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ipad pro (2018) A WOW Factor

Edge-to-curved-edge Liquid Retina display in 12.9- or 11-inches, Face ID and True Depth Camera, A12X Bionic notebook-crushing processor, new Apple Pencil, and new Smart Keyboard Folio — this is the new iPad Pro

This is the company’s “laptop killer”, a pivot to personal computing made explicit at the October product launch. CEO Tim Cook no longer sees iPad simply as a tablet, and in theory it has the technical clout to deliver that PC-brigade vision. 

With 64GB of memory as default (rising through 256GB and 512GB to a whopping 1TB) and a turbocharged A12X Bionic chip that renders and relishes apps, photos and videos on a vibrant liquid retina LCD display, Apple boasts that it’s more powerful than 92 per cent of PCs sold last year. But its Pro moniker inevitably begs the question: will it do the job for you?

Pros

  • New easy-to-hold design
  • Beautiful Liquid Retina display
  • USB-C for flexibility and faster charging
  • Fast performance
  • Up to 1TB of storage
  • Much-improved Apple Pencil

Cons

  • Non-base configurations get expensive
  • iOS 12 feels limited on this ambitious hardware
  • Lots of trial-and-error to find compatible USB accessories
  • No support for external storage

iPad Pro 2018 design and software

Like the iPhone, the iPad Pro no longer has a Home button.

Instead, Apple has fitted the gadget with a screen that spans almost all of the tablet’s front.

And there’s still enough of a bezel to allow for easy holding – which is important if you buy the larger 12.9-inch screen model.

There’s also a smaller 11-inch model, which I prefer for portability. But if you’re doing proper design work, you might want to invest in the larger version.

It comes in just two colour options – Silver and Space Grey – the latter of which is looks better. It’s a slightly different shade of Space Grey to the MacBook Pro, which niggles.

It’s lightweight, weighing less than half a kilo. And although there are scattered reports of iPads arriving “bent” in the box, it seems like a particularly rare problem.

The fact that there’s no Home button means the software design has had to change, too.

It now uses iPhone XS style gestures, with a swipe up from the bottom returning to you the home screen.

Multitaskers will love this revamp, as you can now swipe along the bottom of the screen to quickly switch between apps – one of the most overlooked quality of life changes Apple has made to the iOS software in years.

Apple has also introduced a new technology called Pro Motion.

Simply put, it makes the screen more responsive, and scrolling appears smoother. It’s definitely noticeable (particularly the scrolling), especially if you’re coming from an older iPad device.

The new iPad Pro also has a True Tone display, adjusting the brightness and colour temperature to match the ambient light around you.

It means you’ll always get the best image on screen, no matter where you are.

Apple’s new iPad Pro is the first to feature Face ID.

Previous iPad models used Touch ID to unlock – this was a fingerprint scanner built into the Home button.

But with the Home button now a distant memory, you’ll instead unlock the device using your face. It’s quick, easy and very tough for hackers to break.

You can also use Face ID to authenticate Apple Pay and App Store purchases.

Sound

The iPad Pro has always had very good sound reproduction – particularly the 12.9in version. Quite frankly, Apple could have simply stuck with the existing system, it was that good considering the form factor of a tablet. However, the company has seen fit to redesign the speakers anyway. The result is, again, sound playback from the separate tweeters and woofers of a quality that shouldn’t be possible from such a slender device. Because of this, film playback requires no separate Bluetooth speaker as there is ample volume to call upon.

Once again the iPad is aware how you are holding the tablet and adjusts the sound accordingly, with bass going to all four speakers while mid and high frequencies come from the top set. However, Apple has upped the number of microphones from three to five for better audio capture, so stereo audio recording is now possible.

Camera

Tablets have never been ergonomically suited to working as great cameras – a large, flat glass panel is no match for a proper camera that is shaped to fit your hands comfortably. But at least this has a decent sensor with 12-megapixel resolution and wide-open aperture (f/1.8) to help in low light.

This is not the same camera as on the iPhone XR which offers portrait effects with sharply focused subjects and delightfully blurred backgrounds. It is capable of Live Photos, panoramas, 4K video and more, but for portrait effects, you have to rely on the front-facing camera which, because of the TrueDepth camera which powers Face ID, can come up with portrait modes, including lighting effects which are adjustable after you’ve taken your shot.

Where the iPad Pro excels, of course, is the scale of the screen which becomes a sumptuous and detailed viewfinder on which to frame your shots. In this way, it beats phones or regular standalone cameras.

Incidentally, the new iPad Pro camera lacks optical image stabilization, found on the previous 10.5in tablet – about the only downgrade I have found in the whole tablet.

New iPad Pro accessories

There are two main accessories you need to know about: the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard Folio.

The Apple Pencil – a stylus for the iPad – has been upgraded this year.

It now attaches to the side of the iPad magnetically, pairing it automatically – and even wirelessly charging it.

The pencil has a flat edge on one side, making it easier to hold and use. And it’s slightly more matte than before, which looks nice.

