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iPad Pro review roundup

iPad Pro
iPad Pro

Apple's biggest iPad yet, the iPad Pro, is finally on sale and the first wave of reviews is here for the new tablet. There has been a lot of debate as to whether or not this iPad Pro had a place in the lineup, or whether it was simply too large. Some believe it can replace a computer, while others don't see that happening. Now that the first wave of reviews are available, let's take a look at what some of the reviewers had to say about Apple's new large iPad.

The Verge

Lauren Goode, writing for The Verge:

But after a few days of using the iPad Pro, I started to look at iPad differently. The large tablet pretty much demanded it. I've always been a bit of an iPad skeptic, never understanding how people can use them all the time for productivity, even with a Bluetooth accessory keyboard attached. By day three with the iPad Pro, I had started to wonder, Could this replace my MacBook?

Walt Mossberg, writing for The Verge:

On one particular day, I used the Pro to handle all my communications and web browsing, watched a movie that lasted over two hours, participated in a company-wide video call, typed up pages of notes, and played hours of music. And it lasted over 12 hours.

Mashable

Lance Ulanoff, writing for Mashable:

The iPad Pro does everything a smaller iPad can do, but its size, especially when paired with the Smart keyboard and Pencil, offers benefits tiny tablets can only dream of.I honestly like the iPad Pro, but not because I have so much screen real-estate. I like it because I could use it to get real work done.

CNET

Scott Stein, writing for CNET:

It's an amazing tablet for artists, however, and this is what the iPad Pro might really be best at: a larger canvas for graphics work, with an input tool in the Pencil that's as good as it gets.For everyone else, it has its limitations -- like any other iPad.

TechCrunch

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

Never has the cry of 'it's just a bigger Apple thing' been more applicable than it has with iPad Pro – this is literally a bigger iPad. But that approach to thinking about it is also reductive. The Microsoft Surface has blazed a sort of hybrid path – for people that don't want to compromise having a laptop experience. The iPad pro, on the other hand, is unapologetically tablety. The keyboard feels solid but it's no substitute for a MacBook. The muti-app experience, on the other hand, is far and away better than on any competing system — and the way that it enables creatives to alternate between the various 'modes' is unique to this platform.

MacStories

Federico Viticci, writing for MacStories:

The device I've used every day for a year to get my work done for this site now seems tiny and limited, with small apps, less content shown on screen, and a constrained multitasking interface. I know that it's only been a week, and I do believe that the Air 2 is a great device for lots of people, but I feel like all the work I've done on the iPad and iOS has led me to this point. I'm ready to take my iPad setup to the next level, and I think my workflow can benefit from improved hardware and a more capable version of iOS.

The Wall Street Journal

Joanna Stern, writing for The Wall Street Journal:

That's why answering "So… what is it?" is so hard. The Pro may seem wedged between iPads and MacBooks, but it will be your main computer in the future. As our phablets push smaller tablets into retirement, the big tablet and its accessories will do the same for our traditional computers. For now, however, it may be easiest to step back and see the Pro as a… really good, really big iPad.

ArsTechnica

Andrew Cunningham, writing for ArsTechnica:

It's best to think of the iPad Pro as a starting point, especially for iOS 9. These multitasking features are still brand-new, and there's a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick in future iOS 9 revisions and into iOS 10. My biggest gripes with the iPad Pro are with the software rather than the hardware, and that means that most of them can be fixed given enough time and enough feature requests. It took Microsoft three tries to really nail down the Surface Pro concept, and given a couple of iOS updates the iPad Pro has room to grow into a more versatile laptop replacement without necessarily giving up the things that people like about iOS.

Wired

David Pierce, writing for Wired:

The iPad Pro is plenty powerful, and it's plenty big. But to call it "just a bigger iPad" is like calling the Millennium Falcon "just a bigger falcon." In making it bigger, Apple made the iPad Pro different. This is Cupertino's attempt to prove a tablet can replace and outgun your laptop. Perhaps more importantly, it is Apple's best idea about how to give you a tablet that is more than a slightly bigger version of your big smartphone. This tablet does things your phone and your laptop can't do. Are they solutions in search of a problem? Perhaps. But the iPad Pro is the best tablet, and the best case for tablets, anyone's ever made.

Telegraph

Rhiannon Williams, writing for Telegraph:

The majority of tablet/laptop hybrids leave much to be desired in terms of display sensitivity, image clarity and clunky keyboards you have to remind yourself to charge - the iPad Pro nails all of these. In its current form, it's not an enterprise device in the way the Microsoft Surface is, but, and this is important, neither is it trying to be. The original iPad changed the way we browsed the internet because we didn't have to consciously boot it up every time we wanted to look something up in the same way we did on a laptop. The iPad Pro takes this one step beyond, from accessible, tactile and intuitive browsing into practical, creative productivity.

Bloomberg

Sam Grobart, writing for Bloomberg:

But a bigger screen, attachable keyboard, and stylus do not add things I want or need to a tablet, nor do they evolve the iPad into credible competition for my still-perfect MacBook Air. The Smart Keyboard is clever, but a little clumsy. You can't really use it on your lap, much less perched on your legs while sitting in bed. The stylus is maybe the best stylus ever, but I can't draw and don't see that changing anytime soon.

Daring Fireball

John Gruber, writing for Daring Fireball:

The iPad Pro is "pro" in the way MacBook Pros are. Genuine professionals with a professional need — visual artists in particular — are going to line up for them. But it's also a perfectly reasonable choice for casual iPad users who just want a bigger display, louder (and now stereo) speakers, and faster performance.Anyone tying themselves in knots looking for a specific target audience for the iPad Pro is going about it the wrong way. There is no single target audience. Is the iPad Pro meant for office workers in the enterprise? Professional artists creating content? Casual users playing games, watching movies, and reading? The answer is simply "Yes".

