I had trouble writing about this new iPad. It's not that it's not a good iPad. Technologically speaking, it is the best iPad you can buy. It's an iPad Pro, one with a brilliant display and a super-fast chip, and cameras that have been improved over the last iPad. The new iPad even has a lidar scanner and remote sensing technology typically used in airplanes, mapping vehicles, and self-driving cars. Lidar is now in a tablet for AR apps that Apple is seriously trying to push.
The challenge with this iPad is to put it in context. Especially now. Because of now. It's hard to say whether anyone should spend $ 800 ̵
Perhaps this is a consolation: Apple began developing this product many, many months ago, and it has arrived despite recent disruptions in global supply chains. If Apple can somehow maintain its shipping success story, it means there will be new iPads going forward. Who knows what this future looks like … but there will likely be an iPad. You could even say that now is a good time to order an iPad while many people are isolated.
But even the review of the iPad has changed. I tested the very first iPad Pro in 2015, and what I notice now when looking back at this test is how I was outside of . I sat on a crowded San Francisco pier and drew with the Apple Pencil, an absolute novelty at the time. I edited photos from a trip to Asia. Back then, it was still cumbersome to use your tablet as a camera. Now it is socially acceptable, but we are socially distant from each other.
Things have changed quickly in the past few months and even faster in the past few weeks, and it is impossible to ignore this. This product does not exist in a vacuum. As much as my previous reviews were timestamps from a different time, this review is a timestamp of the iPad in the Covid-19 era. I hope that one day things will change again in the near future and for the better. In the meantime, I'm sure some of you want to know if you should buy the new iPad Pro, and I want to help you with that. Let's do this.
The new iPad Pro is available in two sizes: one with an 11-inch diagonal display and another with a 12.9-inch diagonal display.
Before this reporting period, I used an 11-inch iPad Pro from 2018 and I love it. The 12.9-inch test device I have now feels massive in comparison, but is also remarkably light due to its size. In essence, it looks and feels exactly the same: the new tablet has an aluminum housing and its bright “Liquid Retina” display has the same resolution, pixel density, refresh rate and sound shift function as the previous model of the iPad Pro. The buttons are all in the same place and have the same FaceID camera as before. I still cover this camera somehow when I hold the iPad in my hand.
Like the last iPad Pro, it costs $ 799 for an 11-inch model with 128 gigabytes of storage space. The rental unit that Apple delivered to me (reader, it's the first time I've wiped an iPad box with disinfectant wipes) is the mother of iPads, a 12.9-inch model with 1 terabyte of internal storage and cellular functionality . This configuration costs a whopping $ 1,650. If you add the Apple Pencil ($ 129) and the Smart Keyboard ($ 199), you will approach $ 2,000. Apple has also launched a new accessory keyboard for the iPad, one with adjustable viewing angles, a USB-C port and a trackpad. But that won't be delivered for at least a couple of months, for reasons Apple didn't explain, so I couldn't check it out.
However, you can now use an external trackpad or mouse with the iPad. which changes the experience in a really positive way. But first, it is worth mentioning the internals and cameras of the new iPad Pro, because this tablet is the most improved there.
Apple advertises its new A12Z Bionic chip (instead of "X", which was added to the name of the previous iPad Pro). It is based on a chip architecture similar to that of the A12, the custom chipset launched by Apple in 2018. It has an eight-core CPU and an eight-core GPU as well as further information from Apple power controllers and an improved thermal architecture. All of this means that you should be able to run graphics-intensive apps better and longer without the iPad getting too hot.
It's quick. IPad Pro downloaded apps and installed games quickly, it simply switched between tasks, and it didn't stutter while playing or making video calls. And of course, a more efficient processor is good for batteries. Apple claims that the battery life on iPads is almost 10 hours. I switched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro on and off all weekend and it survived the two days and three nights with a single charge. I read a book on Friday night, transferred Hulu from iPad Pro to my Apple TV on Saturday night, used it for zoom video conferencing, and streamed some videos from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. On Monday, it finally reached the 20 percent low battery level.
The rear view cameras of the iPad Pro have also been improved. The last iPad Pro had a single rear view camera; This new one has two camera sensors, one wide and one ultra wide. Photos of flowers that I took on the 2020 iPad Pro looked a little more alive than the photos I took on the older iPad. The ultra-wide option is a nice touch. Unfortunately, you still can't take portrait-style photos on the back with iPad, just portrait selfies.
The new studio-quality microphones record much better audio and capture a much fuller version of my voice as I speak to them. The camera on the iPad and the low ambient noise sound like the crunch of my puff jacket.
The iPad Pro 2020 includes a lidar scanner that uses light pulses to help the hardware better interpret depth and understand location and position. It is said to be particularly useful in augmented reality apps. However, after using apps with AR features like Wayfair (to see a virtual couch that I almost certainly won't buy) and JigSpace (a learning app that showed me how the inside of a lock works, among other things), I am not convinced that these are the ultimate use cases for lidar on a consumer device. I found no difference between running these apps on the iPad Pro 2018 and the new 2020 model. My WIRED colleague Brian Barrett may be of the opinion that Lidar in the iPad is ultimately a dry run for a kind of AR heads-up display.
One of the more appealing new features of the new iPad Pro has to do with software, not its hardware. The new iPadOS operating system – a variant under iOS that can be run on iPads from iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 4 – supports a trackpad and a mouse. I used the new iPad with an Apple Magic Trackpad for $ 129. The cursor appears as a bubble on the home screen, over media, and as a vertical line as you scroll through text. The same gestures that are performed on the iPad screen also apply to the trackpad. If you swipe up with three fingers, all open apps will be displayed. If you swipe to the side with two fingers, you can swipe across the app. Casual games and apps with endless thumbnails like Netflix were also much more enjoyable with a trackpad.
This support for the trackpad and mouse brings the iPad Pro even closer to the field of computers. But that's a debate for later. As often as I have used the iPad in the past five days, there have been many things that I could not test – like how the microphones cut in crowded, noisy environments or how well the ultra-wide rear view camera took large photos of groups of friends. I haven't sat in a cafe and worked on it. I couldn't travel the iPad on a train or plane to do a good lap test or see how it went while pressed against a backrest. I quickly became disinterested in AR apps within the confines of my small house.
These are interesting times.
If you or someone you know could really use an iPad at the moment while we are unable to make contacts and still try to maintain communication with each other, I would not give you any To blame. I am glad that I have an iPad at home. It is one of the few elements of a weak gap between work and home. the transition from one type of screen to another at the end of the day. However, you should know that you can also find a much cheaper one that still performs well. I would recommend the 10.2-inch iPad, which supports pencil and smart keyboard, runs on an A10 fusion chip, comes with 128 gigabytes of memory, and costs just $ 429. Your kids can still play games, although this is a relatively modest amount of space. You can also read books, stream movies, and video chat with the family on this iPad.
What Apple is offering with this new iPad Pro is the unspoken promise that technology will continue to advance and improve. This is one way of interpreting it. The other view is that Apple sells a very impressive, very expensive iPad at a time when humanity has had a kind of restart and what we prioritize in our lives needs to be brought into focus. In this case, you can be sure: it's just an iPad.