REVIEWS

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Google Home

Sennheiser HD-1 in ear wireless headphones

Motorola Moto E4

Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

BlackBerry KEYone

Philips Hue Smart Lighting System

insta360 nano 360 camera for iPhone

2017 Cadillac CT6 Luxury

UAG Rugged Case for Surface Book

Motorola Moto G5

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

Linksys VELOP Whole Home Mesh Network

Fitbit Alta HR

2016 Range Rover

2016 Ford Flex Limited

Timex IQ+ Move fitness tracking watch

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature

2016 Mazda MX-5

Sennheiser PXC-550 Bluetooth headphones

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan

Sudio Regent Bluetooth headphones

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

VisionTek SoundTube PRO Bluetooth speaker

Fitbit Charge 2

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

Apple AirPods

Apple MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

808

Game of Thrones Season Six Blu-Ray

Michelin Premier all-season tires

Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio +

Google Daydream View VR headset

ASUS ZenBook 3

Jaybird X3

JBL SoundBoost Speaker Moto Mod

Moto Insta-Share Projector for Moto Z

Google Pixel XL

Apalon's My Alarm Clock app

Lenovo Moto Z

Apple Watch Series 2 and watchOS 3

iOS 10

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum

Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless vacuum

Tablo by Nuvyyo

Samsung Gear Fit 2 fitness wearable

Ulysses for macOS and iOS

Epson SureColor P600 Wide Format inkjet printer

HBO's Vinyl Season 1

Apple MacBook (2016)

Papago! GoSafe 268 mirror mounted dash-cam

Piper all-in-one security

JayBird Freedom headphones

SF MoMA app

Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker

UA HealthBox

Dyson Pure Cool Link

Lola by Blue

HTC 10

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Monday
Jun122017

Review: Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Since it’s inception in 2010, Apple’s iPad seemed destined for lofty goals. It ushered in the ‘Post-PC’ movement, set competitors scrambling to release competing tablets, and appeared at a time when PCs were spiralling on a multi-year decline.

Much like the iPod, the iPad managed to outlast its competition in the consumer space. Android tablets offer notoriously bad experiences, they don’t get updated and run mostly phone apps. The BlackBerry PlayBook, The HP TouchPad, various generations of Galaxy Tabs and even Microsoft’s scrappy Surface tablet could not touch the iPad’s popularity and its sales. 

iPad Pro, which came in 2015, was designed to go beyond content consumption, more powerful processors and graphics make it as powerful as traditional notebooks, multi-touch and Apple Pencil input help make the technology disappear and let users create organically and naturally.

iPad has always been about the promise that it could be the next personal computing platform. To do that, however it had to overcome its origins as ‘a blown-up iPhone,’ get enterprise and education invested in what it had to offer, and become more versatile. As PC's strove to become more like iPads, iPads similarly raced towards obsoleting PC's as perople's preferred computing devices. 

New year, new iPad Pro


The 2017 iPad Pro 10.5 inch is truly the successor to the O.G. iPad, the iPad Air, and the first generation iPad Pro 9.7-inch. In terms of design, we get a larger display, thinner bezels, an improved camera inherited from the iPhone 7 and Apple’s most powerful Apple A10X Fusion processor.

Apple’s raised the bar in terms of storage options as well and now we start at 64GB, 256GB and a new 512 GB option for both the WiFi and WiFi + LTE models.

The remarkable thing about the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is that it looks and feels familiar, is easy to carry and is remarkably lightweight. This is one of the slimmest devices I’ve tried at 6.1mm and it only weighs a pound. It is only when you put it next to a 9.7-inch iPad Pro or an iPad Air that you notice the facelift that Apple’s given it.

Power Structure


Despite the deceptive thinness and lightness of the iPad Pro 10.5-inch, it packs some truly remarkable firepower under its very thin hood. The 64-Bit Apple A10X Fusion chip has six cores and is said to outperform various PC laptops. It has a 20 percent faster CPU and 40 percent faster graphics than the already formidable A9X chip on the previous generation.

I rendered the same 2.30 minute 1080p HD video on iMovie on my 2016 MacBook and on my iPad Pro 10.5 inch and the iPad Pro got through the task in around 40 seconds, while the MacBook, which has an Intel m3 processor and 8GB of RAM, took a minute and a half to complete the same task. Repeating the test multiple times showed similar results, the iPad Pro smoked the 12-inch MacBook.

This slim slate can not only capture stunning 4K video on its onboard camera, it can edit this 4K video natively without skipping a beat. This is mostly thanks to the 40 percent faster graphics performance.

