Review: Apple iPad Pro
Pros: A big, beautiful screen that improves many tablet experiences, including watching videos and looking at photos. Extremely fast. Very good, intelligent speakers for an unparalleled audio experience on iPad. Smart Connector opens up new accessory possibilities and adds to device’s versatility. Compatibility with Apple Pencil adds new dimension to device. Excellent battery life. Gets the most of multitasking when compared to all other iPads. Ships with long Lightning cable and 12W adapter. Could conceivably replace a laptop for some users.
Cons: Expensive. Can be unwieldy and uncomfortable to use at times. Accessories add to price, making it no less expensive than a laptop. Portability suffers due to larger size. Some apps look “off” on huge screen. Though the device is not ideal for photography, an updated FaceTime camera would have been nice. Lack of early availability for major first-party accessories disappointing. Onscreen keyboard not comfortable enough to use in more than short bursts. No 3D Touch Display.
For years, we’d heard rumors of a mega-sized Apple tablet, and decided almost right away that we would refer to the product as the “iPad Pro.” It was an educated guess, but it seemed to match Apple’s naming conventions, and to be quite honest, it simply made more sense than anything else. Eventually, the name became a bit less of a mystery, and now, the big iPad is finally here. Apple’s iPad Pro ($799-$1,079) is the last — barring any surprises — new device the company will release in 2015, which has turned out to be one of Apple’s busiest years in some time. iPad Pro is by far the biggest iPad ever: in size, it’s closer to a MacBook than the iPad mini. And physical size isn’t the only area in which iPad Pro competes with a laptop — Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that he only travels with the iPad Pro and an iPhone, and recently asked in an interview, “Why would you buy a PC anymore?”
Though iPad Pro is being positioned as a laptop alternative, it’s still very much an iPad first. And as such, like other iPads, it comes in multiple models. iPad Pro starts at $799 for the base 32GB model, and goes up to $949 for a 128GB model. There’s also a 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model, which clocks in at $1,079. It’s the only cellular-enabled model. At that price, the cellular model is almost $800 more than the cheapest iPad Apple is still actively selling — the $269 16GB iPad mini 2. But it’s clear that the Pro is built for much more than someone who “just wants an iPad.”
In these eight pages, we’ll explore Apple’s biggest iPad yet, examining its design, its features, how nicely it plays with iOS 9, accessories, and current apps, and much, much more. Can it really replace your laptop? Would you want it to? And if not, is there still any appeal to this bold, new behemoth?