2018 iPad Pro Hands-On Impressions: 'Might Be the Truest Embodiment of a Tablet Yet'

Members of the media have now had a chance to get their hands on Apple's latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro following today's event in New York. The new iPad Pro includes an updated Liquid Retina LCD display, slimmer bezels, Face ID, a thinner body, and A12X Bionic chip.

Image via Dan Seifert/The Verge

So far, it appears that initial impressions of the new tablet are largely positive, with The Verge describing the iPad Pro as "just a giant, beautiful screen" thanks to the reduced bezel size. The edges of the iPad are now flat instead of rounded, which reminded The Verge of the iPhone 4 through 5S design, and the overall feel of the tablet was "much denser and pro" than previous generations of the iPad Pro.

The transition to Face ID allowed Apple to make the iPad’s side bezels slimmer than ever before, and the result might be the truest embodiment of a “tablet” yet. This thing is just a giant, beautiful screen. The 11-inch display is housed in a device similar to the size of the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 12.9-inch model is physically smaller than its predecessor. The rounded edges of the last few iPads have switched over to flat edges reminiscent of the very original (or the iPhone 4 through 5S).

The overall feel of the thing is way more squared off than I was expecting — it feels much denser and pro than before. The LTE version has large antenna lines on the back, you’ll definitely notice them.

Engadget says the iPad Pro is starting to feel more like a proper computer, thanks to the angular "no-nonsense design" and the A12X Bionic chip. The site says the iPad Pro is shockingly comfortable to hold, far more comfortable for long sessions of drawing with Apple Pencil than the previous 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Image via Chris Velazco/Engadget

At the risk of sound a little repetitive though, this design still feels like a huge step forward. That's thanks in large part to the edge-to-edge display Apple adopted this year — it's a Liquid Retina panel like the ones we recently saw in the iPhone XR, but it retains the same high resolution as last year's big Pros. That was a very long-winded way of saying that the iPad Pro's screen looks amazing, but that's hardly anything new here — I never really had an issue with earlier Pros, and Apple's ProMotion screen tech still allows for a super-slick, 120Hz refresh rate.

Despite liking the overall design and performance of the iPad Pro, Engadget did question Apple's removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack:

Much as I like this new design, there is one thing that rubs me the wrong way, and it has a lot to do with the mixed messages Apple is sending. In its presentation, Apple made it clear that music professional like DJs have been fans of the iPad for a while, and that the new power afforded to them by the A12X Bionic chipset would help them spice up their performances. That's cool and all, but I wonder how those DJs feel about the iPad Pro lacking a headphone jack. Seems kind of important, no?

SlashGear agrees that the new iPad Pros feel easier and more comfortable to hold, and the tablet's palm detection means that you won't accidentally interact with the touchscreen as you handle the device. For the site, the biggest downside of the new iPad Pro was Apple's pricing:

Image via SlashGear

Therein lies the new iPad Pro’s downside: the price. The range kicks off at $799 for the 11-inch and $999 for the 12.9-inch. Those numbers spiral up dramatically as you add more storage and cellular connectivity. Want the new Apple Pencil 2? That’ll cost you another $129. The fancy new Smart Keyboard Folio – which hooks to to relocated connectors now on the rear of the tablet, not the edge – is $179 for the 11-inch model, or $199 for the 12.9-inch.

All in all, you’re looking at MacBook Air pricing at least, or easily MacBook Pro levels if you go crazy with the options. Apple’s argument is that, for creative professionals, the arrival of apps like true Photoshop in 2019 will make this not only a replacement for your notebook but the better choice.

We're going hands-on with the new iPad Pro at Apple's event in New York, so be sure to keep an eye out for more coverage about the new tablets, MacBook Air, and Mac mini on our front page and by following @MacRumors on Twitter.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
22 months ago
Might as well buy a laptop at that price point, at least then you'll get a real filesystem.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
For me the iPad Pro was the main artist of the show.

I'm an owner of the 10.5" and the iPhone X and was ready to give the iPad Pro away to my half. I was truly impressed until I've noticed that they bumped the price up and than pause ...

