iPad Pro 9.7: do I really need it?
iPads are sold since 2010. During this time, a tablet has found its own place in many people’s lives. It is used for both professional and entertainment purposes. In some cases, tablets (in particular – iPad) began replacing the computer. In the final Apple presentation, which showed iPad Pro 9,7, Phil Schiller said that 600 million computers are now used in the world, that are over 5 years old, and their owners can replace the old device with a brand new iPad. I spent a few weeks with the this new gadget and now want to share with you my experience.
Visually iPad Pro 9.7 looks just the same as iPad Air
I have been using iPad Mini for several years now, occasionally dealing with older iPad models. Frankly, having received a new iPad Pro i did not get a wow-sensation of a new product. Visually it’s the same old Air with minimum external differences: protruding camera lens, flashlight, Smart Connector and 4 speakers. Not every user will even spot these differences. Therefore, previous iPad generations users will unlikely get a sense of novelty when unboxing a brand new iPad Pro 9.7’’
Even though size and even weight match exactly for both iPad Pro 9.7 and iPad Air, most of the cases and accessories will not fit both models. However car mounts (depending on the design, of course) should work for both. Fortunately, Apple is a trending company and users are not forced to wait for any accessories, when they sometimes hit the market even before official product releases.
Its’s worth recalling that when choosing between dark or white models, it is better to choose white. White frame completely hides fingerprints, while black is very easily soiled. For pink fans Apple has made Rose Gold color available, only present in iPad Pro across all existing iPad models.
Display and True Tone
The great advantage of iPad Pro 9.7 compared to any other tablets is True Tone technology. High resolution and perfect color rendering is now there for all the top devices, stylus support is also not surprising, but such adjustment of the color temperature, I have yet to meet. During the initial setup tablet prompts user to quickly becoma familiar with this functionality and incorporate True Tone.
There you can forget all about it and not pay attention to color settings. But as soon as you look at, say, iPhone display, you will see this technology in action, when the picture on the smartphone seems too cold. Adjustments seamlessly and accurately handle the mapping of colors, which greatly attracts attention only in direct comparison with another device in the same lighting conditions. After working with this technology (True Tone), one would only wish to have it available for all devices: smartphones, laptops and so on.
The only time you should disable this feature is while working with pictures (drawings, photos and videos). Then you need to see the colors as they are, when changing the color temperature negatively affects your workflow. Any other tasks off are unlikely to require turning off True Tone. Hopefully, soon we will see this technology available not only across Apple devices, but also from other manufacturers. This is clearly one of those things that should be widely disseminated.
Unlike any other iPad, iPad Pro boasts 4 speakers. The sound quality is brilliant! Watching movies and listening to music is a bliss on a new iPad Pro. Few tablets or even laptops can be compared to this beast in terms of audio output quality. Again just like with True Tone, I’d love to see these speakers present across all Apple products.
A small fly in the ointment is still there however. When holding an iPad horizontally speakers are covered by hands. It doesn’t affect sounds that much, but it’s a con. Likewise, the sound is distorted when the user rests a device in portrait orientation on the table or stomach. It’s a shame as there is an easy and viable solution for this problem available from other manufacturers. It’s not a problem to place speakers on the front panel these days. Moto X Style from Motorola is a vivid example of a job well done. If Motorola were able to achieve such a sound on their smartphone, i do not see a problem why Apple can’t. If you place speakers in the direction towards the user, the sound will be completely directed at him, and covering the speakers with a hand won’t be such a problem, especially if there are 4 of them. Unfortunately, Apple has a slightly different opinion. Nevertheless, the sound in iPad Pro 9.7 is top notch.
Due to a huge popularity of Apple devices, accessories usually hit the market at the same time as the new product does, sometimes even earlier. Both branded and made by third-party manufacturers. Depending on the usage, one might consider a variety of cases, covers, stands, keyboards, stylus’ , etc.
iPad Pro differs from any other iPads having a special proprietary connector for keyboard alone – Smart Connector. The convenience of this accessory is hard to judge. Keyboard is very well done and a breeze to type on.
