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Apple iPad Pro Review

Apple iPad Pro 8
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Apple iPad Pro Review

Introduction


Apple iPad Pro Review
Apple iPad Pro Review
Apple iPad Pro Review
Apple iPad Pro Review
Apple iPad Pro Review
Apple iPad Pro Review
Apple iPad Pro Review
Apple iPad Pro Review
In the world of tablets, the iPad still stands at the top – unrivaled since its inception, with no equal capable of relinquishing its control of the market. When you have such an influential product, it begs the question of how you can innovate it further to broaden its appeal to consumers.

Enter the iPad Pro. Simply put, this is Apple's biggest, most capable iPad yet – a compelling mobile computing solution that brings the tablet experience to a new dimension with little impact on portability, while also sprinkling on qualities that can potentially make it a useful instrument in the hands of creative, artistic individuals. And yes, it is shaping up as a powerful, versatile piece of hardware, even though it is hard to see it as a rival to a notebook or a hybrid computer. After all, the iPad Pro runs iOS 9, not a full-blown desktop operating system.

By and large, the tablet market has been declining over the last couple of years, but Apple is hoping to reinvigorate interest. Can an even larger iPad be enough to make that happen?

The package contains:

  • iPad Pro
  • Lightning cable
  • Wall charger
  • Getting started guide
  • Apple decals

Design

Whoa, it’s a really big iPad! Premium built, as expected.

Whoa, the first thing to come to mind checking out the iPad Pro is that it’s humongous! We’ve seen our fair share of over-sized tablets before, so we’re not particularly shocked by this, but either way, its sheer size is hard to overlook. You might say that its size is almost obnoxious for a tablet; however, it’s what gives the device that much-needed real estate; it is what makes this new iPad a mobile computing device worthy of a “Pro” in its name. Stacked up against an iPad Air 2, the iPad Pro stands like a monolith, offering a whopping 78% more screen area.

Speaking of the iPad Pro's size, we must mention two devices of similar purpose and identical caliber – the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Compared to these two, Apple's offering is both thinner and lighter even though it offers a bigger screen.

For the iPad Pro, Apple has stuck to its usual recipe: the tablet shares the premium design and solid build quality the iPad line is known for. That consists of a svelte, 6.9mm-thin aluminum unibody that slowly slopes outwards where it meets the front glass panel with a chamfered, beveled edge. While it feels exceptionally well-built, much like the rest of Apple’s portfolio, it’s also pretty lightweight at only 1.57 pounds (712 grams).

Holding the iPad Pro for the first time is an odd adventure, mainly because of its immense size. Despite that, we have to admit that it’s quite comfortable, factoring its equally distributed weight. There’s even enough bezel around the display for our hands to comfortably rest without interfering with the touchscreen’s operation.

Even though the design isn’t original per se, this larger-sized iPad still exhibits the design characteristics of a tablet first and foremost – and that, folks, makes it still far more portable than any laptop or ultrabook. Apple’s tried-and-true design recipe doesn’t change here a bit with the new iPad Pro, but it doesn’t need to because it’s a signature design that has proven itself time after time.

Anyone familiar with the iPad Air 2 line will be also familiar with the layout of the iPad Pro, as its buttons and ports are situated in the same locations. Therefore, it means we have the power button and 3.5mm headset jack situated along the top edge, the volume controls along the right edge, and the Lightning connection on the bottom.

However, there are two changes worth noting. Firstly, there are now four speakers strategically placed along the edges of the tablet – two above the display, and two below it. The other new addition are the three pin connectors along the left side of the tablet that make up its Smart Connector, which is used to connect the iPad Pro to the optional Smart Keyboard.

This wouldn’t be a modern iPad without Apple’s Touch ID sensor integrated into its home button. As expected, it’s pretty accurate and responsive when it comes to unlocking the tablet with a scan of our finger, but it’s clearly not as lickety-split as its implementation in the new iPhones.


Apple iPad Pro Review

Display

The vast real estate takes getting used to, and the display's qualities aren’t top-notch.

