Apple had reservations against laptop-tablet hybrids. Steve Jobs also scorned the use of a stylus in mobile devices. Those were the days. People at the Cupertino-based tech company have retracted their earlier resolves with the introduction of the iPad Pro.
Currently available in 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes, the iPad Pro is a massive version of the iPad developed and designed for power users. Furthermore, this device is not only bigger but also technically superior to the iPad Air and iPad Mini
The iPad Pro is a fairly decent laptop substitute. However, with the attached high price tag, consumers might consider buying an iPad Air or a MacBook instead. This review lists the pros and cons of the iPad Pro.
Advantages of the iPad Pro: Reasons why you should buy
1. Powerful and versatile iOS device
The latest iPhone model usually comes with the latest and most advanced processors. However, the larger screen real estate of the iPad Pro gives it an advantage over any other smartphone devices, especially when it comes to media consumption or productivity use.
Of course, it is also worth reiterating the fact that the iPad Pro has more computing power than the iPad Air and other top-tier Android tablets. Under the hood, this device is powered by a 64-bit Apple A10X CPU, 12-core PowerVR GPU, and Apple M10 motion coprocessor, coupled with 4GB SDRAM and a 64GB to 512GB flash storage.
The form factor and technical specifications of the iPad Pro make it a powerful and versatile device that can be used for simple web browsing and content consumption, as well as multitasking and running resource-intensive apps.
2. Perfect for content and multimedia consumption
Watching movies or streaming videos on a laptop is still odd because of its bulky and elaborated clamshell design orientation. Consuming contents on smartphones might be favorable due to mobility, but the small screen size reduces the visual experience.
One of the notable pros of the iPad Pro is the Retina display that is based on IPS LCD technology coupled with a faster refresh rate. Watching movies or playing games on this device is less straining to the eyes.
Apple has also crammed in four speakers into this device. These speakers collectively pump out three times more output than any other iPad. Hence, although this device is larger than the average tablet, there is no need to carry a Bluetooth speaker.
The long battery life that can last from 8 to 10 hours is another advantage. A user can enjoy long hours of native audio and video playback or online streaming within a relatively portable device.
3. Suitable for creative and business professionals
Apple developed and designed the iPad Pro for creative professionals and business-oriented individuals. Compared to other versions of the iPad, most Android tablets, and Windows-based netbooks, this device was conceived with extensive productivity in mind.
The superior technical specifications of the iPad Pro enable the use of several creativity apps available in the Apple Store. These include the GarageBand for producing music, iMovie for editing 4K videos, Adobe Photoshop Fix for image retouching and restoration, and uMake for sketching and drawing, among others.
Office productivity apps such as Microsoft Office and Evernote, in addition to the multitasking feature of the iOS make the iPad Pro a useful and powerful tool for corporate professionals.
It is worth mentioning that the iPad Pro also takes advantage of the Apple Pencil to allow freehand note-taking and drawing. This accessory is sensitive to both tilt and pressure to allow digital artists to create a range of artistic strokes and effects. Then there is the Smart Keyboard that also doubles as a cover for the iPad. The water-and-stain resistant keyboard features 64 seamless keys for better typing accuracy.
Disadvantages of the iPad Pro: Reasons why you should not buy
1. Restricted capabilities due to iOS limitations
Superior hardware is at the heart of the iPad Pro. This device is definitely one of the most powerful tablets in the market. However, when compared against true tablet-laptop hybrids such as the Windows Surface Pro, it is not as powerful and capable.
The iPad Pro remains a mobile device powered by a processor and operating system designed for mobility and portability. This means that although it remains a powerful tablet device, it is not an actual laptop replacement. The limitations of iOS are another disadvantage of the iPad Pro. There is no true and flexible multitasking in iOS. Samsung devices even have better and true multitasking compared to the current functionalities of the new iOS.
Furthermore, the ecosystems of mobile OS have been having a hard time coming up with apps that are as powerful and functional as those software designed for Windows OS or macOS. Power users should not expect this device to replace their MacBook or MacBook Pro, or Windows laptops
2. Not really a better alternative to the iPad Air
Note that the iPad Air is also a powerful iOS device from Apple. Although the iPad Pro has better technical specifications, this does not mean that it is a better alternative, especially for casual to average tablet users.
Both the iPad Pro and iPad Air are capable of running most apps in the Apple Store with minimal to zero performance difference. Even the iPad Mini 4 can be powerful under specific usage and circumstances.
Size is a notable disadvantage of the iPad Pro. The 10.5-inch variant is slightly bigger than the iPad Air but the 12.9-inch is a considerable stretch for a portable tablet device. It is easy to consider the iPad Pro is a half-baked MacBook or Windows-based laptop given the limitations of the iOS.
3. The iPad Pro is expensive for its functionality
High price tag is another disadvantage of the iPad Pro. The 10.5-inch base model retails at USD 649.00 while the 12.9-inch base model retails at USD 799.00. These base models are equipped with a 62GB flash storage and WiFi connectivity.
Considering the range of apps and the supposed usability of the iPad Pro, a 63GB of storage would not suffice. Note that the 256GB and 512GB options for the 10.5-inch variant retail at USD 799.00 and USD 999.00 respectively, while the same storage options for the 12.9-inch variant retails at USD 949.00 and USD 1149.00 respectively.
It is also important to note that the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard are sold separately. Buying both accessories makes the iPad Pro as expensive as top-tier Windows-based laptops, the 12-inch MacBook, and the base-model and mid-entry MacBook Pro.
4. User experience quirks that can be annoying
Another notable disadvantage of the iPad Pro when compared against true laptop-tablet hybrids is its primary dependency on touch-based inputs. The absence of mouse support can be tiresome, especially when using the device to edit videos or process documents.
Even though the Apple Pencil is a smooth and precise stylus input, there is no slot to secure this expensive accessory in place.
When using the Smart Keyboard, the viewing angle is not adjustable. This can be limiting for users with eyesight problems or those who are comfortable in using their laptops in a particular position.
Conclusion: Should you buy the iPad Pro?
There are pros and cons to owning and using the iPad Pro. It is certainly the most powerful and versatile iOS device to date due to its size and technical specifications.
Creative and business professionals might consider this device a decent laptop replacement. With its massive IPS LCD and notable audio quality, the device brings a more engaging experience for consuming multimedia contents.
However, in considering the disadvantages of the iPad Pro, it is relatively not better than the iPad Air. The superior features of this device do not seem very necessary when taken into consideration what most users do with their iPads.
It is also not a complete replacement for MacBook computers and Windows-based laptop due to the limitations of the iOS. The iPad Pro is still a complementary device for those with extra dollars to spare.