of-the-mill laptop, the iPad Pro is capable of effortlessly transforming from a powerful productivity and creativity tool into a portable entertainment device. All you need to do is take the slate out of the optional keyboard folio to switch from work to play mode.
The USB-C port is a truly groundbreaking feature the iPad Pro brings. It gives the slate the ability to connect to external devices, including 5K displays and USB-C accessories. It can even charge your gadgets if necessary.
The iPad Pro Comes With an Excellent Selection of Apps
With iOS 12, the iPad Pro gives you access to a user-friendly platform with industry-leading security and a superb selection of apps. They range from all major productivity suites available today, all the way to augmented reality games and experiences with exceptional quality.
Apple iOS 12 on the latest iPad Pro also gives you access to handy and cool features that include group FaceTime and Memoji. The latter is made possible by the sophisticated Face ID hardware.
I was pleasantly surprised by the tablet’s stereo speakers — their bass output is particularly impressive, especially considering how thin the iPad Pro is. The LTE network connectivity of the iPad Pro I tested worked flawlessly.
The Smart Keyboard Folio is essential for using the tablet for work. It has two viewing angles, as well as the ability to protect the back of the tablet from scratches and bumps. The second-generation Apple Pencil, on the other hand, is phenomenal to use, and vastly better than its predecessor. It’s amazing that you can charge it wirelessly by magnetically attaching it to the iPad Pro.
Comparing this iPad Pro to other tablets in not even a contest. Metaphorically speaking, the slate is laps ahead of its non-Apple competition. Even the previous iPad Pro generation is already so good, that Apple could have taken this year off.
Pricing of the all-new iPad Pro starts at $799 for an 11-inch variant with 64 GB of memory; the larger model is $200 extra. The Smart Keyboard Folio and the Apple Pencil cost $179 ($199 for the 12.9-inch version) and $129 respectively. I highly recommend that you budget for them.
A top-spec iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch display, cellular connectivity, and 1 TB of storage will set you back a rather considerable $1,899 — a pretty penny for an iPad. I believe that most consumers will be happy with the much more affordable 256 GB option.