Apple Pencil, according to professionals, is very neat. Apple Pencil is an indispensable accessory for designers, fashion folk, and all others who are faced with the need to paint and draw as a part of their daily workflow. iPad Pro is the only iPad that supports Apple Pencil.
One must be prepared for the fact the accessories for a pricy tablet cost accordingly. Thus, the keyboard price tag ranges around $150, and Apple Pencil will cost you around $100. Now, original keyboard may be replaced with the one made by third-party manufacturers, at a lower cost, but Apple Pencil functionality has no replacements.
My personal accessory must is a Smart Cover. I do not face a necessity to type that often on an iPad to buy a dedicated keyboard just for that matter, but I do use a stand in the form of Smart Cover regularly. In addition, this branded cover is easy to clean and wash, not affecting its looks.
Camera is another thing that distinguishes iPad Pro from all other iPads and tablets in general. It is very good! Camera hosts a module from iPhone 6S – a flagship smartphone from Apple. Thus one of the best mobile cameras out there is now available in a tablet. Front camera is as well very nice. One may debate on the necessity to have such a powerful camera in a tablet, but it solely depends on the user’s needs. I do not use it very often, as I always have my smartphone handy. But it is definitely a plus. Having a good camera to scan documents on an iPad is the only reason why a tablet should have one in my opinion. Noticeably grown quality of the front camera is definitely a nice bonus, especially for those video-calling with a tablet.
Fingerprint Sensor has long been present in Apple Devices. The new smartphones from Apple already boast a second generation of Sensors, when new iPad Pro still settles on first. Nevertheless, i did not have any problems with it on my experience. Only every few weeks it has trouble to recognize my touch.
The best thing is the introduction of support of this method of authentication for third-party developers. For example, in Outlook you can protect yourself from something important being deleted when your child takes your iPad for a spin.
Performance and Software
Forcing iPad Pro to its limit today is not an easy task. A regular user, using a tablet for browsing and entertainment is unlikely to squeeze the maximum out of the device capabilities. A9X processor is able to show great results in synthetic tests, higher than most netbooks or even laptops, making iPad Pro suitable not only for simple entertainment, but for serious work.
Then why would a regular user need such power? The first thing that comes to mind is assembling an iMovie clip or playing more demanding modern games. iPad Pro handles these tasks like a breeze. Needless to say that iPad Pro just aces any browsers, mail clients, any apps. With the introduction of multitasking in iOS this new devices easily handles several apps running at the same time.
In my daily workflow i was not able to load iPad Pro to its limit even barely. Couldn’t even get the processor to warm up. And this is a good foundation for the future. The nearest threshold that will stop the current OS support is 2 GB of RAM. It is not clear though why 12.9 inch iPad Pro boast 4 gb of ram when 9.7 version has only 2, when all the other parameters are the same. I guess this is a topic for future discussion.
Apple works very well on the autonomy of its devices, and my subject was no exception. All tablets from Cupertino promise 10 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi, or 9 hours on mobile networks. In may case the numbers were more or less the same. Only watching movies greatly affects the autonomy, when browsing and other tasks do boast 9 to 11 hours of battery life.
Would I buy it again if it was stolen, and whether you need it?
No, I wouldn’t. iPad Pro is a beautiful device with excellent parameters and features, what else is needed? The fact is that if you do not need Apple Pencil support for drawing, or keyboard for typing, then you do not need an iPad Pro. All other tasks are easily handled by a cheaper Air of Mini. Yes, the speakers are great, – but headphones are better! Yes, camera is superior, but who needs it in a tablet? I haven’t heard anyone buying a tablet for it’s camera or sound quality. Moreover, something tells me that even True Tone will be a standard for any future Apple product, therefore there is no hurry to upgrade. When one buys iPad Pro of any size (9.7 or 12.9 inch), he/she should know exactly why its special capabilities are needed. Otherwise you simply overpay for a truck when the sedan would be enough.
- Posted by Author
- On July 18, 2016
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