iPad Pro reviews: great hardware, but potential is limited thanks to iOS

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2015
Early looks at Apple's gargantuan new tablet have begun to trickle in, with most reviewers coming to relatively similar conclusions: the iPad Pro is an excellent machine and the best iPad yet, but iOS means it won't be a laptop replacement anytime soon.


Walt Mossberg

Perhaps the most pro-iPad technology journalist in the world, Walt Mossberg is high on the iPad Pro's abilities for creative professionals. He is "blown away by the Apple Pencil," and praised the iPad Pro's excellent battery life.

He won't be using the iPad Pro to replace a Mac laptop any time soon, though, largely thanks to the subpar keyboard, which he panned for its lack of iPad-specific shortcut keys and backlighting. Mossberg does believe that the iPad Pro works better as a productivity tablet than Microsoft's Surface, however, thanks to the wider availability of iPad-optimized apps.

Wired

David Pierce of Wired found the iPad Pro's performance to be excellent, ditto its display. He likewise enjoyed the Apple Pencil, but found that the Smart Keyboard didn't add much and echoed other reviewers' lament at the lack of shortcut buttons.

Pierce believes the touch-first design of iOS detracts from the operating system's ability to adapt to different workflows -- and thus allow the iPad Pro to act as a laptop replacement -- and he wants for a mouse in some circumstances. Still, he says, the next generation of consumers for whom a smartphone is their computer may find a more natural progression to the iPad Pro.

Ars Technica

Ars Technica's Andrew Cunningham also loved the iPad Pro's performance and praised the upgraded speakers. The Pencil is seen as an excellent addition, though he winced at the total price tag when Pencil and Smart Keyboard are included.

The lack of iOS 9 multitasking support among many apps is a drawback, as is the limited nature of multitasking in and of itself. Cunningham also wished for an easier way to store the Pencil with the iPad Pro.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 180
    roakeroake Posts: 642member
    Whatever. I ordered mine.
  • Reply 2 of 180
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    As I said in another thread:

    [QUOTE]This is where I go back to Apple needs to set the narrative and get the messaging right with this device. I'm not convinced Apple is expecting everyone to ditch their laptops for this device (yet) but that's the angle all the reviews I've read so far are taking. John Gruber mentioned that when he gets devices from Apple to review someone from marketing gives him a walk through and basically goes through various talking points. I'd be curious to know what talking points these employees were given with iPad Pro.[/QUOTE]

    Ben Bajarin said it best on Twitter:

    "If all we look at the iPad Pro is as a laptop replacement we miss the point. "

    "The mobile generation has no ties to the PC and for them real work is done on mobile devices."

    For me the A9X chip and Apple Pencil stand out as seriously impressive technology. I think that's a bigger story than can this replace my current laptop.
  • Reply 3 of 180
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    rogifan wrote: »
    As I said in another thread:
    Ben Bajarin said it best on Twitter:

    "If all we look at the iPad Pro is as a laptop replacement we miss the point. "

    "The mobile generation has no ties to the PC and for them real work is done on mobile devices."

    For me the A9X chip and Apple Pencil stand out as seriously impressive technology. I think that's a bigger story than can this replace my current laptop.
    That's not the controlled narrative Mr Cook is presenting tho is it? Seems Apple marketing has decided it should be promoted as a laptop replacement.
  • Reply 4 of 180
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,813member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    That's not the controlled narrative Mr Cook is presenting tho is it? Seems Apple marketing has decided it should be promoted as a laptop replacement.

    I think that it is being promoted as an alternative to the notebook/laptop. Subtle difference I suppose, but acknowledges that some will still want to buy a Mac Book / Mac Book Pro. I'll be purchasing an iPad Pro, with pen but no keyboard; my needs are strongly design and engineering so the iPad Pro is a better fit. I will be using it as input for my iMac 5K using Astropad.

     

    That the Mac Book is lesser performance to the iPad Pro should be worrying to Intel. It seems obvious that the current iOS limitations with keyboard will be mitigated and their will be at some point an iOS analog to the Mac Book / Mac Book Air. 

