New iPad Pro review: can it replace your laptop?

New iPad Pro review: can it replace your laptop?


– [Nilay] I don’t even know
where to start with this thing. (techno music) This is the new iPad Pro, and this one is actually the
most iPad Pro you can get. This is the 12.9 inch version
with one terabyte of storage, and LTE, with the optional
$199 keyboard cover, and $129 of Apple Pencil on top. This is $2200 of iPad Pro. It is big, and bad, and mean looking. It has an 8-core A12X processor that is just lightning fast. It has this new Apple Pencil
that clips on magnetically, and charges wirelessly. And it has a USB-C port, that can theoretically let it
connect to basically anything. It’s more expensive than my laptop. With a processor that benchmarks faster than Apples own Core i7 Macbook Pros. This iPad Pro is a beast. If a muscle car could turn into a tablet, it would turn into this,
and I should love this, I should love it, it
should keep me up at night, it should make my heart
flutter every time I see it. It should be my computer, my
number one go to computer. But it’s not, and I’m gonna tell you why. So it’s no secret that Apple’s lead in
tablets is just silly. No other company has a tablet
that offers the same power, app selection, ease of use, and battery life as the iPad Pro. Last year when Dieter reviewed
the 10.5 inch iPad Pro, he said it was basically
like Apple showing off. And this new iPad Pro is
definitely Apple showing off again, especially when it comes to hardware. There are two sizes, 11 inches, and 12.9. The 11 inch model fits a larger screen in the same sized body as
the old 10.5 inch model, and the 12.9 shrinks the
body down to fit the screen. The 12.9 is basically the same
size as a sheet of paper now. Although, I’m gonna tell you, it feels a lot bigger than that. Apple likes to say that both models have edge to edge displays,
but I mean, come on. Nothing about this bezel is edge to edge. But it is an extremely nice LCD screen that’s 264 points per inch on both sizes. And it has Apples fancy new
rounded corner technology that the company calls Liquid Retina. That’s a little confusing
because the iPhone XR also has a Liquid Retina LCD. But the iPad display is way
better than the XR screen. With a faster 120 hertz
promotion variable refresh rate, better viewing angles, brightness,
and wider color support. So I asked Apple, and they told me that Liquid
Retina really just means rounded corners, that’s it. The new iPad Pro is also
the first really really new Apple hardware design
language in a long time. Instead of rounded
corners, and soft shapes, it’s all hard corners, and flat sides with big exposed
antenna lines in the back, and a huge camera bump. It kind of looks like the Macbook Pro but it’s also kind of brutal looking. Almost like a reference design. Most people I showed it to
thought it looked kinda cool, especially in this space gray finish. But it’s taking a while to grow on me. You’ll also notice that
there’s no home button. Just like the iPhone X the
new iPad Pro has Face ID. It’s the same TrueDepth camera system with a 7 megapixel camera, infrared projector, and IR sensor. But it works in any orientation, landscape, upside down, whatever. If your palm is covering the camera while you’re holding the
iPad, it’ll tell you. And if you have it at the bottom, it’ll tell you to look down to
unlock, which is pretty neat. You can also double tap the space bar if you have the keyboard
cover on to unlock. Which is really fast, and kinda reminiscent of Windows Hello. The lack of a home button means that you now navigate the iPad Pro using the same gestures as the iPhone X. So you can tap to wake,
swipe up to go home, swipe up a little bit more to
go to open the app launcher, swipe up just a little
bit to open the dock, and swipe between apps
along the bottom here. Now this will even
preserve your app layout, so if you’ve got two apps on one screen, they’ll be right there when you come back. And of course you can
pop over certain apps to get something done
quickly if you need to. These new gestures are all
pretty intuitive to pick up, especially if you’ve
been using an iPhone X. But there’s a lot going
on when you swipe up, and getting the dock, and not the app switcher is a lot harder than you would think. You have to take a minute
to really dial it in. Apart from screen size, both size of the iPad Pro
are identical internally. With the new 8-core A12X
processor, four speakers, the smart connector for
keyboards on the back instead of the bottom, a 12
megapixel camera with smart HDR, no more headphone jack, (takes a breathe) and a new USB-C port on the bottom to replace the lightning connector. I’d normally keep going
here but that USB-C port is really what you all came to see, right? So let’s just start plugging
