With iOS 13.4 on the way later today and the iPad Pro set to begin shipping Wednesday, early reviews are beginning to trickle in for Apple’s new tablet and the impressions make it perfectly clear: The new iPad Pro is great but there’s no need to rush to upgrade if you have the previous model. The main appeal is trackpad support, but Apple is bringing that to older models, too. And the new Magic Keyboard—which isn’t available until May—works perfectly fine with the 2018 iPad Pro.
At The Verge, Dieter Bohn writes there are “really only three things that are new here: the processor, the camera array, and the microphones.” As far as the processor goes, Bohn is “not so sure the majority of iPad Pro owners will ever notice a speed difference,” and the microphones, while “quite good,” are “not quite good enough to use for a professional podcast.” He praises the new cameras but questions the need for such a large camera bump and concludes that the LiDAR sensor “seems quite advanced but built for a software future that hasn’t arrived yet.”
Lauren Goode “struggled to write about this new iPad” in her Wired review even though “it’s the best iPad you can buy.” She laments the timing that “Apple has shipped a new iPad Pro in the middle of a global pandemic and on the cusp of a spectacular economic downturn,” and notes how the iPad’s internal changes aren’t groundbreaking and ultimately would “recommend the 10.2-inch iPad that supports the Pencil and Smart Keyboard, runs on an A10 fusion chip, ships with 128 gigabytes of storage, and only costs $429.”
TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino also finds “little reason so far to upgrade to this from the 2018 iPad Pro.” While he praises the trackpad support, battery life, and speed, he finds little about the 2020 iPad Pro to make it a compelling update “in a way that is rarely but sometimes true of Apple devices.” That said, he doesn’t “really find a reason to complain about something that works so well.”
Finally, Forbes has a sunnier outlook on the new iPad. In his review, David Phelan writes: “This is a slick, effective and highly desirable tablet – easily the most attractive and accomplished one out there – that is suddenly even more powerful. And the keyboard, Pencil and trackpad capabilities now qualify it as a solid laptop alternative.”
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.