The iPad has always been considered a device for consuming content rather than creating it, that however changed when the 12.9” iPad Pro was introduced by Apple’s C.E.O Tim Cook (September 2015). While it can still be used to consume content (watching Netflix and Youtube videos are brilliant with the 4 speakers that were introduced with the iPad Pro 12.9”) it can also be used to create content. Adding accessories like the Apple Pencil, mean it’s easy to draw on while using the Smart Keyboard accessory means it’s just as easy to do office work with.
The 12.9” screen is Apple’s largest ever on a tablet, it’s also bigger than most of the competition as well. It’s also the highest-resolution on a tablet (2,732×2,048) which works out at 264ppi (the same as the iPad Air 2). It means that the iPad Air 2 in portrait mode is the same heist as the iPad Pro which gives you the option to split screen working on two iPad Air 2 screens side by side.
The screen is up to Apple’s usual high quality, with great viewing angles. With split screening it’s possible to have 2 apps open at the same time (supported apps only) you may think what this has to do with replacing a laptop, most people when using a laptop or even a desktop, like to have more than one app open, with the iPad Pro for example it’s possible to have Safari and Pages or even Word open at the same time, which means when word processing you can also be searching the internet for that research, or taking notes with the Apple Pencil while also browsing Twitter.
The sound of the iPad Pro 12.9” has leapfrogged that of any other iPad before it. With 4 speakers (rather than the usual 2) using it’s orientation sensors, it uses the top two speakers for stereo and the bottom two for low-frequency sounds. The result of this is a very impressive sounding tablet.
The iPad Pro 12.9” is powered by the A9X chip, which is based on the A9 chip found inside the iPhone 6s. When combined with a more powerful GPU, the iPad Pro destroyed other competitors with the Peacekeeper browser test, scoring a BIG 5,476, it also went through the GFX Bench test with 33.5fps and an offscreen score of 80fps which is seriously quick. These speed tests are actually faster than a lot of budget Windows laptops.
The iPad Pro uses IOS 10, which comes with some unique features that are only available on this particular tablet. At the very top of the list is the multitasking options, there are two different modes. Slide over lets the user slide a compatible app from the side. It lets you quickly check your emails for example, without having to leave your browser. Split View lets you run two apps side by side at the exact same time, it works very well and one that I use daily without wanting or needing multiple windows.
The iPad Pro also has a full on-screen keyboard which uses the additional resolution that’s available. It’s a feature that is great news for those that want to use their iPad Pro for work.
Another feature that is great to use and another one that I use daily, is Picture in Picture, a feature that allows you to watch content (such as Netflix) in a box that is reduced and movable around the screen, all without interrupting your work or ending the video you are watching.
It’s all of the above features that when combined with Apple’s usual high design that makes the iPad Pro 12.9” a great device and one that is capable of replacing most people’s laptops for tasks like web browsing, word processing and so on. One of Apple’s principles has always been to avoid statistics and focus on delivering a brilliant user experience. This is most certainly the case with the iPad Pro. I have personally been using the device since it’s launch in 2015, along with the Apple Pencil and I have to say that for the most part my 12.9” iPad Pro has replaced the tasks I would otherwise be doing on my laptop. It’s portable (just like a laptop) and when I need to take it out of the house to friends for podcasts, for example, i don’t even feel like I’m carrying it inside my bag. It also has enough power for me to be able to edit podcasts on the fly at a friends house after we have recorded them, and with the brilliant built-in microphone, I can also record the podcasts straight onto the iPad Pro itself.
Apple’s iPad Pro is a brilliant machine, it’s design is very Apple-like in that it’s been very we thought out with a premium feel. The size is a benefit, with its very impressive screen and gigantic playground of real estate for the user to exploit. Add the Smart Keyboard and you have a credible laptop alternative, with decent battery life (10 hours) and the great choice of touch enabled apps. The Apple Pencil adds a new dimension of usability and is an enjoyable addition to the user when drawing or writing on the iPad Pro’s screen.
It’s an expensive device for some, add it all up and your easily looking at £800 (iPad Pro 12.9”) But despite that, it’s not bad value at all. For the money, you are getting a very fast, capable laptop that runs IOS, a brilliant display, and ear tingling audio to go along with it. With the iPad Pro it ends the argument that “iPad’s are only for consumption” The only people who are not yet able to use the iPad Pro as a creation tool are those who will need really high-end performance such as professional graphic designers and professional video editors who require 16GB Ram or more (the Mac is your best friend in that case). Most people don’t fall into that category, and for those folks, the iPad Pro is more than enough for both content creation and content consumption. And for those who love to sketch or using a stylus, the iPad Pro is actually a lot better than the average PC or laptop.