Thursday, June 20, 2019
Home Tech iPad Pro 12.9-inch test: put Apple's Pro claim to the test

iPad Pro 12.9-inch test: put Apple's Pro claim to the test

Is the iPad Pro really a professional device? Apple seems to believe that, but we wanted to answer that question while watching the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, putting Apple's largest and most expensive tablet at the center of our professional workflow.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard with Apple Pencil

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil

The latest and greatest iPad professionals were born less than two weeks ago. It was followed by countless reviews, and there were many more who dealt with the shortcomings of iOS. These are fair criticisms as iOS has some reason to catch up (which we'll talk about later), but it's not the whole story.

Apple made a clear statement in the summer about the structure of the iPad Pro. Recent announcements and marketing announcements for the iPad Pro have shown that it's time to consider the iPad Pro as a computer, and not just as a content consumption of metal and glass.

That does not necessarily mean that the iPad Pro is a complete computer replacement for all living souls, but it's still a professional device.

When we talked about the 11-inch iPad Pro, we had already gone beyond the raw data and performance. We will not refresh much soil here.

We took Apple at our word and started this review on the assumption that the iPad is really one "Professional" Device and threw the big 12.9-inch model here in our own daily operations Apple insider to see how he felt. We wanted to find out if there is a functional difference between the predecessor and the new 11-inch device (review).

Of course, there are different definitions for a "pro" device, and what a "pro" does or needs is in this regard. "Pro" is first and foremost a marketing term that means nothing apart from a more powerful version of other hardware. And there are countless different verticals of "professionals", of which only some consider the iPad Pro suitable.

Under these circumstances, I stop using the iPad Pro in my own professional life. My workflow consisted of writing about 10 kilowords per day, photo sessions for review equipment, video shoots for the same, and frequent travel. As one who deals with mass media, I should be a primary target for pro-use.

To date, I have used the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro last year and was thrilled to see how the new Pro can build on it. I enjoy using my iPad and it finds its way into more areas of my professional and working life.

This does not mean that I do not like my 15-inch MacBook Pro at the end of 2016. It often feels like it's the bigger iron than I need. The macOS interface remains great after years of refinement, and I love the enhancements to Dark Mode and Finder made by macOS Mojave. But if I check both devices for what I'm doing enjoy I can always come back to the iPad with it.

Powerful hardware

Alone in the specifications we were pretty enthusiastic from the beginning of the new iPad Pros. I thought the new design, seemingly a mix of the flat sides of the original iPad and the flat back of the newer models, looks a bit dated. Holding and using the iPad is something completely different.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro with LG 4K USB-C monitor

The beveled bezels place the display forward and center, and do not cause any annoying touch while holding or handling the iPad because we were worried about publishing. This is also the first time that Apple's authentication method has been completely hidden on the device so that it works in the background without the user having to think twice about looking at the iPad. And there is no score to argue about.

Apple has called the new display as a liquid retina display, the same moniker on the glass of the iPhone XR. This is certainly the most advanced LCD Apple has ever released, and a few tricks not seen on any iPhone yet.

This term for the liquid retina comes through the rounded corners, which makes the panels smaller and the display can mimic the curves of the body. This is a subtle effect that makes the display feel more intense.

The disadvantage, however, is that because of the new aspect ratio, developers will need to update their apps again to free them from the dreaded black bars that have manifested themselves several times during the iOS lifecycle. Many key players here have already submitted updates, but it may take some time for the entire app catalog to be included.

This is not nearly as noticeable on the 12.9-inch model, but our 11-inch brothers have a stronger opinion on the matter and less real estate to give up.

Tap to Wake also appears on the iPad with the new Liquid Retina display, which is even more important in the absence of a physical home button. Of all the changes made to the new iPad Pro, these are among our favorites. It's easy to turn on the display to check the time or notifications while we're in the middle of a shot, rather than looking for the power button on the edge, and we look forward to it when it's further down in the iPad series emigrated. It should open some interesting use cases around the house.

Face ID and the TrueDepth camera system never let us resort to touch ID again. We liked Face ID on the iPhone, but it's even more of a game changer on the iPad.

Because we work in many native applications and web apps, we often enter credentials. It has been a shattering experience for our workflow in the past when we had to move our hands off the keyboard to authenticate with Touch ID. Face ID, on the other hand, simply authenticates in the background, so you can get started and quickly enter your credentials, whether from iCloud or apps like 1Password.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro Face ID

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Face ID

In our office, we often have two people working on the iPad during a recording, reviewing pictures while someone else is behind the camera, reviewing the record list, or performing other similar tasks. The Touch ID allows you to enter five fingerprints for verification, but the Face ID is limited to two.

