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Review: Apple’s iPad Pro is a giant expensive tablet w/ a couple of pricey accessories [Video]


Meet Apple’s largest Netflix display ever: iPad Pro. I’ve been using it for a little while now and have gathered some thoughts regarding its functionality, uses, and even the accessories like Apple Pencil and the new Smart Keyboard. Is it all worth the hype? Let’s go ahead and find out…

I detailed the iPad Pro in our unboxing video recently, so we’re not getting too in-depth with specifications. First off, this is an iPad. The word “pro” may be in its name, but that’s nothing more than a marketing gimmick. It’s a bigger iPad Air with a few changes that will cost you…

Check out our iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard review video below:

The display measures 12.9-inches diagonally and it’s seriously massive. Like shockingly large. But by itself, it’s no more of an iPad than any other model. Make no mistake though, it’s a fast iPad and the 4GB of RAM and A9X processor packed in really helps out in that department. It also features a total of four speakers, with two on each end. They sound pretty nice as well, which is huge for anyone looking for a solid media experience. There’s also an 8-megapixel camera on the backside (but ain’t nobody got time for that) and a 1.2-megapixel camera around the front for video calls.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 11.35.55 AM

Of course it’s running iOS 9 and with that you’re getting all of the multi-tasking power available like running two apps at once, but because of the large display and resolution of 2732 x 2048, you aren’t compromising app real estate as the iPad Pro can run two full-size apps in portrait mode side-by-side, which is nice. So there’s a nice advantage to the screen size here, but then again you could easily do this on a MacBook. What really makes the iPad Pro stand out are its accessories.

Smart Keyboard

There’s the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. Apple’s Smart Keyboard is a pretty nifty invention which conveniently fits a keyboard within the boundaries of a traditional Smart Cover, but scaled to fit the iPad Pro, with some added thickness of course. It connects to the iPad Pro through the Smart Connector located on the side and easily folds out to reveal the keyboard, while using the remainder of the cover to prop it up as a stand. As far as the typing experience goes, it’s not the greatest.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 11.26.15 AM

I feel like this keyboard has even less travel than Apple’s 12-inch MacBook and the material on the top feels weird. Along with that, coming in at $169, it’s pretty pricey. Logitech has a keyboard case for iPad Pro as well, but it’s much nicer as it features a back-lit keyboard, special function keys and controls, along with traditional chicklet style keys. It’s pretty bulky though and turns that “I’m using an iPad” vibe into “I might as well have brought along my MacBook.” But it is $20 cheaper than Apple’s solution and offers much more. The good news is that neither of these keyboards are battery-powered. So no charging required. All power is provided by the iPad’s Smart Connector.

Apple Pencil

Moving along, next we have the Apple Pencil. Now let’s be clear, I’m far from an artist so this accessory may not be for me. That being said, it is pretty cool, has a nice weight to it (much like one of those fancy pens), and a glossy finish with a hard plastic/rubber tip on the end that can be replaced when it wears over time (it also comes with a single replacement tip). It pairs up with the iPad Pro through the Lightning port, which is also how you awkwardly charge it. Yep… accident waiting to happen. Also, to reveal that Lightning connector, you’ll be removing the small cap at the top of it, which is secured with a magnet but I won’t be surprised if you see a lot of cap-less Apple Pencils in the wild over the next year.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 11.26.30 AM

There’s basically zero latency when using it to draw though and depending on the angle it’s used at will change the stroke from the brush or tool you’re using in a compatible app. The charging method is absolutely stupid, but at least the $99 you spend on it will get you an adapter that allows charging with a standard Lightning cable. And according to Apple, the Pencil will last you up to 12 hours on its battery and with just a quick 15 second will get you 30 minutes of use. Again, I may not be the best person to review the Apple Pencil, but I figured I’d give my opinion about it briefly. See also our full review and stylus comparisons.


Overall, the iPad Pro is great at a few things, but everything “Pro-level” is much better on a MacBook. Media consumption is fantastic with the large display, quad-speaker setup, and fantastic battery life, which has easily made it to the 10-hour range with my use. The Apple Pencil is nice if you’re the type of person that can really take advantage of its feature set, and the Smart Keyboard is nice for keeping that slim iPad feeling, but not super practical from a pricing standpoint especially when you consider that with the purchase of an iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard, you’re pushing MacBook pricing territory.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 11.27.00 AM

It’s a tough sell for sure, but if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, it’s a fun gadget to have around. Otherwise, just buy a MacBook Air or a 12-inch MacBook. It’s still an iPad at the end of the day and definitely not one for pros, unless you’re a pro artist who will pay extra for an Apple Pencil. Otherwise, it’s just a giant expensive iPad.

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  1. Lee Omeka - 7 years ago

    The review was spot on. Ive been to the Apple store at least 5 times with the intention to purchase. Each time Ive come away empty handed. I simply would use the iPad Pro for viewing films, really nothing else. Many of the app (or lack of them) including Apple’s do not appear to have been updated to take advantage loofa the extra real estate. Mailer example, tons of white space, enough to blind you. i would love to have one but currently have a iPhone 6 Plus and MBP 15 which does everything. Too much money for a product that would be hardly used by me.

    • Jim Phong - 7 years ago

      Lack of apps on iPad ? WHAT? If you mean lack of expensive professional apps for iPad Pro only then that is going to change soon and there will be plenty. But they will have to be expensive as well. Professional programs are expensive. Professional apps will be expensive as well.