stuff in, and see what happens. Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop.
(laughing) So here’s the deal, with one huge exception, most everything you’d want to
plug into a USB-C port works if you have an app that supports it. We tried a bunch of hubs,
an HDMI adaptor, a keyboard, a camera, a microphone,
even a VGA adaptor, and silly USB accessories like this fan. The USB-C ecosystem is
not super well developed, but the stupid accessories
are definitely out in force. The iPad Pro will charge a phone, it’ll charge a Nintendo Switch. We tried some pro DJ gear, but that didn’t work because
there’s no app support for it. And neither did this cheap HP printer, but honestly what were you expecting. But the main thing I
want to plug into an iPad simply doesn’t work, external storage. You can plug as many flash drives, or hard drives as you
want into this USB-C port, and nothing will happen. They won’t show up in your apps, they won’t show up in
Apple’s files app, nothing. If you plug a camera into the iPad, or an SD card from your
camera into a card reader, iOS 12 will automatically pop
open a camera import screen, and let you import photos into
your Camera Roll, that’s it, you can’t even import photos directly into an app like Lightroom CC. Apple has to be in the middle. Now, I asked Apple about this, because I use Lightroom
CC all of the time, and I don’t wanna clutter
up my Camera Roll, and iCloud storage with huge RAW files. And Apples big solution is that Adobe wrote a series shortcut that imports photos into Lightroom, and then automatically deletes
them from the Camera Roll. Which is basically a hack to be honest. A neat hack that works, sure, but a hack, and this is essentially
the story of the iPad Pro, and it’s why I can’t just
use it the way I want to. Either you have to completely understand the limitations of iOS so well that you can make use
of these little hacks all over the place to get things done, or you just deal with it, and accept the fact
that you have to go back to a real computer from time to time because it’s just easier. And it’s the same all
over iOS 12 on the iPad. For the most part iOS 12 is
super fast, and fun to use, but there are roadblocks everywhere. This new iPad Pro is faster
than my actual laptop, but the mobile version of Safari just isn’t a desktop class browser, so it kicks you out to apps all the time. I don’t wanna use Apple Mail, I don’t. But I can’t set Outlook,
or Gmail to be the default, so I kinda end up in
Apple Mail all the time. And I hate to tell you this, but since Apple refuses to
support Googles VP9 video codec, there is literally no way
to watch YouTube in 4k on this $2000 tablet. You just can’t do it. In the browser, or in the app. These kinds of little stumbles just happen when you use an iPad all day, and until now we’ve been
really forgiving of iPads because we knew Apple was taking its time building up the iPad into a real computer. They were supposed to get
there, but you know what? I’m tired of waiting. It’s obvious that Apple has a massive processor performance lead, and I desperately wanna
push this A12X to the limit, and use the iPad Pro as my main computer. But over, and over again I can’t. And I don’t think it’s just me being stuck in some old way of thinking, or needing to spend more time
discovering a new workflow, or understanding series shortcuts better. This is just basic stuff like
plugging in a flash drive, or quickly changing the name of a file before emailing it off. I don’t want to adapt to my computer. I want my computer to adapt to me. Apples keyboard cover has
the same keys as before, they feel exactly the same. But the whole thing has been redesigned, and it’s better, and
worse than the old one. On the plus side there’s no
more weird hump in the middle, or origami folding. This is just much simpler, and cleaner. But if you open it, and just
wanna use it as a tablet, you’re gonna have to feel
these keys on the back which is just not very Apple like, and while the Google Pixel Slate, and the Surface Pro offer
near infinite adjustments, you really just get the
two with the iPad Pro. You got that one, and you got that one. That’s about it. I would bet 3rd parties like Logitech offer much nicer keyboards in the future, just like they did with
the older iPad Pro, so I would take a minute,
and see what they do. The Apple Pencil has also been redesigned, but I’ll be honest I am just
not that much of an artist. So I gave the iPad Pro to Verge design director William Joel, and also to Dami Lee a Verge tech reporter who also happens to be
a published cartoonist, to see what they thought
of the new Pencil, and what it’s like to use the iPad Pro as professional creatives everyday. – [Dami] The 2nd generation Apple Pencil is a huge improvement over the old, no matter which way you look at it. The Apple Pencil was already
