Test: Apple Ipad Pro (2021) – Dressed for the future

The new Ipad Pro gives us a handful of things to be impressed by and the processing power that the M1 chip contributes is the foremost. In fact, performance is so high that it reveals shortcomings in other areas.

Something to grow in

You can compare the specifications for this year’s Ipad Pro in the 12.9-inch size that we test here with a child who has been given too large clothes, to “have something to grow in”. The clothes do not fit properly, but they are not too small either, so it does not pose any serious problems. In practice, of course, you can not have too much performance, but if the software does not allow us to push the system to the max, then you can speculate about performance versus price and whether the iPad Pro is the most affordable tablet, or not.

A clear difference in the interface and in every moment of use is that multitasking here allows all apps, even those you used a long time ago to be active, so when you switch between apps it never happens that the new app has to be loaded, but everything is ready so you can continue where you left it. This bodes well for the fall, because at the time of writing, this Ipad Pro has version 14.6 of the Ipad OS, which will be upgraded to iOS 15 where we have improved handling of multitasking as one of the more exciting news.

Not crucial

The iPad Pro feels fast but of course fast can still be faster. The system chip is not the only thing that determines how fast the tablet can complete the tasks I impose on it and when I try to render an identically cut movie in Imovie on Ipad Pro and then on Iphone 12 Pro, the iPad is only marginally faster. Another test I do includes the app Swingvision where I use the iPad to film an hour of tennis match I play and then let the app, using machine learning, analyze the video to determine the ball’s speed, type of stroke, whether the ball is inside or out and even pulls one a number of other conclusions. That analysis of an hour of video took the app and Ipad Pro just over half an hour to do.

Already when I tested the previous version of Ipad, I was aware of how versatile the tablet was and that it then, thanks to Magic Keyboard with its touchpad and Ipad OS which already had a well-developed support for pointers could fulfill much of both the tablet and computer purpose. Both benefit and pleasure, therefore, consuming content and both creative and more work-related productive creation. Since then and in this new Ipad Pro, the possibilities have been expanded a bit further by supporting Thunderbolt 3, which allows you to connect fast ssd hard drives, cameras, ethernet or connect an external high-resolution screen, although some of these require an adapter . The Magic Keyboard also has its own charging connector and allows the power to pass over to the iPad Pro, so it allows you to charge the keyboard and the iPad and still have the connector in the tablet free to connect accessories.

Numbers Mini-LED

Compared to last year’s Ipad Pro, the screen is of course, in addition to the system chip, the biggest news. Now the screen is a LCD screen of the Mini-LED type. I do not go into detail about what it means, you can instead read more about it in our separate article on the subject. The result in experience is in any case that the screen gives better blackness and thus borrows some of the benefits of the more expensive OLED screens that we have found in the Iphone for a few years, but still not in the Ipad. It is only the 12.9-inch model of Ipad Pro that we test here that has Mini-LED and the smaller 11-inch model still runs the same screen type as last year’s model.

One of the news in last year’s Ipad Pro and for that matter also in Iphone 12 Pro and Pro Max was the advent of Lidar sensor in the camera cluster, this to improve the precision in apps that use AR, augmented reality where virtual objects are placed using the camera in the real world when you look at it through the iPad screen. Should we take the opportunity to draw some conclusions about the development of that technology, it can not be said that it has so far had any real impact, despite the fact that Apple has invested so ambitiously in the technology. Maybe we will have reason to evaluate the situation again in a year.

The camera news this time is instead located in the camera on the screen side and is called “Centered”, or in English Center Stage. It is a feature that allows you to be centered and zoomed in on video during video calls, even if you are moving in the room and not just you. If you are several pieces in the picture, for example in a Facetime call, the camera automatically zooms in so that all faces are visible in the picture. It works well, but you can of course ask yourself how often you walk around during a video call at the same time as you leave the iPad on the table. I do it very rarely, so the novelty and usefulness is not overwhelming. As with its predecessor, I’m skeptical that the selfie camera and Face ID sensors are located on one short side of the screen and not on the long side. This means that I often happen to block the Face ID camera when I pick up the iPad and have to unlock it and it also means that you easily block the camera if you have video calls and hold the iPad with both hands. Otherwise I am happy with the design of Ipad Pro and it definitely feels like a quality build.

Stretching the boundaries

If last year’s Ipad Pro impressed as both tablet and in computer form, this new Ipad Pro asks further questions about where the line goes between Apple’s tablets in the Ipad series and the laptops with Mac OS. It can undeniably be claimed that Apple is helping to blur the boundaries between them, especially now with the M1 chip, which means that Ipad apps can also be run on Mac computers. Nevertheless, Apple itself has repeatedly been clear that Mac and Ipad serve different purposes and will not be integrated. And with the other hand, so to speak, Apple Ipad Pro gives the opportunity to use mouse pointer and touchpad in addition to touch on the screen then. It can not be ruled out that the iPad OS, despite the latest updates we will get in the Ipad OS 15 this fall, is still one of the brake blocks for the iPad to be further developed with more uses.

Questions and answers

What does the pen add?
It as well as the keyboard and case is something you have to pay extra for, but yes the pen is really useful. You can type by hand directly in all text fields in the system and have the text interpreted into editable text. Then you can of course draw with better precision with the help of the pen as well.

It will be a rather expensive computer with all the accessories required?
Yes, for example, the model with a SIM card slot and 512 GB of storage quickly pulls away to SEK 25,000 with a pen, some adapters and a keyboard.

Ipad Pro, who is it for?
It’s a hard question. The plate with its performance and juicy price tag easily feels a bit unbalanced and it is difficult to find a perfect use that can not be met with cheaper hardware.

An alternative:

Better cheaper
A cheaper Ipad is probably the best choice for most people. At the same time, a computer is competitive both in terms of price and function if these are the functions you want.

Test image

In Ipad Pro, it is probably the front camera you use most often and then most for video calls.

Source: Mobil by www.mobil.se.

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