iPad Pro 2018 Reviews Indicate Apple May Finally Have Found a Laptop Killer

Can a tablet outshine laptops?

Apple’s newly announced iPad Pros are the latest in a long-standing mission to convert laptop users into tablet users. Based on the early reviews, the 2018 iPad Pro has come closer than any of Apple’s tablets so far.

To achieve this, the new iPad Pro boasts extra slender bezels, Face ID instead of the touch ID home button, a wirelessly charging Apple Pencil, and, perhaps most notably, a USB Type C charging port instead of a Lighting jack. Under the hood it’s also a force to be reckoned with, powered by Apple’s eight-core A12X Bionic processor, which the company has said is faster than 92 percent of current PC laptops and can support Xbox One S-quality graphics.

The new iPad Pros come in two sizes, 11-inches or 12.9 inches.


iPad Pro 2018 Reviews: The Specs Don’t Lie

These under-the-hood improvements have helped the new iPad Pro shine in the first round of testing on the part of tech critics.

“This tablet wiped the floor with premium Windows laptops and 2-in-1s, in both benchmarks and real-world tests. The iPad Pro’s display, sound and battery life are also top-notch, and the improved Apple Pencil is more comfortable and easier to store,” wrote Mark Spoonauer in his review for Laptop Mag

The iPad Pro absolutely crushed the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, which evaluates how devices’ CPUs handle different workloads. It ran laps around its major competitors like the Microsoft Surface Pro 6.

This is all encouraging news for Apple which has had a rough week. After the company announced it would no longer report individual unit sales during its most recent earnings call, the company’s stock was battered by investors who took the announcement as a sign Apple thought that future figures would be unflattering. Then there was the widely panned recent lineup of MacBook Pros, which were beset by rampant throttling issues. So far, the iPad Pros are shaping up to be a desperately needed win.

The iPad Pro blew its competition out of the water in the Geekbench 4 CPU test.

Laptop Mag

“The iPad Pro is one of the most powerful computers you can own. It could be the best PC, too. Or better than a Mac. For now, it still has to settle for being best tablet money can buy,” stated Jeffrey Van Camp in his review for Wired.

iPad Pro 2018 Review: But It Doesn’t Feel Like a Laptop

On the other hand, it doesn’t seem like the iPad Pro is workable as a full-on laptop replacement quite yet. A handful of reviews so far have stated that the iPad Pros don’t deliver on a full laptop experience, despite their switch to USB-C that can be hooked up to 5K displays. And that’s mostly because of iOS 12.

“Apple wants you to think that the iPad Pro is the future of computing, but if you’ve already used iOS 12 on an iPad Pro, you know exactly how you feel about that idea,” wrote Nilay Patel in The Verge’s review.

In other words, while the iPad Pro delivers in the performance department, for example by letting you transcode 4K videos at lightning speed, its mobile operating system leaves a lot to be desired, productivity wise. When it comes down to being able to quickly tab in and out of different programs or use a mouse to navigate, for example, it falls flat.

Great performance aside, the iPad Pro is still a iOS mobile device at heart.


Apple has still made strides toward bridging this gap, most notably by announcing its plans to roll out a full-fletched version iOS Photoshop. But even that won’t be available until 2019.

“Apple’s iPad Pro is unapologetically a finger and stylus-only machine,” said Geoffrey Fowler from The Washington Post. “I locked up my laptop and tried using the new iPad for all my work. It’s been like learning to walk with your shoes tied together.”

iPad Pro 2018 Reviews: The Verdict

Overall, the reviews are unanimous in their assessment of the iPad Pro being the best tablet Apple has ever put out. People that make use of graphics pads, like architects or visual designers, might be especially tempted to pick up an iPad Pro if they’re in the market for an upgrade. But if you’re looking for a traditional trackpad and keyboard-centric laptop experience, the iPad Pro will fall slightly short.

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