'reviews' Articles

Review Roundup: 9.7" iPad Pro is a 'Powerful' Laptop Replacement for Casual Users

Apple last week announced the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which marketing chief Phil Schiller described as the "ultimate upgrade" for both existing iPad and Windows PC users. Nearly one week later, a number of in-depth reviews have surfaced that offer a closer look at the new tablet beyond last week's first impressions and hands-on articles. Apple's new 9.7" iPad Pro, right, next to the 12.9" version (Image: Ars Technica) The general consensus among early reviews is that the smaller iPad Pro has powerful hardware, but like its 12.9-inch sibling, opinions were mixed about whether the tablet can truly replace your laptop. From $599, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is certainly a more affordable Mac or PC alternative over the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which starts at $799. Andrew Cunningham for Ars Technica:When I reviewed the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, I said that I was having trouble envisioning the type of user who would choose it over a “real” computer like a MacBook Air or Pro. I still feel the same way today. The full-size Pro is large enough and expensive enough that you could buy any number of high-end Macs or Windows PCs for the same price, and you wouldn’t have to put up with the potentially frustrating limitations of iOS. […] The equation is a little different for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which is both smaller and cheaper. […] At $599 (plus the cost of accessories), this tablet is competing more against midrange Windows PCs, and it’s substantially cheaper than any MacBook that Apple offers. For many active but less-demanding users, the strength of the hardware and the relative

iPad Pro Review Roundup: Powerful Creative Canvas, but Not Quite a PC Replacement

Apple released the iPad Pro online and in stores earlier today, and the embargo has now lifted for hands-on reviews of the new 12.9-inch tablet. The consensus opinion is that the iPad Pro is an excellent device for content creation, with powerful hardware for intensive apps and multitasking, but not quite a PC replacement due to its iOS limitations. The tablet's experience will be better realized once more developers update their apps to take advantage of the larger canvas. From left to right: iPad mini 2, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro (Image: WSJ) iPad Pro reviews praised its large display, which at 2,732×2,048 pixels has a higher resolution than the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and most early adopters claim the tablet meets or exceeds its advertised 10-hour battery life. The new Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard also received positive reviews. Ars Technica - Andrew CunninghamIt's best to think of the iPad Pro as a starting point, especially for iOS 9. These multitasking features are still brand-new, and there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick in future iOS 9 revisions and into iOS 10. My biggest gripes with the iPad Pro are with the software rather than the hardware, and that means that most of them can be fixed given enough time and enough feature requests. It took Microsoft three tries to really nail down the Surface Pro concept, and given a couple of iOS updates the iPad Pro has room to grow into a more versatile laptop replacement without necessarily giving up the things that people like about iOS. For the rest of us, there's still the Mac.CNET -

Apple TV 4 Reviews: Siri is Helpful and There's Loads of Potential

With the launch of the new fourth-generation Apple TV just a couple days away on Friday, October 30, the first batch of reviews for the new set-top box have arrived online. Most sites have come away with positive impressions of the new Apple TV, noting that Siri is extraordinary helpful and the inclusion of tvOS and apps give the device a lot of potential for the future. BuzzFeed says that the biggest new feature on the Apple TV, the new Siri Remote, is a "drastic" improvement over the remote included with previous Apple TV remotes. The touchpad is "surprisingly accurate and easy" to use for pinpointing certain moments during a film or TV show. The universal search via Siri, however, will have longtime Apple TV users "resenting Apple for not enabling it sooner." Siri, according to BuzzFeed, is both useful and clever. “Rewind 30 seconds,” “Show me Anchorman,” and “Who directed this?” all work well. And thanks to “What did he say?” — which skips back to replay a character’s comment with closed captioning, I finally know what Benicio Del Toro’s character was mumbling in The Usual Suspects. (“I said he’ll flip you. …Flip you. Flip ya for real.” Kind of a letdown. Don’t even get me started on Lost in Translation.) Also: For a few glorious moments last night I was able to taunt my wife by repeatedly what-did-he-saying a favorite moment in Blue Velvet.While The Verge also enjoyed Siri on the Apple TV, saying that the execution is "among the best in the game," they noted that there are several limitations in place. Siri only works with a handful of apps at the moment,