This is something that is really starting to bug me quite a lot every year! I remember the times of SJ when they launched more advanced stuff at a lower price than the competition flagships. That for me was another touch of genius of SJ when they launched the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4S ... the devices that made the revolution not what came after to milk his legacy with the customers ... I felt then, that the company had a sense of fair play with their loyal customers. Even if you were a bit skint on money one could still do it. Remember when Apple decided to offer the updates of iOS and macOS for free and the iWorks suite? A good will between both parties if you will. This generated the Apple Golden age ... That is how I felt the world could change.

What I see now with this increasing price bumps is something totally different. It's not about changing the world anymore but making a buck out of anything, including their stupid keyboard. This is usually the indication of the decline of a civilisation .... The Trumps of the world and the Wall Street became their best friend I guess. Never though that artists were the ones with the money in this world. So I guess the product its about making you feel like an artist even though one has no talent!

Yes the new version should be better than the previous at the same price, isn't that the point? Anyone can make a better version at a higher price. The the initial iPad launch, probably the most difficult of the iPads to get done right, was $300 cheaper in a time where the value of the dollar was way down and competition in this space was extremely weak.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago

"...the iPad Pro is starting to feel more like a proper computer, thanks to the angular "no-nonsense design" and the A12X Bionic chip."

The gap between a real computer and the iPad Pro is not going to be closed by a new physical design and chip. It needs MacOS.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago

Might as well buy a laptop at that price point, at least then you'll get a real filesystem.

Some of us just don’t want a laptop. So “but you could buy a laptop” doesn’t hold weight. You could put a MacBook and a new iPad Pro side by side at the same price and I’d still choose an iPad Pro
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
That camera hump...

Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago

For me the iPad Pro was the main artist of the show.

I'm an owner of the 10.5" and the iPhone X and was ready to give the iPad Pro away to my half and. I was truly impressed until I've noticed that they bumped the price up and than pause ...

This is something that is really starting to bug me quite a lot every year! I remember the times of SJ when they launched more advanced stuff at a lower price than the competition flagships. That for me was another touch of genius of SJ when they lunched the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4S ... the devices that made the revolution not what cama after to milk it ... I felt that the company had a sense of fair play back then with their loyal customers. Even if you were a bit skint on money one could still do it. That is how I felt the world could change.

What I see now with this increasing price bumps is something totally different. It's not about changing the world anymore but making a buck out of anything, including their stupid keyboard. The Trumps of the world and the Wall Street became their best friend I guess. Never though that artists were the ones with the money in this world. So I guess the product its about making you feel like an artists even though ...

Give it about 5 years. Apple bubble will burst! The competition has been aggressively catching up to them with similar or even better solutions at better prices. Apple will alienate a huge chunk of people with their pricing. It's no longer reasonable at all. The executives have gotten very comfortable with their multi-million bonuses.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Apple Pays Samsung an Estimated $950 Million for Missing OLED Panel Purchase Targets

Monday July 13, 2020 10:03 am PDT by
Apple in the second quarter of 2020 paid Samsung approximately $950 million for not meeting OLED panel purchase goals established in agreements between the two companies, according to display analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants. Samsung last week shared guidance on revenue and operating profit for the second quarter of 2020, which included a one-time gain related to its display...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...

SoftBank Considering Possible Sale of Arm Holdings as Apple Gears Up for Arm-Based Macs

Monday July 13, 2020 2:00 pm PDT by
SoftBank, the company that owns chip designer Arm Holdings, is exploring options that include a full or partial sale or a public offering, reports The Wall Street Journal. SoftBank is working with Goldman Sachs Group as an advisor, and the explorations are at an early stage. The Wall Street Journal says that it's unknown how much interest there would be in Arm from financial or industry...

Rumor Suggests New Apple App for Windows Could Be Coming Soon

Tuesday July 14, 2020 1:54 am PDT by
Apple could be working towards the release of a new app for Windows 10, according to a report this week from an Italian website. The blog Aggiornamenti Lumia suggests that an app from Apple is "coming soon" to the Microsoft Store, but stops short of providing additional details. Apple still maintains a Windows version of the iTunes app, which has been discontinued on Mac and replaced by...

Deals: Amazon Taking $400 Off 16-Inch MacBook Pro, Starting at New Low Price of $1,999.99 for 512GB

Monday July 13, 2020 5:34 am PDT by
Amazon has introduced a new low price on Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro today, including both 512GB and 1TB models. Starting with the 512GB model (2.6GHz 6-Core, 16GB RAM), you can get this notebook for $1,999.99, down from $2,399.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....