pretty great specs wise in terms of pressure
sensitivity, and palm rejection, so there wasn’t much
to improve upon there. But the new magnetic charging method just makes so much more sense. It’s what the original
Pencil should of had instead of this horrible
charging situation that required you to take off the cap, so you can lose it immediately, and plug it into the lightning port so you can accidentally
snap your Pencil in half. Apple’s added a new feature where you can tap the
Pencil to the screen, and it’ll wake it up, and
immediately launch the Notes app, which is pretty useful but
you can’t really program it to open any other app like this. There’s also a new gesture
control feature on the Pencil where you can double tap the
sides to switch to an eraser, or the last tool that you used. In the upcoming Photoshop for iPad, which launches next year. Apple says you can customize a gesture to other tools like Zoom, but I can’t really see
myself using this feature, it’s hard to get it exactly right, and it’s not as natural as just
having a button on the side. It’s also kind of unfortunate
that the new Pencil, despite being $30 more expensive
than the last $99 Pencil doesn’t work with any other
iPad besides the new iPad Pro, and alternatively you can’t
use your old Apple Pencil with the new iPad Pro. Which is kind of a bummer considering Microsoft’s
newest Surface Pro 6 is compatible with it’s
Surface Pen’s 3, and up. I know some artists
who’ve always felt that the Apple Pencil is too
thin to hold comfortably compared to the thicker Wacom
pens, or the Surface Pens. That hasn’t changed with the new Pencil as it’s basically the same size, and feels about the same as before. There are silicone grips you can buy for the 1st generation Apple Pencil but the new magnetic charging
process in the 2nd pencil means you would have to take it off every time you want to charge it. But still I’d take this new
magnetic charging process over the old one any day. – [William] The first thing that I noticed using the new iPad Pro is how crazy fast the refresh rate is. I have a iPad mini from early
2018, and it is nowhere, like, as beautiful to just like swipe, and I could do this for hours. So we wanted to kinda push
it, and test it a little bit, and see like, well if it’s
rated at like a Macbook Pro, can it work like one? So we were using Adobe
Rush editing 4k footage, and surprisingly it handled
working with 4k footage just fine, or at least it did for me. We had no problem making a sequence that is roughly 10 minutes long, and then we exported it, and timed it, and it about as long as
it would take on my iMac. Which is kind of crazy. So while this is as powerful, or maybe even more powerful
than my Macbook Pro, what it lacks are the apps, and that’s really important to me. I like to work within
Adobe’s Creative Cloud, and the apps that it
has on here like Rush, and like the beta Photoshop
are nowhere near as strong, or powerful as they
would be on my Macbook. And for $2200 having like
the baby versions of them isn’t really what I want. The good news is that this is definitely powerful
enough to use apps like that, and hopefully down the line maybe we’ll get a Cinema 4D, or something. But until then, we’re
just gonna have to wait. – [Nilay] Look if you’re
the sort of person who might spend over $2000
on a maxed out iPad Pro, you probably know
exactly why you need one, what you’re gonna use it for, and whether it’s worth
it to you, that’s great, and you’re gonna find the switch
to USB-C super convenient, the new Pencil to be much nicer, and the A12X to be a
significant performance boost. But if you’re just
thinking about spending 799 on the cheapest 64 gig, 11 inch iPad Pro to
replace your main computer, you should really ask yourself
what you use a computer for, and whether you can deal
with the limitations of iOS every single day. There isn’t a single
other tablet on the market that could compete with the
raw hardware of the iPad Pro, and honestly there aren’t
many laptops that can either. But Apple’s approach to iOS
is holding that hardware back in serious, and meaningful ways. And while USB-C makes
life with this iPad Pro slightly easier, it still has
the same basic capabilities, and limitations of last years iPad Pro. And so just like Dieter said last year, if you know exactly how to
get what you want out of iOS, and you must have the best thing, the iPad Pro is definitely the best thing. For me it’s all just too frustrating, and while I love using the Pencil to edit photos in
Lightroom on this display, the iPad Pro is still just
an accessory to my laptop, not a replacement for it. Well, does not operate. Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop. (laughing)