Apple iPad Pro Review
Much of the iPad Pro’s appeal is attributed to the vast display it’s blessed with: a 12.9-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 2048 x 2732 pixels, which Apple calls its “most advanced” Retina Display yet. With 78% more display area than an iPad Air 2, it boasts a staggering 5.6 million pixels. This equates to a pixel density of 265 ppi – identical to that of an iPad Air 2's display. That might not sound all that phenomenal, but in reality, the screen looks pretty detailed, especially as we’re holding it from a normal distance. Text in the web browser, in particular, has good definition and crispness, allowing our eyes to comfortably read it.

Apple’s products are renowned for their high-quality characteristics, and the iPad Pro surely follows suit with its display. Benchmarks aside, the Retina Display is delightful sight to behold with its clarity, wide viewing angles, and pleasant glow. Colors appear extremely natural in tone, realistic and true-to-life in fact, which is made more evident in its accuracy in the sRGB color spectrum chart. However, there are some aspects that are inferior in comparison to what Apple is known for – the color temperature is rather cold at 7400K and the gamma at 1.87 is inaccurate. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still good-looking and easy on the eyes, but is not as accurate as we expected it to be. In addition, trying to view it outdoors comes with some challenges – it isn't the brightest screen out there, with a maximum output of 379 nits.

We’re definitely not as astounded this time around with the package, with the exception of its larger size, but it’ll be more interesting to see how Apple takes advantage of the added real estate bestowed upon this tablet. That, by and large, is arguably the utmost important factor in giving it credibility.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPad Pro 379
(Average)
3
(Excellent)
1:1576
(Excellent)
7404
(Good)
1.87
2.47
(Good)
7.02
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 627
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
1:1128
(Good)
7196
(Good)
2.36
7.09
(Average)
3.85
(Good)
View all


103 Comments
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posted on 19 Nov 2015, 09:35 21

2. cripton805 (Posts: 1456; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


I dont see the use for this. Put a desktop version OS and make it a surface pro competitor.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 09:44 2

6. Unordinary (Posts: 1954; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Not for you but for many many artists...

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 10:52 13

30. DarkStar286 (Posts: 219; Member since: 18 Mar 2014)


So it's a tool designed for one profession? And even that profession can't use it fully as the professional tools aren't available on iOS yet. This really needs OSX on it to be a professional tool for anyone.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 19:54 2

72. nodes (Posts: 748; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


of course a tool is specified for one profession.
just like a stethoscope to a doctor.

it's rival is Wacom Cintiq, there are Youtube videos comparing the two, and it has Pros and Cons.
$99 Pencil is cheap considering the features it has, Wacom's Pen ranging from $30 to $90 too but that is just a regular rubber pen, with no battery, etc.
Wacom Cintiqs priced at similar price, and that is only an INPUT device.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 13:29 7

42. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1541; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


I am sure apple isnt aiming an 800$ tablet that needs 100$ pen just for artists cause most of artists are either broke and they don't represent any significant population number for apple to make a product specifically for. They are trying to convince that this will replace a laptop or even a desktop for a lots of people which so far from reviews seems it cant cause of OS limitations.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 14:01 4

48. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10681; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


What artist. Let me give you a better option. Both iOS and Android have Sketchbook Pro which is a very powerful little application for drawing, plus there are CAD apps too.

I just rather do it on PC

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 15:47 2

55. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Unordinary Real artiste use Real pro tool not wanabe tool like this.

Ever ear of Wacom? this is the real professional artist tool not this crappy overpriced thing.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 16:44 4

63. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10681; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I love to draw and tablets certainly make it more fun. I looked at the iPad first. Previous gens were not good because the displays were just regular LCD's and they didnt have any special hardware that would make drawing easier.

I got to try the ipad pro and my Surface pro 4 side by side yesterday at a special VZW store we have in Chicago. I got to play with both for 15mins without anyone bothering me.

Here is what I came up with. Both are nearly equally precise in drawing. The Surface has some advantages because it has advanced drawing applications. But I compared them using Sketchbook Pro. They both were nearly pixel perfect where I could lift the pen and place it right where I left off. I typically draw with lots of short strokes.

