Can the iPad Pro be a replacement for the laptop

The traditional use of a tablet – surfing the web and watching videos. This will fit almost any model. In Apple believe that the iPad Pro can replace a PC. Vestifinance the reviewers decided to find out whether this is so and tried to understand who could be useful iPad Pro.

The last of the presents tablets Apple 9.7 inch iPad Pro, which pleased our customers with the compact and powerful filling, comparable to previously released the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, as always happens, the users noted in this model both advantages and some disadvantages. If you share your own observations, impressions and experiences, the first thing the new compact iPad Pro, there is a considerably increased compared to previous versions of potential. The entire line of iPad Pro is positioned as a replacement of traditional PCs and laptops. In order to check whether this statement is true, it was decided to test the tablet in “field conditions” in several categories.

Office work

With various office tasks, tablets have traditionally done very well, good for taking notes, writing emails or conference via instant messengers do not require large power. To perform such everyday business tasks of sufficiently high quality display and long battery life.

In this regard, the display fits perfectly iPad Pro: anti-reflective coating and the brightness increased by 25% in comparison with the iPad Air, will allow you to work comfortably even in the sun. The fundamental difference between the new tablet was the introduction of technology, True Tone, which adjusts the color of the display under ambient lighting.

In favor of the tablet can be counted and the speed at which you can get to work. The laptop boots in around 15 to 30 seconds (but often longer), to keep it in sleep mode too expensive: battery quickly sits down. The tablet is also can be kept constantly enabled, and lock mode iPad comes out almost instantly after entering the password, or authenticating by fingerprint. As for battery life, the manufacturer said up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music and up to 9 hours of surfing the web using cellular data network. These figures are quite true: surfing the net, typing, editing tables at a moderate brightness of the display during the entire day still left enough power for watching videos.

To gain a large amount of text on the tablet would be less comfortable without an accessory is an external keyboard built into the cover, which is attached to the front connectors. This is an extremely useful addition to the tablet for anyone a lot and often works with texts. Tactile feel from the keys is very nice. The only negative – there is no Russian layout, it is necessary to touch-type. But the keyboard is protected by a special coating, so not afraid of dirt and liquids.

Emerging modes of multi-tasking on the iPad allow you to switch between apps using gestures, use two apps at the same time, respond to email while watching a video, etc.

Split View allows you to open and use two apps at the same time. The open source program you can click or drag the divider to get to work in two programs at once. If you want to close one of the programs, it is necessary to move the separator in its side. Split View multiple apps, like Safari, Notes, Photos, Calendar and etc.

Watch videos on iPad is very convenient thanks to the display with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. The screen has IPS-matrix, the pixel density is 264 per inch. There are no complaints: the picture is sharp, good contrast, high-quality color reproduction. I would like to warn moviegoers — it is better to disable the function of True Tone when watching a film, if you want to see a movie in its original color.

iPad Pro is equipped with four powerful enough speakers on the perimeter of the body, so there is no need to connect an external speaker. Speakers adapt to the location of the tablet so that the left and right audio channels were respectively right and left of the listener.

Creating and processing content

Let’s complicate the task and move on to creating and editing multimedia content. Let’s start with the video. Compact iPad Pro equipped with a good camera, even better than the 12-inch model. Aperture camera 9.7 inch iPad Pro, f/2.2, supported shooting 63-megapixel panoramic photos. Have a 12.9-inch iPad Pro camera with aperture of f/2.4, which allows you to shoot 43-megapixel panoramas. By the way, the 9.7-inch iPad was the first tablet from Apple is equipped with a two-tone led flash True Tone. The front camera of the two tablets are also different. 9.7 inch iPad Pro has a 5-megapixel front camera with Flash illumination of the Retina. The 12.9-inch tablet comes with a 1.2-megapixel front camera and no backlight.

9-inch model is capable of recording videos in 4K resolution, while the “older brother” max Planck — 1080p. If you record a video in slow-mo, then a compact model is also in an advantageous position. The number of frames per second could reach 120fps at 1080p or 240fps at a resolution of 720p. The “big” Pro only one option: 120fps at 720p resolution.

It is worth noting that, of course, directly shooting video — it’s not something to do conveniently on laptops, cameras which are for messenger video. But the video editing and post-processing are those processes where it is interesting to look at the competition between two classes of devices.

Due to the large diagonal of the screen and quite powerful stuffing iPad Pro can be used for simple mounting of the rollers. Of course, production of a Hollywood blockbuster with hundreds of mounting layers, the tablet is unlikely to be mastered, but a home video or presentation is easy. This will help a powerful processor with a proprietary chipset A9X created on thin 16-nm process — the same used in older 12-inch model. For calculations answer two cores with the architecture of Twister with an operating frequency up to 2.16 GHz (100 MHz lower than what most Pro), graphics accelerator PowerVR 7.

For installation video the iPad Pro is the app iMovie that already has all the necessary tools. You can use it to import clips, trim or glue them in the desired location; add transitions, effects and titles. Of course, affordable and traditional mounting applications features, such as picture-in-picture, split screen, slow-mo effects etc. Interface and usage the application of a similar version for the desktop, so the development of iMovie for iPad will not take much time. Ready rollers can throw your Apple TV or another iOS device using AirDrop.

