Apple iPad Pro 12.9 ″ Review (2018)



In October, Apple released another iPad Pro tablet, which is going to compete with full-fledged laptops. IPad tablets are bought more often than any line of laptops from other manufacturers.

The new models use 8-core processor Apple A12X Bionic. The developers claim that it is 92% more productive than modern PC processors. The graphics have become a thousand times more powerful than the first-generation iPad and are now at the Xbox One S. There is a USB-C connector through which you can connect monitors with a resolution of 5K.

Apple claims that the iPad is a magic glass that can be anything you want. All this performance extends the functionality of the iPad to the level of computers. The company hints that the future of the tablets is more rosy than that of laptops, including the MacBook Air.

However, a computer is characterized not only by sales volumes and processor characteristics. First of all, software is important. On the tablet iOS 12 is not too different from the version on the iPhone. Restrictions on this system are still present. Apple says that the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is the future of all PCs, but now it is impossible to believe.


  • Beautiful screen with a high refresh rate
  • USB-C connector makes life easy
  • Practical Apple Pencil Stylus
  • High performance


  • Price
  • External USB-C Drives Not Supported
  • No headphone jack
  • IPad app ecosystem has limited functionality
  • Limitations of iOS 12 in terms of computer capabilities
  • Version and price

In this review, the maximum version of the iPad Pro 12.9 inches with 1 TB storage, LTE and Smart Keyboard Folio keyboard for $ 199 is considered. There is also an Apple Pencil stylus for $ 129. As a result, the amount is $ 2,227, more expensive than any MacBook Pro ( Apple iPad Pro 12.9 ). Why buy such a powerful and expensive device if it cannot replace a laptop or computer in everyday work. Start of sales November 7, 2018.


Tablet design pleases. He is truly new for the first time in a long time. Here is a deeper connection with the MacBook Pro than the previous iPad or any iPhone smartphone.

Instead of rounded corners and soft shapes, the iPad Pro offers sharp corners and flat edges, as well as a large asymmetrical antenna at the back and a large camera ledge. This is a harsh appearance without unnecessary sentiment.

Official video:


Straight edges and thin frames change the ratio of the size of the screen to the body. The 11-inch model is no larger than the previous one with a 10.5-inch screen. The size of the version with a screen of 12.9 inches has decreased, making it easier to hold it in your hands.

Apple Ipad Pro 12.9

Apple talks about edge-to-edge frameless design, but in reality it’s not. However, the LCD screen with a pixel density of 264 ppi is very good and Apple still uses its technology to hide the corners of the screen.

Apart from these angles, the screen of the new Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is the same as in last year’s models. ProMotion technology is applied with a frequency of up to 120 Hz. There is an automatic calibration of True Tone color and support for a wide dynamic range. This is one of the best and most accurate mobile screens.

Enlarging the screen means that the Home button and the Touch ID scanner are missing. Instead, it offers the TrueDepth front camera and Face ID facial recognition support, like on the iPhone XS. The resolution of this camera is 7 megapixel, there is an infrared projector and the infrared camera itself. Now unlocking works in any orientation, not like on a smartphone.

If you hold the tablet in landscape orientation and close the camera with your hand, the device will tell you about it. On the lock screen, there will be an arrow pointing to the camera that you have removed your hand. If the camera is at the bottom, the lock screen will give instructions on how to properly rotate the tablet to activate the front unlock. If a keyboard case is connected, double-clicking on the space bar unlocks the device using facial recognition. This is reminiscent of the Windows Hello system. It would be nice if the same opportunity was on Apple laptops.


The absence of the Home button means that Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is navigated using gestures from the iPhone. There is a tap on the screen to wake up, a gesture up opens the home screen, a slightly longer up gesture launches the application switch. The gesture below allows you to navigate between different open applications.

The iOS version for iPad contains a dock below, which also opens with a gesture. You can display a second application or one application on top of another.

Gestures are intuitive enough to quickly get used to them, especially if you are familiar with the latest iPhone. However, there are too many gestures upwards, so you need to adjust to their differences.


The significant protrusion of the rear camera contains a 12 megapixel sensor with an f / 1.8 lens. This is a new camera that is not inferior to the previous iPad Pro cameras, but the body is thinner here.

There is a processing of Smart HDR, which improves the detail of the shadows in the photos. Of course, the quality of the images is not as high as on the wide-angle lens of the iPhone XS.

Apple Smart Keyboard

On the back of the tablet is a connector for connecting the keyboard. The new Apple Smart Keyboard has the same buttons as on the old model, but it collapses in a new way. Due to this, both sides of the tablet are protected, the keyboard looks simpler. True, it has become less flexible. If you want to open the case and use the iPad as a tablet, you need to turn the keyboard back, because of what the buttons behind you feel.

The keyboard is placed just under two corners, whereas on Surface Pro and Google Pixel there are almost infinitely many of these corners. Surely, third-party vendors like Logitech will offer more flexible options, as they have done before.


