Apple launched its first iPad Pro last fall, I was
skeptical of the jumbo-sized device.
much more enthusiastic about tabletís smaller sibling,
which Apple launched late last month. Apple has taken
nearly all of the technology and advancements it
included in the first iPad Pro model and shoehorned them
into a tablet thatís much more portable and
affordable. Even better, itís added additional
features that help the new iPad Pro outclasses its
predecessor in significant ways.
bottom line: The new iPad Pro represents a significant
upgrade over previous mid-sized iPad models and is
definitely worth considering whether youíre shopping
for your first tablet or looking to replace an older
Apple released the jumbo iPad Pro last fall, the
12.9-inch device included numerous new features. Those
features have now generally trickled down into the new
the bigger iPad Pro, the new one is powered by Appleís
super-speedy A9X chip, offers a four-speaker stereo
sound system, and includes Appleís new "Smart
Connector" technology, which allows you to attach
and power a physical keyboard without any wires or
messing with Bluetooth settings. In what will likely be
the big draw for many prospective buyers, the new
mid-sized model also supports Apple Pencil, the
high-tech stylus the company introduced with the
jumbo-sized iPad Pro.
are still relatively few apps that work with Pencil. And
I wish Apple offered wider support for the device within
the iPadís operating system and built-in apps.
Pencil is already becoming a worthy, if pricey,
accessory. With certain apps you can use the stylus to
take notes and sketch. You can also use it to annotate
email and documents, handwrite digital cards and
letters, and design intricate page layouts or create
itís great that the new model supports Pencil. Because
of its size, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro makes for a much more
practical digital notepad than its bigger brother.
new model also has better cameras in both front and back
than the first iPad Pro, replicating what is found in
the latest iPhone.
the new cameras, you can shoot ultra-high definition 4K
videos, take higher-resolution selfies, and capture what
Apple calls "Live Photos," which are pictures
that turn into short videos in a Harry Potter-like
fashion when you touch your screen. The new iPad also is
the first model to include a flash on the back and the
ability to use the display as a flash for the front
new cameras could be a big boon to consumers who already
use the tablet to edit photos and movies or create
stop-motion animation. Instead of having to transfer
photos they took on their smartphone to their tablet,
they can now just shoot directly with the iPad Pro and
get the same quality pictures and movies.
has also improved the screen technology in the new iPad
Pro. According to Apple, the screen is brighter, can
display a significantly wider range of colors and is
less reflective. When compared to my iPad Air 2, which
was the last major update to Appleís midrange tablet
line, the screen on the new iPad Pro was significantly
brighter and the colors were less washed out.
new model also includes "True Tone," which
automatically adjusts the display to the ambient light.
As you go from a sunlit field to a room with
incandescent light, the new iPad Pro is supposed to
adjust its colors as if it were white paper.
the new display to that on my iPad Air 2, the iPad Pro
generally offered a warmer, yellower light indoors. It
wasnít exactly the same tone as white paper in the
same light, but it wasnít unpleasing. In fact, it made
the screen on my own iPad look decidedly blue and less
new device isnít perfect. For one thing, itís
pricey. It may not be as expensive as the full-sized
iPad Pro, but the base model of the new version still
costs $600, which is $200 more than the starting price
for the similarly sized iPad Air 2.
has been touting the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement.
But as capable as it is, itís not yet up to that task,
because it lacks some basic PC features. You canít use
a mouse with it, for example. You canít easily
configure it for multiple users. And youíre ability to
view more than one app at a time is pretty limited ó
and you can forget seeing more than two at once.
course, if you accept that the iPad is distinct from a
laptop, that itís role is different from that of a PC,
these shortcomings will be less important. Tablets may
be out of fashion, but Iím still a big fan. And
overall, I really like the new iPad Pro. Itís not
going to replace my laptop, but it might just replace my
notepad and pen.
(Out of 10)
Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch tablet
Thin and lightweight; same camera system as latest
iPhone; able to shoot and edit 4K videos; speedy new
chip; support for Apple Pencil makes it easier to
sketch, take handwritten notes; brighter, more colorful,
Expensive; doesnít support a mouse or other external
tracking devices, limiting its use as a laptop
replacement; keyboard accessory is cramped; very limited
support for displaying more than one app at a time; no
support for multiple user logins.
64-bit A9X processor; 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel
screen; 5-megapixel front and 12-megapixel rear cameras.
$600 for 32-gigabyte model, $750 for 128-gigabyte model
and $900 for 256-gigabyte model