  2. rogifan - 7 years ago

    Gotta love it when the tech press decides for us what is “pro” or not (and right now “pro” is defined as anything that can’t be done on an iPad). Here’s what Fraiser Spiers tweeted about iPad:

    “Could not love this iPad Pro more. Putting in so many hours on it. Very significant step forward for iOS, I think.”

    Anyone who thinks the iPad Pro is just an expensive tablet to watch Netflix movies on shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

      This isn’t really new tho. See, as a software engineer formerly with a multi-billion dollar multinational tasked with creating software for this company’s Mobile group for iPads, it always amused me to read these pieces about the no-pro-iPads. Most of the things Apple put into the iPad Pro directly reflect the things that Enterprise and other actually professional customers have been giving Apple feedback on for a good 2+ years.

      In these segments, that buy iPads buy the box, no one has “it’s not a laptop” discussions. These are what I’d say were “prosumer” issues. I realize this is anecdotal, tho I am sure others with my experience would report something similar, but the kinds of things mentioned in these tech site pieces as “shortcomings” were simply not mentioned as things people that use the devices in what I’ll call the “boots-on-the-ground” professional space. The things Apple have added to iOS9 and the hardware changes made to the iPad Pro certainly seem to reflect what (Apple’s) Pro segment have been asking for…

    • Robert - 7 years ago

      This is another reviewer that just doesn’t get it!

      The new MacBook was criticized by reviewers for being too thin at the expense of longer battery life and additional ports. The iPad Pro is thinner than a MacBook (even with the keyboard attached and is little bigger, yet reviewers claim it’s too big for them to hold or carry around!

      This is a device that changes the paradigm.

      • Ron Cardi (@ROYG_B) - 7 years ago

        Just like you, reviewers have a right to their own opinions. Many reviewers claim that the iPad is too big for them to hold or carry around because iPads (or so we thought) were intended to be light, very portable, and comfortable to hold/use for long periods of time. With the iPad Pro, you lose this portability in exchange for a weak (though functional) laptop replacement. While many customers may be very basic computer users (and thus the iPad Pro would be a perfect laptop replacement), I don’t understand why people like you get so annoyed when people have higher demands for their primary computing device. It might sound crazy to you, but some of us might actually viewing/editing two word documents at once, having multiple workstations/desktops, or even simple things like having two open and active safari windows… the list goes on and on.

      • jamkor - 7 years ago

        Changes the paradigm? It’s a big iPad. With a stylus.

    • Ron Cardi (@ROYG_B) - 7 years ago

      “Could not love this iPad Pro more… Very significant step forward for iOS, I think.”

      – Gotta love it when Apple fanboys only want to hear positive reviews on Apple devices. Just so you know, iOS on the iPad Pro is for many the single most disappointing part of the device. An iOS/OSX hybrid may not be Apple’s priority, but they could have at least optimized iOS for the larger display.

      “Anyone who thinks the iPad Pro is just an expensive tablet to watch Netflix movies on shouldn’t be taken seriously”

      – Unfortunately, that’s the problem that many people are having with this device, no one knows exactly where it fits in or its intended audience. It doesn’t replace the more portable and comfortable to hold iPad Air/mini and it doesn’t come close to replacing a laptop. I don’t see why he’s at fault for not having a use for the damn thing besides for entertainment (a use which Apple by the way highlights in the promo videos).

      • Dom Esposito - 7 years ago


      • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

        My issue is simply a…very…limited definition of “pro”…the typical “not for me == ‘consumption device/Netflix player/not of anyone’ angle. There are many, MANY professions outside of making’ beats and Youtube videos, not that there is anything particularly wrong/”unprofessional” about those things.

        It isn’t even really about *device capability*…but software availability in a limited field/scope. No mention or consideration of verticals, for example, no science, no engineering etc.

        It is a sweeping pronouncement based on limited scope. I suppose my expectations of “more depth” might be too high, I don’t know.

        And for the record, I did not feel it was a particularly “negative” review/commentary, just a very myopic one. It is good when people of course talk about what they know, but it is a little disingenuous to be as…dismissive as the piece came across as based on such a narrow scope.

        Of course, such things feed into people’s on cognitive dissonance, and is peppered with inflammatory missives so I am sure the piece has its fans :)

      • Dom Esposito - 7 years ago

        For sure. The thing is, Apple markets this device for creative professionals and media consumption mainly. Which is obviously wrong. It’s a very confused device.

      • Ali Momen - 7 years ago

        Do you have one? Have you used one? Honestly.

    • ipadpoweruser1 - 7 years ago

      Apologies Dom if this comes off a bit harsh, I don’t mean it to.

      I must agree with “rogifan”, do you believe Apple one of the biggest companies in the world, a fortune 100 company, with tens of thousands of IT professionals, with all its expertise does not understand the device and has got wrong?? At this stage in the evolution of the iPad and the App Store with over 1.5m apps, I am surprised to see you can’t see this being more than a media consumption device and an artists tool?!

      You also mention that there is nothing pro about the device besides the accessories? Does the fact that it outperforms a 2015 MacBook Air and a (15″ 2015 MacBook Pro GPU ) not hint at its abilities?

