The difference between the 2018 iPad Pro and last year’s update was so minimal that many forgot about its existence. But this year Apple surprised us with an update so important we thought we hadn’t heard it right.
The same super-fast processor from the Mac range? A miniLED display that even Macs don’t have? Is it finally the replacement for the laptop that Apple has been trying to convince us for years that it can be the iPad? We will see him.
Quality design and construction
There is good news on the inside, but very little change on the outside. The dimensions are the same (although the new screen makes the frame thicker by half a millimeter). We still don’t have an iPad with bezels as thin as the iPhone. Even the camera module behind is the same.
That’s not to say the iPad Pro has a bad design. Quite the contrary: it has an incredibly solid construction, with a choice of materials that gives confidence, making it look like a quality product just by touching it. But we wanted it to have a new look on the outside as well.
Models and accessories
As was the case before, you can buy the iPad Pro with an 11 “or 12.9” screen. Besides the size and battery capacity, the big difference between these two options is that the larger model has a brighter miniLED display and therefore even better contrast.
They both have identical storage options, now hitting 2TB (insane). They also have more RAM: 8 GB standard and 16 GB for models with terabytes. Both are available with Wi-Fi only, or Wi-Fi and 5G.
Color options are silver or space gray. If you want a more colorful iPad, you’ll have to bet on the iPad Air.
A surprise was that the old USB-C port was upgraded to Thunderbolt 3 with USB 4 support. This means you can plug in some really fast external SSDs which is probably necessary if you want to stream movies. and fill those terabytes of storage.
There is also support for a 10GB Ethernet connection. And DisplayPort support allows you to connect to a Pro Display XDR monitor with 6K resolution!
The new Magic Keyboard (339 $) looks more and more like a real laptop keyboard. The keys are responsive and at least as comfortable to use as the standard Wireless Magic Keyboard for Mac. They’re even backlit if you’re working in the dark.
the trackpad it also feels great and supports Multi-Touch gestures. The floating design it gives to the iPad is very nice and it makes sense to be able to charge the charging cable on the keyboard while it is connected.
Display and audio
The iPad Pro has a great display for a long time: it pioneered features like a 120Hz refresh rate (which the iPhone always expects), automatic adjustment for changes in ambient light and the in charge of a color space. Expanded P3. And now the iPad Pro is further removed from the MacBook being the first to have a miniLED display, which in Apple’s parlance is called Liquid Retina XDR.
It goes without saying that the miniLED is not a new display technology: it means that the display’s backlight is now made up of thousands of tiny LEDs. This allows the screen to be divided into 2,500 areas and so when any part of the screen needs to be black, those lights go out completely.
Apple claims that it offers a contrast of 1 million in 1, while the typical brightness has gone from 600 cd / m2 to 1000; it can increase up to 1600 cd / m2 if necessary. Now we are talking about HDR.
From what we can assure, nothing new is happening in terms of sound. But it’s that the iPad Pro already had the best speakers we’ve tested in a tablet. Obviously, Apple believes in the audio setup of the iPad Pro as it now uses the same technology in the new 24-inch iMac. The new iMacs also use similar microphones.
Cameras and Features
The only noticeable change to the camera setup is that the FaceTime camera incorporates a very smart new feature for video calls: the center stage. This zooms in on the person making the call and manages to drop them in the center if they move.
This feature works so well that we would like it to be available on the iPhone and in particular on the new iMac 24 ”.
At the rear, the Pro maintains the 12 MP wide angle and 10 MP ultra wide angle. We are not concerned that they did not update the cameras as we believe that in a Tablet
Of course, there is still the LiDAR scanner, which enables precise augmented reality experiences.
We have expressly reserved the most important disclosure for last. Basically the iPad now has the same revolutionary Apple M1 chip we’ve seen in the MacBook, Mac mini, and the 24 ”iMac before. This means that it is the most significant performance improvement that we have seen between two generations in recent years.
Overall performance has improved by 46%, based on Antutu 8 speed tests. Note that the previous generation, which now seems so slow in comparison, has already outperformed the competition.
Graphics performance improved by 41%, based on Mark Wild Life Extreme 3D test results. We had to abandon the 3DMark Slingshot test because it had already hit the performance limit! Write performance for storage improved 243% according to PassMark.
It remains to be seen what that means in the long run. Can we use Software for macOS on the iPad, how is it supposed to be done with iOS apps? Apple said no, but in the long run the company may have a plan to standardize the platform across all of its computers and tablets.
Can the new iPad Pro replace a laptop?
To get right to the point, no, you can’t. For three reasons.
IPad is first and foremost a device for consuming content, not creating it. Of course, sometimes we travel by train or plane with an iPad and end up responding to an email or completing an article using the keyboard. Or we are in a cafe and we are editing a video or a photo at a press conference. It can be done.
But when we sit down at a desk to really work, we use a Mac because it makes us much more productive.
To say that this is a device just as small and more flexible than a laptop is not valid in this case. The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro weighs 41g more. With the keyboard, it weighs 1383g, which is 92g more than the M1 chip MacBook Air, which has a bigger screen and better keyboard.
It’s not even cheaper. A 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 512GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and without 5G costs $ 1,529 / $ 37,099. And if we add the Magic Keyboard, it’s $ 399 more. A total of $ 1,928!
A MacBook Air with 512GB of storage and 8GB of memory costs $ 1,399 / $ 32,699. Or if you want to match the other price, you can have a 13 ”MacBook Pro with M1 with the same memory and storage for $ 1,679 / $ 39,999.
Apple incorporates the best Equipment, the fastest and most delicious in its new Tablet professional.
We’ve never seen such a level of performance or picture quality on an iPad, but it’s very expensive, and we wonder why expect the same advancements across the MacBook lineup.
Original article published in igamesnews Sweden. We will bring you our full review soon!
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