Are Apple iPad Pros still the best tablet PC?

Farknot Architect /

Now firmly established as an icon in the tablet market, the iPad was originally launched by Apple in early 2010. It has since become one of the global tech giant’s flagship devices – as ubiquitous as the Mac and the iPhone. But what makes the iPad so special? And is the Apple iPad Pro still the best tablet PC out there?

If you have encountered one before you will already know it’s a genuine pleasure to use for work or play – and amongst other things that’s down to the usual user-friendly interface and the always pleasingly tidy Apple aesthetic.

With several iterations of iPad available, including the Pro for professional users, the device shows no signs of losing its position at the top of the tablet tree. However, the market for these convenient and increasingly capable devices is huge and there are so many tablets available from many different manufacturers.

No brand is truly complete without its own range of tablets, it seems. So: Are Apple iPad Pros still the best tablet PC? We think they might be, and in this blog we’ll look at why that is.

A closer look at the Apple iPad Pro


The newest generation of the iPad Pro is the fastest of its kind, and sees the tablet moving towards a position as the only computing device anyone might need. This is, in part, due to the increased power and performance offered by the M1 processor – the first chip designed specifically for Apple products.

The M1 is optimised for Apple systems, where form factor and power efficiency are very important. The M1 features the world’s fastest CPU core in low-power silicon, the world’s best CPU performance per watt, and breakthrough machine learning performance with the Apple Neural Engine.

As a result, the M1 can deliver up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance and up to 15x faster machine learning, all while enabling battery life up to 2x.

In terms of graphics, the M1 has an 8‑core GPU which provides up to 40 per cent faster graphics performance. This is perfect for professionals who need to build intricate AR models, or those who want to play games with console‑quality graphics at high frame rates.

Comparing the display: iPad Pro vs The Rest

An immediately apparent difference between iPads and iPad Pros is the screen size. Most versions of the iPad are 10 inches or below, but the iPad Pro is available at 11 inches and 12.9 inches, which means more screen space available and a real boost to creative professionals working on this particular device.

Newer iPad Pro models feature an all-screen design – in other words the bezel, essentially the edge or frame around the screen area itself, is significantly thinner. Almost all of the front of the device is screen real estate.

In addition, the iPad Pro boasts sharper screen clarity because the Liquid Retina display delivers crisp detail with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. That equates to the iPad Pro being a great device for viewing and editing HDR photos and videos, or enjoying movies and TV shows. There are other visual features which make the iPad Pro an essential choice. These are:

  • P3 wide colour: This is a colour space within the RGB model which represents a larger spectrum than the current industry standard sRGB. With P3 there is a 25% larger colour space.
  • ProMotion: A newly developed technology which automatically adjusts the display to the movement of the content. It delivers refresh rates of up to 120Hz for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness and smoother motion. Essential for those working in video.
  • True Tone: This clever feature is now also available on some newer Macs and iPhones. The device uses sensors to register the light levels surrounding it, and adjusts the colour temperature of the screen accordingly. The feature is designed to reduce eye strain.

Is the iPad Pro keyboard any good?

As we said a moment ago, the iPad Pro moves this tablet further towards being the only device a person might need. But not everyone will want to work on, say, text-heavy documents using a touchscreen to type.

The need for an ‘old school’ keyboard is still an important feature for the majority of computer users.

There is a range of keyboard accessories specifically engineered or use with iPad Pros, which mean that you can fluctuate the device between being used as a tablet or like a laptop. Dependent on the iPad Pro iteration, these are:

  • The Magic Keyboard: This features a comfortable-to-use backlit keyboard plus a trackpad, a USB‑C port for pass‑through charging and front and back protection (ie. it folds into a case). The Magic Keyboard features a floating cantilever design, which allows users to attach it magnetically and adjust it easily to the required viewing angle. The Magic Keyboard is compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd, 4th and 5th generation) and iPad Pro 11‑inch (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation).
  • Smart Keyboard Folio: This keyboard is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd, 4th and 5th generation) and iPad Pro 11‑inch (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation). It features two viewing angles which can be switched between whatever you’re doing, and it also provides front and back protection.
  • Smart Keyboard: This one is compatible with the iPad Pro 10.5‑inch. The folding design enables different configurations for typing email messages or watching videos, and converts into a slim, durable front cover when you’re on the go.


Users will need to connect their iPad Pro in some way – whether that be to Wi-Fi or to something else via a cable. Let’s look at these connections here…

  • Thunderbolt: This is the type of port used on an iPad Pro, and it’s the fastest and most versatile port ever on iPad. It works with existing USB‑C connectors and can be used to connect to fast external storage, displays or docks.
  • 5G: iPads have always had Wi‑Fi or cellular options but now, with built-in 5G capability, it’s possible to download files, stream movies, collaborate with colleagues and upload content on the go. The iPad Pro has the most 5G bands of any device of its kind, which means that it can get 5G connectivity in many more places. Now that is truly portable!
  • Wi-Fi 6: In other words, 802.11ax technology from the IEEE. In simpler terms, this is the newest generation of Wi-Fi, optimised for mobile devices and capacity.

What about the iPad Pro camera?

These days it’s a given that some form of your work or play will involve the need for a camera on your tablet. In the professional environments of days gone by ‘conference calls’ or one-to-one calls would be audio only.

But these days, particularly with many people having adopted a hybrid working life, important meetings and conversations are increasingly conducted with a visual element – an important factor in human communication.

  • Specs: The iPad Pro camera set-up is perfect for FaceTime, Apple’s video communication platform, and other apps as it features a 12MP sensor and a field of view of 122 degrees. A second camera doubles the photo and video possibilities, enabling different perspectives and multi-camera use.
  • Centre Stage: Additionally, the Centre Stage feature will change the way users participate in calls on video conferencing apps. As the user moves around, Centre Stage will automatically pan to keep them centred in the frame. When others join in or leave the call, the view expands or zooms in.
  • LiDar: A LiDar scanner works out the distance between the device and an external object by bouncing back a pulse of infrared light. The iPad Pro uses the LiDar measurements to construct a depth map of the scene the camera is observing, and unlocks immersive AR experiences to apply to it. The scanner also improves the Measure app, making it faster and easier for the iPad Pro to calculate someone’s height, while vertical and edge guides automatically let users measure objects more quickly and accurately.

Essential Accessory: Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil is a stylus engineered to work with iPads. It gets its name from its resemblance to a traditional pencil, and can be used for tasks such as sketching or writing. The Apple Pencil is precise, has palm rejection, and offers pressure and tilt sensitivity. There are two generations of this accessory available.

  • Apple Pencil (First Generation): This version pairs and charges via Lightning cable. This version is compatible with the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch and the iPad Pro 9.7-inch.
  • Apple Pencil (Second Generation): This version features wireless pairing and charging, and it attaches magnetically for storage. It also features pixel-perfect precision, tilt and pressure sensitivity and imperceptible lag. A very useful features is that users can double-tap to change tools, while they are working. The Second Generation is compatible with the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th and 5th generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation).

Are Apple iPad Pros still the best tablet PC? – The Verdict

With each successive iPad Pro seeming to be an improvement on the last, rather than just a cosmetic upgrade or insignificant tweak, this incredible device continues to hold its own.

Power and performance, as well as the usual neat and clean Apple aesthetic and user experience, mean that the iPad Pro is brilliant for many professional environments – particularly those involving some sort of visual element. The iPad Pro is great for those who work in photo or video editing, graphic design or digital art.

It’s not just the iPad for professionals, it’s the tablet for professionals. Check out Ebuyer’s range here.

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