9.7-Inch iPad Pro Makes Apple’s Case For Tablet Relevancy

The iPad Pro arrived in stores on Thursday and so far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Mashable‘s Lance Ulanoff is just one of the sources to provide praise of the new iPad Pro.

“Did Apple just raise the price of the best iPad? Yes, it did. Is it worth it? When you consider the components and storage in the $599, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, absolutely. I don’t know if this new Pro model will revitalize the iPad market, but with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple has certainly given it its best effort. I know I will find it hard to switch back to using an iPad Air 2.”

There are many others who love the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but don’t think it can replace a laptop. Even though they are correct, the new iPad Pro is still the best tablet you can buy. It takes at least a couple days before a final review can be written, but after one day’s use — it’s safe to say that Apple has — once again — gone beyond what was expected in creating a top-notch tablet.

9.7-Inch iPad Pro
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is almost too light to believe. [Photo via Daryl Deino]
The first thing you will notice about the new iPad Pro when taking it out of the box is how small it is, especially if you owned the iPad before 2013. You know it was originally referred to as the iPad Air 3, but it is still surprising when picking it up. It is less than one pound and feels like a pad of paper.

The next thing you notice, after setting the iPad Pro up, is how beautiful the screen looks. There is a noticeable difference in color display and brightness when comparing this to 2014’s iPad Air 2 and a lot of that has to do with Apple’s new True Tone display, which adjusts the colors to fit whatever environment you are in.

9.7-Inch iPad Pro
The 9.7-Inch iPad Pro is the ultimate digital notepad when used with the Apple Pencil.

The best aspect of the new iPad is its compatibility with the new Apple Pencil, which is the best stylus that has ever existed for a tablet, big phone, or PC. The writing almost perfectly mimics that of a pen or marker and you don’t have to worry about the same squiggly writing you do when using the Surface Pro 4’s N-Trig Pen, which provides more accurate positioning than the original Surface’s Wacom stylus. The new iPad Pro makes the best case for a digital replacement for a physical pen and pad more than any other device that has ever hit the marketplace.

Then, there are the speakers, which are the best speakers provided for a tablet device. Instead of the two stereo speakers usually found on iPads, the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro now contains four speakers and they aren’t just holes in the device. You can actually feel bass come out of them, and listening to music, if you are not around headphones or a high-quality Bluetooth speaker, is actually a pretty satisfactory experience.

Then, there’s watching videos. The 4:3 aspect ratio of the iPad still makes it too square for watching widescreen movies, but most iPad users are used to the black bars on top and below their video clips. What’s impressive is how the speakers add extra life to video clips, so you can feel what’s going on as well as see. It would be great to see Apple make a 3:2 aspect ratio screen that provides a balance of watching videos in landscape, while also providing the portrait-like notepad experience of a tablet.

The Smart Keyboard Cover, which connects to the new Smart Connector, is impossible to find. When playing with it at the Apple Store, it was difficult to get used to the small keys, but 10 minutes of use provided more comfort. It’s not the greatest keyboard in the world, but it’s very compact and provides a nice cover for the iPad Pro as well.

So, is the 9.7-inch iPad Pro the notebook replacement some at Apple said it would be? Perhaps not, but it’s still a great tablet. Do you own the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro? Let us know in the comments section.

[Photo via Daryl Deino]

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