Apple’s latest iPad is amazing. You might want one – but do you need one?
The new iPad Pro is the best tablet ever made, from Apple or anyone else. We’ve been testing one for a couple of weeks, and it deftly combines the raw power of a MacBook with the sleek design and immediacy of a handheld mobile device.
This is a device many will covet – but probably won’t need. If you’re wrestling between head and heart (or, more likely, reality and wallet), here are five reasons why you need the new iPad Pro – followed by five reasons why you don’t.
Five reasons you need the new iPad Pro
You live at the bleeding edge
Some people just need the latest and greatest. If that’s you and you fancy a tablet, the iPad Pro – especially the 12.9in model – is the best around. It’s beautifully designed, powerful, sounds great, and has an unparalleled ecosystem of apps, services and accessories. If you want the best, this is it.
You crave raw power
All iPads have serious clout – for mobile devices. But the new iPad Pro has serious clout, period. It houses the same M1 chip that powers Apple’s iMac and MacBook Pro. You also get a whopping 8GB of RAM (or 16GB in the 1TB/2TB models). For the average joe, that’s overkill; but for high-end creative tasks or console-grade gaming, this iPad’s a cut above.
You need the fastest connectivity
It might have only one port, but the USB-C connector on the new iPad Pro supports Thunderbolt 3. This means blazing fast connectivity with external devices. The cellular models are now 5G-capable too, ramping up the speed at which data can be downloaded to your device – assuming you’re in a 5G area, of course.
You demand the best screen and speakers
Other iPads have two speakers, but the iPad Pro has four, pumping out stereo audio however you hold it. The 11in has a silky smooth 120Hz display, too, and the 12.9in model takes things further with a mini-LED set-up. Its contrast and colors are rivaled in the world of Apple only by the $5000 Pro Display XDR.
You like cameras tracking your every move
We don’t mean this in a nefarious manner. The iPad Pro’s new selfie camera has an Ultra Wide lens. When combined with Apple’s new Center Stage feature, this enables a stationary iPad Pro to keep you in frame as you move around during video chats. It’ll even intelligently adjust the view to include other people who join your side of the call.
Five reasons you don’t need the new iPad Pro
You already have last year’s iPad Pro
There are key differences between last year’s iPad Pro and this year’s: a faster processor; more RAM; Center Stage; 5G; Thunderbolt; the 12.9in model’s display. But if you own last year’s iPad Pro, hang tight for a while, because the gulf isn’t that big – and next year’s iPad Pro is sure to move things on again.
Your iPad needs aren’t demanding
If you love the iPad, but spend much of your time browsing web pages, watching Netflix, listening to music and playing the odd casual game, the latest iPad Pro will improve your experience – but not likely in a meaningfully measurable fashion that’ll justify the outlay. Also bear in mind: today’s cutting-edge is tomorrow’s standard fare – regular iPads will receive the iPad Pro’s standout features eventually.
Your needs aren’t met by any iPad
There are key things even the iPad Pro cannot do – or cannot do well. Want to build an iOS app? Get a Mac. Keen to delve into retro-gaming emulation? Apple says no way on its App Store. Prefer working with tons of open app windows on a massive screen? 12.9in and Split View won’t cut it.
You’re a computing traditionalist
Maybe you’re not interested in any iPad. You’re happy with your iPhone when on the move, but want to sit before a laptop or desktop to do ‘PC’ things. Or perhaps you do have an iPad, but it’s primarily a media consumption/leisure device. In which case, the iPad Pro is disproportionate to your needs – if still a nice-to-have.
You’re waiting for iPadOS to evolve
Perhaps you’re frustrated that iPads don’t fully support external displays. Maybe you want Apple to be more daring and move faster with iPadOS in other ways before you splash out on its most expensive tablet – and so will stick with something cheaper. Fair enough – and here’s hoping Apple will deliver at its Worldwide Developers Conference 2021.