      I think the bottom line here is research, I am sorry Dom but I really appreciate the effort and review and I appreciate how much time and energy goes into producing a video review, I really do, but I do think you need to do a bit more research as to why the product is labeled pro, and who would use the iPad Pro, because just taking about what or who you think about the iPad pro is designed for. Becuase it may not in fact be close at all to the products use case or target market. Check out this link to companies on Apples website who use iPad in business (for more than a consumption device 😉)

  3. Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

    /me sighs

    You know…something about 9to5 has been…I want to say…’bugging’ me lately…and I couldn’t put my finger one it until after I read this piece following the piece on Apple Pencil.


    There seems to be an almost obsessive bent going on with 9to5 about how much things *cost*…to the degree where I’ve seen some products that had obvious, and I mean glaringly obvious (because of all of the close-up shots, you see) fit/finish/QA issues glowingly reviewed and such…because of the comparative cost to something more expensive.

    It is…a little strange considering the fact that we know the general target audience of the main focus of this site isn’t “bargain hunters” that this is an overarching editorial, for want of a better word, meme.

    Maybe you guys aren’t really aware of it, just how often this is happening recently. Maybe it is an editorial directive. It is certainly strange and a little off-putting maybe.

    Just an observation/question mores than a full critique…but one to consider because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person to have noticed this…

    • 311sie - 7 years ago

      I have noticed a steep decline in the quality of the reporting/writing. Outside of Ben’s (Lovejoy) articles, I hardly read anything here anymore (and don’t get me started with the podcast). I appears that the hipsters have taken over and it’s all about occupy Apple.

      • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

        I enjoy Ben’s pieces the most as well…now that you mention it. Perhaps it is the tone…but something is definitely going on/”off” in general…

      • Bryan Hough - 7 years ago

        How dare someone on a Apple fanboy website give a poor review to the newest “iThingy”!!! TRAITOR. I love how because it’s a generally negative review, you have an issue with the quality of the writing.

      • Bryan Hough - 7 years ago

        If you want to read someone glow and gush about every new iThingy that Apple makes, I suggest you follow Rene Ritchie on twitter.

    • Robert - 7 years ago

      It seems like this website has a relationship with certain 3rd party accessory sellers. We see certain accessories pushed and certain posts that happen on Friday that keep a commercial interest in the spotlight for most of the weekend.

      The criticism of Apple’s keyboard and promotion of a certain clunky 3rd party accessory can perhaps be interpreted in this context.

      The lack of back-lighting on Apple’s keyboard is an intelligent compromise. One that allows the device to be thinner and use less energy. Experienced typists can work by touch without looking at a keyboard, others would only benefit from backlighting if they are working in a very dark environment and the screen generates a fair bit of light so backlighting just isn’t an intelligent feature.

      • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

        Well, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on their “journalistic integrity” in such a manner, because I don’t know. I suppose one could see some sort of correlation here, but I recall this coming up in another piece and the writer stating that their policy is to label such things in an appropriate manner.

        It could simply be a matter of, or lack of…taste, perhaps? I’m giving benefit of doubt here, but it would certainly be something to watch in the future…

      • Dom Esposito - 7 years ago

        Nope lol I just think the Logitech keyboard is more bang for your buck. But it’s much bulkier obviously.

      • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

        The Logitech *Create*? Is this what you are talking about?

      • Bryan Hough - 7 years ago

        I feel like justifying the lack of backlighting on the keyboard only shows how hard you’re fanboying here. It’s 170 freaking dollars, it should have a damn backlight, it shouldn’t even have been up for debate.

      • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

        Backlight or ot, the Create is a *horrible* product *for the iPad*…it is incredibly bulky, ands a lot of weight and the fit/finish is sup-par. Which is why I returned it the very next day.

    • Ron Cardi (@ROYG_B) - 7 years ago

      Regardless of your yearly income (thousands or millions), a $50 snickers bar is a total ripoff. Whether or not you chose to still buy it though, is totally up to you. The price evaluation is a very important part of a review. What you decide to do what that information though, is totally up to you.

      And when it comes to the iPad Pro, how can you NOT talk about price??? It’s price is so close to MacBooks but it’s feature set and OS so far away. It begs some kind of mention/comparison at the very very least.

      “It is…a little strange considering the fact that we know the general target audience of the main focus of this site isn’t “bargain hunters”

      – Have you met 9to5toys?

  4. Joseph Shtekler - 7 years ago

    The only reason I want it is the pencil I am not an artist but I like to use it for math and hand righting letters, But it’s too big to carry around,
    I would be very happy if they made it 9.7″

    • Robert - 7 years ago

      If you can carry around a Mac, you can carry around an iPad Pro.

      But yes, if the iPad Air supported the pencil – that would be great!

  5. Doug Aalseth - 7 years ago

    In about two years I’ll be looking at updating my iPad Air. By then I expect the Pro will be much more diserving of the name. iOS will be much more optimized for the Pro. Software will have been written to take advantagte of the extra real estate, not just stretched out to cover. By then as well there will be many more iPP accessories available and the Pencil and Keyboard from Apple will have been refined. This is a new product. Give it time.

  6. The “absolutely stupid” charging method isn’t meant to be the primary way to charge the Apple Pencil. It’s just a way to get a little extra life when you’re on the go.

  7. 311sie - 7 years ago

    Really getting tired of the whole “meh, it’s aight” hipster attitude towards new producs on this site. It really comes across as bratty and fake.
    My favorite: “but ain’t nobody got time for that”. REALLY???

  8. cafesitter (@cafesitter) - 7 years ago

    I really enjoy reading the blog but I am not sure you guys get the enterprise market use cases as well as consumer space.

