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The iPad Pro review: dreams of a complete replacement of laptops and device for content creators

Pros: the New iPad Pro has grown in size and became the most productive tablet in Apple’s history. Sensitive to the degree of pressing the Pencil stylus allows you to write and draw, and a big screen and four speakers ideal for bringing a couple of apps, multitasking and watching movies.

Cons: at the time of the release of the tablet not enough apps have been optimized for realizing its full potential. Its large size reduces this parameter as portability. Buying a separate keyboard and stylus, you will eventually pay as an expensive laptop, but I don’t get as vast possibilities.

Conclusion: the device may appeal to graphic designers and users of multimedia applications, but he needs an optimized program and new accessories, so it can replace laptops.

Rating: 8.3.

The functionality of 8.0

Performance 9.0

Design 8.0.

Since its inception, the iPad claimed to be the future of computer industry. Five and a half years later, comes the fast and big Apple with the claim for complete replacement of a computers.

All these years the movement towards this goal was carried out in stages. The first iPad was e-books, devices, games, laptops modular. They could carry on the work, put in a small bag, they helped to maintain contact with family and friends traveling, without using more bulky and heavy laptop.

Many would want such a tablet could completely replace a Mac. However, he did not know how to do all that is necessary, especially at work. Some apps and web tools were not good enough and functional, allowing you to conveniently edit content.

Since then appeared connecting links between tablets and laptops. However, compared with devices like Microsoft Surface Pro, Apple has continued to clearly separate the iPad and the MacBook. Now the company has released its hybrid device.

iPad Pro is the biggest and boldest attempt to rethink the concept of the iPad. It has a screen with a diagonal of about 13 inches. There are new accessories in the form of a keyboard and stylus. The iOS operating system has to support split screen for simultaneous display of two apps. It is on the iPad Pro this review was written.

Someone’s decision to make the tablet such a large screen seems absurd. However, over time it begins to seem quite natural. Display quality is at the highest level, and the extra space is useful from a practical point of view. Despite this, the device still does not seem fully replace computers for everyday work, although the price is not inferior to them: $799 per module 32GB flash memory, $949 for 128 GB and $1079 for the 128GB with LTE. Accessories increase the price even more.

The tablet can be very convenient for artists, designers and representatives of similar professions, helped by the large screen and the input tool is a stylus Pencil. For all others the tablet will offer limited use cases, like any other model iPad. Replacement of computers and laptops Mac he can become, if only Apple would allow this, improved iOS apps.

From a hardware standpoint, the tablet is very productive. Applications and their supported input methods needs to be improved for these hardware capabilities. It is hoped that this will happen, since the prefix Pro should mean greater flexibility and customization of software. Growing iPad need not only new hardware, but the application they become.

Draw like an artist

Tablet could definitely appeal to those who draw or work with images. The stylus is sold separately for $99; it is designed specifically for the iPad Pro and superior to all other models of stylus (although this is a subjective opinion), including the Surface Pen from the Microsoft. It’s quick, accurate, sensitive to degrees of depression, easy to work with applications that support.

To estimate its even not an artist, because it can be used for writing notes, a pen. Typing is much more accurate than most styluses third-party manufacturers. It resembles in this respect the Samsung S-Pen for smartphones and tablets and Microsoft Surface Pen.

If the stylus is tilted, it can be used for hatching, like a real pencil. Changing the angle allows you to do extra things, depending on the capabilities of the application. The sensitivity of the pressing force is very motivated, just need to get used to using it. As a result, the stylus feels like an artistic tool, not a technological device.

Among support stylus applications, you can call Apple Notes, Procreate, Paper, Adobe Pro for iPad and Evernote. Stylus connects via standard Bluetooth connection and requires recharging. At the end there is a Lightning connector, through which it can be connected to the tablet (from 38% to 100%, it recharges in 20 minutes). You can also use the Lightning adapter and charge it separately from the electrical outlet. Battery lasts for 12 hours.

Of course, I wish the stylus included in the package the already expensive tablet. Also a minus is the lack of attachment, mechanical or magnetic to attach the pen to the tablet. Stylus is good, but it works only with the iPad Pro, not supporting other versions of iPad.

Keyboard

Capabilities of the tablet was extended by adding a connector called Smart Connector. This is a small range of magnetic contacts used to connect accessories such as connector for connecting the keyboard to the tablet Surface. Accessories are powered from the tablet. This review was written using the keyboard Smart Keyboard from Apple and Create Logi Backlit Keyboard Case.

The first is thin and lightweight, however does not offer protection, being developed in the form of origami and becoming a stand for the tablet. The buttons are covered with smooth nylon, protected from dust and is very responsive, although the distance between them seems too big.

