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iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil Review

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Apple’s iPad Pro bridges the gap between tablet and laptop with the help of some nifty proprietary accessories. Though not totally unoriginal, the iPad Pro is undeniably a response to the Microsoft Surface, which has been out for years now. That’s totally normal though, as Apple and Microsoft have been biting off each other back and forth since their inception. Like the Surface, Apple doesn’t include the iPad Pro’s accessories with the device. We’d have liked to have seen the Smart Keyboard and Apple pencil included, but it’s not surprising.

Apple iPad Pro

Okay, so what exactly is the difference between the iPad and the iPad Pro? The iPad Pro can do anything a normal iPad can do, but its sheer size, more powerful A9X chip and inclusion of the Apple Pencil & Smart Keyboard set it apart. Though it can do everything a tablet can do and more, it can’t do everything a laptop can do, just some things. It doesn’t have a disk drive of course, USB port, memory card slot, HDMI output or a full sized keyboard.

It’s large 12.9” high definition screen is as vibrant as on any other Apple device. It’s incredibly thin at only 6.9mm. It features an 8mp rear camera and a 1.2mp front facing camera that captures 720p video, but let’s face it, the iPad Pro is too big to be holding up in the air and snapping pictures. The iPad Pro comes with 32-128GB of internal storage depending on which model you buy, and all models come with 4GB of RAM.

The graphics processing of the iPad Pro is far superior from the any of the iPads. Its proprietary A9X chip is basically a faster, updated version of what they’re using in the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. As it’s brand new, there are some formatting and support issues with various games and apps, but the vast majority will work fine on the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro’s biggest drawback is that it is completely unadjustable. If you don’t like the viewing angle that it sits at with the Smart Keyboard connected, tough luck. Microsoft’s Surface however is completely adjustable.

As expected, the iPad Pro includes a fingerprint sensor to keep your device secure. Its battery should last around 10 hours with intensive use. It comes in space gray, silver and gold. Retail prices are currently around $640 for just the iPad Pro at 32GB.

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Apple Smart KeyboardJust like the Microsoft Surface, the battery-less Smart Keyboard connects magnetically and doubles as a cover for the iPad Pro. Typing is satisfactory as each key is rigid and has a ‘click’ response that you kind of need to feel like you’re actually typing something. It lacks some shortcut keys, a trackpad and palm rest. These things aren’t essential, but their absence takes some getting used to. It costs roughly an extra $140.

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Apple Pencil

The approximately 90-dollar Apple Pencil is fantastic for drawing. You can’t really use it like a stylus, though it can do some things. You’ll still need to use your fingers pretty much constantly with the iPad Pro. The Apple Pencil is pressure sensitive, which allows you to shade and use it pretty much the same way you would if you were sketching with a real pencil. But why would you spend $1,000 to do something to can do for less than $1? Undoubtedly, the novelty of the Apple Pencil is attractive enough to draw some artists in, no pun intended. The Apple Pencil is just a neat accessory to have—another example of how fascinated we are by technology imitating real life.

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About Nathanael Rubin

Nathanael Rubin has made a home on the road traveling around the world and writing articles remotely. Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Nathanael is currently residing in Bangkok, Thailand where he has set aside his passion for music to do what he does best, write and travel.

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