In addition to the default application for installation there is a lot of software from third party developers, among which the eminent manufacturers popular software for creating multimedia content Adobe Premiere Clip, Pinnacle Studio Pro, Vimeo, etc. it is worth noting that to work with a large number of videos need sufficient internal disk storage. If space on device is completed, you can purchase an external USB flash drive or connector for the hard drive.

Built-in memory enough to handle 4K video, although the 12-inch model this option is better: 4 GB vs 2 GB compact Pro. But, subjectively and in benchmarks, the difference is not very noticeable.

Photographers will appreciate the ability to do panoramic shots of up to 63 megapixels, and also the ease of processing photos. Retina-display with excellent color rendition will allow you to appreciate all the nuances of the picture and make all the necessary adjustments. By the way, essential for photographers Photoshop available for iOS.

Working with graphics

When working with graphics a useful tool will be the Apple Pencil. “Pencil” recognizes the pressure and tilt and is intended mainly for professional use by creative workers. Popular apps like Pixelmator or Photoshop Fix from Adobe to fully support Apple stylus.

Professional artists would prefer 12-inch model because of the screen size. But for the convenience of drawing the diagonal reduction is not affected. When working with Pencil Apple iPad Pro offers twice the data points than with your finger, the subsystem scans the signal with a frequency of 240 times per second.

When working on laptops and desktops draw with the help of connected graphics tablet Wacom type. In comparison external plug-in graphics tablet and cords iPad Pro+Pencil is difficult to select the winner. Professional artist-Illustrator team of The Color Cartel has published a comparison of the iPad Pro with top-end graphics tablet Wacom Cintiq HD13.

According to him, the iPad Pro in conjunction with the Astropad app becomes a full-fledged graphics tablet. Furthermore, it is much more convenient and easier to use than a product from Wacom. He also noted that drawing on the iPad with Apple Pencil is really nice and so familiar, as if you just do the outline in a conventional paper Notepad.

Working with audio

To record audio in iPad Pro has a microphone, but it is not enough, if the musician wants to record a guitar or an entire group of four or more people. External audio interface is designed to solve these problems, but it will have to be purchased separately. Software is no problem: in the app store there are lots of sequencers, effects processors (for guitars), groove machines, synths, etc. the tablet is also installed by default, GarageBand, where there is the possibility of recording multitrack audio, and the use of some emulation tools when you connect a MIDI keyboard (again using an adapter).

The tablet can act in tandem with your PC or laptop, operating the sequencer in a stationary computer. For example, the app Cubase iC Pro can be use on your tablet for quick access to different controls in the sequencer Cubase. The project page allows Cubase users to navigate through the project and navigate to the locators and markers, to enable/disable the metronome. Also has transport control and the ability to zoom in. You can control the mixer, panning, read/write automation.


So, iPad Pro tablet is powerful enough to seriously compete with laptops and desktops. 9.7-inch Pro version stands out thanks to its compact dimensions, while retaining almost all the advantages of the “big iPad Pro” (and some features like a camera, even better). To work with office applications, the tablet replaces the laptop is: it is lightweight, compact, devoid of active cooling and therefore silent. The keyboard cover (made by the Apple and third party) — an extremely useful accessory for set large amounts of text, and a clear screen allows you to comfortably operate the gadget in any light.

The creation and processing of multimedia content can also be trusted with iPad Pro. Shooting and video editing, photo editing, drawing, coding websites, recording and editing audio, DJing — all of this is real to do on the tablet thanks to a powerful stuffing and a variety of software available for the iOS ecosystem.

However, it should be said about the limitations. There are things that while tablets can not afford, and here to speak about full replacement of the desktop on an iPad is not necessary. We are talking mostly about the “heavy” multimedia content. So, 3D graphics, requires significant computing power. Often one computer is not enough, and to create animated scenes and graphics for movies and advertising, complex architectural visualizations are used by the render farm is a cluster of 10 or more PCs, each of which is assembled in top configuration.

For creating and recording music iPad Pro can be used in combination with additional accessories. As a portable Studio for quick sketches and write material on the road, the tablet will be a replacement for the laptop. But for professional work you need quality external audio interfaces. Processing audio, emulation of live instruments, software synthesizers require large amounts of RAM. Commonly recommended volume — 16 GB and above. The iPad Pro (in both versions: 2GB and 4GB) this amount is not enough.

Mobile games — extensive and extremely popular category of apps. And, without a doubt, anyone will find something to play with. But “hardcore” gamers iPad Pro while that will not replace a gaming console and a personal computer. When the power of tablets will grow to the point that it will be possible by connecting a joystick to play some Overwatch, DOTA or newfangled Korean MMO, then we can say about the dominance of tablets over PCs.

Compact Pro full iPad will replace the laptop in all office applications and can be a good entertainment platform. In professional use, in particular in the production of multimedia content, the iPad Pro may also compete with a laptop, as it has a number of advantages: compactness, portability, quality screen and camera, as well as a number of useful accessories that extend the scope of application of the device. Unfortunately, complete with Apple Pencil nor tablet nor the keyboard cover do not go. They will have to buy separately.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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