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iPad Pro 12.9in (2018) review

iPad Professional 12.9in (2018) evaluate

Again in 2018, the iPad Professional received its large redesign following the iPhone and Watch. There isn’t any Residence button or Lightning port and the pill now has tiny bezels and rounded corners. However is it nonetheless price shopping for immediately?

On this evaluate, we take an in-depth have a look at the third-gen iPad Professional 12.9in. We benchmark its (absurdly quick) A12X Bionic processor, run battery and digicam assessments, and consider its radical re-design, up to date specs record and whopping costs.

Word that this has now been changed by a 2020 mannequin (4th-gen) which is on the market from £969. Learn our full iPad Professional 12.9 (2020) evaluate.

Redesigning the iPad

Apple radically redesigned Professionals for 2018, immediately making the outdated 10.5in Professional look old school. The Residence button has gone fully, the bezels have been shrunk and the show now has curved corners to match the chassis, all of which imply the entrance of the iPad is totally dominated by display.

The Residence button being scrapped means, after all, that you might want to use the iPad like an iPhone. Which means numerous gestures through the bar on the backside reminiscent of swiping up to return to the house display. It is uncommon once you first attempt it however shortly turns into regular and you may overlook in regards to the Residence button very quickly,

Though the bezels are lots smaller, they are not just like the iPhone X gadgets. Nevertheless, it seems nice and a little bit of area for thumbs with out impeding the display is welcome on a pill. The Professional does not want a notch just like the iPhone and that is additionally for the perfect.

A modern entrance is good, however a lot of the redesign is discovered once you flip the iPad Professional over. The commercial-looking rear is now not rounded however is totally flat, like some earlier iPhones. Whereas it seems nice, it does make it just a little tough to choose up from a flat floor like a desk.

That is the third iPad Professional Apple was launched with a 12.9in display, however because of this redesign the chassis has shrunk round it. It is smaller, in addition to thinner and much lighter, than the earlier fashions. Check out the massive distinction:

At simply 5.9mm thick (beforehand 6.9mm) and 631g, the 12.9in Professional is extremely gentle and transportable for a tool with such a big show, and stays light-weight even in its keyboard case. It’s comfy to carry for prolonged intervals.

Liquid Retina display

The show is now rated as ‘Liquid Retina’, and like its namesake on the iPhone XR it is an LCD (not OLED) panel. Liquid Retina refers back to the pixel masking and sub-pixel antialiasing that enables it to have curved corners.

The pixel density and determination – 264ppi and 2732 x 2048 – are customary for iPad screens of this dimension and a few have complained in regards to the lack of progress on this division.

However there is not any concern with the sharpness, partly maybe since you have a tendency to carry a big machine like this gorgeous far out of your eyes; and the 120MHz refresh charge (utilized selectively to protect battery life, because of the ProMotion characteristic) and highly effective processor imply responsiveness is phenomenal.

Our photos present what it may possibly do somewhat effectively…

Good day Face ID

You’ve got most likely forgotten in regards to the Residence button by now, however a fast reminder that past navigation it means there is not any Contact ID fingerprint scanner. Apple hasn’t moved it to the again or something so you will have to get used to Face ID just like the iPhone if you have not already.

It’s, as you would possibly count on, just a little extra awkward in some conditions like when the iPad Professional is flat on a desk. Nevertheless, Face ID works very effectively regardless of the problem placing it into a big pill. It is even dependable in each panorama and portrait orientations.

You would possibly obscure the digicam in panorama mode, however the iPad is aware of and offer you just a little pop-up message.


It is arduous to think about many individuals utilizing the 12.9in Professional for critical pictures, however having cameras is helpful for sure duties. We’re speaking particularly video calls however you would possibly wish to use the rear digicam for one thing like taking photographs of stuff you wish to promote on-line.

That entrance digicam is first rate providing a 1080p picture and because it must help Face ID, may also take Portrait Mode selfies (in addition to utilizing Animoji and Memoji). Outcomes are good though it may be fairly awkward holding this massive pill for mentioned selfies.

There’s really no Portrait Mode on the rear however Sensible HDR, made doable through the A12X’s Neural Engine. (Unwisely) take a shot of an object with vibrant lighting behind it, for example, and Sensible HDR will assess the body and tweak digicam settings so that you get element within the shadow on the thing with out being overwhelmed by the sunshine supply. This labored fairly effectively for us, though this may be subjective. 

Specs & Benchmarks

Powering the iPad Professional is Apple’s personal A12X. This eight-core chip is a beefed-up model of the A12 discovered within the iPhone XS.

As you’ll count on from a Professional mannequin, the iPad is quick – though do be aware that the mannequin we examined was the 1TB model which has 6GB of RAM. Different fashions have solely 4GB so won’t carry out to fairly these requirements.

The pill is so speedy that many laptops cannot provide the identical benchmark figures. The iPad Professional’s efficiency is definitely akin to the lower-end MacBook Professional fashions launched the identical yr.

