ERGONOMICS AND DESIGN
Visually, it’s the same iPad Pro as the iPad Pro that we discovered in 2018. But is it a bad thing? It’s an iPad unlike any other iPad. Instead of rounded corners and soft shapes, the iPad Pro is made up of steep corners and flat faces, with massive, asymmetrical antenna lines on the back and a huge camera bump (like the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max).
These square edges and small frames provide a good screen-to-body ratio: the 11-inch model, which we tested, is really pleasant to handle. Moreover, the rounded corners of the screen bring a very modern look to the tablet. The 5.9mm thickness and the weight of 471 grams also make handling easier. Compared with 13-inch laptop, it is so easy to carry, take out and use.
The Apple A12Z processor is not the most interesting component of this iPad. We find the same architecture as the iPad Pro of 2018 (according to the rumor, the A12Z would be an A12X chip from which Apple would have awakened a graphics core), the ARM with 8 cores clocked at 2.48 GHz, the scores of benchmarks show only a noticeable improvement in graphics performance. As for the CPU, it’s pretty much the same as the old iPad Pro.
Nevertheless, this iPad Pro is so fast and efficient, it manages with fluidity and responsiveness absolutely everything that can be launched as apps and games, that it is difficult to regret having a more modern chip. We cannot wait to see what Apple can do with its ARM chips for MacBook.
This power is impressive, we can compare it to the performance of a low-power Intel Core chip, it is particularly impressive to see that Apple has managed to use it in a device without cooling fans and is thinner than a smartphone. If you’re skeptical of the arrival of ARM chips on PCs and Macs, try a 2020 iPad Pro.
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The screen of the iPad Pro is still based on IPS technology (and not OLED or mini-LED). The screen of the 11-inch version offers a screen definition of 2388 x 1668 pixels, and that of the 12.9-inch version is 2732 x 2048 pixels, i.e., a resolution of 264 dots per inch for both versions. This is what Apple calls “Retina”. Note also the refresh rate of 120 Hz, offering greater fluidity of animations and transitions. This is a technology that is already integrated on several generations of iPad Pro, even before the new design was introduced in 2018.
I do not have the probe that allows measuring the performance of this screen, difficult in times of confinement to have access to all the usual laboratory equipment, nevertheless, I can assure you that it is faultless for this IPS screen LCD: Crisp sharpness, brightness (600 nits maximum) and DCI-P3 color space make everything vivid, and True Tone color adjustment (automatic color calibration), which matches the lighting temperature of the room you find yourself in is easy on the eyes. It really is a great display that is particularly suited for photo editing and video editing. It’s a bit of a shame that it doesn’t have the depth of contrast of OLED displays. But that’s the only black spot on the board.
Apple claims that the iPad Pro can run 10 hours straight (exactly the same batteries as the previous iteration), it is one of the few brands to report numbers close to what can be measured. After that, it all depends on what you are going to do with your iPad Pro. Is it for entertainment? Is it a productivity tool? In standby, the device consumes almost nothing, which is good if you use the iPad for a few minutes a day. You can charge it from time to time. If you want to turn it into a productivity machine, it takes a day’s work, the equivalent of the battery life of a MacBook Air.
The iPad Pro is the best tablet for taking photos, but it’s still a tablet. The format is not suitable, too bulky and heavy. Rear cameras are great for a tablet, but they weren’t designed to replace your smartphone: no portrait mode (except for the front camera) and no night mode. However, I invent you to read the part “Use the iPad Pro for your cameras” below in the test, where we talk about augmented reality. One of the specialties of the iPad Pro.
Regarding the front camera, it films in Full HD with a good result overall. I just regret that the camera does not take advantage of a new lens, I find the shot much too narrow. I would have liked an ultra-wide-angle camera on the front for video conferencing.
The iPad Pro does not have an Apple Lightning port, but a USB Type-C connector (DisplayPort compatible, so you can plug it into a display). Like our Android smartphones and Windows 10 PCs, but also like MacBooks. A decision that dates from 2018, the old model, and which is an excellent thing. You can now plug in a portable SSD via USB-C, iPadOS will be able to read it. No 3.5mm jack port, but this was the case before. Finally, the only change to note is the arrival of Wi-Fi 6. This makes the iPad Pro ready for the next few years. Wi-Fi 6 will now be a must-have on all of our mobile devices.
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This is another strong point of the iPad Pro. This tablet delivers powerful, precise, and clear sound, thanks to four speakers well integrated into the case. Regarding the microphones, it is still a big strong point: with five microphones. We were skeptical when Apple mentioned the studio quality… it is clear that Apple has done a good job again. This was already the case on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the iPad Pro is clearly a professional-grade telecommunication object, rivaling high-end teleconferencing equipment, picking up the voices of several people without batting an eyelid.
USE IPAD PRO TO WORK
What did iPad’s lack to become as productive as a PC or Mac? Interaction elements, like a mouse and keyboard, a file explorer, and multitasking. iPadOS now has it all, but does that make it a good computer. After a few days without my PC and having spoken with a lot of iPad Pro users, my opinion is mixed for several reasons.
First, the 11-inch diagonal screen remains small for multitasking. When you display an application next to the Safari browser, websites switch to mobile versions and suddenly lose ergonomics. This is the limit of iPadOS, although they improve multitasking, it is not correctly taken into account by the apps. Especially third-party apps, and that’s a shame. iPadOS remains much less practical and versatile than Windows 10 or macOS. Because of its operation. Even though the OS has made great strides in helping us to work in good conditions. We can, for example, take notes while following a video call. It is not possible to be as efficient as on an OS computer.