You can also double tap the Apple Pencil while using it to quickly toggle between pen and eraser tools when drawing.

Drawing with it is very easy, accurate, and surprisingly true to real life.

The only drawback is that the Apple Pencil isn’t included in the box – you’ll fork out £119 for the luxury.

But for anyone who draws for a living, the cost will be very easy to justify.

The second iPad Pro accessory worth its salt is the Smart Keyboard Folio.

It’s basically a case and a keyboard in one, magnetically attaching and drawing power from three flat pins on the back of the iPad.

The iPad Pro’s keyboard simply doesn’t compete with typing on a MacBook. It’s small and the keys are harder to press.

But this is a problem for all tablet keyboards, and Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio is about as good as it gets.

It takes a little time to get used to the key size and placement, but it’s the best solution for getting work done on an iPad.

And the fact that it snugly fits on the tablet as a case makes it easy enough to lug around.

Again, the downside is that you’ll have to pay for the keyboard: £179 for the 11-inch model, and £199 for the 12.9-inch version.

You can, of course, use the iPad’s on-screen keyboard and save the cash, but then you lose half of the display to keys – and you miss out on the natural feel of real keys.

I reckon it’s well worth upgrading with the keyboard if you’re going to use the iPad Pro to type up documents.

Geekbench & AnTuTu SCORES

iPad Pro 2018 and accessories US,UK& AUSTRALIA

Products
iPad Pro 11-inch (64GB)US $799UK £769AU $1,229
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (64GB)US $999UK £969AU $1,529
Smart Keyboard Folio 11US $179UK £179AU $269
Smart Keyboard Folio 12.9US $199UK £199AU $299
Pencil 2US $129UK £119AU $199

PENCIL

The first Apple Pencil was great to use, but had a host of annoyances, especially its awkward “jam it into the iPad’s Lightning port” charging methodology. The new Pencil has finessed the solution with elegant magnetic inductive charging. It snaps right onto a panel on the edge of the iPad Pro. By giving it a place to charge, much like the AirPods, it means your Pencil is likely to be ready when needed instead of rolling around somewhere and probably depleted. New, too, is a double-tap capacitive sensor on the iPad’s lower third, which makes a single action happen. Apps need to activate it individually: iOS 12 doesn’t make use of it, except in the Notes app. There are some individual apps that use it, but not a ton…and even then, its uses are limited.

SAMPLE SHOTS

iPad Pro 11in specs

  • A12X Bionic processor, Neural Engine, M12 coprocessor
  • 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB of storage
  • 11in (2388×1668 at 264ppi) LED ‘Liquid Retina’ screen, True Tone, ProMotion
  • 12Mp rear-facing camera, f/1,8, flash, 4K video, slow-mo at 240fps
  • 7Mp front-facing camera, 1080p video, ‘Retina Flash’ feature, Portrait Mode, Animoji
  • Four-speaker audio
  • Face ID facial recognition
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • nano-Sim/eSIM
  • USB-C connector, no headphone port
  • 247.6mm x 178.5mm x 5.9mm; 468g

iPad Pro 12.9in (2018) specs

  • A12X Bionic processor, Neural Engine, M12 coprocessor
  • 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB of storage
  • 12.9in (2732×2048 at 264ppi) LED ‘Liquid Retina’ screen, True Tone, ProMotion
  • 12Mp rear-facing camera, f/1,8, flash, 4K video, slow-mo at 240fps
  • 7Mp front-facing camera, 1080p video, ‘Retina Flash’ feature, Portrait Mode, Animoji
  • Four-speaker audio
  • Face ID facial recognition
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • nano-Sim/eSIM
  • USB-C connector, no headphone port
  • 280.6mm x 214.9mm x 5.9mm; 631g/633g (Wi-Fi/cellular)

PRICES

11-inch iPad ProChange(Model)FinishSpace GrayChange(Finish)Storage

Storage

  • 64GB
    From $799
  • 256GB
    From $949
  • 512GB
    From $1149
  • 1TB1
    From $1549

Model 12.9-inch iPad ProChange(Model)FinishSpace GrayChange(Finish)Storage

Storage

  • 64GB
    From $999
  • 256GB
    From $1149
  • 512GB
    From $1349
  • 1TB1
    From $1749

11-inch iPad Pro price in India

WiFi

64GB – Rs 71,900 
256GB – Rs 85,900 
512GB – Rs 1,03,900
1TB – Rs 1,39,900

WiFi + Cellular

64GB – Rs 85,900
256GB – Rs 99,900
512GB – 1,17,900
1TB – 1,53,900

12.9-inch iPad Pro

WiFi

64GB – Rs 89,900
256GB – Rs 1,03,900
512GB – Rs 1,21,900
1TB – Rs 1,57,900

WiFi + Cellular

64GB – Rs 1,03,900
256GB – Rs 1,17,900
512GB – Rs 1,35,900
1TB – 1,71,900

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