I did less zooming in with my Surface tho because it was more accurate to the pixel. Both had what appeared to be equal latency which was nearly none. So as soon as you touch and move the ink pours. Not as good as WACOM, but damn close.

Saying the iPad pro is an artist tool? Well it depends. When you sue the iPad with a Mac than yes. But itself? NO! because the apps on IOS arent as powerful as what you'd have on the Mac. But its okay for touchups and drawing things for fun. But when you need finer details you need a larger screen, a more powerful tool and mobile apps dont have this.

This is where the Surface has an advanatge because its x86 and it has better drawing tools vs the tools for ARM devices.

Both pens are very smooth on the glass. The newer Surface uses N-trig, I actually liked the WACOM one better. Not that 2048 level of pressure is a big deal, but its an added bonus.

I think for many a ipad Pro could replace a PC as long as you dont need desktop apps. But for those who do, the Surface is a nice option because when you need a PC you ahve it and when you just need a media consumption device, Windows has huge advantages over iOS.

You can't beat you have native or its easier to add support for any file type, you can save files and use them anywhere, endless storage options as some of my artist files have as many as 20 layers or more and leave huge files that wouldn't open properly on an iOS device.

Also you ahev a device that is more compatible with the rest of the world for the same cost.

But I enjoyed at least giving the iPad Pro a try. if I still liked the iPad I think I would actually buy one. But I'm spoiled on Windows and I have a rule about owning 2 devices that basically do the same thing.

posted on 23 Nov 2015, 05:50

89. atio6 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Nov 2015)


While your opinion on the iPad Pro's app ecosystem might be correct right now, I think you'll be proven wrong in the long term. For example, there are lots of surprisingly usable CAD modeling apps being developed natively for the platform, like Shapr3D. If used correctly, the iPad Pro can provide an unparallelled a workflow boost to engineers and designers, and I think that lots of developers will try to capitalize on that in the future.

posted on 11 Dec 2015, 09:24

100. jontaylor07 (Posts: 169; Member since: 12 Oct 2015)


Unparalleled versus a tool for which new applications are being created, but which also has access to a backlog of 20 years of great apps? One which also works with mouse, keyboard, and external displays natively when needed?

Sure.

posted on 04 Apr 2016, 12:37

102. relic74 (Posts: 12; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


I prefer using my Pixel C over my iPad Pro for 3D work as it's a much better system for such things. First, unlike other Android tablets, the Pixel C uses Linux GPU drivers and the desktop version of Open GL. It can also handle both CUDA and Open CL CLI applications, though since the X1 CPU is using a 256 CUDA Core Maxwell GPU, CUDA is definitly the way to go. Android also has better 3D applications such as SpaceDraw, which contains an API for CUDA excelerarion, though designed to connect to a render farm using multiple Tesla cards, you can also use your local GPU if supported. What this means is you render times will nbe more than 10x faster than anything available for iOS as it's apps only use the CPU to render. Also encoding video files is just unbelievably faster versus doing it on an iPad Pro, what took my Pixels 40 minutes to do, I just lost interest in the iPad Pro after reaching the 3 hour mark. The power of GPU computing.

When utilizing such apps I always work using a monitor, the iPad Pro was just an aweful experience, it didn't support my monitors resolution, aspect ratio, the DPI looked so huge I wouldn't want to use it even if the rez was supported and I couldn't extend the desktop, just mirror it.The Pixel C on the hand even supported my 28",4K touchscreen display, it's weird 17:9 aspect ratio, custom DPI, extending the desktop and I can even utilize the Nvidia K1 CPU/GPU that it's in the monitor (multimedia mode) as a mini render farm so I don't have to use the power on the Pixel C.

Multitasking in iOS is extremely poor, no, displaying two apps at once is not consider multitasking. What is, is the ability to run apps in the background and besides a few GPS, audio and the new PIP, iOS is basically a single task OS. This is definitely not the way I work as I constantly have a terminal running in the background, encoding, rendering, compilimg, scripts, etc. I always have a film being streamed to my TV while I work on the Pixel C, etc.