Comments

  1. Post
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    RetroGhost

    its a tablet why do people think it will replace a laptop or desk top computer.sorry the power might be there but it just wont replace them

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    Amber L

    So I’m deciding between the iPad Pro and the cheapest Mac. I’m a blogger and don’t need anything too fancy, but I need to be able to save and edit photos and work on my website. Suggestions? Max I want to spend is $1200. I’m open to Windows based option but I’m a fan of my iPhone and how it operates. Portability is great but not a deciding factor so that’s why I’m considering a desktop.

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    Diego Vides

    I love your reviews! You always knock it out of the park! The verge production team is simply unparalleled

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    khayias hamilton

    Ya “the verge” I really don’t enjoy the same reporter reporting all of apples main flagships, change it up give us some other opinions from a range of reporters not just the same reporter covering the same topic every year…

  12. Post
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    Mario Georgiou

    Excellent Review, you echo my sentiments and it's one of the main reasons I am angry with Apple. They lack a real OS on iPad for computer users … it is still just a second class media device with some great capabilities. They have deliberately hamstrung this tech because they knw it will replace their computers in a minute if they were more robust OS wise.

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    Lizzie D

    I love to draw, and i was always dragging around hundreds of pencils, erasers, inks, watercolors, etc for years. I received this with the keyboard and pencil for Christmas, and I now can just sit down on the couch, bed, table, anywhere, and draw

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    Dom

    It’d be cool if the iPad Pro was just an experiment to see if the tablet’s CPU can beat current MBPs. Hence we’d see MBP mounting the same specs or faster in Late 2019 or 2020—given the fact that macOS needs to be adapted to run on a different CPU. Hell, they could also go with macOS on iPad Pro

  16. Post
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    emma gacha tv

    Am getting a iPad pro on my birthday April 30 and my sister is getting a ipod it's like a small phone on her birthday may 26

  17. Post
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    Official Jonathan

    I don't think Apple will ever make their iPads as 'true' laptop replacements any time soon. Could be in the future, but if they do that, then they might as well discard their entire MacBook lineup which they probably won't do since they're making money on both their laptop division and tablet division separately. They're getting fairly close but who knows if that will ever happen.

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    Mike Valavicius

    You know what else is looked over? Unless you use Bose app you cannot connect two headphones to the iPad pro while watching movies. what a bummer…

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    William Freeman

    Back in 2017, I bought the iPad Pro 12.9 with the 512g as I thought it would be a great replacement for my 13 inch MacBook Pro that sadly died. But unfortunately although it was fast, it just wasn’t the same experience, the form factor was great and I loved the touch screen, but at the end of the day, it came down to the operating system, it felt like an oversized IPhone which it basically is! Until Apple decide to change the operating system over to OS, leave the smaller iPads and obviously iPhones with iOS, but for the IPad Pro I think it would be the ultimate computer/tablet if they put OS on it for the 11 and 12.9 inch pro

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    NORAノラ:-:

    I have an iPad pro it's amazing I bought an apple pencil because I am a little artist and it's help a lot!❤️

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    Bacon Grease

    I ducking love my 12.9 pro. So freaking clean and fast. I’m a major media consumer. So I use my iPad all day long. And I sell tech for a living so I use it to demo to customers.

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    harsha choradia

    Hey hey can u please help me out in ipad pro can i use ( coreldraw , adobe photoshop , adobe illustrator ) ?

    Hope u rply me soon 🙂

  35. Post
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    Miranda Halbrook

    My new apple iPad Pro asked at the begging if I want to set up as new I pad so I did I entered a new Apple ID and so one I went to the store I came back to finish and entered my Apple ID now it’s saying wrong Apple ID wtf

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    Flower_power

    I will be purchasing an iPad pro tomorrow. I know it will not be a replacement for my mac book as I will mainly be using it for note-taking, productivity, and drawing. In my opinion, it is IDEAL for artists and designers.

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    Ted Strang

    Yes you are stuck in your ways. As kids that all know tablets, then the laptops will go away. “Get off my lawn!”

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    cryptoBall

    I hate how apple hinders the community not helps it, not reading usb sticks is one example of this…

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    Satan, The Skinny Whale Legend

    You can use RavPower FileHub if you wanna use flash drive or hard disk on your iPad. You can use Puffin Web Browser if you wanna browse the desktop version, it uses Flash.

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    omar arreola

    “You don’t want to adapt to a computer, the thing should adapt to me”. Well, people adapted to the iPhone very well in 2007. So…

  45. Post
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    Ness

    eh… id rather get an entry level surface pro with a keyboard and pen all for under a grand… at least it’s a full laptop. far too much for just a glorified entertainment machine.