Check out the reviews and then come back here and let us know, did any of them change your mind about picking up a new iPad Pro?

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.

14 Comments
  • Just a bigger tablet. Still runs a mobile OS. They need something like this with OSX or a hybrid OS. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I love these "after a few days of using the iPad Pro I started looking at the iPad differently" reviews. LOL, it's like the old 'this is the release Apple really wanted to put out last year" reviews we see so often. The OS needs to be different on the iPad, not just split screen, but there needs to be a change so that you don't have to run back to a laptop or desktop to perform specific tasks. This is a very small incremental step IMO and it's only the hardware that has really changed.
  • This^ Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • For the most part I think the iPad is fine with iOS as long as it has some added functions. With that said, if Apple is going to brag about desk top SOC on the pro, then yeah it had better have some OS X abilities. Sent from the iMore App
  • ⬆️ This! Sent from the iMore App
  • Most of my work at the moment is emails, small graphic design, presentations, and the occasional video creation. For me, this seems like the perfect fit. I have a Macbook Pro (Mid 2014 model) That I would rather leave at home most days. With the iPad Pro I'm pretty confident I'll be able to do that. I can see apps that I use on my Mac eventually coming to the Pro as well. Hype comes to mind. I'm sure the OS will be updated to allow for more use of the screen or different features but for now iI'm happy with the 1.0 product. On the flip side, I'm also a gamer and I'm currently building a gaming pc. My hope is that games will take off with something like this so I could play gaming like Starcraft or Steam games down the line. I'm not holding my breath for games like that, but it's nice to think about. It might be the deciding factor for when I'm away from home. I don't want to take both with me but if I have time to game I'll want my Pro. I can only play so much Hearthstone before I get tired of it.
  • so iMore quotes Mossberg with what he did with the ipad pro, but not his ultimate conclusion: "The iPad Pro will no doubt make a lot of Apple users happy, especially if they use it for graphics. But I won’t be buying one, and I don’t recommend that average users do so either."
  • I also noticed that. I have to say this time around as far as innovation, Microsoft with the more expensive Surface Book seems to nail it this year. Between the locking system used on the screen, the increased processing power when docked, the unreal resolution.
  • Oddly, his own video doesn't include that quote at all. Sent from the iMore App
  • Innovation has been replaced by go big. Sent from the iMore App
  • I didn't see much about what it feels like to draw on it. They're writers, not artists. I guess I need to hear from storyboarders and concept artists to see if it could actually fit into a pipeline. I could go for the surface pro, but Windows. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hi, Quite frankly, I don't get the "oh, it runs iOS" argument presented in diminutive light. While I appreciate the criticism expressed from a productivity perspective (say, the "Pro" user category) that identifies the device's limitations, the rest is pretty much meaningless. Who cares what it runs when you get the job done, at least as efficiently as on a Mac? To provide an example, I can refer to my experience with iMovie. For whatever reason (mostly usability), I could not get into certain habits when working on a Mac (some minor stuff at that time). Then, I decided to run a quick project on an iPhone. The result: I had a great looking video with different sequences and background music done in less than half-an-hour. I am sure your experiences may vary. My point is: does it really matter what OS it runs (iOS/OS X) as long as we have the apps that have been specifically tailored to the potential of the device and its undisputed mobility? I am quite certain that wit the Pro at hand you have most of the angles covered rather solidly. The obvious exceptions would be iOS app development of any form, at least that I can think of (I am speaking in general terms, as I am sure that there are plentiful very specific use-cases that you could refute my point with); and yes, you can do some serious web apps development (love you Coda!). Cheers!
  • I remember when the company I worked for bought two original iPads. A colleague and I sat and played around with them for an hour or more in the office one day and I thought "this is cool, but is it really necessary or useful?" Then when the iPad 2 came out I bought my own. After a couple of weeks I realized that just a casual demo or quick play around in the office didn't do it justice. It wasn't until I was using it day to day, with all of my stuff loaded up on it, that I found the real magic of iPad.
    I tell this story because the iPad Pro will likely be the same. At first it just looks like a bigger iPad and you kind of find yourself thinking "ok, but aside from the pencil it basically does the same stuff that the Air 2 does, just on a bigger screen for a lot of money". But as many of the reviewers above mentioned, that's not quite true. There's so much more to it than that, hidden behind its charming simplicity. The only catch is none of us will likely "get that" until we have our own and spend a few weeks with it.
  • Well put. Surprisingly, that kind of argument will not be accepted by some "truly computer savvy" users. I have seen that first-hand in tech support world and allow me to use it as an example. My experience dictates that this is the group of professionals that shares the mindset that is rather susceptible in accepting novelties (disclaimer: used to work as tech support as well, so I am qualified to say that and I am sure there are noble exceptions). Unless it has five spare USB 3.0 ports on top of standard four, two SD card readers and six memory expansion ports and runs Windows, it's garbage. A true "man's computer" has got to have all of those things because of infinitive storage & connectivity that one needs on daily basis. Naturally, I am over-stating, but I think I have characterized the problem rather well. This problem by all means extends to other users, as well. Using the Pareto rule as a form of guidance, the Pro will become a replacement for most (80 per cent, or up) of the users who have opted to purchase it, that's almost a given. Naturally, there will be specific activities that will not find its way to the iOS (like iOS app development, for example, or advanced image/video editing; I am sure there are others very specific use-cases that you could list here). For the remainder, it will do rather brilliantly. Myself, I am quite confident that the device will be my daily driver and I will finally be able to decommission my aging MBA laptop. Cheers!