File system, anyone who has ever used iOS will know that it is simply horrible. Apps should never, ever manage their own apps. There should be at the very least a document management system in place, in which files are all stored in a central area, with support for every popular cloud service, zip, etc. The way it is now, well let's just say Apple should be ashamed of themselves, just miserable.

I still like the iPad Pro as a media comsuptiom device but as a productivity device, yeah, no thanks

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 09:54

11. Unordinary (Posts: 1954; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Btw, here is a good video using its biggest (and most seriously taken) competitor - Wacom and Cintiq.

youtube.com/watch?v=g8xZedh_hUQ

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 20:07

74. ibend (Posts: 5119; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


i wont take seriously any review from someone with 55 subscriber

posted on 26 Nov 2015, 07:45

93. iLovesarcasm (Posts: 567; Member since: 20 Oct 2014)


Several years ago iFans say very big tablets are stupid and ridiculous.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 09:36 4

3. legiloca (Posts: 1410; Member since: 11 Nov 2014)


I'm surprised it's an 8..
the two cons after the 1st can still change in the future updates..

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 13:35 7

43. techandbeers (banned) (Posts: 110; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)


I think an 8 is completely fair.

1. Apple has the most and best Apps in the mobile tablet space

2. It performs very well

3. It remains limited

Although I can admit I'd never buy one of these things, my iPad air 2 has been an awesome device on the go. For someone in need of a bigger screen with more intensive task capabilities, this is a great option.

Please phonearena community, we gotta start giving credit where it's due. Just like this tablet isn't for everyone, same goes for a surface. However, they are both excellent devices.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 14:34 6

52. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10681; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


The vast majority of the apps for the iPad were first iPhone apps and they were turned in HD apps for the iPad. Which means the dev basically just added the bitmaps for the larger display.

Many of the apps I had for the iPhone that are avail for the iPad, look 100% identical. In fact the laziest devs didnt even use the bigger screen to add anything extra to the app.

Example, one thing that would be a huge plus is since the iPad is larger, there is no need for so many submenus. They could just use tabs or actually just get rid of submenus. Even Apple for their own apps could do this for the iPad versions and they dont.

The apps on iOS are better looking, but some of the really good Android apps were done better as far as looks and capabilities. For most apps, the devs just kept them identical on both platforms which is ok.

But to be honest, on both sides iOS and Android, the devs should really spend the time to really make tablet apps different.

I mean they are making the money...right?
Let me give a person example. I have an in-house application I created for tracking inventory. It uses the camera to scan the barcode which idetifies what the devices is and where it should go, so it cant be mistaking put where it doesn't belong, because we have so many devices in-house that are very similar.

But instead off having lots of submenus, each category has one submenu and when you click it, it opens a row of tabs across the top and all you have to do is pick a tab for extra info about an item.

On the iPad for the settings especially, this would be a huge plus vs scrolling a screen that now goes for 4 pages on the iPhone and nearky 3 on the iPad. If they made it similar to how Samsung did it on the earlier Note using tabs, the settings would be more organized. But they chose to be lazy and just make the tablet exactly liek the phone and it doesnt use the space the tablet offers. To be that's lazy for a company with the staff and cash they have.

The iPad and iPhone yes are similar, but the concept of the tablet is; it should be mimicing the phone. Most of the apps can be universal, but many shouldnt be.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 15:48 6

56. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


No OSX = fail.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 16:51 1

64. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10681; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I agree. But I think Apple doesn't have to pull a universal platform liek Microsoft is doing.

Here is what I think.

Since iOS and Mac OS X are basically the same OS, why not have a device that can switch? Or even better, why can't iOS be a mobile layer that riuns with OS X similat to how MS did it at first with Windows 8?

Windows 10 is great because you can still have the mobile experience in tablet mode giving you that familiar tablet way of interaction when you dont need the desktop. But a simple flick and desktop mode is right there.

I mean a 2 in 1 device is genius and Apple really should have done it first.