  • Reply 5 of 180
    If the iPad Pro ends up replacing any laptop it's the new MacBook. It has the same screen, is more portable, has the same battery life, a faster processor, and it's cheaper. Even Cook himself carries the iPad Pro over the new MacBook.
  • Reply 6 of 180
    sog35 wrote: »
    iOS is only limited to those who grew up in the mouse/Microsoft world.

    For people under 25 the ipad Pro is the laptop for those who never owned a laptop.

    Admit it.  The laptop is dying along with the older generation.  Its up to software makers to realize this and start building serious software for iOS.  Apple has provided the hardware now.


    Ordered for pickup today:  128GB gold Wifi


    haters can hate. They hate what they don't and will never understand.
    I don't know if it's dying per say but for the vast majority of people out there an iPad (be it whichever model you choose) is more than enough computer to fit their needs and a laptop/desktop is overkill
  • Reply 7 of 180
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    That's not the controlled narrative Mr Cook is presenting tho is it? Seems Apple marketing has decided it should be promoted as a laptop replacement.

    Where has Apple marketing (not Tim Cook) promoted this? Go to Apple's website and the iPad Pro is hardly ever shown with the keyboard attached. Quite honestly I'm not sure where Apple marketing is, hence my comment about them needing to control the narrative. I don't think Tim Cook or Eddy Cue's comments were particularly helpful.
  • Reply 8 of 180

    Maybe next year I'll get one, as for now the lack of critical software such as Adobe CC, an efficient way to manage my files, and the possibility of Pencil parallax makes it a no go for me.

     

    As for the lack of a trackpad, I wish Apple would make the keyboard itself also a trackpad, similar to the way you move your cursor in iOS 9 keyboard on an iPad; move your fingers over the keys moves a pointer of some sort.

     

    Obviously, this opens a lot of speculations to the next version of iOS, and pits Microsoft against Apple once again. Two major players with similar products but different paths.

  • Reply 8 of 180
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    iOS is only limited to those who grew up in the mouse/Microsoft world.

     

    For people under 25 the ipad Pro is the laptop for those who never owned a laptop.

     

    Admit it.  The laptop is dying along with the older generation.  Its up to software makers to realize this and start building serious software for iOS.  Apple has provided the hardware now.

     

     

    Ordered for pickup today:  128GB gold Wifi

     

     

    haters can hate. They hate what they don't and will never understand.


    This is simply not true. Touch cannot completely replace a Mouse. They are different kinds of inputs, like different kinds of brushes.

     

    I design graphics in Creative Suite. Can't do that with touch, its just ridiculous. You need a mouse for it. This just one example.

     

    That said, Order my iPad Pro through ATT.com. When I'm away from my desk, I'd rather make do with an iPad instead of needing a second Mac.

  • Reply 10 of 180
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Where has Apple marketing (not Tim Cook) promoted this? Go to Apple's website and the iPad Pro is hardly ever shown with the keyboard attached. Quite honestly I'm not sure where Apple marketing is, hence my comment about them needing to control the narrative. I don't think Tim Cook or Eddy Cue's comments were particularly helpful.
    I doubt Mr Cook or Mr Cue are out on promotional tours without everyone being on the same page, coordinated with marketing and retail. Surely you don't think Apple is that disorganized.
  • Reply 11 of 180
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    portcity wrote: »
    If the iPad Pro ends up replacing any laptop it's the new MacBook. It has the same screen, is more portable, has the same battery life, a faster processor, and it's cheaper. Even Cook himself carries the iPad Pro over the new MacBook.

    But Cook was using an iPad before the MacBook was even released. Seems to me the new MacBook is just as portable as iPad Pro. I mean it only weighs two pounds.
  • Reply 12 of 180
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

     

    Maybe next year I'll get one, as for now the lack of critical software such as Adobe CC, Pencil parallax, and lack of an efficient way to manage my files is a no go for me.

     

    As for the lack of a trackpad, I wish Apple would make the keyboard itself also a trackpad, similar to the way you move your cursor in iOS 9 keyboard on an iPad; move your fingers over the keys moves a pointer of some sort.