The Professional has a seven-core GPU, and Apple says it is as graphically succesful as an Xbox One S. We examined this out utilizing GFXBench Steel, and the outcomes have been one thing to behold. See all the outcomes beneath.

Welcome to USB-C

As talked about earlier, Lightning has been ditched and USB-C is right here as an alternative. It is a sooner customary and matches higher with the wants of a professional person.

It makes it lots simpler to attach one thing like a digital digicam or SD card reader so the iPad Professional is an efficient selection for a photographer desirous to edit on-the-go. When at dwelling or in an workplace, you should use USB-C to attach a monitor, too.

Whereas it is good to see Apple undertake a non-proprietary port, is doesn’t suggest it would work with any and each USB-C accent on the market: arduous drives, for example, will not present up within the OS. It is also a disgrace for anybody who has purchased Lightning equipment however you may get a USB-C to Lightning adapter should you want one.

Word that with the change to USB-C, Apple has additionally determined to ditch the headphone jack and that is an actual ache contemplating how widespread utilizing headphones with a pill is. You will want an adapter, USB-C headphones or wi-fi as an alternative.

Should you need not maintain audio to your self then the iPad Professional audio system are an actual pleasure. There are 4 in whole and the spectacular energy and high quality of the sound is without doubt one of the greatest you will discover on a pill.

Battery Life

Apple claims the iPad Professional can final for 10 hours of wi-fi net browsing. Within the demanding Geekbench four battery take a look at, it managed to final even longer at 10 hours and 41 minutes – a sterling effort.

Charging is finished with a bundled 18W USB-C adapter and utilizing this on a completely depleted Professional it may possibly attain 19% cost in 30 minutes. However quick charging is feasible should you purchase a higher-powered charger; utilizing the MacBook Professional’s 87W unit we reached 26% within the half-hour.

Pencil Pushing

The second-gen Apple Pencil will doubtless be an enormous lure for iPad Professional customers, particularly artists and designers. Though you will must pay further – and it isn’t low-cost – the brand new design and capabilities greater than justify the expense.

A redesign means it has a single flat edge, in comparison with the superbly cylindrical first-gen mannequin, which regarded beautiful however had an inclination to roll off desks and get misplaced. As effectively offering a method to grip, it serves as a magnetic attachment level and an enter management when double-tapped.

If you connect the Pencil to your iPad it would mechanically provide to pair, and begin charging wirelessly. It is a ridiculously good improve in comparison with the ludicrous manner the unique charged through the Lightning port.

Total, it is a pleasure to make use of.

Worth & Availability

The iPad Professional 2018 has now been changed by the 2020 mannequin (there was no refresh in 2019). Being the earlier technology means that you would be able to now not purchase it straight from Apple and shares at different retailers are dwindling.

Except you are pleased to purchase one second-hand or refurbished, the perfect wager for a brand new iPad Professional 2018 is John Lewis. The retailer has the 64GB mannequin with Wi-Fi and mobile lowered to clear at £999 (that is £120 off the unique worth). In any other case, you will must go for an 11in mannequin beginning at £749.

Verify our greatest tablets chart to see our high 10.


The second-gen Apple Pencil is a terrific stylus and constitutes a robust argument for upgrading your pill. But it surely does not include the pill, and prices further: £119/$129. Word that the first-gen mannequin does not work with this iPad.

It is also price noting that the Magic Keyboard works on each 4th and Third-gen of iPad Professional 12.9. This could possibly be an enormous a part of your determination between the 2 fashions.


Though inventory is scarce, the Third-gen iPad Professional 12.9 stays an honest buy should you’re on the lookout for an iPad Professional.

That is partly right down to the very fact it helps the second-gen Apple Pencil in addition to the Magic Keyboard, full with trackpad.

So you do not really want to purchase the 2020 4th-gen mannequin to get that correct laptop-style expertise. Apple additionally has added an enormous quantity of upgrades to the newer machine. You particularly get a sooner processor and a secondary ultra-wide digicam on the rear.

Nonetheless, if you cannot discover an iPad Professional 2018 mannequin that fits you then its successor in 12.9in begins at £969.


Apple iPad Professional 12.9in (2018): Specs

  • A12X Bionic processor, Neural Engine, M12 coprocessor
  • four/6GB RAM
  • 64/256/512GB/1TB of storage
  • 12.9in (2732 x 2048 at 264ppi) LED ‘Liquid Retina’ display, True Tone, ProMotion
  • 12Mp rear-facing digicam, f/1,eight, flash, 4K video, slow-mo at 240fps
  • 7Mp front-facing digicam, 1080p video, ‘Retina Flash’ characteristic, Portrait Mode, Animoji
  • 4-speaker audio
  • Face ID facial recognition
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.zero
  • nano-Sim/eSIM
    USB-C connector, no headphone port
  • iOS 12.1
  • 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm
  • 631/633g (Wi-Fi/mobile)

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