Apple iPad Pro - Short review with pros and cons
Apple's latest iPad Pro is a behemoth of a machine, both in its size and in its internals. We have now owned and used the top model of iPad Pro for exactly a month, thus having a little insight into how the machine behaves and performs. The tagline for the tablet by Apple says Thin, Light, Epic. We can reassure you that it is indeed a combination of all the three. It is one of those rare tablets that cannot be imaged correctly by any camera around the world, some images are just not able to portray the size correctly while those who try a little harder, fail miserably in maintaining the parallelism of iPad Pro's contours like the image on the right. The tablet faces tough competition from Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 but the Surface line has just not taken off from the runway while Apple has sold large number of iPads around the world. The Surface Pro 4 seems to be competitive though and it remains to be seen which one of the two actually comes out trumps or if both can do so. Its a very different machine from Surface Pro 4, specially because it runs iOS and not Mac OS X, while the Microsoft offering runs the complete suite of Windows 10 along with all desktop class applications. Though Apple fanboys may not like it, but iOS applications are still 'apps' as such and have not touched desktop class as yet. Of course, we can argue about the whole scenario. Some people would definitely say that tablets are meant more for media consumption while others would wish them replace their laptops. Having used iPad Pro for a while, and having taken a look at Surface Pro 4 as well, we can definitely say that tablets are a separate class of products and they ought to be treated that way. You are making a mistake if you want them to replace your laptops, because in essence, they just can't. For our sake, you'll always need a laptop for maximum productivity, but again we haven't used Surface Pro 4 as yet, so we maybe wrong here as well. Today, we are going to do a very general and short review of iPad Pro listing just its pros and cons. We still do not have the Apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard so there would be no mention of any.
Pros of iPad Pro
1. A tremendous and huge display
Have no questions about it, the iPad Pro has a huge and a terrific display. Apple has always maintained extremely high quality with its displays. iPad Pro is no exception either. It has a near perfect display with absolutely dark blacks, deep viewing angles, zero pixellation, great brightness and has ultra sharpness in its resolution. This is the reason that movies and games really come to life on the display. You'll just love watching videos on Youtube, provided your data plan allows for a medium to high resolution.
2. Its thin and lightweight
Though it does not seem obvious, the company has done a tremendous job in keeping the weight to as low as possible keeping in mind the massive structure of its body. But we are not complaining. This is a lightweight tablet for its size. But don't try and use it with a single hand, you are bound to let it fall and break. Great work done by Apple though to keep it as light as they could have. And then it is ultra thin too. It seems you are holding an iPad Air or iPad Air 2 with larger dimensions and not something different.
3. Its an extremely speedy and powerful machine
iPad Pro has to be one of the fastest tablets we have ever used. With 4 GB RAM under its belly, it seems to scorch through each and everything you throw at it. There is not an iota of a doubt in our minds that it is one of the most powerful tablet if not the most powerful tablet ever. You'll just love using the machine for its buttery smooth performance. Though the iOS system has a few bugs, but that doesn't deter the tablet from being an agonisingly strong device.
4. Browsing just can not get better than on the iPad Pro
With the huge display size and ultra smooth performance, the Safari and Chrome browsers out of all others really spring up to life. You basically can feel as if you are touching the content, be it text, images or videos. And then being a tablet, its closer to your skin physically as well adding a dimension of unity with the content. iPad Pro adds that personal touch to whatever you are doing, so much so that you won't be able to go back to smaller sized tablets later.
5. It incorporates a full desktop sized keyboard
The soft keyboard on the tablet has dimensions similar to the keyboard of a 13-inch laptop. So whether you are using the iPad Pro on a stand or typing on it while its lying on your lap, you'll feel at all the more ease and comfort typing. With those large sized keys, errors are fewer and you can type in at a speed closer to what you do on your laptops. Moreover, with helpful shortcuts like cut, copy, paste and full sized shift, tab and caps lock keys, you will feel right at home continuously switching between your laptop and iPad Pro.
These are a few of the pros of the tablet, though there are a few more, we would like to keep this review short and hence are now moving to the cons.
Cons of iPad Pro
1. Many apps only scale to the resolution without making use of the large screen estate
Though it is only a matter of time before developers would move in to create apps tailored for the huge tablet, till then you have to suffice with larger fonts and scaled up app screens. That is to say, the apps remain same as they run on smaller iPads but just increase the size of their windows to fit the screen size of the iPad Pro. Though newer apps are being created all the while which cater to the large size, but still a huge number of apps, even from major developers still scale up which needs to change.
2. iOS still does not use widgets on the iPad Pro
Even though Apple had so much screen size to play with, 12.9 inch diagonal in fact, they still did not add screen widgets to the iOS app screens. And we are left with the same user interface that has been there since the first version of iOS came out. At least they should now allow users to change app icon size to fill larger sized squares and rectangles, if not add widgets per se.
3. Damaging eyesight and having headaches is on the cards
Since iPad Pro is basically a tablet and huge sized at that, we find that we do feel dizziness after using the tablet continuously for a large amount of time before realising we had kept the tablet too close to our eyes. This is basically a paradoxical situation. Since tablets are meant to be more personal than laptops, they are held closer physically and that is where lies the problem of using a large screen sized tablet. But just moving the tablet slightly away would mean better life for your eyesight and fewer headaches.
4. iPad Pro runs iOS and not a desktop class Mac OS X
Though it would make more sense to run Mac OS X on such a powerful and huge machine, we still feel that Apple made the right choice by sticking to iOS. We have used a variety of Windows based tablets in the past and never felt at home specially with buttons too small for our fingers and lesser optimisation. But then running iOS has its caveats. You can't run desktop class applications on iPad Pro. All of its tremendous power is getting wasted for nothing. To be very frank, we still think that this tablet will entice users who buy it for media consumption more than those seeking productivity other than graphic designers, sketch artists or designers in general who make use of the Apple Pencil to get their work done. Else, productivity definitely takes a hit without the use of Mac OS X.
5. The centre of mass does not make typing in portrait mode too comfortable
If you end up using the iPad Pro a lot for typing, then landscape mode is what you will prefer. In portrait mode, if you are holding the tablet with both hands and trying to type with your thumbs, you will feel that the weight of the tablet continuously pushes the upper side of iPad Pro backwards. You'll end up needing more force to keep the tablet stand up thereby losing the fun of typing. But even though there is no split keyboard setting, there is a way to undock the keyboard which moves it a few notches up making it easier to type. At that point, you lose a little screen estate at the bottom, so you win some, you lose some.
Well, this is it for our short review of iPad Pro after having used it for about one month. It is not a perfect tablet, but it does come close to being one and we thoroughly enjoy using it for our day to day activities. In case you want to add something, please feel free to comment below. You can also like our Facebook page from the widget on the top right or by visiting https://www.facebook.com/technodivide
Anant is a technology blogger and a software engineer. He loves playing with gadgets. Right from earphones to smartphones to laptops, anything and everything that's tech keeps him motivated. He is also an ardent fan of Apple products. You can contact him at his email address firstname.lastname@example.org