     

    Obviously, this opens a lot of speculations to the next version of iOS, and pits Microsoft against Apple once again. Two major players with similar products but different paths.


     

    You're not getting the Adobe software that is designed for Mouse input on a touch device. Its just not happening. They have made what they feel is worth having on a touch display, and its already available. So, don't wait around for that.

     

    And that ancient myth about proper file management makes you look ignorant. All of my important files on my Mac/PCs are stored in either iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. All of which are completely accessible on iPad.

  • Reply 13 of 180
    sog35 wrote: »
    The laptop is dying along with the older generation.

    I have a different view. Who really needed a laptop, still needs a laptop. It does not depend on the "generation". I think that laptop is dying (in terms of number of sales) because today there are other kind devices which allow to perform tasks, that once you had to perform with a full-fledged pc. A lot of people has realized that the need for web browsing and occasional email writing can be fulfilled with a tablet/phablet/smartphone, without the need for a pc/laptop.
  • Reply 14 of 180
    sog35 wrote: »
    iOS is only limited to those who grew up in the mouse/Microsoft world.

    For people under 25 the ipad Pro is the laptop for those who never owned a laptop.

    Admit it.  The laptop is dying along with the older generation.  Its up to software makers to realize this and start building serious software for iOS.  Apple has provided the hardware now.


    Ordered for pickup today:  128GB gold Wifi


    haters can hate. They hate what they don't and will never understand.
    People under 25 want things like a BitTorrent client and selection and layers in Photoshop.
  • Reply 15 of 180
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I doubt Mr Cook or Mr Cue are out on promotional tours without everyone being on the same page, coordinated with marketing and retail. Surely you don't think Apple is that disorganized.

    No, I don't think marketing sat down Eddy Cue and Tim Cook and said "here's what we want you to say about iPad Pro". I think Cook was honestly saying what he feels, not marketing speak.
  • Reply 16 of 180
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member

    Worst online ordering experience I've ever had with Apple, and that's saying a lot (sadly). Why can't they get their damned act together? I bought an iPad Pro for in store pickup. I picked a store that said it was available. When the order processed, it said "Available November 24". I tried to cancel the order but it wouldn't let me. I had to call Apple twice to get that order canceled. And the lady on the phone found a store in town that had one and ordered it for me. She put me on hold for 20 minutes and came back to tell me that the same than had happened to her too. So after an hour and a half (total) of being jerked around by the Apple ordering system, I was late for work, missed my shower, and I get my iPad Pro on the 24th.

     

    If the process hadn't taken so damned long, I could have switched my order. If the web site had warned me that the thing wasn't actually available before it locked the order, this wouldn't have happened. If it would let me simply SWITCH STORES on a completed order, this wouldn't happen. 

  • Reply 17 of 180
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,729member
    rogifan wrote: »
    No, I don't think marketing sat down Eddy Cue and Tim Cook and said "here's what we want you to say about iPad Pro". I think Cook was honestly saying what he feels, not marketing speak.
    Ah, mixed messages are encouraged by Apple's executive leadership! That doesn't sound like a good plan to me but Apple knows a whole lot more about marketing than I do.
  • Reply 18 of 180
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,813member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    No, I don't think marketing sat down Eddy Cue and Tim Cook and said "here's what we want you to say about iPad Pro". I think Cook was honestly saying what he feels, not marketing speak.

    I think that Tim was speaking as an executive, to other executives; "it works for me, maybe for you to". Since Apple sells a line of notebooks and laptops, there is plenty of choice.

     

    The iPad Pro isn't by any stretch a hybrid. It's just a superior tablet with an accessory pen and keyboard.

  • Reply 19 of 180
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Ah, mixed messages are encouraged by Apple's executive leadership! That doesn't sound like a good plan to me but Apple knows a whole lot more about marketing than I do.

    You seem upset about simething today. Am I wrong?
  • Reply 20 of 180
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,898member

    Sounds a lot like early reviews of the original iPad and iPad2. The common message was "cool hardware in search of a reason to exist." Then all of a sudden, developers released some must-have apps and the iPad became the primary go-to device for many, many people.

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