iPad Pro reviews: Is it worth buying?

Is the iPad Pro worth buying? Find out by reading reviews from MacStories, Daring Fireball, Recode, The Verge, Ars Technica, Wired, TechCrunch, Fast Company and Forbes.

Apple's new iPad Pro tablet is finally on sale, and a ton of reviews have just hit the web. Is the iPad Pro worth buying? Find out what the critics think of Apple's big tablet in the reviews I've included below from top sites.

The MacStories review of the iPad Pro

Federico Viticci at MacStories has an extremely long and detailed review of the iPad Pro, with many screenshots. Federico liked the iPad Pro so much he's decided to switch to it.

If you don't read any other review of the iPad Pro, be sure to read Federico's:

I'm going to switch to the iPad Pro.

The week I've spent using the iPad Pro more than 15 hours a day has been enough to show me how I can work better on this device than any other iPad model. Those who have been reading MacStories for the past few years know that I take my iPads very seriously, and that I've gone through an interesting evolution in terms of preferences, projects, and responsibilities. The iPad Pro sacrifices some of the portability of the Air 2 without being a deal-breaker for me, and in return it offers a canvas of opportunities for my favorite apps.

If you use your iPad primarily for watching movies, playing games, and casual web browsing, then size, better speakers, and price – not efficiency and speed – become the key differentiators between the Air 2 and the iPad Pro. Consider the trade-offs you're willing to accept in this case; all I can say is that watching videos feels great on a 12.9-inch tablet on your lap, and that games look and sound amazing on the bigger display.

The iPad Pro is positioned as a more productive take on the iPad for those who need to get work done on it. My recommendation couldn't be more straightforward: if iOS is your main computing platform, or if you plan to turn an iPad into your primary computer, you'll want an iPad Pro. Its powerful hardware, multitasking interface, and extensible nature are superior to every other iPad. I don't see myself using a Mac as my primary computer ever again.

By letting me see more and do more while still being portable, the iPad Pro offers a new way to work from iOS. With the heart of a computer, and the body of a tablet. More powerful, and still liberating. And obviously, this review has been entirely produced on it.

The iPad Pro is the iPad I didn't know I was waiting for.

More at MacStories

The Daring Fireball review of the iPad Pro

John Gruber at Daring Fireball notes that the future of portable computing might not involve x86 processors after using the iPad Pro:

From a hardware perspective, the iPad Pro strikes me as a seminal device. It runs faster than the Intel x86-based MacBooks, gets better battery life, and costs significantly less. And it has a better display with significantly more pixels than even a 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Software-wise, support for the Smart Keyboard needs to get even smarter — but I’d be shocked if it doesn’t. For me, the iPad Pro marks the turning point where iPads are no longer merely lightweight (both physically and conceptually) alternatives to MacBooks for use in simple scenarios, to where MacBooks will now start being seen as heavyweight alternatives to iPads for complex scenarios.

Is it a MacBook replacement for me, personally? No. For you? Maybe. For many people? Yes.

It brings me no joy to observe this, but the future of mass market portable computing involves neither a mouse pointer nor an x86 processor.

More at Daring Fireball

Recode's review of the iPad Pro

Walt Mossberg at Recode doesn't think that the iPad Pro can replace his laptop:

Apple CEO Tim Cook suggests that this is the iPad that can finally replace the laptop in your life. Another very senior Apple exec I spoke with last week said that he, personally, has stopped using his MacBook in favor of the iPad Pro, though for the occasional heavy task, he still turns to his desktop iMac.

But, for me — a person already using his laptop a lot less in favor of the iPad — the Pro is just not likely to eliminate my laptop use entirely. And I say that knowing that, for instance, there will be better keyboard covers and cases. There already is one: I prefer the the Logitech Create I used to write part of this column. But it still doesn’t work nearly as well in my lap as a MacBook Air, partly because, like Apple’s keyboard, it only has one angle.

...because Apple hasn’t made a great keyboard, the iPad Pro isn’t a complete replacement for a great laptop like the MacBook Air — even for a tablet guy like me.

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.

More at Recode

The Verge review of the iPad Pro

Lauren Googe at The Verge wondered if the iPad Pro could replace her MacBook:

...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?

The display on the iPad Pro is stunning. With a resolution of 2732 x 2048 at 264 pixels per inch, it’s actually the highest-resolution display on any iOS device, but all that means nothing until you see it. Photos, videos, even text look big and crisp and real.

The tablet’s processing power is even more notable than the display. Apple has rigged the iPad Pro with its latest chip, the A9X, which it claims has twice the CPU and twice the graphics performance of the previous processor. (Apple points out it also "rivals most portable PCs" in terms of power.)

But I would still consider this a worthy runner-up to a laptop, or the one (non-smartphone) device I would take with me next time I travel — something I’ve never felt confident about before when it came to the iPad. This new iPad is powerful, it’s fast, it has a large display, and it never lagged when I was multitasking or switching between apps. It’s not better than my laptop, but makes far fewer sacrifices than I expected.

More at The Verge

Wired's review of the iPad Pro

David Pierce at Wired didn't find the iPad Pro to be a serious machine for serious work:

...Apple is betting you don’t need all the things your laptop does, that you’re only holding onto them because they somehow feel comfortable. You don’t need hard drives when you have iCloud (or something better than iCloud), you don’t need crazy trackpad gestures and complicated keyboard macros when you have a touchscreen. You don’t need to have seven apps open at once, when you can only pay attention to one or two anyway.

Apple’s hoping that people who have never bought a laptop never will. It’ll just be the iPad. For the billions of people around the world for whom A Computer looks more like a smartphone than a laptop, who don’t have the muscle memory and anachronistic love of hardware keyboards, that’s not such a crazy idea.

For those of us who still cling to laptops and desktops, the iPad Pro just doesn’t feel like a serious machine for serious work. We need our keyboard shortcuts and our mice, our apps that work just how we like them. We need our accessories. A touch-first interface just doesn’t feel right, and the iPad Pro can’t overthrow our existing workflows and tools. Maybe we’ll catch up to Tim Cook’s vision of work someday. Maybe. But for right now, we have work to do, and no time to reinvent how we do it.

Nobody’s going to toss their iMacs and ThinkPads into the garbage tomorrow and instead lay a 12.9-inch tablet on everyone’s desk. If there’s a touchscreen revolution underway, it’s going to happen slowly, an app and an accessory at a time. That’s OK. The iPad Pro is a fantastic tablet, not to mention the first iPad in ages that has an obvious value next to our giant smartphones. It starts as a big, powerful, beautiful screen, and with the right accessories and apps can be almost any kind of device you want. So, yeah: size matters.

More at Wired

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