13 June 2017

The Verge: “iPad Pro 10.5 review: overkill”

Now that we know that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is an impressive device and that we further know that iOS 11 is going to radically change how you use it, let’s get back to that value equation I mentioned earlier. Basically, should you buy it? The iPad Pro 10.5 presents a conundrum: it is a stupendous device that I firmly believe most people shouldn’t buy just yet.

To me, if you’re going to spend $650 on a computer, it should almost surely be your main computer. And if you’re going to make the iPad Pro your main computer, you should probably get more than 64GB of storage and you should also probably get a keyboard to go with it (to say nothing of the Apple Pencil). It hits the $1,000 mark very quickly.

Dieter Bohn

I must admit I am tempted by the new 10.5 inch iPad, but there are two major things keeping me away. First on the list is software: as a photographer I need solid editing and workflow software. On the desktop I have Lightroom for that, but on the ‘mobile’ iPad Lightroom doesn’t offer the same set of features yet and I don’t trust Creative Cloud to keep my library in sync. Not to mention that I would need to buy a dedicated card reader to import the RAW files from the camera.

And with that we come to the second issue, accurately highlighted in the paragraphs above: price. I was just visiting a big electronics store yesterday – the closest thing to an Apple Store here in Romania – and I played around with the iPad Pros on display. Nothing bad to say about them really – maybe except how awful the Smart Keyboard looks. And then I looked at the price: the most basic, 32 GB 9.7", iPad Pro model sells here for the equivalent of 690 $; the 128 GB 12.9" iPad Pro goes up to 1,100 $; the Apple Pencil is just short of 200 $ and the Smart Keyboard about the same. For the price of the 12.9" iPad Pro I purchased a relatively powerful laptop two years ago, including a Windows license. It doesn’t need special adapters to transfer files, has a much bigger screen with wide gamut for photo editing (no touch though), runs games smoothly and basically fills all my needs for a PC. Even with iOS 11 coming in the next months, the iPad can only aspire to become a secondary device for me, a lightweight companion for my travels. And that simply doesn’t justify its high price.

There’s a new iPad Pro at an all-new size, 10.5 inches. It has a bigger screen, but it’s faster too. Can it replace your laptop yet?

Speaking on iOS 11, I had a very naughty idea yesterday as well: what if the new iPad-specific features get delayed for some reason and don’t ship with the first version of iOS 11? It would be very entertaining to watch Apple fans trying to justify the delays, especially for the people who bought the Pro tablets with these software improvements in mind.

But if you are reckless enough to install the iOS 11 beta on the new iPad Pro? Holy smokes is this better. I used the iPad Pro for a full week with iOS 10.3.2 because that’s the product that’s shipping, but after upgrading to iOS 11 beta 1 this morning and using it to write this entire review,3 I’m just blown away by how much more useful this machine is, and how much easier it is to work with 5 or 6 apps at a time.

John Gruber

There’s a joke in there about how the most common professional use of the iPad Pro is to write reviews about the iPad Pro, but I’m pretty sure somebody made it already.

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