    First of all I can not get macbook for work much as I would love to because there is no BYOD programme for computers but there is one for IOS devices. Hence the choice is not macbook or iPad but windows machine that takes 3 minutes to start up and is heavy to lug around or iPad Pro. For meetings, report reading on the plane etc it is a very easy choice.

    I have been using iPad for years in enterprise for this but iPad Pro is an absolute game changer for me – you can now easily read dense report – think 100 pages complicated legal contract or set of financial statements for example – iPad Pro with huge screen and large reaolution is basically as good as a crisp printed page.

    The Pencil is not for just drawing artists but you can annotate PDFs with it and give comments to your team, you can sign documents. In many business meetings people draw on whiteboard to illustrate more complex points – now I draw on iPad beamed on a TV in the conference room linked to Apple TV and can email the drawings the participants immediately.

    Admittedly I am self professed geek and perhaps you could call me early adopter so we will see how it does in the market but for me this is the perfect iPad.

    • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

      “I really enjoy reading the blog but I am not sure you guys get the enterprise market use cases as well as consumer space.”

      I’d have to say this is fairly obvious. As I said in a previous comment, the bent is more “prosumer” than “professional” and if it was stated as such, I’d probably be a little less peeved.

    • iJonni - 7 years ago

      👆🏼THIS!! Hit the nail on the head there @cafesitter. There are lots of enterprise use cases out there that will never be made public because they are using enterprise only internal apps. And while I still love Dom and his reviews, I understand that he is comparing his experience with the marketing. But Apple’s marketing has always been directed at consumers. Even on a Pro product. What you don’t see is the Enterprise directed marketing Apple has that they present only to enterprises. And they don’t talk as much about drawing with Pencil and 4K video streams. They talk about the possibility available with a larger screen and faster processor. The new more valuable apps that can be created in the enterprise and opportunities to make work life slightly faster and more simple. Is the iPad pro meant to completely replace a laptop? No. It’s meant to be the place where you don’t want to pull out the “truck” (Mac) but your 2 door sports car isn’t going to get the job done either (iPhone). It’s beyond the laptop. I find myself using my laptop less and less these days. I’m sure that will continue. And as with all Apple products. It’s not for everyone.

  9. Ren Jinshen Ryu - 7 years ago

    Most people who can only use the iPad Pro to surf the internet, watch movies and nothing else probably do only exactly the same things on their MacBooks, plus maybe type a few thousand words or less a month in MS Word.

    • Ali Momen - 7 years ago

      Exactly! For what most people do this is the best computer of them! Tech reviewers have this pie in the sky idea that people are for the most part doing AutoCad all day while editing animations in Maya… Most of the time it’s the browser, messaging, email, documents and APPS which the iPad excels at. So why wouldn’t this be their computer.

  10. Banker X - 7 years ago

    Can’t disagree more with this review. First, the iPad Pro is not meant to replace your Mac. Second, the iPad Pro has Cellular connectivity and the Mac doesn’t. the argument that this is just another iPad is like saying a 15 inch MacBook Pro is just like a retina MacBook but bigger. Come on, this is a poor review at best.

  11. Banker X - 7 years ago

    I have had the Surface Pro 3 and now the iPad Pro. The SP3 is a great device but it runs a full desktop OS and is more comparable to a MBA. The iPad Pro is obviously full mobile OS but it makes sense for a touch first interface. My only gripe with the iPad Pro has been Springboard; it’s time for Apple to introduce an iPad specific OS much like WatchOS and tvOS.

    • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

      This is an interesting thought. What would make it more “iPad specific”? Apple isn’t going to intro as the default UX a hierarchical file manager, that’s for sure, as they have offloaded this to a cloud-based/application specific role and focused on a task-based UX that mirrors more closely how people actually do day-to-day computing…

      • Banker X - 7 years ago

        For me, something that takes more advantage of the screen real estate. Maybe introduce active icons (like widgets) or even add more Icons. I think there are plenty of options to improve the screen layout outside of the grid pattern we have had for 8+ years.

    • I have a Surface Pro 3 and a 4 on order for evaluating at work. These are a different philosophy. Microsoft made a device that is both a mediocre laptop and an even more mediocre tablet with very limited software. The iPad pro is designed to be the best tablet apple can make and they have succeeded.

  12. What a short sighted and unimaginative commentary. It’s not a review by the way, Many people will be just fine with this replacing their laptop. It won’t replace my 15′ maxed out MacBook Pro but I would much rather use it than a MacBook Air with antiquated screen or MacBook with low horsepower and too small a screen.
    I use the Apple case and type on the onboard keyboard just fine. I looked at t3he Apple keyboard today and thought it was decent but am in no hurry for a keyboard so will keep an eye on 3rd party keyboards as they come out.
    Oh and complaining ab’out the Pencil being $99 is just silly. Look at what good style cost.

    • Ali Momen - 7 years ago

      You nailed it. I love using this thing. So much more enjoyable than a MacBook for almost all regular day to day tasks. I’m also finding myself surprised by the pro or prosumer things you can do with it. Interestingly Microsoft Office is actually BETTER on the iPad than it is on the Mac! Very short sighted. Maybe not the computer for him but definitely the computer for the a huge swath of people.

  13. Torrey Huerta - 7 years ago

    I thought the review was good. Thanks for posting it.

  14. rob nienburg (@robogobo) - 7 years ago

    So, an admitted non-“Pro” tells us the iPad isn’t for Pros because he can’t find any valid use for it over a Macbook. Was he thinking the iPad Pro was promising to turn him into some kind of “Pro”?