A new magnetic recharging system can be called a big improvement over the Lightning connector for previous versions of tablets with a stylus.

There is no headphone jack, which is unpleasant. Many use tablets as televisions, so the sound through the headphones does not hurt them. In this case, the package included AirPods headphones. Separately, they will increase the cost of this model to $ 2,356.

There are four speakers, five microphones and USB-C. Most devices via USB-C work fine, and some only with applications with appropriate support. It was even possible to connect an external monitor via the VGA connector via the Dell USB-C hub.

External monitors work as with the former Lightning> HDMI adapter. By default, it displays the contents of the tablet screen, but applications with support for an expanded screen can do differently. Keynote uses an external monitor for presentations and displays the next slide on the tablet screen. Most applications only repeat the content. All this has remained unchanged compared with the previous Apple iPad Pro 12.9 , which used the adapter. The only change was the support for 5K screens, as well as the screen operation simultaneously with other USB-C devices.

The keyboard works fine. You can plug in a smartphone or Nintendo Switch and get 7.5 watts for recharging, although this is not enough for the Nintendo Switch. Apple supports analog and digital audio output, so almost all USB-C headphones and sound adapters work. This is a significant advantage over the Android ecosystem.

Something doesn’t work, like printers. Native Instruments Maschine mk3 audio controller kept silence. The Beyerdynamic USB-C microphone only works when the A-to-C cable is connected. USB-C on the iPad Pro is not consistent, so you first need to try.

The only thing that can be done with external drives is to import photos. When you connect the camera, iOS 12 will automatically display a window for importing the image and allow you to move photos to the tablet gallery.

That’s all. More iOS 12 with external drives can not do anything. Worse, you can only transfer photos to the gallery. You can’t do this in separate applications, like Lightroom CC.

Such image editing programs are popular and are used to work with photos. The Apple Pencil stylus wouldn’t hurt at the same time, but transferring hundreds of RAW files to the gallery and iCloud storage is not the best solution.

The developers themselves are talking about Siri Shortcut from Adobe, where the photos are imported from the gallery in Lightroom. It looks like crutches. However, even this could not be verified, since Lightroom Siri Shortcut is not yet available. If this is the future of computers, as Apple says, then this is a bleak future.

Still worse. If you take pictures in JPG and RAW, then the iOS PhotoKit API allows you to transfer only one of these formats from the gallery. For example, you can import images only in RAW in Lightroom, leaving JPG photos in the gallery and iCloud storage. It’s easier to stop suffering and transfer photos using a Mac laptop.

This is just one example of illogical decisions. Either you accept the limitations of the system and use such crutches, or you just have to go back to the real computer, where everything is done easier and faster. So maybe you can do without the iPad and work with a normal computer? For the money you can buy a very powerful model.

All this is very annoying, since the A12X processor is very powerful. Nothing ever slows down or slows down, the image flies. Early assembly of Photoshop for iPad was used, the final version of this application will appear in 2019. The application easily processed files with multiple layers.

Games also go smoothly, although the graphics do not reach the level of the Xbox One. I managed to transfer a few minutes to 4K video in Adobe Premiere Rush, edit and export, all this without the slightest brakes. However, it was not possible to export in 4K format, since Premiere Rush is another limited iPad application with only 1080p support.

I would like to use the full power of the A12X computing power, but the iPad’s ecosystem of applications is full of reduced versions with limited functionality. In the benchmarks, the iPad Pro is ahead of the 2015 MacBook Pro, but Safari doesn’t make it to its counterpart from personal computers. Full versions of websites often eject a user from a mobile application, where there is no necessary functionality. Excel does not support macros here again. IPad apps are created on Mac and other PCs.

Apple likes to talk more about iPad Pro sales than laptops, about high performance. If it comes to flaws, she immediately recalls that the work on the device continues and that it will become the future of computers, and not a replacement for laptops.

For 8 years, it was time to decide. Unlike all other computers, the iPad is completely made by Apple. The company makes the screen, processor, operating system, limits the applications and accessories that can be connected. After such a long time, it is obvious that there are restrictions here because Apple wants them to be. There is no more excuse.


With the release of last year’s iPad on iOS 11, reviewers wrote that they were counting on improvements in the future to make the system more suitable for working with a tablet like a computer. Appeared iOS 12, and things are there.

If you are ready to pay such money, then you should know what you are paying for. USB-C can be called the advantage of this tablet, as well as the new stylus and processor.

However, it will not be possible to pay $ 799 for the 64 GB version with an 11-inch screen and use it instead of a laptop.

By the power of the hardware components, no other tablet can compete with the iPad Pro, not even many laptops can. However, the company’s approach to developing iOS does not reveal the full potential of hardware components. USB-C makes life a little easier, but the basic features and limitations compared to the iPad Pro 2017 have remained almost the same.

The iPad Pro can be called an outstanding engineering achievement, but it’s still just a tablet.