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New iPad Pro Review: Can it replace your laptop?

Nilay Patel from The Verge did a scathing review of the new iPad Pros that concisely confirmed all of my misgivings. If the "Pro" in iPad Pro is meant to mean "Professional" then they missed the mark. To get the fully featured 6GB model you need to pop for the 1TB SKU. With all of the accessories that is about $2,200. How can this price even begin to make sense when NAND flash storage prices have been falling all year. It's more than twice as expensive as my i7 desktop with 32GB of RAM, and I can get a hell of lot more done on my desktop! The quintessential thing that made the iPad great was the low price of the hardware and apps, but Apple is hamstringing the "regular" iPads' memory to sell these absurdly overpriced models.

I was all set to finally upgrade my iPad Air 1 this year, but not at this price. I'll wait to see which tech makes it from the Pro to the Regular models in March. If worse comes to worse I'll just buy a refurb of this year's model because the "New 2018 iPad" is fairly beefy for just $330.

Video Description:

Apple’s new iPad Pro is a beast of a tablet, and Nilay Patel reviews it -- everything from its new design and screen to plugging in several devices to the new USB-C port. Dami Lee and William Joel, professional creatives at The Verge, also give their insight into the new iPad and Apple Pencil.

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Reader Comments 11

That is most definitely a “1%” price. I thought that one of the selling points of a tablet...and yes, an iPad is practically a tablet...is to have a portable device for a much lower price point. I’m due to update my 2013 MacBook Pro sometime next year, and I’d rather spend money on that. I have a second-gen iPad Pro, and, really, I can hang onto it for awhile. Maybe it’s not as laden with the high-end specs as the new one, but for what it does, it does great. I’m right there with ya, Tim.
November 05, 2018  | person_outline Velanche
FWIW, I hear that the Maschine they tested isn't even class-compliant... so thats more of a user error than any comment on how the new iPads will work with audio/midi gear.
November 05, 2018  | person_outline Hx
On November 05, 2018 - @Hx said:
FWIW, I hear that the Maschine they tested isn't even class-compliant... so thats more of a user error than any comment on how the new iPads will work with audio/midi gear.

Yeah, I have no idea WTF he was expecting to happen with the Maschine. Though what is and is not class-compliant may not be obvious to some.
I still don’t understand why the 6gb ram is limited to the 1tb model. Some say it is just Apple upselling, but it makes no sense because Apple itself doesn’t mention the amount of ram anywhere.
November 05, 2018  | favorite_border Erik
Cant believe they got rid of the headphone jack and what the hell is up with that price? Ive normally bought every single Ipad they released, but this time, I think I might give it a miss. I mean as far as making decent music is concerned, including videos, then we're covered. The extra power is overkill in my book for a ridiculous loss of the headphone jack. A real dealbreaker for me.
November 05, 2018  | person_outline Metalizer
If you wait long enough, someone was going to come up with a video to whine about it. So not really anything new there. In reality, the point is this...

Get over it.

Yep, it's new, much faster, has a lot more capacity in terms of processing and storage (my big issue) and crazy screen sizes. I like it, and when I get one I'll get probably get the 12.9" 1 TB unit. Why? Because of the sample libraries, general large amount of apps I have (546 listed currently, with sample libraries I can't bring on-board right now), and working with video for simpler stuff. I held off getting a stupid 1 TB SSD for my early 2015 MBP because it was over $1,000 for the longest time, and is probably around $500 for NVMe/PCIe speeds (and not the stupid SATA 3 variant). Even now, an m.2 NVMe SSD is going to be around $225 from Samsung, and I can't imagine that they're going to hamstring this thing with a stupid SATA controller and use slower flash modules. I had an iPad Air 2 that I sold last year, and I still have a first gen iPad Pro (it was only 12.9" at the time) and that thing has been at or near its 128 GB storage capacity ever since I started using it as my main iPad.

I didn't see anything about the 6 GB of RAM being limited to the 1 TB model, but considering the markup and the lower unit numbers they expect to move of it, I can see why. They did this for YEARS with their MacBook Pros, where you had to get their larger MBPs to get the higher RAM spec as an option, and you might not have been able to even go beyond the "artificially lowered" spec of the 15" if you wanted to add your own RAM and get that 8 GB of RAM way back when. Now? It's all surface mount. It's cheaper and ultimately, more reliable. How many times have you had to "remove and replace" your RAM, various stupid cable ports, and even the CPU itself to clear some odd bit of debris or loose connection/slight corrosion so it would work correctly again? When I worked on Canon copiers, we had an actually pin resetting tool that was made for their interconnect sockets and would push the receiving pins back into their correct orientation so the interference fit was restored, and the connection worked again. This comes from heat cycling and vibration, and happens on all kinds of stuff. With surface mount components, just support the mainboard correctly and you're set (unless it's an Xbox 360, and you *didn't* happen to support everything correctly, but...).

