Apple iPad Pro 2018 Review Round-Up: Still Can’t Replace a Laptop
Apple iPad Pro 2018 looks different from the older models.
Apple iPad Pro 2018 looks different from the older models.(Photo: The Quint)

Apple iPad Pro 2018 Review Round-Up: Still Can’t Replace a Laptop

Apple iPads have become better, powerful and even the Pencil gets a much needed upgrade. But it still can’t become the laptop alternative for users. That’s what most reviews of the new iPad Pro have to say.

In India, the iPads; now available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes are priced starting from Rs 71,900 and going as high as Rs 1,03,900 for the top variant of the device. Tim Cook, CEO, Apple proudly claimed at the launch event on 30 October that iPads outsell all laptops in the market, with over 400 million units sold till date.

This statement, and Apple’s promise that its device will work as an able laptop replacement has forced reviewers to point out whether Apple can really walk the talk. Here’s a look at some popular reviews of the iPad Pro.

It Gets Closer to PC Than Ever Before - Wired

“After using a new iPad Pro 12.9 for a few days, I can say that it's most definitely a refreshing, positive step forward for the iPad,” says the review by Wired.

The publication has been impressed with its overall build quality and the design overhaul gives the iPad Pros a modern touch.

“The back of the 5.9mm aluminum shell feels incredibly sturdy, and sheds the tapered edges that have defined the iPad for most of its existence. The back is now flat like the bottom of a box, right up to the side. The design looks like a refined version of the iPhone 5.”

The iPad Pros get a premium price tag in 2018. 
The iPad Pros get a premium price tag in 2018. 
(Photo: Tushar Kanwar/The Quint)

“They were also impressed with the display quality. The Liquid Retina LCD displays are huge, stretching 11 inches or nearly 13 inches, depending on which model you choose. They’re gorgeous and packed with pixels. The Pro also adapts the warmth of its display to the lighting in your room.”

This is also the first iPad to ditch the home button, favouring to go with the Face ID itself. “It works well, and doesn’t require that cut-out notch on the screen like the iPhone. It’s not quirk-free, though. We usually hold our iPhones in a portrait (vertical) orientation because that’s just how they fit in our hand. With an iPad like this, you almost always use two hands, and that means there isn’t really a 'right' or 'wrong' way to hold it.”

With the A12 bionic processors on board, the new iPads were likely to be powerful, and they weren’t disappointed. “This year, it can mix and match those cores more efficiently, giving it almost 2x better multi-core performance than before. The graphics chip also pumps out around 2x more power, all without compromising the 10-hour battery life every iPad has gotten.”

In the end, they admit that probably in the near future the iPads can match or better the PCs, for now they’re the best in its segment.

The Fastest iPad is Still an iPad - The Verge

Meanwhile, The Verge has been particularly critical of how an over-powered iPad get underutilized by the ineffective iOS for the tablet. “The one thing Apple didn’t really change on the iPad Pro is iOS 12, which has all of the same capabilities and limitations iPad users have come to expect. Apple wants you to think that the iPad Pro is the future of computing, but if you’ve already used iOS 12 on an iPad Pro, you know exactly how you feel about that idea.”

They found its overall price tag (over $2,000) for the iPad, Pencil 2 and keyboard stand steeper for its use case. This is also the first iPad to drop the headphone jack, comes with a single USB Type C port (time to buy more adapters, Apple fanboys) and delivering this with a Pencil that only works with the newer iPads.

You can wirelessly charge the Pencil on the iPad Pro. 
You can wirelessly charge the Pencil on the iPad Pro. 
(Photo: Tushar Kanwar/The Quint)

Nilay Patel from The Verge wasn’t particularly impressed with how iOS (the same one as iPhone) hasn’t been tweaked to make it tablet-friendly. Instead, you’re relying on gesture support to work through the device. “The iPad version of iOS also has a dock, so you can swipe up just a little in an app to bring it up, which is how you slide a second app onto the screen, or quickly pop an app over your work space to get something done.”

The high-quality display on the iPad Pro doesn’t support 4K videos on YouTube, What! 

“These new gestures are all intuitive to pick up, especially if you’ve been using a recent iPhone, but there’s a lot going on when you swipe up — it definitely took me a second to figure out how to get the dock to appear instead of going home or opening up the app switcher.”

Apple iPad Pro.
Apple iPad Pro.
(Photo: Reuters)

They did like that the Pencil can now be charged wirelessly on the iPad itself, but designers weren’t impressed with how the Pencil responded to their use case. And even with the USB Type C port, you still can’t use a USB drive on the new iPads.

He ends his review by highlighting all the brownie points of the iPad Pro; gorgeous screen, powerful hardware, reliable and robust design and improved Pencil in tow. But, it’s still an iPad. Period.

CNET had a straightforward approach to its opinion on the new iPads. “The new iPad Pro is in many ways the pinnacle of tablet hardware design, but its nosebleed price and software limitations narrow its appeal to creatives willing to bend to its current compromises.”

“Apple’s redesigned iPad is sleeker and more powerful — not to mention pricier — but will still leave most professionals longing for a mouse or trackpad,” as mentioned by the Washington Post in its review of the new devices.

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