iPad Pro 12.9″ Review: The Good, The Bad and Beyond

The good:- Stunning display.- Large screen is very enjoyable. Split screen is awesome. Totally different experience compared to smaller ipad.- Four speakers and surround sound is powerful and enhances user experience.- Apple pencil and the keyboard takes this tablet to the next level (of being a laptop contender)- It’s the fastest tablet on earth. It’s also faster than Macbook and Macbook Air. Multitasking is smooth. No choking.- Easy to set up and the screen size and graphics are great. I had mine up and running and installed my email on it and other apps as well very quickly. If you want to have a large view for reading watching a video, taking pictures, or just surfing the web.

The bad:- Heavy and not easy to hold due to large size. Especially holding it one hand is a challenge unless you are Arnold Schwarzenegger.- Battery life could be better. It’s not as bad as some other tablets but definitely not impressive.

iPad Pro
iPad Pro

Is this a laptop replacement?- It depends. If you are a power user that is doing heavy multi-tasking using several applications, trying to upload photos, editing videos etc. this machine handles all performance-wise however you still will keep finding yourself you wish you were on a laptop. It’s still much more easier and seamless on a laptop. On the other hand, if you just check emails, do social media and web browsing, edit photos etc. on your laptop, then iPad Pro will not disappoint you.

Should you get an iPad Air or iPad Pro?- It depends. If you want to carry your iPad around with you everywhere, I would go with the smaller iPad Air because it’s considerably lighter and more practical. If you will occasionally take it out and mostly use it at home or office iPad Pro is a better choice. Of course there is also money factor. iPad Pro is more expensive so you need to decide if it’s with it for you depending on how you plan to use it.

Do you need the Apple Pen?- Depends. If you are an artist then yes. If you are an average user that is just enthusiastic to draw on your ipad and want to take some notes, you don’t need to spend $100 on the Apple Pen as you will most likely use it a couple of times or not at all. Any cheaper stylus will do.Do you need a case for it?- Definitely. This is a big and heavy tablet. You will definitely need at least a back cover that can provide a drop protection. I don’t like thick and heavy cases but I also didn’t want a very thin case as I wanted protection. I opted for case and I’m quite pleased with it. It’s clear so it doesn’t cover up the beautiful iPad Pro, it adds grip, provides drop protection with air cushion corners and not too bulky.Why did I give 5 stars?- Because I love it overall. The experience is different than iPad Air for me.

Like any iPad from Apple, this is an excellent, precision tablet. Many people think that an iPad is just like any other tablet, but it just costs more. When you hear someone say that, you can be sure that person has never used an iPad. There used to be a slogan and Apple advertising that said “it just works”. Never before has there been such truth in advertising as that slogan. Apple’s products are one place where you get what you pay for. NOw that I have purchased this and the Apple Pencil and had time to play with both, I can say that The Apple pencil stands alone in terms of the precision and responsiveness when using it. There is virtually no delay on the screen. However, considering the price point of the iPad Pro 12, I think everyone would agree that Apple would have been better to price it a little fire and include the pencil then to expect their customers to shell out another hundred dollars for the stylus. Having to pay for the pencil separately and a $100 price point sticks with you and your mind and is the first time I have ever felt as though I was being fleeced by as though I was being fleeced by Apple. Not including the pencil with the iPad Pro to me would be the same thing as failing to include ear buds with the iphone. It is just an accessory that needs to be included, like Microsoft has done with the Surface Pro. Still, though, implementation of the Apple pencil with the Ipad pro is so flawless it tricks your mind into believing you are writing on paper.

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iPad Pro 9.7-inch Review: Is it really Pro material?

To fully understand my review, must explain a few things. I come to owning the iPad Pro 9.7″ via a long lineage of Macs, iPods, iPhones and iPads. I’ve owned five MacBooks since 2006, the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. I’ve also owned the iPad Mini 2, iPad 4, iPad Air 2, and for a brief time, the iPad Pro 12.9″.

iPad Pro

The minority of upgrades along this ownership have been truly revolutionary. Moving to the Retina MacBook Pro from a regular 13″ MacBook pro was a huge one. The iPhone 4 over the iPhone 3G was pretty huge.

After thinking about the iPad Pro 9.7″, it’s hard to say whether it’s a revolutionary upgrade. I’m leaning toward “no,” but I could be swayed over time. The reason I got rid of the 12.9″ model was that it was way too big to fly with (I’m a private pilot who uses it for navigation/charts) and I was unable to procure an Apple Pencil due to low stock. Now that I have a true iPad Pro *and* the Apple Pencil, I’m more qualified to talk about what kind of upgrade this is.

Some things I like:

4 speakers: Apple has finally caught up with other manufacturers who give you stereo sound by default, even on cheap tablets. Heck, my old Nexus 7 2nd generation even had stereo speakers. So, when I upgraded from that to an iPad Mini 2, it was a downgrade speaker-wise. Now I feel like I’m back where I should be. The speakers on the Pro 9.7″ are not *quite* as mind-blowing as the speakers on the 12.9″, but they’re still better than any other iPad that came before. For their size, they’re truly fantastic.

Pencil: Wow, this is progress. It doesn’t sample quite as fast as the Pro 12.9″, but it’s still very much as close to a pen-and-paper writing experience as you can get. The quality of the experience depends highly on the quality of app you’re using, and I can say I really like Adobe Sketch and Procreate. For taking note and annotating PDFs – the primary reason for this purchase over keeping an iPad Air 2 – I really like Notability. The pencil support in Notability is good, about 80% there, but makes annotating PDFs a real joy compared to the hassle of dealing with print. My handwriting is terrible, and Notability does a good job replicating it to a T. I write small, and much to my surprise, the Apple Notes app is much poorer at recording my small bad handwriting than is Notability. Interesting how a native app does worse than a 3rd party app on what is supposed to be a killer feature.

Battery life: Great!

Speed: Lightning fast for everything. I can’t tell how much faster it really is than the iPad Air 2, but benchmarks seem to be putting it ahead favorably. Multitasking is very very fast.


Battery charge time: Still slow! Apple needs to up their charging game if they want to remain competitive. I’m used to my Apple products taking a significant charge in a short period of time, but it’s just not the case with the iPad Pro.

Screen space: I know I intentionally got rid of the iPad Pro 12.9″ in favor of this one, but I feel like I run out of palm space a lot when I’m writing with the Pencil. I’m a southpaw, so sometimes I’ll just write on the right side of the screen and/or keep another app open on the left side where my palm can rest.

Multitasking: Apple really needs to find a way for any two apps to multitask. What about having two instances of Safari open side-by-side? Ability to instantly swap sides? All missing.

TouchID speed: Still a first-gen sensor (think iPhone 5S… old, right?), which is much much slower and less accurate compared to the sensor on my iPhone 6S.

Overall, I like the iPad for what it is. I think that for $820 after tax for the iPad, Pencil, and magnetic screen cover, I have a right to expect a bit more progress on certain items. iPads were already expensive enough at $500, but they need to do a little bit better of a job justifying the “Pro” part of the “iPad Pro.”

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