    • Dom Esposito - 7 years ago

      Well I’m actually a professional videographer, photographer, and designer. And none of these things are better using an iPad “Pro” over a MacBook.

      • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

        Fair question: If someone wrote a piece of (since we’re doing this) “Pro” software for an iPad “Pro” would you pay, as a “Pro”…”Pro” money for it if the iPad doesn’t have a Finder? :)

        As a pro with 20 years of industry experience in my related fields, I am trying to (honestly) determine what metric you are using to define what *pro* actually…is.

      • Dom Esposito - 7 years ago

        Since Apple’s marketing is clearly aiming at creative professionals (Apple Pencil, editing 4K video, etc), I’m using the definition Apple has presented.

      • Dom Esposito - 7 years ago

        Also, if Adobe made a legitimate version of Premiere for iPad Pro, I’d definitely pay “pro” money for it.

      • 311sie - 7 years ago

        But your review does not mention any testing being done for video or photo processing, and you go as far as saying that you are not the best person to test the pencil, so it doesn’t appear like drawing is part of your design skillset or background. So, how do you arrive at the “verdict” that it’s not better than the Macbook (in these areas) when it does not appear that any testing was done on them? Or side by side comparison provided?

      • Saying something over and over doesn’t make it true. Apples marketing is clearly aimed at more than creative professionals. It’s actually aimed at people who want a bigger more powerful iPad for whatever reason. Anyone can see this by looking at Apples iPad Pro page.
        Your commentary, again not a review, was really about was it suited for you and even then you were short sighted.

  15. Jordee (@theJordee) - 7 years ago

    As a commercial construction Electrician having a mobile device of this size and speed paired with the Apple Pencil is fantastic, now packing around giant scrolls of paper is a thing of the past. All I need is someone to make a water proof/ drop proof case. It will be a fantastic on site tool as all my past iPads have been, being able to quickly sketch design ideas out on plans in this format is fantastic. I know it’s hard to imagine for a tech writer that professionals that don’t type in an office have use for a device that is not a Laptop is hard to imagine, the whole point is. Everyone has a laptop, this is for what laptop Can not do.

    • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

      My experience with “Big EPC” is along the same lines. Give a Field Engineer a choice between a pencil-thin 64 bit computer with a huge hi-res screen and a laptop…it is a no-brainer choice. It is very…interesting…to me how the flip falls when you factor in what I’m going to call “Big” Pro vs “Little Pro”.

  16. John S. Wilson - 7 years ago

    I don’t think people are complaining about the author’s criticisms because he is unimpressed with the iPad Pro. Instead it’s because the writer does a very poor job of presenting a cogent argument for his displeasure. Claiming the iPad Pro isn’t a professional level tablet solely because, as he says in the comments section, “it doesn’t do anything better than a MacBook Pro” is absurd. Let’s assume for the moment the comment is true–which I doubt–it’s still the wrong barometer. It’s like saying a business laptop made by Dell doesn’t deserve the professional label because it’s not as good as a MacBook Pro. No, it deserves the professional label if it can handle the work, not (only) if it’s better performing that work than the MacBookPro. And maybe that’s the heart of the problem with this review: it refuses to state what he threw at the Pro, what it was good and not good at, and specifically why he preferred a laptop over it.

    • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

      I assure you, I’ve written ‘Pro’ software that simply could to work on a Macbook because it requires touch/direct manipulation :) It isn’t for cutting Youtube videos tho, it for neuroscience research…but that’s probably not “pro” based on the metrics presented here…

      In fact, the particular thing I’m talking about was originally designed for *two* iPads. It actually worked out to be cheaper and more reliable to re-work it to work on a single iPad Pro due to the processor boost…have as many physical assets to track, reduced shipping, etc.

      As I said in a previous comment…”myopic”. Because that’s a polite way of putting it.

      • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

        Heh. auto-incorrect is just as crap on a Mac Pro as it is on an iPad Pro…so there’s that. Please read between the typos above..s/could to/could not, s/have/half, etc ;)

  17. Ali Momen - 7 years ago

    I have been using an iPad Pro for the past week and honestly it’s the best computer I have personally ever owned. At least FOR ME. I have a gut feeling that I am in the majority though. Every non-“geek” (I don’t use that term negatively) after seeing it with the keyboard is like I want that. I do a lot on this thing, and after a week I’m becoming super adept at all keyboard shortcuts. I’m whizzing through stuff. I love that I’m no matter what guaranteed 10 hours of battery minimum. I love that I have access to all the amazing iOS apps and games. I love the speakers. I love that I can take It out of the case, have it on my lap and read. There are still ways to go with iOS but I’m telling you it’s vastly improved. Sure it’s not a MacBook but a MacBook isn’t an iPad. And if I weigh all the pros and cons of each system, this is the computer that serves me best.

  18. Ok, I have to chime in. I am writing this comment on my iPad Pro that I’ve owned since day 1, paid for with my own money. I have no affiliation with…well…anyone! Yes, this thing was expensive – but my Audi cost more than a Fiat 500 and does the same job – I think you see where I’m going. I like the idea of the Apple ut I’m not sure I will get £80 worth of use out of it, so I am holding off for now. That’s the beauty of everything – if you want it then you buy it. I have resisted getting the smart keyboard as I think this actually confuses the device a little. I think it makes people think it should be a laptop replacment and it’s not. It’s an iPad. But that’s just my take.

