Review Roundup: iPad Pro 9.7inch

The iPad Pro 9.7inch was recently announced as the new regular sized iPad and as the 2nd member to the iPad Pro family as Phil Schiller put it on stage.

With the product having just launched, the reviews are starting to appear online.

Listed below are reviews from each source, embedded video or article link, along with pros and cons about what the reviewer thinks about the device.

This blog post will be continuously updated over the next few weeks as more reviews go live.

The Verge:

Pros:

  • Has enough processing power to remove the need for a lot of cheap laptops.
  • Display the best screen on a tablet with the anti-reflective coating.
  • True-Tone Display (use it if not doing colour correction tasks).
  • Apple Pencil support.
  • Four very loud surround sound speakers.
  • A9X Processor which is really fast. Noticeable compared to iPad Air 2 especially in split view but not to say iPad Air 2 is slow.
  • Smart Keyboard is one of the best experiences he has had with a tablet keyboard. Took a few minutes to get use to.
  • Battery is really good.

Cons:

  • Starts at US$599 and next storage tier is US$749 for 128GB (up from 32GB) so it’s not cheap.
  • Only 2GB of RAM compared to 4GB of RAM in the 12.9inch model.
  • Apple Pencil support is only really for creative and drawing apps but not for productivity.
  • Smart Keyboard does not have any function keys and only works on one angle. Should be able to find a better option.
  • Camera bump on the back, despite tablet not wobbling when laid flat.
  • Safari is not as good as a desktop web browser.

Conclusion:

It is not a true laptop replacement because sometime you want to have 3 windows opened at once, plug in a USB or use a regular file system.

Steve Jobs said that the iPad was really good at the tasks it does, and despite being more expensive, it is a ridiculously good device for what an iPad does.

CNET:

Written Review: http://www.cnet.com/products/apple-ipad-pro-9-7-inch-review/

Score: 9.0/10

Pros:

  • Fast Processor
  • Bright, anti-reflective display.
  • Support for Apple Pencil.
  • Support for Smart Keyboard accessories.
  • Better, louder speakers.
  • Top-notch camera.

Cons:

  • Higher Price
  • Expensive Accessories
  • Less RAM compared to 12.9inch iPad (2GB instead of 4GB).
  • Slightly slower A9X Processor than 12.9inch iPad Pro.
  • iOS still limits overall flexibility of this iPad.

Conclusion:

It’s still not a full-fledged laptop killer, but the new 9.7inch iPad Pro is the best iPad ever made — a near-perfect balance of tablet power and portability.

DetroitBORG:

Pros:

  • Change to antenna design for LTE models.
  • Has an embedded SIM where you can switch between accounts as you choose.
  • Very immersive sound from the speakers.
  • Smart Connector.
  • Same cameras as found in the latest flagship iPhone 6s, including Retina Flash.
  • Does a lot better job in reducing the glare on the display and is a lot brighter which makes it the best screen found on an iPad to date.
  • True Tone Display.
  • Live Photos support via a long press (with no pressure required).
  • Battery life is very consistent across all latest models. 4hrs screen on time via Geekbench with 100% brightness.
  • Full visible keyboard with extra controls like on the iPad Pro 12.9inch.
  • USB-C Lightning Cable and Wall Adapter can be purchased to rapidly charge the device.
  • Smart Keyboard is great but if you primarily want to do typing, go for the 12.9inch model with its keyboard.
  • Apple Pencil support.

Cons:

  • Protruding camera, but does not rock when put flat on a table.
  • Touch ID is not faster but still works the same.
  • Slightly under-clocked CPU but still impressive performance.
  • Only 2GB of RAM compared to 4GB on the 12.9inch iPad Pro.

Conclusion:

This iPad Pro makes the 12.9inch model feel obsolete. For general tablet and media consumption use, would recommend this model over the 12.9inch.

Feels like an upgraded iPad Air 2.

Engadget:

Pros:

  • Performance is really great for all types of use cases.
  • Display is bright enough to be fantastic in the sun and true tone display.
  • Four speakers sound absolutely great with a great dynamic balance of sound.
  • Apple Pencil support.

Cons:

  • A9X Chip only has 2GB instead of 4GB in 12.9inch model.
  • Split View with switching app windows is rather cumbersome.
  • Smart Keyboard is a little hard to use if you have big hands.

Conclusion:

Does not really agree with it being a true laptop or desktop replacement.

If you want a tablet with enough power and makes you re-think of what you can do on a tablet, then this is worth considering.

TechnoBuffalo:

Pros:

  • True Tone Display. Hope it goes to the rest of the lineup.
  • Updated 12MP camera with 4k Video. Still don’t be that person using it in public.
  • Apple Pencil compatible, which works really well.
  • Fast processor and performance.
  • Touch ID is quick.

Cons:

  • Wish Apple had put in 4GB of RAM like the 12.9inch model but not a major issue.
  • Camera hump on the back.
  • Price now starts at US$599.

Conclusion:

Really great device, but feels that Apple is wrong with the iPad Pro. Always was US$499 and US$100 extra for mainly a better software makes no sense compared to previous generations.

PhoneDog:

Pros:

  • Brighter display at 500nits.
  • Four Speaker setup.
  • 12MP Camera with 4K Video Recording.
  • Raw performance is close to the 12.9inch iPad and is great for split-view multitasking.

Cons:

  • Not sure if he likes True Tone Display but works. Useful when reading a book when in the dark.
  • Camera bump, but doesn’t make the iPad wobble on the table.
  • Price increase to US$599 is kind of foolish.
  • Nothing that feels pro about the tablet and Apple Pencil is the only way it is.

Conclusion:

Not worth the now US$200 price difference compared to the iPad Air 2 for the majority of people.

Pocketnow:

Pros:

  • Shockingly light in weight.
  • Terrific LCD display with great viewing angles.
  • True Tone Display is great for consuming content.
  • Four Speakers which work great no matter how you hold it.
  • 12MP camera is really great.
  • Apple Pencil is great.
  • Very powerful hardware.

Cons:

  • Camera bump has a bit of a wobble but if in a case, it’s no issue.
  • FaceTime HD camera video is capped at 720p.
  • Looks silly charging Apple Pencil from lightning port but makes sense practically.
  • Selecting two apps to use at once in split-view is a mess.
  • Doing tasks is do-able when it comes to creating videos as a YouTuber but is a long winded process.
  • iOS needs a mobile equivalent of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro.

Conclusion:

Not sure if the iPad Pro can satisfy the claims of being a professional tablet.

It has the horse power, it just needs the apps now.

Conclusion:

Overall it seems like the reviews are mainly positive for the iPad Pro 9.7inch. I get the impression that a lot of reviewers are trying to sell you the idea that the iPad Pro cannot be a true laptop replacement (or at least yet).

The point of the this iPad is to be a smaller version of the 12.9inch version with a better camera and more ideal for portability. And this leads me to the question for this post:

“Will you upgrade to the iPad Pro 9.7inch? And if so, what from?”

I personally like what I see with the iPad Pro 9.7inch in regards to display, speakers and processing power, but I would still want to see more changes like the Touch ID 2nd generation and 3D Touch before I start to at the earliest, consider upgrading from my iPad Air 1.

Leave your comment below, I’ve love to hear what you have to say and if you enjoyed this roundup please give it a like and follow my blog for more posts like this in the future.

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