iPad Pro 9.7″ Review

Rating:

Let’s put it out there right now. the iPad Pro is quite possibly the best tablet on the market that was ever created. Everything from design, hardware, software. It’s that good. Save for the price, which can be pretty steep, coming in at $799, but that comes with the adage, “you get what you pay for”. And with the iPad Pro 9.7” you indeed get what you pay for.

Let’s see what the iPad Pro 9.7” is all about.

iPad Pro 9.7"

 

Performance

With the latest A9X processor, and the M9 co-processor, are absolute beasts in tearing through any iPad apps you throw at it. So much so that it makes my 13” MacBook Air 2014 model feel slow when it comes to streaming, playing games or doing anything hardware intensive. While not an entirely apples to apples comparison of these two different Apple products (say that 10 times fast!).

Going head to head even against it’s bigger brother, the 12.9” iPad Pro, its outclasses it in terms of features, which makes one wonder why anyone would want to get the 12.9” vs the 9.7” model. The only reason I could muster up is if you want to have more surface area to work with in terms of screen real estate.

Starting at 32 GB worth of storage, it might seem like a whole lot, but once you start loading apps, having pictures synced up, videos, and just letting all those apps, videos and music pile up, 32 GB doesn’t feel like a whole within a few short months. The next level up is the 128 GB (the capacity which I’m testing on) can be stretched a lot further, providing ample amounts of space for the average user. If 128 GB isn’t enough, 256 GB should plenty fit the bill even for the most space hungry user.

While I use my laptop for work mostly and viewing streaming media from *ahem* various websites, I would notice that it bests my 2 year old Macbook Air in terms of load time. It absolutely screams and readily tackles anything you may throw at it, whether it’s games, productivity apps, streaming video or anything else really. Did I mention that it’s really really fast?

The Screen: Consumption and Creation device

Normally with iPads, they’re great for reading the news, watching movies, listening to music, browsing photos, perhaps some gaming and so on, basically anything that you can consume digitally, while in the comfort of your home or local coffee shop. It’s normally not associated with being a device that actually helps you create. Whether it’s art, or music, writing, it almost does it all. Too bad they don’t have Xcode for iPad where you could actually write iPad / iOS apps on an iPad.

Here’s a bit of my own abstract art.

iPad Pro art

When it comes to the screen, it’s absolutely gorgeous. With its crisp Retina display, you’ll be treated to simply one of the best viewing experiences on a tablet money can buy. Literally, everything looks outstanding on a Retina screen.

Accessories

In order to truly harness the power of the iPad Pro, you’ll need to get all the accessories, and with that comes a hefty accessory tax placed on Apple’s products.

If you want to unleash the inner artist within you such as I did, you’ll have to buy the pencil for $129. If you want to mow down your emails or report writing, the Smart Keyboard will set you back $199. So all in all, if you want to get the trifecta of products, iPad Pro, Pencil, and Smart keyboard, you’re looking at least $1,127 before taxes ($1,273 with HST).

While I used the Smart Keyboard briefly, it does take a bit of getting used to in terms of it feeling noticeably cramped. Once you get used to the fact that the keyboard isn’t as big as a traditional laptop keyboard, your words per minute should be flying off your fingers as you’re mowing down emails or typing up a storm.

Apple Pencil

A beautifully designed stylus product that mimics using a pen or a pencil. It feels like it’s a little longer and heavier than it should be to feel like it’s on parity with a pen or pencil. But that’s understandable considering the tech built into the Apple Pencil and it being able to cram all the sensors and the battery into such a svelte package.

It features a Lightning charger connector that charges from your iPad as well as a Bluetooth connection to your iPad in order to work properly. The battery life should last for over a week if you use it regularly, which should be more than enough.

MacBook Replacement?

As I had mentioned before, it does many things very well, with style and finesse. But alas, it is not meant to replace a Macbook. While it can do things just as well as a Macbook, it falls flat in others, especially when you take into consideration it’s high price point. You’d be better off thinking of a iPad Pro 9.7″ as a way to augment your life through its powerful hardware and the apps that are available on it.

You can get away with doing many things with an iPad, but sometimes it’s just nicer to write a review (like this one), report or blog post with a good ole’ Macbook.

iPad Pro 9.7" back

iPad Pro 9.7" camera

This Product Is Perfect For: anyone who wants the best of the best in terms of tablets. It’s almost a laptop replacement. The Apple product enthusiast will certainly love this latest iPad iteration.

Key Things To Be Aware Of: It’s expensive, and in order to get the full iPad Pro experience, you need to shell out an extra $330 before taxes. If you want more storage, you’ll need to pony up as well.

The Bottom Line: While you’re getting the best, you’re also having to part with the most money in order to get the full iPad Pro experience.

Summary
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iPad Pro 9.7
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Will obsesses over the latest and greatest in gadgets, startups, does CrossFit and writes about technology, growth marketing, programming and personal development. He curates the Startup Digest in Toronto and is a coffee enthusiast.

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