No headphone jack? So what. If you're using a portable media device you probably want wireless anyway (and W1-equipped headphones will just follow your iCloud account anyway) and if you want good audio, you'd use an interface. My iPad is attached to a stand with an Apogee One plugged into it, and I use my "real" headphones on that, along with plugging in my guitars and my Randall Diavlo's emulated output to its XLR input. I bought a mini-USB A to USB-C cable a couple weeks ago in case I got this iPad or a new MBP, so either way I'm fine with it.

It's Apple, and it's got a helluva markup. So what. Does it do what you want, and do even more of what you want to do, but now? Great, get one. And if you're going to complain about the price, just complain about the price of the iPad itself. Adding the stupid keyboard cover (that few would actually use after a month or so) and the pen into the price is completely misleading and petty. It isn't required. It's like all the pinheads whining about buying $9 dongles for their headphones when they're *still* buying a $900+ handset and probably have 5 pairs of Bluetooth headphones at home, and will be connecting the phone to their car stereos via Bluetooth.

Now, here's the good part: you're complaining about keeping your old iPad hardware. BUT! You can still use that old hardware. Which is awesome. My iPad Air 2 was fine, but it wasn't a huge fan of running more and more of the computationally stressful "temporal" plugins (chorus, reverb, delay, etc) while recording in. The iPad Pro was fine with it, hence my change. The fact that you can complain about using a 4 year old tablet based on a mobile OS is proof of how good that hardware and the software are together. Pick another tablet on another OS that you can reasonably use from that vintage. I had to image a bunch of various ones that ran Windows at that time, and I didn't want to use them when they were new, much less 4 or 5 years later. And my 2013 Nexus FHD was obsolete not long after it was released, which is longer than my Samsung Tab I got in 2011 which shipped with Android 2.2 and never even got an update on T-Mobile. All of that stupid hardware needing stupid OS hacks to get going, but you didn't have to do that here. And if it stopped being support on iOS 11 or 10, you still have a lot of apps that continue to work while you wait for your replacement hardware selection, or finally making good on your threat to change OS ecosystems.

It's from Apple, it's new, and it's expensive. Welcome to just another hardware refresh people...
November 05, 2018  | person fauxfreshness
I’m really happy that you posted this Tim. Your comments exactly summarise my disappointment and disbelief in this direction Apple are taking. The company seem to have found an elite market, and as long as they please their shareholders they’re happy. The logic of these (greedy) marketing moves is beyond me. As with the pricier new iPhones, I wonder who is going to be able to afford these apart from a select few. Still, they’re good at one thing, making money. I would love to see the recent price increase percentages, compared to in the past. I think that the price increases are abnormal, and contrary to Apple’s previous marketing strategies. At least for the top models, the ones with the most desirable specs!
November 06, 2018  | favorite_border Sarmad
I am so done with Apple as a brand... i am a fan of the iOS platform, but can’t stand this greedy company.
November 06, 2018  | person_outline Ed.
I'll just throw in that the lack of a headphone jack is rushing the evolution a bit, because of latency and sound quality issues with BT.

The need for a dedicated phones jack is not just for plugging in headphones to listen to music. It's low-latency monitoring of almost everything you do (in cans, or connected to an amp). It's built in, so you don't need to have an interface connected at all times. The goal with the iPad is to maintain simplicity and portability, yes? The D-to-A on the headphone out is actually quite good and sounds better than any Bluetooth receiver I've ever heard (granted, that's low-budget stuff, but still).

I would have much preferred it if Apple had just said, "We designed a robust, water-proof, magnetic break-away headphone connector and are including a bag of a dozen headphone adapters with your new device. Go nuts."
November 08, 2018  | favorite_border stub
On November 08, 2018 - @stub said:
The D-to-A on the headphone out is actually quite good and sounds better than any Bluetooth receiver I've ever heard (granted, that's low-budget stuff, but still).
This is the saddest irony of all. I think the Digital-to-Audio converter on iOS devices had been getting better and better year after year. In fact it got to an excellent level... right up to the point that they removed it.

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