Speed is palpable at every turn. The iPad Pro renders complex websites without missing a beat, it tears through graphics heavy processes so quickly, you often need to double-check if the tasks did get completed (i.e. editing HD video for YouTube). Best of all, thanks to Apple's impressive silicon, engineering and design, it never gets hot or even warm to the touch.

 

A sight to behold


In terms of display technology, Apple has done much more than to simply slim down the components and integrate them. The new iPad Pros have the most advanced display the company’s ever produced with new ProMotion technology which enables a 120Hz refresh rate which smartly scales depending on the content (i.e. static photos will receive a lower refresh rate, while videos and games will get accelerated refresh rates). This isn't a minor breakthrough, but a calibrated and well-executed feature that puts the iPad Pro head and shoulders over any Windows multi-touch PC.

The True Tone display, my favourite feature of last year’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro, automatically adjusts the display so it looks more like actual paper and is more lifelike. This has been even more improved with the wide colour gamut which offers greater accuracy and reproduction. 

The newest iPad Pros also have the brightest and least reflective displays with 600 nits brightness, it is actually 50 per cent brighter than the previous version and is better for viewing indoors and out, a feature I tested on a bright summer morning when I shot the iPad Pro 10.5-inch outdoors under a cloudless and sunny day. The 10.5-inch display has the 2224-by-1668 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi) and the larger iPad Pro at 12.9-inch has a 2732-by-2048 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi).

Aside from being, clearer, brighter and more defined, the iPad Pro’s display is also more responsive and lag free. Using the Apple Pencil, which is the most natural and organic stylus I have tested, is even better specially for line drawings, for shading or for watercolour effects on apps like Procreate. When iOS 11 comes around, users will be able to get improved annotation and screenshot tools, these will make grabbing, drawing and sharing digital documents so much better.

Quite simply put, the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are the most genuine reflection of using pens and brushes on paper. The technology really does go away and users get lag-free and instantaneous result when writing or drawing.

Camera is Key


Apple didn’t scrimp on the camera for the iPad Pro 10.5-inch, it outfitted the tablet with the same 12 megapixel camera from the iPhone 7, arguably the best camera on a smartphone and now it is on a tablet.

The camera is the real deal here. There’s super-quick shot-to-shot performance, great optical image stabilization, f/1.8 aperture, six-element lens and up to 5X digital zoom.

The front facing camera offers a 7-megapixel FaceTime camera with 1080p HD resolution and a wide f/2.2 aperture that’s great for FaceTime.

While using a camera on a tablet isn’t advisable in most situations, it is good to know you have one of the best in the business if ever you need it.

Turning it up to 11


iPad Pro 10.5-inch would just be a pretty good upgrade if taken on the merit of the new design, improved display, faster processor and great camera.

What Apple is promising for iPad-specific features in their upcoming iOS 11 update this fall is going to transform the iPad Pro forever.

We’re getting key features that alter and expand the iPad Pro’s capabilities and better approximate what we expect from a notebook or desktop.

Among these features is a Dock, just like macOS, which will help multitasking and keeping favourite apps and files nearby.

A Files app brings all files together, adds a file structure and even plays nice with cloud services like Dropbox and others. This isn't a full blown file manager per se, but a more logical way to work with files and frameworks.

Drag and Drop functionality, a huge update, will make it possible to move text, photos, files and other content within apps. One great feature, which uses the iPad's 10-point multitouch capability, os that you will be able to select multiple files to drag into an app, this makes working on multiple images, documents so much better.

Multitasking is, similarly, getting even better with improved Split View and Slide Over functionality and a redesigned App Switcher that makes changing apps more fluid.

The new Control Centre is designed to make basic controls easy and you can now see everything your’e working on as well as the key controls by swiping four fingers up. I have no doubt that iOS 11's refinements will help push iPad Pro (and iPad) forward as the key computing device for many users who don't need or want a PC or Mac.

There’s more from iOS 11, but since this ships in the Fall and I’ve only had a brief demo, I’ll add on to this review and have a separate one for the OS once It has shipped.

Conclusion


The evolution of the iPad continues with the new iPad Pro 10.5-inch as well as the larger 12.9-inch model.

Along with a slew of refinements, an impressive display, the most powerful Apple silicon, a great new design that adds more display space without adding much weight, the iPad Pro packs a surprising amount of raw power underneath a veneer of slickness and finesse.

Yes, Apple still uses Lightning as the primary I/O for the iPad Pro and the new size and dimensions will necessitate new cases and accessories, however 10.5-inches feels more functional for pro-application use. It makes typing on the accessory keyboard more tolerable and feels sized just right for content consumption as well.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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