Apple iPad Pro Review

THE 12.9IN IPAD IS POWERFUL AND EXPENSIVE, BUT TURNS APPLE’S TABLET INTO A TRULY PROFESSIONAL TOOL

While overshadowed by the IPhone 6s, the really big news from Apple this month Is the 12.9ln IPad Pro. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the device – and It’s a colossal new product from Apple.

To think of the iPad Pro as simply another IPad doesn’t do It justice. It has more In common with Microsoft’s Surface and represents a major step Into the business market for Apple.

Before I got my hands on the Pro, I was struggling with the question: “What can the Pro do that the IPad Air can’t?” However, after spending a brief period of time with the device, Its forte became clear: multitasking.

The IPhone 6s’ 3D Touch allows users to get a snippet of Information without having to leave an app, and the IPad Pro’s Increased screen size and beefed-up processing power achieve effectively the same thing. How? The iPad Pro uses Its big screen to either display two apps side by side, or float one app on top of another.

The display Itself Is Incredible. It’s big, bright and packs 5.6 million pixels Into Its 12.9in, 2,372 x 2,048 (264ppl) Retina display. Apple still claims a ten-hour battery life, thanks in part to new techniques, such as the ability to dynamically slow down the refresh rate of the screen in order to preserve power. It also helps that there’s more room for the battery to stretch out Inside.

That’s due to the IPad Pro being much bigger than you think. Using It Is similar to how a ten-year-old must feel when he gets his hands on a regular IPad. 1 found that holding the device between the corner of my elbow and hand enabled me to operate the Pro with ease and comfort, but this Is a device that’s clearly been designed for use on a table or another flat surface. This Is where the IPad Pro is most like the Surface Pro, but It loses points for not having a touchpad option – something I Instinctively hunt for when using any laptop-type keyboard. As with the Surface Pro’s Type Cover, Apple’s variant doubles up as a screen protector, stand and cover. It’s expensive, but typing on It Is a joy, with each keystroke rewarded with a very satisfying thud.

The 12.9in screen brings a new dimension to Apple’s iPad range
The 12.9in screen brings a new dimension to Apple’s iPad range

The other main accessory Is the Apple Pencil, which I Instantly fell in love with. It won me over when the Apple representative was sketching something. He suddenly stopped using the nib of the pen, tilted the Pencil 45 degrees and began shading the picture with a lifelike pencil-shade effect.

The very slender Pencil is attractive In Its own right, but It’s also functional, with Its battery lasting three months at a time. When you eventually run out of power, the lid can be removed to reveal a Lighting connector, which enables you to charge It via the IPad Pro’s Lightning port. Very neat.

Inside the IPad Pro Is the new A9X SoC (system on a chip), which Apple claims delivers Increased power over the A8X chip In the IPad Air 2, Including twice the memory bandwidth and superior graphics performance. The Impact I witnessed this having on the IPad Pro wasn’t as Impressive as I’d expected. I noticed a small amount of lag when I began to float a video over the Pro’s Safari browser. While

“The iPad Pro has more in common with Microsoft’s Surface and represents a major step into the business market for Apple”

barely noticeable, It could be a sign of how much strain the IPad Pro’s Internals will be put under when multitasking on such a big screen. It’s something you can expect us to test closely when we get the device Into our labs.

To get the most out of the iPad Pro, you’ll need to invest in extras such as the amazing Pencil
To get the most out of the iPad Pro, you’ll need to invest in extras such as the amazing Pencil

There are no official Australian prices as of yet, but the 32GB iPad Pro will cost US$799 (WI-FI only), the 128GB Is US$949 and the 4G128GB is US$1,079. Add the Smart Keyboard and Pencil and you’re looking at a minimum of US$1,067 for the full package, which means Its certainly no Impulse buy, even with a generous dollar-to-pound conversion rate.

Tim Cook was right when he stood on stage at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and said: “Today we have the biggest news In iPad since the IPad.” It’s a new beast.

There’s so much to like about the new IPad Pro: the size and power, as well as the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. However, will It be enough to relgnlte the supposedly waning enthusiasm for IPads? Very possibly. Look out for our full review when we get our hands on the final version.

David Court

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