Keyboard from Logitech is heavier, and together with the tablet Assembly is reminiscent 13-inch laptop Retina MacBook Pro. It provides protection and has a backlight as laptops. Both keyboards cost more than $150; if you want you can buy a simple Bluetooth keyboard for $40, but it will not protect the screen. In both models there is no trackpad.

Theoretically, the Smart Connector plug feeds through it peripherals like the trackpad. However, the trackpad doesn’t support iOS 9, except for limited control over the cursor using the onscreen keyboard. Trackpad need to work and edit in the web, such as Google Drive.

For typing tablet and keyboard for it quite suitable. Keyboard Logi stays better on his knees, and from Apple it is better to use on a flat table. But both of them don’t allow you to adjust the angle with the display, as is done in the laptop. High screen makes it difficult to use in places where little space, like a train.

Large size

Sometimes you can almost forget that you are working with the tablet, because of its large size. The length and width it takes place between the 13-inch MacBook Air and 12-inch MacBook. It can be held with one hand, but it will be hard. Weighs 713 grams, which is slightly heavier than first generation iPad.

The size of the screen allows you to use it even as a TV when you view services like Amazon Video. The resolution is 2732 x 2048 pixels, 264 pixels per inch and aspect ratio of 4:3 increases the sense of size.

Connecting via Bluetooth game controller, same as for Apple TV, you turn the tablet into a game console. This can be done with other iPad models, but then the screen is quite convenient even for not optimized for it games and apps. In each corner is dynamic, depending on the orientation of the tablet, the sound is automatically adjusted, the maximum volume is quite high. With such a screen is convenient to read websites like a real newspaper.

Speed

The processor Apple A9X is the most productive among all chips, which is confirmed by the benchmark results. But is that enough to circumvent the actual laptops? In the benchmark browsers Jetstream MacBook Pro and the Surface Pro 4 was ahead, but do not forget that both of these devices run on Intel Core i5.

However, on devices like iPad Pro, the concept of relative speed. iPad Air 2 remains fast on iOS 9, even supports split screen in two. Speed depends on specialized applications and tools that leverage the hardware capabilities of the device. While optimized for iPad Pro applications are not enough to judge the full potential of speed.

The processor iPad Pro is controlled with the high resolution screen and never retarding, neither in games nor in apps. Switching between apps has never been quick. Display simultaneously, only two applications (three, if you count the video picture-in-picture). Meanwhile, in this screen it could allow four apps. The lack of the trackpad and the inability to manipulate Windows limits the usability of the tablet in comparison with computers.

Apple says battery life is 10 hours as other iPad models. By the end of the day the tablet must be placed on the recharging, and it lasts longer compared with previous models because of the larger battery capacity.

Software

The tablet is in desperate need of cool apps. At the time of writing this review, before the start of sales of tablet-optimized app was scarce, but available were quite good quality. Tools from Adobe well realize the extra screen space and the possibility of the stylus; the art apps like Procreate increased the size of the canvas. In iMovie was easier to navigate and to edit the video. Apps like Evernote felt almost like a program for your desktop, giving ample opportunity to manage them.

The user’s ability is limited the content of the App store and capabilities for screen sharing. The task of editing video is not easy to implement due to the lack of functionality, although the touch screen and the ability to zoom in and out helps. There is no ability to preview, edit, stereo, few filters, etc. iMovie is only available on the iPad Pro app for video editing.

Another interesting example is Microsoft Office. To work with optimized for the iPad Pro version would require a paid subscription for Office 365, unlike other iPad, where you have a free mobile version.

Split the screen in half in iOS 9 is called a Split View. It is supported and tablets iPad Mini 4 and iPad Air 2, but Pro in landscape mode this feature is especially useful. Two apps can be displayed side-by-side, everyone gets enough space. However, many applications in this mode are not able to work, so benefit from it until the maximum. These applications, like Google Drive and Docs, appear on the screen in very large text and icons take up too much space.

What the iPad Pro could be

Tablet expect a lot, and when the price level MacBook Air is not surprising. However, he still has a lot of potential there. On the home screen full of empty space at the bottom can attach a maximum of six application icons, no notifications and widgets on the side of the screen, only the menu at the bottom. There is no USB connector, but Lightning connector supports speeds of USB 3.1 using future adapters, plus I would like to get the trackpad.

Conclusion

Now the tablet is attractive to graphic designers through the screen and the stylus. It is also attractive for lovers of video and audio. For other iPad Pro requires improvements, improved software and accessories and are not yet able to completely replace a laptop.

Johnny Matson is a computer expert from Washington. Johnny is an software engineer. At the moment he works as a system administrator. Articles on topics range from home networks to wireless networks to Internet security, software and others.

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