Tablet Tips

The iPad Pro: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

Check out our first thoughts on the iPad Pro and get the good, the bad and the ugly about the latest device from Apple.

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Apple’s latest iPad designed for enterprise has finally hit the market, and after much anticipation consumers and businesses alike are trying out these new large iPads across the country.  So what do we think about the new iPad and how does it stack up to other devices designed for enterprise? What do we like, don’t like or just plain hate?

Gosh, where do we begin.  Let me preface what follows by this.  I absolutely love the iPad Pro.  I think Apple got a lot of things right with this device and it is a great upgrade from the current lines of iPads on the market.  I also believe that some businesses will be able to make use of this device in a meaningful way.  So overall I believe Apple has a hit on their hands and many people will absolutely adore the iPad Pro.

However, I do believe that they could have done a few things a little better with its design and overall feel, and there are a few annoyances that you are just going to have to live with.  So, let’s take a look at the iPad Pro in all its glory and does what is good and bad about it, and what is just plain ugly.

The Good

We may as well discuss what Apple got right first.  From the beginning, you will notice that while this may simply be a larger iPad, it feels like a completely different device entirely simply because of its size.  It’s screen is quite impressive to see and is basically the same size as the 13-Inch Macbooks that are on the market.  That is HUGE for a tablet.  The build quality is excellent, as if we need to even mention that.  It is Apple after all.  But it is something you will enjoy looking at, mainly because of the giant screen that is simply beautiful.  It’s big, bright, high res, everything you need from a tablet screen.

The screen really is what impresses the most on this tablet.  Photos look simply amazing.  Well, assuming you took decent ones to begin with.  But viewing them in full screen on this giant is truly something to behold.  If you enjoy photo editing, this is most definitely the device for you.

Under the hood, it features the Apple A9X processor and a full 4 GB of RAM, which is quite a bit more when compared to the regular iPad and iPad mini lines.  There is more than enough power to handle any type of enterprise level application with ease.  This new iPad will also let you easily multitask, albeit with just two apps at once.  Still, usually that is more than enough for a typical tablet user, even when trying to get some serious work accomplished using tablets.

I realize that this tablet is actually designed for enterprise work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t provide great entertainment.  Imagine some of the best mobile games played on this larger screen, and with the power of the new processor, all your games will play with ease and there won’t be any lag between screens.  In reality, I think Apple could market this tablet as a gaming tablet as well as one for companies as it provides enough power to easily to both.

The Bad

Now that I have gushed and gushed over the new iPad Pro, it is time to talk about a few things that I believe are minor, but Apple got wrong. Admittedly not all of these are their fault and some will be fixed with time, but as of today they still exist.

First, let’s talk about the audio.  The speakers really aren’t much better on the Pro compared to the mini or the Air 2.  So mediocre at best.  They are still good for movies and conference calls, but listening to music on them isn’t the best experience you will ever have.  That’s not entirely their fault.  Your speakers are only going to be so good when they are as small as they are.

As good as the display is, it seems that iOS and apps don’t know how to make good use of it as of yet.  In many apps there are huge areas of empty space or the app appears too large or too small.  This is because apps haven’t matured to include the new resolutions as of yet, but really there is no excuse for Apple’s own apps and iOS itself not to support it.  Even in areas of iOS and Apple made apps, this display weirdness was very apparent, and it is even worse in the third party app world.  These problems result in some apps appearing too small or too large, or even cause some spacing issues to show up.  I’m sure that much of this will be fixed in time as developers update their apps for the newer screen resolutions and sizes.  Until then, you will have some weirdness to deal with.

Speaking of weirdness, let’s talk about the on screen keyboard.  Most apps still use the classic keyboard that comes with the iPad Air 2, instead of the new keyboard on the iPad Pro.  This is, of course, another update problem that I’m sure will slowly work itself out.  Still, that keyboard looks just plain strange on the iPad Pro and can be a little awkward to use.  The new on screen keyboard for the Pro, on the other hand, is quite well made, but just not used enough to really be effective.

The last part of bad is the weight.  I’m not sure if it is really bad, just something we will all have to deal with.  The iPad Pro is about the same weight as the first iPad that was ever released, but because of its larger screen, it is even harder to hold in one hand while you tap away with the other hand.  It is clear this device was designed for a desk or, at the very least, your lap.  Still, you can get away with holding it for short periods of time, just don’t expect things to be too comfortable for very long.

The Ugly

This will be the shortest of all the sections, but there are a couple of issues that I see as being huge mistakes on Apple’s part.  First, the fingerprint reader is the older, slower ones found on technology that is at least one generation, if not more, old.  It doesn’t use the same readers that are found on the iPhone 6S which doesn’t make much sense to me, unless Apple is having supply issues that we don’t know about.  Why include older technology on what is being dubbed as the most advanced iPad ever to be released?  It just doesn’t make sense.

The same can be said for the cameras included on the iPad Pro.  The rear camera uses the older 8MP camera on the rear and the older 1.2MP camera on the front while the iPhone 6S enjoys much newer and better cameras.  While you won’t be taking as many pictures with this device, I still don’t understand why they wouldn’t improve the front facing camera to improve the performance of video chats, something I would think would be important to business owners whose employees are on the go.

That is about as ugly as it gets, however.  Still, the inclusion of older tech on their latest device is either a way to earn just a little bit more per tablet on these devices or the result of supply issues that Apple hasn’t been willing to share with the rest of the world.  Whatever the reason, Apple should have worked to bring the newer tech to this device as well.  After all, this is supposed to be the best iPad they have ever created.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, this is not a perfect device.  It is, however, pretty damn good.  Most of what I listed as bad and ugly aspects of this device are caused simply by its size, and those that aren’t are just because the software has yet to catch up to this new design.  Much of that will be fixed with time.  The size issue, however, you just have to live with.  In the end it’s the price you pay for a larger screen.

If the iPad Air 2 simply doesn’t do it for you and you need a device with a little more power with a little more screen real estate to really be able to use it in a productive environment, then the iPad Pro is definitely the device you should take a look serious look at before you settle on a tablet to purchase.  Just get ready for the price tag.  The iPad itself is much more expensive than the standard models and if you want the accessories such as the keyboard and pencil that really transform this into a productivity machine, you will have to shell out even more.

Overall, if you are looking for the ultimate power in an iPad running Apple’s iOS so you can gain access to their app store that is filled with some of the best apps in the mobile market, then the iPad Pro is a solid contender.  It is perfect for high end users and power users and anyone that prefers to stick to the Apple ecosystem even if they are living in a business environment day in and day out.  To put it simply, this tablet will do exactly what Apple says it will do very well despite some minor complaints.  Just be prepared for a larger investment on the front end.