Camera

A camera this good will have you reconsidering tablets as legitimate photo-taking hardware


Using a camera on a tablet can feel like the mobile-photography equivalent of wearing socks with sandals, but just because it can be a little socially awkward doesn't mean it's not a useful feature to have – nor an area where it necessarily makes sense to skimp on hardware. And if you're of the better-off-being-prepared mentality, you'll be pleased to know that the latest iPad Pros have some exceptional camera components.

Apple gives this tablet a 12MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture and optical stabilization – and if that package sounds familiar, it should, because it's the same setup we saw (and loved) on the iPhone 7. That phone (to say nothing of the dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus) offered an utterly fantastic image-taking experience; are we in for more of the same here? Let's take a look.

Image quality


Here's the weird thing about taking pictures with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, its preposterous tablet size be damned: it's a lot of fun. Sure, it can be more than a bit unwieldy, and especially when you're dealing with a device this large, it's a bit weird to have the camera so tucked away in one corner, rather than in a more natural-feeling centered spot on the tablet's back, but there's a legitimate appeal to having a gargantuan viewfinder to work with: it just makes framing your shots and anticipating how they're going to turn out a bit easier.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch 1.21
1.56
No data
No data
Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch 1.6
1.9
No data
No data
Apple iPad Air 2 2.5
3
No data
No data

Video recording


As is the case for still-image photography on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, your experience here is largely going to mirror what you get on an iPhone. We say “largely,” but there really is some divergence with video that's much less true with stills.

As far as what the iPad can capture, you've got your popular shooting modes covered: 4K, 1080p, and even a 60fps mode for the latter – which looks beautiful on the iPad's ProMotion display.

But there is a pronounced difference here and it's a negative one: the iPad isn't great when it comes to recording audio for your videos. That's a shame because they look really great, but the sound has a really far-away, muddled quality to it, almost like what you think things would sound like if you were recording underwater. We don't know if overly-aggressive noise-cancellation is to blame, or just the placement of the tablet's microphones, but it's a real disappointment compared to everything else this camera package delivers.

Multimedia

With speakers this rich and pleasing, you can feel confident leaving your headphones at home


OK, we know the tablet has “Pro” in its name, and between the stylus and keyboard accessories available, is well equipped to handle all variety of serious, laptop-replacing business tasks. That's well and good, but sometimes you need to kick back with a little Netflix, or get caught up on the latest movie trailers – and if that's the afternoon you've got planned, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is nicely outfitted to entertain.

We've already spent some time talking about the beautiful screen on this tablet, but it's worth reiterating here: colors are accurately reproduced, screen brightness is as good as you'll find on some of the best phones out there, and between the ProMotion display and the heavy-duty GPU on the new A10X chip, this iPad is armed to display some really, really great-looking video.

The only downside there, and it's a small one, is the 3:2 aspect ratio of the tablet's screen, in a world where the vast majority of content being consumed is 16:9 widescreen. That's no huge problem, but it does make the iPad slightly less than ideal for video-watching. Then again, this is an issue that's existed since the dawn of Apple's tablet's existence – but just because it's familiar doesn't mean it's not worth mentioning.

But this is all dancing around the big draw of consuming media on the iPad Pro: its speakers. The quad-speaker layout we were introduced to with the original iPad Pro is back, and it still sounds nothing short of phenomenal.

Beyond those four speakers always making sure that there's audio piping-out at the ideal angle for listening, they deliver some frequency coverage that sounds more in line with a dedicated stereo system than what you're used to expecting from a compact mobile device – and particularly, that comes though in the form of some really earthy, aurally satisfying bass reproduction.

And even if you need a little discretion in your audio consumption, the iPad Pro has you covered with a good-old analog headphone jack; Apple's efforts to re-write your expectations when it comes to headphone support haven't yet corrupted the company's tablet lineup.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch 0.996
Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch 1.00
Apple iPad Air 2 0.97
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch 81.5
Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch 80
Apple iPad Air 2 77.9


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65 Comments

1. peace247 unregistered

This thing should get atleast 9/10.....

6. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

OMG.... Apple has be disgraced!!! Phone arena is over

12. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I agree, butnI guess PA wanted to sabe themselves from the backlash of giving another 9+ score. This should easily get 9/10, it's hands down the best tablet on the market.

18. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

but I* save** another Apple product***

57. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

You are dummy fanboy. How is the best tablet on the market? With useless OS? Even PA give con: "Even with split-screen, iOS doesn't feel optimized for tablets". What you will do on that expensive $hit? With "nice" bezels? Buy yourself Surface and at least you will have working OS. Buy huge hump iPhone 8 or X or whatever. Because it is Apple product.

60. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It isn't the best, never will be unless the surface pro is somehow not a tablet anymore.

19. Bankz

Posts: 2548; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

This clearly a 9+/10 device.

22. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Triggered! LOL

24. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I guess even the most, sane, android fan will be close to triggered too. Because this iPad does really deserve atleast a 9/10. Nothing beats it overall, in my opinion.

40. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Nothing beats it overall, in my opinion." Surface Pro 4 says HELLO!

50. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

First of all, what does "in my opinion" mean? And second of all, I knew some genius would mention the Surface Pro 4 without realising that it's running a desktop OS on desktop-grade hardware. It's essentially a laptop that can act as a tablet to some extent, thereby a hybrid. So it's not a direct rival to the iPad Pro which is a mobile device. I hope this would help you clear your mind.

53. IT-Engineer

Posts: 546; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Hey Genius, you can compare it with the Surface Pro 4 since it has the same price tag.

54. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Technically, you can compare anything; the brain makes it possible. But our sense tells that it would be stupid to declare one as a rival of the second when both are based on different platforms. Just having the same price doesn't mean they both are direct rivals when looking at them overall. However, if one looks at specific things such as screen:body, then your statement is correct. But not otherwise. Sure, each of them can do certain tasks that the other is designed for in a better way. For example, the iPad Pro can let you make presentations like the Surface Pro 4. But can it reach the same level of productivity in that regard? Of course not!. That's ONE of the reasons why both aren't direct rivals. Because by your logic, can I compare a $4000 car with a new iMac 5k? Absolutely. But, when looking at them overall, does the comparison seem sensible?

55. IT-Engineer

Posts: 546; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Nope, that is a bad example you gave there. We are talking about tablets. Both are tablets, one running full Desktop OS, the other is just running IOS. Sure it looks good, and is better buy than all of the android tablets out there. But the moment you price it as the Surface Pro 4 which is also a tablet, then you need to compare it with it. That is just pure logic. Therefor if i wanna buy a good tablet without paying the hefty price of a Surface, i'll go with the normal IPAD, but i would never pay for this over grown tablet the same price as the surface, then i'll go and pick up a surface pro 4 tablet. That is common sense.

56. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

The reason I gave that 'bad example'was to show that your logic cannot be applied anywhere. Even though both can act as tablets, both are largely different due to the hardware and software. As I already stated, both can do each other's work but each one is suited for different purposes, better. And iOS and WIndows have drastic differences aside from being for different platforms. And yes, it is sensible to compare them in daily life when you wanna know which is a better buy for the price while considering your own needs at the same time. But, when you look at them without considering yourselves, then you will know that they aren't direct rivals. What you said is right, as it takes into consideration the user. But I doing quite the opposite, that's why my statements might seem incorrect to you. Though tey don't seem as such to me.

58. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

Even Surface Pro 3 is better than this useless cripple OS device.

32. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

This probably won’t happen but I’d hope they re-review it for iOS 11. I’m using the beta on the brand new 12.9” and even in beta format it’s a massive, massive upgrade (and surprisingly stable). With the right accessories it really can replace a laptop now, for anyone who isn’t a power user anyways. Only thing I miss is my emulators.

33. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I didn't read the article, but I bet they didn't give it a 9 because they reviewed it as a Laptop replacement and not a tablet. 8.8 isn't a bad score though.

59. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 295; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

I'm not an apple fan but I agree this new iPad deserves atleast a 9/10. It looks like a pretty great device, and this is the only iPad that made me really think of getting one, and I really might get one, not as a laptop replacement though but as a multimedia device and a drawing tablet.

2. LGV20

Posts: 21; Member since: May 22, 2017

Yeah, this deserves 9 and iPhone 7 deserves 6.5 instead...

14. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

And LGV20 deserves -10/10

20. Bankz

Posts: 2548; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Lol, u just ruin him.

3. Papa_Ji

Posts: 852; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Still it can't beat Tab S3 it's look, feel, productivity and value... iPads display still look white washed in comparison to AMOLED on tab s3...... Basically it's same iCrap with 120Hz display wrapped in aluminium foil.

8. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I'm sorry, but apart from the Amoled panel and the free S-pen, this is way better than the Tab S3, and as much as I prefer anything Android, I would gladly take this over the Tab S3.

15. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

please ignore papa-ji; he's a troll. Btw papa-ji in english means 'dad'. Just so you guys know

48. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

Beta apny papa ki baat ko ignore nhi krty.... Madrch*d pakistani.

49. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

Think different ...think more than one PAPA Kashmir to mily ga nhi ek or papa hy ly ly...

51. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Hah! Ignorant troll!!

10. pixel_ftw

Posts: 84; Member since: Jun 19, 2017

It can beat Tab S3 even in its sleep. Android tablets are crap compared to ipad and surface. With ios 11 it'll be even more productive.

47. Papa_Ji

Posts: 852; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

The display (mostly for media) is the most important part of a tablet ....Tab S3's AMOLED capable of HDR video playback for true-to-life view and it's quad-speaker system by AKG/HARMAN can easily blow any of the iPad out.. Fast charging , Micro SD card support , S Pen , better battery backup and more premium built with best look and feel is a plus for me. Yes, Windows powered Galaxy Book and surface are best overall tablets.... iPad feels lamb, for both productivity and media.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • Display 10.5" 1668 x 2224 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10X Fusion, Hexa-core, 2380 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB
  • Battery 8134 mAh

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