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    Miri Hawk

    it's more expensive than my laptop
    Well maybe if you get 256gb wifi only with a better case for half the price and a used pencil it won't be

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    Paul Thierry

    In the new iPadOS update, you can connect an external hard drive, SD card reader, and, yes, even a USB drive.

  63. Post
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    Paul Thierry

    On the new iPadOS update, you can also enjoy the desktop version of websites on your iPad so you can use web apps like Google Docs, Squarespace, and WordPress.

  64. Post
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    Scott Hill

    Really need my Ipad Pro to run Excel calculators like me Macbook Pro .
    I use Office 365, but can't seem to get my
    calculator out of read only mode …
    Suggestions ?
    Trying to lighten up my travel load with IPad Pro but really need my calculators with Excel

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    Dramatello

    Dear human from November 2018….. I come from the future (July 2019 to be exact) and I'm here to bring you this message: iPadOS !!!

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    David Swanson

    I love how much Apple prioritizes privacy vs Google. But you nailed it. This is why I hate Apple. It's roadblock after roadblock. I wish Adobe would support Linux. I would get rid of my Mac and never look back.

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    Mademoiselle Jolie

    My best friend just baught me this ipad this morning I should have it next week. Although I felt weird for someone to spend so much money on me. Now that I see the limitations PLEASE HELP DECIDES SHOULD I PICK SOMETHING ELSE. Reason I can't go on YouTube, I thought I get it to you use for my radio to store all my music what do you guys think? This is my 1st Ipad by Apple at the same time I don't want her to spend all this money and I don't truly put it to use.

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    --

    it’s an ipad not a computer. if it worked exactly like a computer like you want it to, it wouldn’t be an ipad it would be a computer. they are two different devices all together. buy whatever you want but don’t complain that an ipad doesn’t work like a computer because news flash it’s not meant to.

  82. Post
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    OMGWTFLOL

    Pass. I've been hoping for years that an iPad would eventually replace my laptop, but not yet. The external storage limitation is ridiculous. I'm quite happy with my Macbook Pro anyway. It does everything I need and I don't have to attach a keyboard, among many other pluses.

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    Schuyler Trinidad

    Best and most sensible quote on this video "i dont want to adapt to my tech, i want my tech to adapt to me"

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    Bo Zhao

    This the my third iPad after I traded in my iPad pro 10.5'. The best iPad ever made and it releases the full potential that any iPad users expect for some of functions a laptop possesses. This new gen of iPad is a leap from its predecessor. It is capable of a 'light' office working while you are on the go.

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    kristances

    Just the review I needed TT been battling between getting a laptop or just risking it with the new iPad Pro (since they promoted it as a portable and drawable laptop) This definitely cleared up my confusion. Loved it.
    Hope you can do a new review on the new iPad? Or maybe the iPad Pro with the new iPadOS?

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    Tad Marshall

    Great review, thanks!

    I’ve got a maxxed-out 2017 iPad Pro, 12.9 inch, 512 GB and I love it. This new one is worse, in my opinion, in multiple ways:
    1) Square edges on the case. My device has curves.
    2) Rounded corners on the screen, like a 1968 TV. My iPad has rectangular corners on the display like a modern TV.
    3) No home button, just FaceID. No, just no.
    4) No headphone jack. On my iPad, I can charge and use wired headphones at the same time.

    Making it a tiny bit smaller is unimportant, and extra CPU power is not needed. Wake me up when they give it an OLED screen and display true UHD 4K video.

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    Waffles

    If it was a car it would be a mussel car??? Hahahaha WTF!!! This dude is for sure not a car guy! Bet he drives a Prius… that what a horrible analogy, he shoulda said hyper-car or super-car… mussel cars and clunky and rough and big and loud and look at me… hyper/super cars are fast and sleek and nimble and desirable to pretty much everyone….

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    Artemis 2D

    man this is the best ipad pro review of all channels, one year later, it's still informative and fun to watch. Nilay is of invaluable asset to Verge.

  100. Post
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    Mia Andrea

    Apple knows all this. If the iPads become the touch screen computers, then what will be the point of their Mac Book line— no one would buy them anymore. I feel like they do this on purpose so that you have to buy both products.

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