That worked for us. In a larger shared environment, this may not be the case. We've set up the alternate look and feel, but in larger, shared environments, we see more of the old six-digit passcode being banned.

Internally, the iPad Pro is about performance. It has significant advantages in every category and surpasses many traditional PCs. Powered by the A12X processor, this iPad has done some remarkable things.

In our 11-inch iPad Pro test with the same internal specifications as the 12.9-inch monitor, videos were exported much faster than the latest-generation models, and we obviously saw the same thing with the larger siblings.

Our professional workflow

Nobody really doubts the raw power of the iPad Pro, that's obvious. However, the workflows vary, and for some it may be overkill. There were certain cases in my workflow where performance was beneficial, but many others where it did not matter.

I work a lot with photo editing, usually between the excellent Affinity Photo and Pixelmator. If we back up a huge RAW photo, create multiple effects and layers, and combine multiple photos, our latest generation iPad Pro has begun to fight. To be fair, we also saw the fight against the MacBook Pro in late 2016, so it's not an easy task.

The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, however, is outstanding. Loading times were still there when a large area was painted, but much less than the last one.

This beautiful 12.9-inch display is great for viewing and editing photos. There are elements that we wish we could use on the iPad, such as: As an external knob or even additional gestures of the Apple Pencil. However, this is still an excellent experience. It's a pleasure to sit back on a chair with the iPad and edit those massive photos for editing.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro editing photos

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro for editing photos in Affinity Photo

At the same time, dealing with the files is another matter. For much of my work, I use cloud storage locks like Amazon Drive to back up and save files and locally. It's easy enough to output photos from my camera – without an adapter via USB-C, if you want to start editing, but dealing with huge amounts of files is up to my Mac.

The workflow typically includes duplicate photos in multiple places, a frightening aspect that nobody wants to deal with. This was also the case with the previous model, so the problem is with iOS and not with the physical hardware of the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro hardware theoretically simplifies the better handling of files thanks to the USB-C port.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro to connect the Nikon Z7 via USB-C

USB-C was an amazing addition to the iPad Pro, allowing us to connect the above camera directly to the tablet. The same cable is used to charge the iPad or camera to transfer photos and videos.

This already has a big impact, but we want it to go further. We just have too many media, and with the launch of Photoshop CC, Apple needs to find a better way to handle it on the iPad. Requiring all photos and videos to run through the Photos app is no longer acceptable in a professional workflow. Some personal photos are fine and it's great to be able to import them directly into iCloud. When shooting a client, however, I would like to keep it separate and import directly into the Files app.

We also want to do this without FAT formatting or a DCIM folder.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro multi-tasking

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro Multitasking with Safari in Split View and Twitteriffic in Slide Over

Multitasking is designed for this large display, so AppleInsider.com and Bear can be easily opened in split view. A quick way to access my Twitter feed and email. All this on the 11-inch iPad Pro is doable, but problematic on a smaller screen.

This larger screen was also used when used as the second monitor for our MacBook. With Luna Display, the 11-inch is too narrow to be fully useful, but the 12.9 fits exactly. Thanks to smaller apertures, we were able to keep the displays together and take up less desk space.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro Tap on the Smart Keyboard Folio

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro when tapping on the Smart Keyboard Folio

Of all the situations for which we used the iPad Pro, manh writing and editing were the most prevalent. When writing, we resorted to the updated Smart Keyboard Folio. We have a dispute with the new design altogether – check our full review for it – but it's still your best bet. It retains the same stiffened cloth buttons that we can type as quickly and exactly as on our Mac.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro in Files app

This entire review was made with this iPad sans for the above video, which was processed by Final Cut Pro X – which is a complete migration issue in our workflow.

I've created an outline of the points to deal with and a draft of the video script. I put together a recording list and points for filming and photography. Then I imported the photos to my iPad for editing and processing. To do this, I first had to import into the Photos app, import into Affinity Photo, then export to the Files app with the correct size and name, then write the final draft review and edit in the Apple insider Publication platform for publication. The whole process was simple and streamlined, apart from the hurdles associated with photos – and of course video editing.

For professionals or no?

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Affinity Photo

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro affinity photo

It has been a week and a half and we certainly have opinions on the device, but back to our basic question Is the iPad Pro a real professional device? – We have to say yes for the hardware, with the limitations of iOS.

When Apple launches the iPhone in the fall, it comes with the release of the latest operating system of the year. This year's iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were introduced at the same time as iOS 12, and Apple has baked many goodies for these new phones.

