iPad Pro First Impressions: Surprisingly Light, But Screen Size May Be Unnecessary for Most

As journalists and bloggers leave the Apple media event in San Francisco, the first impressions of the brand-new iPad Pro have begun trickling out onto the Internet. Sites like Wired, Engadget, SlashGear, and TechnoBuffalo all got to go hands-on with the new tablet and came away with largely positive impressions of the device, with one of the only negatives being the large size of the device. At an unwieldy 12.9-inches, the consensus is that the iPad Pro may be too big for many users.

It’s certainly as crisp and sharp as any display I’ve ever seen. If Apple’s ultimate tablet goal is to build a piece of glass onto which you can project your hopes, dreams, and apps, the iPad Pro feels like a realization of that dream.

During the keynote, Apple execs talked a lot about how difficult this screen was to create—but you’d never know. It’s smooth and fast; in fact, every part of the iPad Pro is smooth and fast. The $99 Pencil stylus feels like a particular triumph: It is, bar none, the most fluid and lag-free stylus I’ve ever used.

The first big takeaway about the iPad Pro Wired noticed was that despite the tablet's size, it's surprisingly comfortable to hold in one hand. The site also noted that the new 2732×2048 resolution screen is "smooth and fast," and gave particular praise to the $99 Apple Pencil accessory the company also debuted during today's media event.

Still, despite its positives, Wired believes that using a tablet in the place of a desktop or laptop computer will always remain a lesser experience. They called some of the experience of iOS "clunky," and were unsure of whether Microsoft's new Word experience, shown off at the event as well, would actually be a selling point for the work-focused device.

The question will be, is it great for you? The iPad is still a tablet, and running iOS means it’s still going to be a little clunky—using Word, I found myself wishing I had all my keyboard and mouse shortcuts handy and didn’t have to keep picking up the Pencil or tapping the screen. And if we learned anything from the Surface, it’s that the world might not be ready for this type of device just yet.

Engadget also expressed surprise over the device's lightness, noting that the iPad Pro felt "lighter than it looks," but that in portrait mode, it can be a bit awkward and top-heavy. The site noted that the tablet's other accessory, the Smart Keyboard, provided some decent travel when pressing the keys down and overall felt like a step above other keyboards bundled in third-party case sleeves.

I know we tech bloggers say this a lot in hands-on posts, but it feels lighter than it looks. That's not to say I'd want to use this much in portrait mode; it feels a little too top-heavy in-hand. But in landscape, the height is actually on par with the iPad Air 2; it's just wider. That makes it pretty manageable in horizontal use, which I suspect is how most iPad Pro-optimized apps were meant to be used anyway.

And what of that keyboard? It's really too soon to put down a firm verdict, but tentatively, I like it. The cloth-covered keys feel nice beneath the fingers, and help give the illusion of control, despite the fact that these are otherwise some fairly flat buttons.

SlashGear called the iPad Pro "incredibly, vastly, ridiculously huge," but that its thin size and easiness to hold gives it the feel of a science fiction "digital newspaper." The site also called the four speakers on the device "laughably strong," and appreciated that they automatically adjust and change when displaying the tablet's orientation. Similar to other opinions, SlashGear's biggest negative on the tablet is more of a caveat: "it makes far more sense as a content creation tool than one for consumption."

apple-stylus-gallery6-1024x768
Everyone who wasn't at Apple's event will be able to see the iPad Pro for themselves when the device launches this November in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver color options. The new tablet will be priced at $749 (32GB) and $949 (128GB) for the Wi-Fi models, while a 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular option will come in at $1,079.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
64 months ago
Same home screen arrangement, icons, OS.

Laughable.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
You can copy and paste if this helps you:

"This product is not right for ME. Therefore it is not right for ANYONE! I am sickened to my core at the thought of people with different habits, needs and wants."
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
I'm a little surprised you can't add more apps per home screen.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
Does the "PRO" allow you to access the file system of the iPad?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
ripoff of Microsoft Surface. Nice try Apple. You can get a tablet with a full OS for that price.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
Run real Photoshop and I might be interested.
iOS - don't call it "pro"...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Leaker Jon Prosser: Apple Watch and iPad Launching in September, iPhone 12 Event to Take Place in October

Wednesday August 12, 2020 4:31 pm PDT by
Apple last month confirmed that this year's iPhone 12 models will launch outside of their normal September timeframe and will be "available a few weeks later," which has led to speculation about when an event might be held. Leaker Jon Prosser, who sometimes shares accurate knowledge of Apple's plans, today said that Apple will hold its iPhone 12 event during the week of October 12, with...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple to Launch Bundled Subscription Services Called 'Apple One'

Thursday August 13, 2020 3:41 am PDT by
Apple will launch a new range of subscription service bundles called "Apple One" as soon as October, according to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The series of bundles would allow customers to subscribe to several Apple digital services together. This is expected to result in a lower monthly price than when the services are subscribed to individually. Bloomberg reports that the...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.6.1 With Fix for Storage Issue and Green Tinted Displays

Wednesday August 12, 2020 1:31 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.6.1, minor updates that come a month after the release of the iOS 13.6 update with Car Keys and Audio Apple News+ stories. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.6.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. iOS 13.6.1 addresses an issue that could cause...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

Apple Removes Fortnite From App Store [Update: Epic Files Lawsuit Against Apple]

Thursday August 13, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Just hours after Epic Games introduced a new direct payment option for Fortnite that skirts Apple's in-app purchase rules, Apple has pulled the Fortnite app from the App Store. Fortnite is no longer available for download on the iPhone or the iPad, and Apple provided a statement to MacRumors on Fortnite's removal:Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.6 Supplemental Update With Virtualization Bug Fix

Wednesday August 12, 2020 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.6, with the update coming a month after the original launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.6. The ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ 10.15.6 Supplemental Update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System Preferences app. According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes a problem that could cause...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...