Apple’s iPad Pro, particularly in its 12.9-inch format, truly pushes the envelope in the world of tablets. It can hold its own against a MacBook now that it has Apple’s own M2 chip, and is so powerful that users wonder why it doesn’t just take on the software from the notebooks and become a touch-screen laptop-tablet hybrid altogether.
Even with the previous generation’s M1 chip, the iPad Pro was more power than most people need. Now, with the 15% faster processor and 35% faster graphics, this absolute king of tablets is firmly the domain of professionals who are involved in power-intensive creation.
The iPad Pro 12.9 with M2 costs ₹112,900 for the base Wi-Fi model. It’s available for somewhat lower prices with various resellers. The highest end model with 2TB storage, 16GB RAM, and both cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity will see the price go up just short of ₹200,000.
For many users, it’s the 10.9-inch variant that makes more sense, being more portable and travel-friendly. For those who move about from one location to the other in the course of a day’s work, the slight reduction in overall size is a help. For this smaller iPad Pro it probably makes more sense to opt for a cellular version. This is also the variant that more likely fits customers who don’t necessarily do that much creation work but nevertheless want a tablet that is extremely fast and future-proof. The base variant with Wi-fi only and 128 GB storage comes in at ₹89,900.
For both sizes of the iPad Pro one needs to acquire accessories, specially a cover without which the tablet is too unwieldily to be carried or even held safely and comfortably. And since it seems a shame to limit functionality without a keyboard, it makes sense to get one — specifically the one created by Apple for the machine, the Smart Keyboard Folio for ₹19,900 or better still the Magic Keyboard for ₹33,900. For added functionality, and a sheer necessity for creators, there’s the second generation Apple Pencil for ₹11,900.
Add to this the fact that apps and services also cost a bit and you have yourself quite an expense. At the same time though, this is the most powerful tablet in the world and one that can last several years.
Interestingly, it is rather difficult for the average user to detect the difference between the first iPad Pro with Apple’s M1 chip and the newest one with the M2 processor as that too is extremely fast and responsive. In fact, almost anyone who reviews the M2 machine recommends that you consider the previous version — provided you’re not a content creator and provided you can easily find the model you want. Otherwise, it’s the M2 machine that is future-proof, especially if one opts for one of the higher storage and RAM models. The 8-core processor lets one handle everything from rendering images and video to high-end gaming to augmented reality. It’s also very responsive while using the Pencil which works lag-free. The 2nd Gen Pencil compatible with this iPad brings a new hover feature which is useful for things like colour selection and previews for those professionals who use these capabilities in their everyday work.
The mini-LED screen of the iPad Pro 12.9 is gorgeous — and it has to be, if professionals are to use it. It has a Reference Mode which enables iPad’s Liquid Retina XDR display to match the colour requirements in workflows like review and approve, colour grading, and compositing, where accurate colours and consistent image quality are critical.
The screen is flanked by four quite outstanding speakers that truly sound fantastic and make music and sound with movies or indeed just plain music sound amazing. The device makes for quite an alternative to a television, particularly as more personal and individual viewing become the norm.
The myriad power components of the iPad Pro are all ramped up or maxed out. There’s USB4 connectivity and Thunderbolt 3 support. This means data transfer can move fast. You can attach an external source to the iPad Pro which actually also has an additional USB-C port if you use the Magic Keyboard. The machine supports Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi6, the advantage of both of which depends on what equipment you have to leverage these standards. A big battery on the inside ensures at least 10 hours of battery life, though if one doesn’t use the device continuously the battery can last several days before one thinks of recharging it. Processor-intensive work will drain it faster.
Design-wise, the iPad Pro remains the same as it was previously, which is to say it’s slim and sturdy and sleek. Bezels around the display are thin and neat. The camera modules are the same as well: 12MP wide plus 10MP ultrawide and 12MP Centre Stage front.
It must be said that the software, iOS 16, has a lot to it that gives the iPad Pro its capabilities including the hover feature for the Pencil and ‘Stage Manager’ which is its system for handling multi-tasking. Fortunately, that at least, is free.