    I like the size. I have never really carried my iPads around, with the exception of the Mini which I found I carried around because I could – not because I needed it. That has been covered by the new iPhone sizes. As such, it currently performs the exact same role in my life as the iPad Air it replaced. And that’s fine. I was well aware when I bought this device, that it’s a large iPad and that’s what I wanted. Everything is just that little bit better. Web pages require less scrolling, video looks great, iWork apps have a little more real estate…it’s just a nice device – because an iPad is a nice device no matter what size you choose.

    There are a few niggles for me that I’d like to see addressed. For example I want to be able to open the same app on both sides of the split screen. I’d like to be able to edit a spreadsheet on the left whilst having another one open for reference on the right, for example. Currently I can’t without messing around with other apps that might support the same document that I am dealing with.

    However, I cannot wait to see what happens with iOS to further distinguish this device from the rest of the range. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but I am hoping that Apple have a roadmap that will see ‘iOS Pro’ come along. I also think that Xcode could be improved to allow developers to create ‘Pro’ apps. By that I mean dedicated Pro storyboards and custom views that allow us to create better, distinct experiences for this device instead of simply scaled up iPad apps using auto-layout.

    For now – surprise, surprise – it’s a big iPad. But that’s fine – because that’s what it actually is! If anything, Apple have made their own confusion by tacking the name ‘Pro’ on the end instead of something like ‘XL’.

    • Kai Cherry - 7 years ago

      “I also think that Xcode could be improved to allow developers to create ‘Pro’ apps. By that I mean dedicated Pro storyboards and custom views that allow us to create better, distinct experiences for this device instead of simply scaled up iPad apps using auto-layout.”

      Ok Paul I gotta jump in here and ask what on earth are you talking about? :)

      You want a custom view? Subclass UIView? You want an “iPad Pro – only layout”…whatever this means, precisely, Xcode isn’t a limiting factor at all in this regard…that’s what size class are for or, you know, just make a storyboard w/o Autolayout and instantiate you VCs and whatnot from there.

      What a strange thing to say…unless you don’t have a deep understanding of how this stuff works. Why do you think these are limiting factors exactly? There is nothing in Xcode restricting anyone from doing this….


      • Sorry Kai, I was pretty unclear – I was writing that comment very early this morning! I was being deliberately vague as it’s not for me to say – it’s for Apple to innovate – but I made the comment with my mind kind of playing with the idea that we had a third size class (or indeed when turning size classes off as well as having iPhone/iPad as an option for the SB, we had a new ‘Pro’ size) which allowed the increased real estate to be developed for and laid out more effectively. That was the first simple thing in my head. There was also mental cross-talk with the idea of being able to access the iOS slide out view as an extension to your active app. Yes, you can roll your own interface and behaviour, but as I have already admitted, it was not a fully rounded thought! :)

        I didn’t say it was a limiting factor – they are your words not mine. I actually said “…could be improved [to allow greater exploration of the available environment of the pro]”.

        As much as your comment was asking for clarification, try and avoid putting words in my mouth. It comes across like one-upmanship. LOVE YOU!!! xxx

  19. Michael Schertler - 7 years ago

    i have to say that i’ve done exactly that – replaced my macbook with an ipad pro. do i regret it? not a second – and i surely consider myself a ‘pro’ user, at least at what i’m doing for a profession. in recently switched from a mbpro 15 inch to a macbook 12 inch and now to the ipad pro. i live ‘in the cloud’ for quite a while now, so the switch did not change much for me. do i work with the device? yes, all the time and it didn’t even take much changes in my habits (i even got used to typing with the virtual keyboard which at first i didn’t ever expect to happen).

    i understand if people like photo professionals say the ipad pro is not their device – but honestly, the 12 inch macbook would not be either (tried it once, kept doing this on my imac). we’re talking working mobile here, and in my opinion the ipad pro does exactly that an ddo not miss my macbook any second. but everyone has to decide on their own if they are able or willing to try this way of working. but comparing the ipad, as expensive as it might be, to something really pro like a mbpro is simply the wrong start.

    and given the fact that we have this device for only some weeks now i feel it’s already well suited for many pro tasks and the apps (hopefully yet to come) will further enhance the ‘pro’ in this device. everybody on their own should think about it of course, but after what i have come to see the promis pro, if you let it live up to that expectation and not suddenly start to read ibooks which it ir try handle it with one hand – honestly: would you use your macbook in such a way? i doubt it…

  20. Trent Grasse - 7 years ago

    You don’t get it. Thats ok. but you don’t get it. As a professional photographer there are about 12 legit pro uses for this that justify its cost. Every other creative professional I have spoken to is excited about this. One thing you fail to consider is this does the job of a cintiq display (Better id argue) and it cheaper. just load duets display on my iPad get apple pencil connect to macbook. its also a great to tool bring to meeting with clients and show work to them. I have always found if you want to impress clients you want to show your work big. I suspect we will see adobe upgrade lightroom mobile to do some more now that we have the iPad pro. plus i expect more apps to be developed to support creative work on the iPad

  21. As with any device, it depends on what you want to do with it. It’s unrealistic to brand a product as “suitable for pro’s” or not, as there are so many potential “pro” applications.

