Apple is getting their hand into 2-in-1 tablet/laptop market with the introduction of Pro line last year. Even when many argue that the model is still too far from Surface Pro alike, the big chunk of size and professional-level accessories bear a strong remark of Apple’s seriousness here.
- True Tone IPS LCD Display
- Smartphone-spec camera
- Instant magnetic keyboard
- Creative pencil stylus
- Expensive tablet and accessories price
- 2-in-1 capability limited by iOS
The Cupertino company always boasted that the Pro was meant to be a strong contender against traditional laptops, and comes in two big-but-smaller-than-laptop sizes: 9.7 and 12.9 inch. Although both carry relatively the same specifications on paper, we tend to go with this smaller version as it’s more comfortable to hold with palm.
Speaking of design, you wouldn’t find a notable difference between this and Air 2. Everything on the form factor is way too identical, except for the thickness where the Pro has a bolder size. The heavier weight is compensated by two pair of speakers at the top and bottom, thus resulting is stronger stereo sound experience.
The 9.7-inch tablet comes with a 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 ppi. Not the crispiest in 2016 standard, but packs stronger color balance at 25 percent. Under the hood is where the Pro receives its distinguished badge of honor. There’s an A9X chipset featuring M9 motion co-processor and 12-core PowerVR Series 7 GPU. This system is then paired with 2GB of RAM.
Apple stepped up the camera department by bringing a 12MP iSight primary lens, on par with mid to upper smartphones to date. The shooter is accompanied by a True Tone LED flash to make it as good as every bit of iPhone 6s series.
It comes separately with a specifically designed keyboard. Dubbed as Smart Keyboard, this $149 magnetic keyboard isn’t a typical bluetooth one. Once you paired the slate with it, your fingers can start typing on the smooth physical keys with joy.
Designers and artists alike will also love the Apple Pencil. Ironically, this accessory marks the company move against the naysayer Steve Jobs who once infamously said “who need a stylus?.” Apple has provided a wide array of blank canvas to play things around with the lag-free stylus. Unless you want to unleash some creativity on the screen or you are a pro artist, the $99 price tag may worry you.
As of October 2016, the iPad Pro series has received the iOS 10 upgrade. We are yet to see if this has done anything to save up the 7306 mAh battery which currently stand at 11 hours on average. Speaking of power charge duration, the iPad Pro 9.7 took 3 hours and 50 minutes which is relatively fast at early stage but slows down when approaching 100 percent. The company also sells a separate quick-charge version of Lightning-to-USB-C cable that allows you to speed the duration up.
The iPad Pro 9.7, as its name suggests, comes with professional level of use in mind. It may not yet resemble the sheer power that we already getting used to see on 2-in-1 laptops these days, however, it hold several advantages in terms of versatility. The 32GB base model costs $549, while the 128GB sells $100 higher. The ultimate 256GB version currently being offered at $790.