For a little over a decade, Apple has continued to be a purveyor of the tablets, that no one has been able to come close to/match. Unveiling new models every year, Apple has upped the game with the iPad Pro 2021. Fuelled by the M1 chip, this year’s release belongs to the power machine portfolio, making it an advantageous, on-the-go investment for creative professionals.
Apple’s iPad Pro has been a powerhouse, ideal gadget for creative work. It has always been capable enough to handle heavy graphics, image and video editing. While there had never been any issues with processing power on the iPads, Apple has moved a notch higher by adding the M1 desktop-class chipset. There is no such term as lag that even comes close to the iPad Pro. Be it running heavy graphic apps, documentation, editing, gaming… everything is buttery smooth.
The support for Thunderbolt high speed makes it super convenient and fast to import heavy files such as RAW images to this new Pro. I’m not much into editing but I did try my bit. I edited some of my pictures using different professional editing apps including Adobe Lightroom, Affinity Photo and Plotagraph. Photographers are going to love the machine as they can instantly transfer files and work on them using the editing apps of their preference. LumaVision is another powerful video editing app that works flawlessly on this machine. Not just photographers and videographers but even architects will love this.
In addition to the two rear camera sensors (12MP wide and 10 MP ultra-wide) is the LiDAR scanner that determines distance by measuring how long it takes light to reach an object and reflect. And using a compatible app, such as Canvas, one can get exact dimensions. This could eliminate the need to doing everything on paper. Polycam is another that uses the LiDAR sensor to create colour 3D scans of objects and spaces. And using the Apple Pencil 2nd gen, which replicates the paper-pencil experience, can add their creative touch right in front of the client. The Pencil also facilitates handwritten notes, smart annotations, sketching and more. This segment has been dominated by Wacom for a long, but the new age iPad Pro brings a lot more to the table.
All this creativity is achievable because of the high-end screen Apple has added. The 11-inch display with 2388 x 1668p resolution is sharp and bright with deep blacks. And the high refresh rate makes moving animations smooth. It is not just ideal for designing and editing work, but even streaming Dolby Vision HDR movies over Netflix, Disney Hotstar amongst other services was a sheer delight. The loud audio created a mini theatre-like experience.
With all this power and new features on board, one thing Apple didn’t monkey around is the design. It continues to have flat sides, blending into curved corners with speaker grills at the top and bottom panel. The enclosure is now made with 100 per cent recycled aluminium, and yet feels supreme. The weight is well distributed and even at 468 grams, this new iPad Pro feels light to hold. Instead, it is the Magic Keyboard (weighing a little over 600 grams) when combined with, makes it a heavier proposition. But the additional investment in Apple’s Magic Keyboard with trackpad turns it into a good computing device.
The front camera continues to be at the top center, which does hamper the video calling experience when used horizontally. When mounted over the Magic Keyboard, the ultra-wide camera captures an angular shot and makes it impossible to maintain eye contact. Apple’s new Center Stage feature followed my slightest movement to keep me centered in the frame but wasn’t of much help for making eye contact. Centre Stage isn’t just restricted to FaceTime. It works across video conferencing apps including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex.
The iPad Pro is a perfect tool amalgamating creativity with new age tools that would be loved by artists, architects, engineers, and musicians, amongst others. And the trackpad support makes it a perfect portable laptop for work.
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