    From my perspective, I love editing images in the field on the iPad, using apps such as Filterstorm Neue. The only shortcomings I found on my iPad 3rd generation were lack of speed and lack of size. The iPad pro fixes both of these and the pencil, when it arrives, will make the process even better, I’m sure. The quality and out-of-factory calibration of the iPad display, together with the ability to do local adjustments by brushing directly onto the screen, make it a powerful editing tool.

    The thing with the iPad is it’s all about finding and choosing the right apps. They make a huge difference between whether it is suitable for “pro” applications or not. The hardware is certainly up to the job as far as my particular field is concerned.

  22. woinkeyman - 7 years ago

    A half hearted, badly written review. Come on, if you wanted to write a proper criticism please at least try and appear that you’ve used the device…

  23. From everything I’ve heard, the pros additions would have been great in the iPad Air. But it’s just too big a device given that it can’t replace a Mac.

  24. freediverx - 7 years ago

    Totally agree with this review. The iPad Pro is is just a bigger (and much more expensive) iPad with some capabilities of particular interest to graphic artists. I strongly disagree with Tim Cook’s suggestion that it is a great alternative to a Macbook for many.

  25. Michael Schertler - 7 years ago

    well… i consider myself a pro user (and my paying customers do this as well obviously…) and i have to say i replaced my macbook with an ipad pro – do i regret it? not a single day… i already find all the apps i need (and even some more) for my work an dnow i feel like i never worked mobile before. i have no battery problems whatsoever, this thing is – compared to my macbook pro i swapped with the macbook 3 months ago – featherweighted and all i need. the funniest of all points for criticism for me is the “you only have one angle when using the keyboard” part. i looked at myself for the last two or three weeks whenever i opened a notebook – just to find that the angle i opened the screen to was always more or less the same (given that i’m not a robot…). i couldn’t tell if it was the same as using the ipad pro tilted up with the smart cover, but i don’t care, because working is just fine with that one angle (maybe someone over at apple gave that a thought before they designed the covers).

    of course, some apps need some updates to take advantage of the screen but that only reminds me of the first arrival of the ipad or the bigger iphones, eventually they all were able to use the full potential of the devices.

    in my opinion it’s not the device that has to be different, it’s our way of thinking how we work or how we use a computer as a tool. whenever i look at my kids (aged from 8 down to almost 2) i see what’s coming – they never used a mouse or trackpad in their lives, and i strongly believe they never will; just think about how many youngsters never saw a good old tv or phones with a dial.

    at the moment, there’s not much i could imagine that’s not possible with the ipad pro – writing documents? check (doing it right now using the virtual keyboard), calculations? check, the apps are there… of course one could always say there’s much better apps on a full fledged macbook or macbook pro – but hey, the ipad pro didn’t even learn how to crawl, let alone do a sprint.

    i would be interested what sort of profession or work it is that people always talk about the ipad pro is not able to handle – and i’m sure there’s one or two companies out there that would like to know the same.

    i strongly believe that in two to five years from now notebooks and laptops will be the minority, there will be workstations doing the hard work (like today many run photoshop and co on mac pros) and tablets like the surface pro and the ipad pro. and of course the airs and the like for soho use, like today.

  26. therealtruthwhisperer - 7 years ago

    For someone getting paid to do a ‘review’ you do realise you waffled for 95% of the video stating the same specs, charging methods etc etc etc that EVERYONE KNOWS ALREADY because EVERYONE HAS SAID IT ALREADY!!!

    Why does every 20-something online ‘journalist’ not understand that recapping isn’t reviewing and that going over the sizes, specs and all that crap has already been done to death by anyone remotely interested in the product before it was even available to purchase.

    Hell, do you even understand a review isn’t a freaking recap or not?

    And as for ‘testing/reviewing’ the pencil, well you can’t draw worth a damn, so how about showing NOTE TAKING WITH HANDWRITING or is that TOO COMPLICATED for you?

    Really, what is the point of this site employing you to do a job you don’t do, and can’t do?

    So ultimately your review video was about 90 seconds long at the end where you just didn’t see the point of it, but missed the point of all the new things it offers.

  27. Akil Ford - 7 years ago

    Useless unless you couple it with astropad for some serious photo editing. Once that pairing is made the device gives Wacom tablets a run for the their money. For me the purchase was a no brainier. Mobile Lightroom to sync images and present pics. Add Astro pad for pixel level editing with photoshop. For me it is exactly pro level.

  28. ipadpoweruser1 - 7 years ago

    Apologies Dom if this comes off a bit harsh, I don’t mean it to.

    I must agree with “rogifan”, do you believe Apple one of the biggest companies in the world, a fortune 100 company, with tens of thousands of IT professionals, with all its expertise does not understand the device and has got wrong?? At this stage in the evolution of the iPad and the App Store with over 1.5m apps, I am surprised to see you can’t see this being more than a media consumption device and an artists tool?!

    You also mention that there is nothing pro about the device besides the accessories? Does the fact that it outperforms a 2015 MacBook Air and a (15″ 2015 MacBook Pro GPU ) not hint at its abilities?

    I think the bottom line here is research, I am sorry Dom but I really appreciate the effort and review and I appreciate how much time and energy goes into producing a video review, I really do, but I do think you need to do a bit more research as to why the product is labeled pro, and who would use the iPad Pro, because just taking about what or who you think about the iPad pro is designed for. Becuase it may not in fact be close at all to the products use case or target market. Check out this link to companies on Apples website who use iPad in business (for more than a consumption device 😉)

  29. carlapatch - 7 years ago

    Better a 9″ Mac Book than a 12″ iPad….

