While the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 might be the best tablet currently on the market money can buy, the hefty price tag is a mighty obstacle not many are eager to overcome. Taking the excellent hardware and software features the iPad Pro 10.5 possesses with some slight tweaks on a larger screen, the 12.9 achieves what all tablets are set out to do but few live up to: strike that perfect balance between the productivity of a laptop with the portability and convenience of a smartphone. Packed with so many things that clearly make it stand head and shoulders above the rest, there's a strong argument for the iPad Pro 12.9 that makes it a necessary buy.
Are you thinking about purchasing one? Before you do, let's walk through the key features of the iPad Pro 12.9. In case I've missed anything be sure to check out my reviews on the iPad Pro 10.5, which is a smaller version of this tablet.
If you've seen one iPad, you've seen them all. That rings true for the iPad Pro 12.9, as it's uninspired aesthetic certainly won't catch your eye in a row of other Apple tablets. Even though Apple's tablets are in desperate need of a makeover, the iPad Pro 12.9 has a clean, spartan design that has practically set the standard for other tablets to follow.
The usual suspects are where you'd think of them to be. The power button hangs out up top while the SIM card tray is on the side and the speakers at the bottom. Clocking in at 12.9", this gargantuan tablet is still surprisingly portable. Like all Apple tablets, it's still incredibly thin and lightweight, making the 12.9 easy to operate and slide into a bag when you're on the move.
Besides the colossal Samsung Galaxy View, the iPad Pro 12.9 has the largest tablet display on the market. Its 2,732 x 2,048-resolution panel renders images beautifully. Apple's new TrueTone technology automatically adjusts the brightness and lighting of the screen to the room you're in. ProMotion, Apple's new technology for the improved refresh rate, is also quite stunning. Essentially, pixels render faster on the 12.9, offering a smoother experience without visual cuts or glitches--especially when a lot of things are happening on screen at once.
Let's quickly brush up on the iPad Pro 12.9's cameras. Tablet cameras have a rough reputation as being...terrible. Thankfully, this tablet's front and rear facing 12MP cameras take pretty good shots. New optical image stabilization keeps snaps steady, and the new 4x and 5x zoom let you take photos from even farther away. It's still a little goofy to take pics with such a honking big device, but the pics you take will be pleasing.
Similar to its smaller cousins, the 12.9 has four stereo speakers built-in. They won't quite fill the room with surround sound quality, but they should be pleasant for solo listening. Music playback quality is alright, but opt for a dedicated external speaker for parties our outings.
Apple's aged A9X chip has been spruced up to a triple-core 2.4GHz A10X chipset, paired with 4GB of RAM and room for up to 512GB of flash storage. Despite showing it's age, the iPad Pro 12.9 still runs beastly fast and can handle multitasking and heavy loads seamlessly.
Running on iOS10 and soon to get 11, operating this tablet is as easy as it has ever been. Scrolling and swiping are quick and responsive, and touching and tapping are responsive. However, the iPad has never really succeeded at being a good device for productivity. With the Apple Pen, it's good for drawing, scribbling, and painting, but word processors and spreadsheets tend to suffer on the tablet.