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Here we are. Apple, the same company that once swore off styluses, and dismissed hybrid PCs as experiments gone wrong, is now selling a laptop/tablet mashup of its own. One that accepts pen input, at that. The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro went on sale last week, and though it is, in a sense, just an oversized iPad, it’s also the closest thing we’ve seen yet to a hybrid device from Apple. With the screen real estate of a laptop, and the speed of a laptop, and various keyboard accessories allowing you to type on it like a laptop, the Pro seems like it might indeed be able to replace your notebook. In fact, Tim Cook himself has suggested as much in interviews. But with a starting price of $799, it isn’t for everybody. And even then, it won’t replace your laptop so much as complement it.
- Robust performance
- Bright, pixel-dense screen
- Lighter than you’d expect
- Smooth, precise pen input
- Surprisingly good audio
- Long battery life
- Expensive, especially with the accessories sold separately
- Still heavy compared to other tablets
- No mouse support; none of the keyboards have touchpads
- Screen angle isn’t adjustable on any of the keyboards
- iOS 9 doesn’t multitask as well as desktop operating systems
- Nowhere to store the Pencil
The iPad Pro isn’t for everyone: It performs well, but iOS 9 isn’t as adept at multitasking as a laptop operating system, and the lack of any mouse input can get tiresome. That said, its fast performance and smooth pen input could be useful for creative pros who need a way to stay productive while on the go. The Pro won’t replace your computer, but for a certain kind of user, it could be a handy supplement.