The iPad is not necessarily the case. IOS 12 was launched two months ago, and when the new iPad Pro came out, there were no software-specific features for the new tablets except Animoji or Smart HDR.

We'll inevitably have to wait almost an entire year on iOS 13 before we realize the full potential of this hardware. It's likely that Apple will provide solutions to many of our pain points in this release, making it easier to use USB-C or external displays. All of this makes it difficult to fully evaluate the iPad Pro because it runs the same software as the previous generation and creates the devices feeling older than you are.

Apple has designed the new iPad Pro for the future, that's clear. Today, however, it makes an important contribution to simplifying our professional workflow. No, it does not replace our computer, but at the moment it's not meant to be. Professionals do not always have a machine. If we had switched to the iPad Pro today and abandoned our MacBook Pro, we would still have a Mac mini in the background, acting as a media server.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro Apple Pencil 2

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Apple Pencil 2

Whether to replace a PC or not is another question, but that does not mean that iOS and the iPad Pro can not meet the potential it already has. The iPad Pro has room to grow and will undoubtedly do so. This iPad Pro still feels like the most polished iPad and was worth the upgrade. However, we will continue to wait patiently for third-party apps to take advantage of this unbridled performance, and Apple will finally focus on new iOS 13 features rather than polishing and performance-oriented iOS 12.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Where to buy

Apple Authorized Resellers offer a range of benefits 12.9-inch iPad Pro Purchases, including no sales tax on orders shipped outside New York and New Jersey Adorama, plus free shipping to adjacent US buyers may also be incentivized for financing with the Adorama Credit Card; For example, no interest on full payment within six months on iPad Pro orders over $ 500 or no interest on full payment within 12 months on iPad Pros over $ 1,000. As the holidays approach quickly, it can be beneficial to have a little more time to buy.

Backward units are filled according to the motto "first come", "first served". You should reserve a seat today to get the fastest possible availability. Adorama will not charge your credit card until your order is ready to ship.

If you're looking for an iPad Pro right away, you can also shop for in-store models B & H Photo and Abt.com without sales tax on orders placed in most states.

For offers on all iPad lines look at our offer iPad price list,

12.9 "iPad Pro

  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 64GB Silver Only Wi-Fi
    Buy for $ 999.00
    ($ 80 off taxes outside NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 64GB Space Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $ 999.00
    ($ 80 off taxes outside NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 64GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellphone
    Buy for $ 1,149.00
    (Tax deduction of $ 92 outside of NY & NJ and 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 64GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Mobile Phone
    Buy for $ 1,149.00
    (Tax deduction of $ 92 outside of NY & NJ and 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 256GB Silver Only Wi-Fi
    Buy for $ 1,149.00
    (Tax deduction of $ 92 outside of NY & NJ and 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 256GB Space Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $ 1,149.00
    (Tax deduction of $ 92 outside of NY & NJ and 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 256GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellphone
    Buy for $ 1,299.00
    ($ 104 rebate on taxes outside NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 256GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellphone
    Buy for $ 1,299.00
    ($ 104 rebate on taxes outside NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 512GB Silver Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $ 1,349.00
    ($ 108 off tax outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 512GB Space Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $ 1,349.00
    ($ 108 off tax outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 512GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellphone
    Buy for $ 1,499.00
    ($ 120 tax outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 512GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellphone
    Buy for $ 1,499.00
    ($ 120 tax outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "Only iPad Pro 1TB Silver Wi-Fi
    Buy for $ 1,749.00
    (Tax Deduction $ 140 Outside of NY & NJ & 0% Financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 1TB Space Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $ 1,749.00
    (Tax Deduction $ 140 Outside of NY & NJ & 0% Financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 1TB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellphone
    Buy for $ 1,899.00
    ($ 152 rebate on taxes outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • 12.9 "iPad Pro 1TB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellphone
    Buy for $ 1,899.00
    ($ 152 rebate on taxes outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
    * Adorama does not charge sales tax on orders shipped outside of NY & NJ *. The iPad Pro is not entitled to any interest if paid in full within 6 months for purchases of $ 500- $ 999, or interest paid in full within 12 months to $ 1,000 with the Adorama Credit Card.

iPad accessories

  • Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) for iPad Pro 2018
    Buy for $ 129.00
    (10% off taxes outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
  • Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for 12.9 "iPad Pro
    Buy for $ 199.00
    (Tax deduction of $ 16 outside of NY & NJ & 0% financing *)
    * Adorama does not charge sales tax on orders shipped outside of NY & NJ. iPads priced at $ 500 or more can be funded with the Adorama Credit Card for 6 to 12 months with no interest.

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