The iPad has for long been lording over the tablet segment. But now, even as tablet sales across the world have plateaued, Apple wants the iPad to start replacing laptops of creative users. But can a really powerful tablet take on the likes of the MacBook Pro and offer a better option? Well, this is exactly what I set to figure out with the new iPad Pro 10.5-inch which has just hit the markets. The Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch is a new size for the series. Apple might well phase out the smaller 9.7-inch version as this new size gains ground. The new size offers more real estate, especially since it has a thinner bezel than the earlier version. In fact, the overall size is not that different, but the impact on screen size is significant. Still the 10.5-inch form factor is easy to manage and use. The rest of the design remains the same. The one visible hardware change the new iPad Pro ushers in is with display quality. While it is a Retina display like before, this has an unprecedented 120Hz refresh rate. That is something seen only on high-end televisions. But what does this mean for the user? Well, to start with, this offers a much better, more natural experience, when it comes to watching high quality videos or playing games. The frames have no lag in between, however high the quality of the graphics in the game.
On the productivity front, this means the Apple Pencil works more naturally. The millisecond lag in the earlier version is not there and the experience is more like pencil on paper, though I still think the Apple Pencil is more marble than wood. As a side note, I need to add that the Apple iPad Pro is still the gold standard when it comes to audio quality on anything mobile. Pair the stunning screen and speakers together and you have arguably the best mobile video consumption device in the world. However, Apple seems to be pitching this more as a video creation device. The 64-bit A10X Fusion chip works in tandem with an M10 coprocessor to offer professional grade performance on a one-pound device. At the launch, the company wowed everyone by doing stuff on the iPad Pro that a MacBook Pro won’t be able to do all that easily.
For average users this means doing everyday tasks without any lag, or editing photos real-time with no wait for the corrected images to render. If you want to edit video, or create and add graphics to the same, this is the only tablet in the world that will be able to do it. With apps like Procreate you can now do Adobe Photoshop level layered editing on the iPad Pro and the results are visible almost instantaneous, no need to wait for a render. This nimbleness is there even when you edit video or add graphics to it. The new iPad Pro has a slightly bigger battery than the 9.5-inch version. But despite the extra bright screen and faster refresh rate, the iPad is able to offer close to a full working day of life on the trot. In fact, I charged the review unit for the first time after a week of random use. Also, power efficiency is where the M10 coprocessor does most of its work.
In fact, the A10x processor is not even called to work for a lot of tasks like notification updates or email syncing and this helps save power. Plus, the display redress rate falls drastically if you are not watching video or playing a game. However, I think Apple should offer a stamina mode where it can offer longer battery life for those who need it. Overall, if you are looking for a tablet that will replace your laptop and still let you stick to high-end resource-heavy creativity, then your quest ends here. There is no other tablet that can do this much and this efficiently, that too without breaking a sweat. But if you just want a tablet to browse and consume video, then look at the more affordable iPads. As the name suggests, this is clearly for the pros. And on the question, whether the new Apple iPad Pro can replace a laptop, I would now be inclined to agree. I would be comfortable making this my online mobile device and not the backup.