Battery Life

Apple scores some impressive battery-life gains with this second-gen model

Compared to the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro, this new model is lighter-weight, despite being the very same size as its predecessor. Now, you wouldn't be wrong to worry that a situation like that could translate into a smaller battery – and with it, the likelihood of decreased battery life.

Luckily for us, though, Apple's pulled the neat trick of actually giving this new iPad Pro an ever-so-slightly larger battery then the first-gen model, bumping up capacity by around five percent to 10,875mAh.

The real story isn't about battery capacity, but the iPad Pro's increased efficiency. We don't know whether to credit the new processor, or changes to the display tech, but everything else being equal, we managed to squeeze out just under 11 hours of screen-on time from the new 12.9-inch tablet, a boost of several hours over the original model.

In addition to the battery lasting longer, recharge times are also improved, and while still quite lengthy, the four hours, twenty minutes it takes to bring the 12.9-inch iPad Pro's battery from depleted all the way back up to full is still a good half-hour improvement over the first-gen model's recharge times.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 10h 59 min (Excellent)
Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch 10h 38 min (Excellent)
Apple iPad Pro 8h 8 min (Excellent)
Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch 9h 55 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 261
Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch 204
Apple iPad Pro 297
Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch 215


By all objective measures, the second-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro is one of the best-performing tablets we've ever crossed paths with. It combines a brilliant display, powerful number-crunching capabilities, speakers that are far better than those that have any right being on a tablet, and even a best-in-class camera to create one of the most well-balanced tablets we've reviewed.

These are all things we said about the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, though. So which is the better device? Well, if you plan on using the tablet as a laptop replacement, pairing it with Apple's stylus and keyboard, we understand how it would make sense to go with this model. The bigger screen is going to be easier on the eyes in the long run, and especially with the tablet enhancements due in iOS 11, you're set to get a lot of productivity out of this device.

But if what you really want is a tablet – not a makeshift laptop – the 12.9-inch iPad Pro tends to feel a bit too big. It's unwieldy to carry, even in some bags, and while it works well when placed flat on a table, if you like holding your tablet in one hand while you interact with it with the other, you may be in for some arm strain.

For some users, this will be less of an issue than for others, but with nearly everything else being equal, we're really feeling more of a draw to the smaller 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Beyond giving you most of what you get here, the $150 savings are nothing to shake a stick at, either.

With the physical presence of this tablet being such an important factor in evaluating whether it's right for you, you're probably going to want to swing by the Apple store and feel this iPad in person before making your purchase. It's a big leviathan of a tablet, but with so much power packed inside, absolutely not one that puts its size to waste.


  • Beautiful display image quality
  • Bass-rich, immersive sound
  • Day-long battery life
  • Laptop-competitive performance
  • Great camera for when you need it
  • Split-screen works better than on 10.5-inch model


  • Just too big for casual tablet usage
  • With accessories, starts getting extra expensive, fast
  • iOS still doesn't feel particularly optimized for tablets
  • Audio recording when shooting video doesn't sound great
  • Lengthy recharge times

PhoneArena Rating:




1. notfair

Posts: 767; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

"Laptop-competitive performance" - this one should be removed, I mean, you can't run full desktop apps, that statement is a lie and confuses people.

2. Iodine

Posts: 1504; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

And who cares ? You also can't run some "full desktop apps" on a linux super computer, but does that mean it's not powerfull enough to run them ? *nope* And now about performance: it blows everything away, whatever it's marketed as a notebook or tablet or a froaster, nothing even comes close at this size and weight.

4. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

True that, iodine. He doesn't understand that not being made to run something doesn't meaan it's not capable to run it. In fact, the iPad Pro is even more powerful than the Core i5 equipped 'New' Surface Pro (Not Pro 4), according to benchmarks. That's just incredible and goes to show what the iPad Pro is capable of.

6. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Err, it does mean it's not capable to run it. Maybe in your mind the iPad is an equivalent of an FXX K which can run on a track like fire on gasoline, but can obviously run on tarmac at the end of your driveway, if it's allowed to. In truth you'll be down about £2 mil at the first speed bump. If you can boot Windows or MacOS on this device, it would be horrible to see how many apps or programs you can't run. Let's say you managed to run VRay rendering tool or even a simpler Keyshot/Lumion they would just overheat your iPad to death or throttle til you notice the guy with the Surface walking out with renders and animations. ARM reference processors and architecture are just not capable enough to deliver that amount of sustained performance for a long time without active cooling.

9. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

When did I ever say anything about software? I was purely talking it being able to run based on hardware. Is the hardware powerful enough to handle SOME tasks designed for a laptop to handle? That's the question I was trying to answer. Talking about overheating, no one knows if that's true or not. Nothing gives evidence that iPad Pro will overheat doing the tasks possible on the Core i5 equipped New Surface Pro. Same goes for sustained performance. The A9X showed it was capable of continuous sutained performance even on heavy loads, according to XDA testing. Surely a proper software would be needed to et the tasks even run on the iPad Pro, but that's not my point or related to the capability of the hardware. Keep in mind we are not talking about the fully equipped core i7 Surface pro. You completely misunderstood what I and Iodine were trying to say.

7. bucknassty

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Alright, and can we get a cost comparison? COME ON PEOPLE why compare something thats half the price? just compare a BMW to a toyota then

8. MrHate

Posts: 318; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

But it's true. There is a photoshop like app that runs smoother on the new iPad Pro than on many cheaper to mid tier laptops. The problem is only that there aren't a lot of these apps for other desktop application. But the power is definitely there.

10. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Tell that comment no.6

16. techbuttcheex

Posts: 205; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Correction: windows can not run full ipad apps, making it inferior.

3. Iodine

Posts: 1504; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Battery still smaller than the notoriously known 9,7" iPad (3rd generation) Kind of interesting :)

5. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

Iodine would you belive it if i told u that 2012 3rd generation ipad lasted me over 15 hours usage? Its battery performance has never been repeated in any device perio

11. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Note that it only lasted 'you'. That might not be true for everyone else. So your statement is believable but that doesn't mean such long usage times cannot be repeated in any other device. So your second statement could be wrong depending on the usage.

12. iDroidPhony

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 21, 2016

I'd pick the 10.5 over this 12.9. The new iPad Pro's are keeping the iPads to be the best tablets on the planet. Impressive!

13. kefalin

Posts: 292; Member since: Feb 08, 2015

So many cons and still 8.8? Sony had less downsides and still got 7

14. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1588; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I'm amazed there were even cons listed. This site usually praises everything apple does.

15. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

i can see a big failed product by apple. really no reason to make this. it's not a labtop and it can't replace one.

17. arthur76

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 20, 2017

Thanks phonearena for the review, but it's never a bad idea to also consider reviews from others. I've googled and found a website which shows reviews from multiple sources and the overall score for iPad Pro 12.9. (
iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • Display 12.9" 2048 x 2732 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10X Fusion, Hexa-core, 2380 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB
  • Battery 10891 mAh

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