  30. Tim - 7 years ago

    I did a careful analysis of the iPad Pro and actually considered selling my MBP and iPad Air to get one. I decided against it. But this 9to5Mac review seems to be caught up on the cost of the device as if it is prohibitive and limiting. It costs the same as the iPhone 6s but is comparatively far more powerful. The Smart Keyboard is an amazing tech accomplishment in its own right. The pencil takes things to another level. This review claims that the accessories are expensive, but they aren’t just input devices. The keyboard is of very high quality and incredibly thin and full-sized for a large device that also protects the iPad Pro and doesn’t need to be recharged. It’s priced about right. Pencil is the most advanced stylus ever invented and costs less than many similar styli. You don’t have to be an advanced artist to take advantage of it. Photo and video editing will be far more precise for anyone on the special iPad Pro screen with Pencil. The iPad Pro combined with these accessories becomes a device in a class by itself that can do things no other device has ever been able to do. If you’re trying to make it into a Surface Pro, it’s not trying to be that. If you want a full computer that has a detachable screen, by all means Microsoft has built the only device that can truly do that. But if you’re trying to change the way you work and are finding the super-clarity of the iPad screen (no Macbook screen can match it) and the closer proximity of the screen transforming, then this device is worth considering. Something that isn’t getting much coverage is the education and worship setting use-case. The large screen would be very useful for performing musicians, public speakers/worship leaders, and any mobile presenter. Audio hookups in corporate and education settings are often compromised. The booming audio from the iPad Pro takes small group and medium classroom presentations to another level.
    The processor/gpu is actually more powerful than anything but a Mac Pro. This is where I decided it actually fits best. If you have a very powerful desktop computer (5k Retina iMac or Mac Pro) and want a lighter mobile workstation, the iPad Pro can truly replace a laptop for most people. The limitation comes in when you consider printing in a work environment (there are no iPad drivers for all but the newest office copier/mulitfunction machines if you are working with complex documents), exporting video to physical media (you can’t), and working with multiple large displays (you can’t). Storage becomes an issue as well. The pro-level iPad should have pro-level expansion capabilities. For example, there’s no way to get a local backup without another computer. The 12″ Retina MacBook with its underpowered cpu and smaller screen is not a far superior device. The 12″ MacBook is actually the device that is ridiculously expensive and underpowered. The iPad Pro is getting dangerously close to the device that once again disrupts the PC market. In the end it falls just short as a replacement for all computers in the house. My laptop is my only computer, so I can’t make the trade just yet. But the amazing thing is how close it gets! It’s not yet affordable as a complementary device and the lack of expansion limits it as a replacement device. For now, I’m keeping my Mac and my smaller iPad, which have served me very well. But thanks, Apple, for continuing to push the boundaries of how tech can interface with human creativity.

  31. dcasewoods - 7 years ago

    Now that I’ve owned the iPad Pro/Pencil/Smart Keyboard for a couple of weeks I felt like I needed to come back and negate this review. The negative tone of this review comes from someone who is obviously not a creative professional and does not understand the true meaning of this iPad. Yes, this is not an iPad for your 14 year old that just wants to watch vampire movies on it. But YES it is an iPad for the pros!

    Let it be known that I am in no way an Apple fanboy however do appreciate good design, I am an industrial designer after all. I use PC for 3D modeling and business productivity and Mac for sketching, photoshop, vectoring etc… I like both platforms for different reasons. I am the owner of a newer Wacom Cintiq. This iPad/Pencil combo is so good that I’m selling the Cintiq. YES – it’s THAT good!

    What Apple has done here is create something that is better than a Cintiq (unless for highly **and I mean HIGHLY** complex detailed work). It has it’s own OS, it’s completely portable (and easily), has a better screen, way less chances of scratching and connects without wires as a true full-featured graphics tablet (with a 9.99 game-changing app called Astropad). The cheapest portable Cintiq (that runs on Windows or Android) costs $1399. This with the Pencil can cost under nine hundred. Yes, you can use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Paint with a computer close by… You can even sit on your couch and use it (with Astropad again – wirelessly). It far outpaces anything on the market as a digital creation drawing/painting/sketching tool and for less money. I urge the reviewer to next time consult the professionals that this was meant for and follow thru with user-based research before submitting such opinionated reviews.

  32. toldbtruth - 7 years ago

    I’m not an IT guy….don’t work with computers and gadgets and code and gigo and latency response and all that jargon. But I’m a “Professional” I own a business….a mobile repair business. I’ve tried tablets in the past. Mostly android tablets…one iPad Air and countless laptops. I don’t need to do anything with someone’s multi level network. I just need to go into someone’s house diagnose their refrigerator, look up parts, estimate, invoice, process payments, print and email receipts and keep my books all on the road with as little fumbling and wait as possible.

    For my PROFESSIONAL use this iPad pro is PERFECT! All the other tablets I’ve tried were much more like toys and didn’t have the computing power of an actual computer. They couldn’t keep up with the things I needed them to do and I ended up leaving them in the truck and just using my phone (Samsung Galaxy Note Edge) because it was/is capable of doing all of the above and wasn’t as cumbersome to set up as my laptop.

    But since buying the iPad pro it’s become much easier to let my phone be a phone and rely on the iPad to do my paperwork. I get that tech guys want it to be some handheld super computer/server capable of running small countries. But the technology just isn’t there yet guys….

    But at least for my professional use this tool is a dream.