Like the iMac, the new iPad Pro goes on sale this week and the first reviews are beginning to arrive. As expected, the screen and the processor are mind-blowingly good.
Dieter Bohn at the Verge calls the iPad Pro’s Liquid Retina XDR display “the best thing for watching movies that isn’t a high-end television” and “functionally equivalent to a high-end OLED TV.” It’s so good, he says, that you won’t even notice it at first: “The magic kicks in when you are viewing videos or photos in full-screen. When you do that, the iPad Pro kicks into a different HDR mode (or in Apple’s parlance, XDR, for “Extreme Dynamic Range”) that really is stunning.”
Federico Viticci writing at MacStories agrees. He concludes that “from a mere hardware standpoint, the new iPad Pro is everything I could have possibly dreamed of this year,” with “the best display I’ve ever seen in a portable computer.” He had a similar eureka moment as Bohn when playing HDR videos: “if you’re a videographer or photographer, you’ll instantly see and understand the impact of wider color reproduction; if you’re a ‘regular’ iPad user who doesn’t work in those fields, you won’t see the effects of the XDR display in the UI of Apple Mail or Files, but you’ll ‘get it’, just like I did, as soon as you watch HDR content, play a game, or browse your photo library.”
12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021)
At CNBC, Todd Haselton found the 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s display “looked brighter outside in direct sunlight than my 2018 11-inch iPad Pro,” while Ars Technica’s Samuel Axon found “the difference in contrast and black levels (between the new iPad Pro’s display and the old one) is, no pun intended, night and day.”
All of the reviews we read praised the iPad’s speedy M1 processor but also had a common refrain: Why? Over at Macworld Sweden, Jonas Ekelund called the iPad Pro “almost unnecessarily fast” and “the greatest leap between two generations that we have seen,” but wondered “what this means in the long run.” Writing at Six Colors, Jason Snell sums it up best: “Processor power, fast storage, copious RAM, and fast networking are all great specs—but they’re valueless unless they can be put to use. I love the iPad, but Apple’s hardware continues to move at a pace that its software can’t keep up with. The iPad Pro is ready. So now what?”