Ten years have passed since the release of the Apple Ipad Pro – during this time, tablets, as a separate class of devices, have managed to survive both rise and fall. The classic tablet was essentially an enlarged smartphone, from which it was impossible to make calls by putting it to the ear, but on which it is more convenient to read (news, articles, books) and watch (films, TV series, Youtube).
However, as screens increased in smartphones, the demand for tablets gradually decreased. Apple understood this very well and at one time launched the Apple Ipad Pro line, targeting a rather narrow but solvent audience, consisting of artists, illustrators, all kinds of designers and even video production specialists.
As a result, the Apple Ipad Pro was no longer perceived as a larger iPhone, but it was still a long way off before replacing the laptop that Apple has been talking about for a long time. And now the Apple Ipad Pro gets another update, gets new additional accessories and gets one step closer to making us ditch the laptop altogether. This is in theory. Well, today we will find out what turned out to be in practice.
Let me remind you that iPad Pro still exists in two versions – with a diagonal of 12.9 inches and with a diagonal of 11 inches. This time I got my hands on a compact model in the maximum configuration (Wi-FI + Cellular, 1 TB of internal memory) along with a new proprietary Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil of the latest generation. But all this, of course, is not included in the package.
Specifications, complete set
The box with the iPad Pro contains only an 18W charger, a cable with USB-C connectors on both sides, a “clip” for removing the SIM tray, and accompanying papers. As you can see from the table, there is no 3.5 mm audio jack on the case, and there is no adapter included in the kit – so now you understand that abandoning the usual connector was originally needed not to save space, not for better protection from moisture, but for stimulation sales of wireless headphones that only the lazy does not produce today.
Design, ergonomics and iPadOS
Externally, the 2020 iPad Pro is very similar to the previous generation model released in 2018. From the face, it is not possible to see any differences, the shape of the body has remained the same, except that instead of the single built-in camera, a rectangular block now flaunts on the back panel, like in the iPhone 11 . IPad Pro now has two built-in cameras (regular and ultra-wide angle), as well as a built-in LiDAR scanner. We will talk about them separately today.
On the front of the iPad Pro, there are no visible elements, only a screen with rounded corners and a fairly thin black border around it. As in the model of the previous generation, there is no Home button with a TouchID sensor, abandoning it allowed to increase the screen-to-face ratio (for an 11-inch model it is 82.9%). To quickly unlock the tablet, the FaceID system is used, the same as in the iPhone X and later models, with the only difference that the iPad does without a corresponding cutout in the screen. The front camera was also positioned in the upper frame without resorting to a round cutout (hello Huawei MatePad Pro !).
Apple is still not committed to eliminating mechanical controls altogether. In the case of the iPad Pro, they are centered on the upper right corner of the case. There, on the edge of the top bezel, is the power / lock button, and at the top of the right bezel, there are two separate buttons for adjusting the volume. This arrangement is different from what users of earlier iPad models remember, but the logic here is that you can use keyboard shortcuts (for example, to save a screenshot) with one hand. At the opposite end of the left side there is a barely visible SIM-card tray. Note that the new iPad Pro supports eSIM, so in some cases you can do without a physical card.
A further close examination of the iPad Pro reveals five microphones: two of them are located on the upper end of the case, one on the left and one more near the front and main cameras. That is, the tablet should record sound of quite high quality without connecting external microphones, which means, among other things, it can also become a tool for podcast authors.
In the center of the left side there is also a magnetic surface for attaching and charging the Apple Pencil.
The iPad Pro still has four speakers: two on the top and two on the bottom. The USB-C connector is located on the bottom end, and on the back panel of the case there are three contacts for connecting keyboards. The new Magic Keyboard connects in the same way, and its backlight is powered by the iPad’s battery.
Well, it remains to add that the iPad Pro body, with the exception of the glass front surface, is made of a single piece of aluminum. It looks great, it is also very pleasant to the touch, but there are two features. First, due to this choice of material, the iPad Pro does not support wireless charging. And secondly, if you wish, the tablet case can be bent – there are a lot of such videos on Youtube. I would not attribute this to an obvious disadvantage, just keep in mind that if you accidentally sit on a tablet lying on the couch, it is very likely to suffer. However, glasses, a telephone, some children’s toy or a TV remote control will suffer in the same way.
For those who missed it, Apple split iPadOS from iOS a couple of years ago and added a number of additional features. And the current update (to version 13.4) has added several more such features that should bring the iPad.