Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Review
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.
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.
Update: You can now read our Apple iPad (2018) review!