I am a big fan of Apple’s tablet range, and having owned the previous generation 12.9″ iPad Pro and the 9.7″ iPad Pro, they were pretty decent beasts. But they were not enough to replace my laptop.
A year and a bit on since the 12.9″ iPad Pro was launched, Apple have jazzed up the the iPad Pro range with a new 12.9″ model, and a brand new 10.5″ model replacing the 9.7″.
I have just replaced the 9.7″ with the 10.5″ model which now comes with a staggering 512Gb of storage. I’ve already filled it with 200Gb of TV shows (ready for my upcoming cruise). The A10X Fusion chip that’s driving the new 10.5″ and 12.9 iPad Pro is nothing short of remarkable. The benchmarks alone put this thing up into the MacBook Pro processing range for some tests.
But what’s particularly special about the new 10.5″ and 12.9″ iPad Pros is the display. The ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate is nothing short of a revolution in tablet display tech. Heck, even most modern monitors can’t achieve this level – not unless you go for specialist gaming or creative monitors costing many hundreds of pounds. “Smooth as butter” is probably the aptest description I can give to anything utilising 120Hz refresh. Swiping between pages or scrolling up and down in Empire Magazine’s app gives you a whole new experience of reading material on this device. The Times and Sunday Times electronic newspapers are similarly impressive when scrolling through articles or swiping through pages. The additional inch of screen real estate also makes reading electronic comics much easier too. And the whole thing – especially as Apple no longer provide back covers for the iPad Pros – feels lighter than the previous gen. It feels very comfortable in one hand.
The 120Hz ProMotion feature also comes into play if you’re drawing or writing with the Apple Pencil. Latency has been reduced to 20ms, and it’s as close to instantaneous response as you’re going to get (well, until the next generation of ProMotion at least). I can provide a better signature with this thing. Writing on the iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil is a much better experience.
The only thing I would mention is that everything feels a little too big when it comes to icon arrangements on the home screen. I’ve made the text smaller, but there’s still a lot more space between the icons. I’d like a feature like the iPhone Plus 7 where I can condense the space a bit more. Similarly, the smaller font I’ve selected makes the tablet font rendering in some apps look a bit odd. At times it feels like I’m using .. da da daaaa .. Android. So I think Apple has got to do a bit more work smoothing out font rendering a bit more. That said, this problem may go away in iOS 11 – an OS that will take iPads to a whole new level (seriously, this WILL make the tablet looks and feel like a proper computer from what I saw during the live WWDC video stream) .
(Note: the 10.5″ Ipad Pro’s display is a little too large to read novels, so I’ll always carry my e-Ink Kindle with me, but it’s ideal for reference material. As I have taken advantage of a few Humble Bundle reference books over the past couple of years, I have quite a few O’Reilly and other technical books which render fantastically well on this device under iBooks)
So to the naysayers that thought the iPad had run out of steam. Oh no. No, no, no. Apple have only just started. I am delighted with the 10.5″ iPad Pro. The storage space, the display, the lightness, AND with the leather pouch (ooer-missus), to protect both the device and the Apple Pencil will ensure that it’ll be a brilliant second computer to carry around with me – and will be used daily.