For me, even though I dont like OS X, I do use it in a VM for my music because I like the tools I use.

A iPad pro with OS X and the option to switch to iOS and still download my favorite games, I would certainly buy that even if it was from Apple.

But sadly its Microsoft who offers that and the stubborn ass devs wont jump on it and make the Surface a more worthy option vs buying a laptop or PC. A converged device for the same cost is a killer idea and for anyone to knock it, like Apple is pure stupidity.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 09:44 1

5. sip1995 (Posts: 1594; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


But what's the real point of using an iPad....?

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 10:29 9

27. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


1. iPad apps/= Apple ecosystem
2. Good hardware
3. Solid performance
4. Polished, straightforward software experience, good stock apps especially for casual user.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 10:55 3

32. janis (Posts: 329; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


same apps as iphone, same os, and you pay 1k for mobile apps just to see them on bigger screen, that is crazy i would buy one if price would be around 300$ max, i like to sit relax and watch some YouTube stuff, but if that costs around 1k, customers must be completely addicted to that logo. i would get either laptop or surface pro 3 or 4 for same price with real os and hardware. but its just me. about that ecosystem, i have macbook pro and had iphone, its nothing so special with it.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 13:41 4

44. techandbeers (banned) (Posts: 110; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)


Janis, what you said simply is NOT true.

There is a huge catalogue of apps made specifically for the iPad that utilizes extra space. They are not just "iPhone apps."

But I will agree with you the iPad pro is overpriced, but even the most praised developers will tell you iPad has the best mobile tablet apps.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 15:54 2

58. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


You mean identical app with higher resolution texture and such? most ipad optimized app are like this.

Very few offer more options than just a nicer UI.

BTW i have an ipad air 2 and love it but i hate when ppl lie.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 16:53

65. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10681; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


But the vast majority of the ipad apps are just iPhone apps. They simply resized them for the larger screen. The vast majority dont take advantage of the size. You still have to click through several menus for something that should take 1 or 2 clicks at the most.

That's also a problem with a device that has one button. You cant assign other things to a button.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 15:53 3

57. marorun (Posts: 3912; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Surface 4 pro give all of this but instead of Apple mobile app ecosystem you have access to real desktop grade app.

The hardware is good but limited by a mobile OS using OSX would been better.

Performance is nothing when you are limited.

Software experience is a questions of point of view.
To have to go dig in submenu of my setting just to change my video resolution. Not been able to choose the resolutions of my picture are some example of a not straightfoward software experience.. setting for an app should always be accesible directly from the app ( sure you can also put them in the setting menu of the device but its need to be in the app too! )

You mean moron user right? ppl who need to be told how they do thing and have liberty to do it how they want to do it.

posted on 21 Nov 2015, 17:01

87. dazed1 (Posts: 424; Member since: 28 Jul 2015)


The straightforward argument? LOL.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 09:52 5

8. zeeBomb (Posts: 2139; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Jk. Proves how John V is truthfully stating facts about this thing. Really, who is this iPad for?

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 10:25 5

25. TerryTerius (Posts: 1927; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


It fit my needs pretty much perfectly. The two things I wanted were a media consumption device with a large screen, and something that had a comfortable keyboard I can use to type up various projects for work. Although the surface Pro is a better laptop, it isn't as good of a tablet. And the Galaxy note pro is quite old by now.

I didn't really want to pay for a surface book, especially when I don't actually need that kind of power. So for me, this fit perfectly.

posted on 19 Nov 2015, 11:02 1

34. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


+1 (Even though I disagree completely and would much prefer the Surface Book.)

Instead of complaining/scoffing that there isn't a market for this sort of thing, let's just let the market decide for itself. I've been puzzled by Apple (and countless other companies before) to be proven wrong.

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Display12.9 inches, 2048 x 2732 pixels (265 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Apple A9X, Dual-core, 2260 MHz, Twister ARMv8-A processor
4 GB RAM
Size12 x 8.68 x 0.27 inches
(304.8 x 220.5 x 6.9 mm)
25.50 oz  (723 g)

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