12-Inch Retina MacBook Receives Mixed Reviews From Early Adopters

Just a few weeks after the 12-inch Retina MacBook became available to order online, a number of early adopters have shared mixed opinions about the notebook within the MacRumors discussion forums. Overall, many users agree that the new MacBook has major design appeal but with too many key compromises, as mentioned by several well-known tech pundits and websites in our review roundup of the notebook. A handful of users within the discussion forums claimed that they regretfully returned their new MacBooks shortly after receiving one because of those compromises, including the frustration of looking for and purchasing USB-C adapters that are needed to connect various Digital AV, VGA or USB devices, peripherals and cables to the single USB-C port on the ultra-slim notebook. The new keyboard and slow performance were also areas of concern for some users. Some responses have been slightly edited for clarity. MacRumors forum member Audiopablo:"Took mine back. It was really a wow factor. So light, so beautiful. But in the end, it just wasn't for me. After spending a day trying to hunt down USB-C adapters in Apple stores (weren't available at Best Buy, where I bought mine), I got to thinking about what I loved and what I didn't. Could I type on my lap with it? Sure and watch the screen jiggle on my soft legs. Turns out a 13" or even 15" model with weight is more stable for me personally. […] Ports is an issue for a user like me. I knew that going in, but I was going to be patient with it. It finally got to me. But that doesn't mean it isn't for you. I wouldn't mind

Apple Watch Fulfills Promise of All-Day Battery Life in Early Reviews

Apple lifted the embargo for large websites to publish their Apple Watch reviews this morning, providing us with detailed insight about various functions of the device. Battery life in particular has been one area of interest for several prospective Apple Watch buyers, and most early reviews found the Apple Watch to fulfill its promise of all-day battery life on a single charge. Well-known tech journalist Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal offers one of the better looks at the Apple Watch's battery life in her video of using the device in day-to-day life. The video keeps track of how much battery life the Apple Watch uses while Stern goes about her daily routine in New York, with the device fully charged at 7:30 AM and having five percent remaining at just past midnight. Apple confirmed last month that the Apple Watch will have up to 18 hours of battery life with mixed usage, and last up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode. Early reviews find the Apple Watch generally on par with, or falling slightly short of, those numbers based on articles published by Daring Fireball, The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, Techpinions and Re/code. We've compiled those findings in the roundup below. John Gruber, Daring Fireball:"After more than a week of daily use, Apple Watch has more than alleviated any concerns I had about getting through a day on a single charge. I noted the remaining charge when I went to bed each night. It was usually still in the 30s or 40s. Once it was still over 50 percent charged. Once, it was down to 27. And one day — last Thursday — it was all

Apple Watch Review Roundup: The 'World's Best Smartwatch', But 'Not For Everyone'

Apple has given members of the media several hands-on experiences with the Apple Watch following its special events, but ahead of Apple Watch pre-orders, select sites have been able to get a much closer look at the device. Apple has provided a handful of publications with Apple Watch review units, giving them a chance to spend multiple days with the watch, and they've now shared their opinions in reviews published today. Apple Watch has received favorable reviews, but isn't for everyone (Image: CNET) We've rounded up tidbits from several of the best reviews in order to give MacRumors readers a look at the Apple Watch from the perspective of those who have finally had a chance to use it extensively. The roundup includes reviews and opinions from Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Verge, Re/code, Yahoo Tech and other large publications that tested the Apple Watch. The consensus among reviews is that the Apple Watch sets the bar for smartwatches, but has downfalls as a first-generation product and isn't for everyone. More specifically, the watch's goal of providing you with instant access to notifications of a paired iPhone can be both convenient and interruptive at times. Overall, the device is the future of the wrist and should get better after new features are added in the future. Joshua Topolsky, Bloomberg:"The watch is not life-changing. It is, however, excellent. Apple will sell millions of these devices, and many people will love and obsess over them. It is a wonderful component of a big ecosystem that the company has carefully built