Tech Test: Stunning & Eye-Opening iPad Pro

The new iPad Pro isn't just bigger—it's much better.

More so in tablets than most other places in life, size matters. When Apple first announced the iPad back in 2010, it had no other competition, since it carved out the market entirely on its own. Fast forward five years and the landscape is cluttered with alternatives, so Apple is going big or going home with the extra screen real estate of the 12.9" iPad Pro. 

First of all, as much as it may look like it, the iPad Pro is not a Macbook replacement. Even with the keyboard/cover attachment that’s brilliantly designed to draw power and communicate natively with the iPad Pro, there’s just no way that iOS can compete with OSX. Once you get the idea that the iPad Pro is not a Macbook into your head, it’s easy to see the benefits of the Pro’s bigger screen. That screen size makes iOS9’s multitasking abilities shine, letting the video play in half the screen while web-browsing or checking email like a champion in the other. This is mobile multitasking at its best, and no other piece of Apple hardware is so well suited to handle it as the iPad Pro. 

The power of the iPad Pro is off the charts.  For some, it’ll be complete overkill. Surfing the web, playing casual games or dashing off emails doesn’t require the kind of horsepower that the iPad Pro is packing. However, for hardcore gaming or creative applications like movie or photo editing, the iPad Pro is ready to handle any task you can throw at it. That extra oomph also means that this iteration of the iPad Pro, the first but certainly not the last of its kind, will remain capable for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for early adopters who can rarely feel so justified in buying a first-gen Apple device.

Finally, the iPad Pro is chock full of hallmark Apple design elements. The bezel is mercifully scaled down even from the iPad Air 2, making the Pro easily handled in two hands but still large enough to be unwieldy for those cavalier enough to hold it in one. Speakers finally adorn both multiple sides of the iPad Pro’s frame, making for a much more powerful, balanced listening experience whether you’re using it for movies or music, holding it in landscape or portrait view. TouchID sensor is there though we’ve never found it to be useful for tablets that don’t leave our living room very often. Familiar industrial strength glass and aluminum round out the design. 

Whether your aim is to use the iPad Pro as a gaming machine, movie hub, laptop replacement or peripheral for high-end professional editing, it’s going to play the role you require it to play. Starting at $799 for the 32GB, Wifi-only model, it’s a small price to pay for a machine so versatile but someone looking for it to be their one-and-only computer will want to think long and hard before taking the plunge. 

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