iPad Pro’s five killer features

It always takes a little while to get to know a new device, and the iPad Pro is no exception. After more than a week of use, though, I’ve started to see what the really important features of the iPad Pro are – not just the headline ones, but those that really make a difference every single day.

So here are the five killer features I’ve found to be the most important and useful in daily use, starting with something that won’t be immediately obvious…

ipad pro tableThe speakers

It’s difficult to describe in words quite how good the iPad Pro’s speakers are. They’re not just good “for a tablet” – they’re good full stop. Apple has clearly spent a lot of time and effort in making the Pro sound really good.

How has Apple managed this from such a thin device? According to iFixit’s teardown of the iPad Pro, it’s mostly down to some big speaker enclosures. There are four speakers in the iPad Pro, and if you combine the area that the enclosures take up, it’s about half the space that’s devoted to the battery. That’s a LOT of space in something this size.

Clearly, Apple could have put in smaller speakers, but that would have sacrificed sound quality and added more weight. On the plus side, you would have got more battery life, but given that the iPad Pro has pretty decent battery life anyway, we think it’s a trade off worth making.

Built-in LTE

Once you’ve had a tablet that has built-in LTE, going back to tethering to a phone when you’re out of Wi-Fi range feels like a step back into the Dark Ages. Yes, you have to pay for an additional mobile SIM, but that’s a price worth paying when it means you can get online virtually everywhere without any kind of issue.

To date, all the models of the iPad range have had an LTE option, but Apple’s changed tack with the iPad Pro, and you’ll need to buy the top of the range 128GB model. I think this is a bit of a shame, but at least the option is there. Why don’t all tablet manufacturers do this?

img_0005The new onscreen keyboard

Yes, a physical keyboard is nice – but it’s not always the best option, and I suspect most people will end up using the iPad Pro with the onscreen keyboard quite a bit of the time. So it’s great news that it’s been massively improved: you now have a row of numbers, bigger shift and caps lock keys, and more. The spacing on the keys is excellent, too, which makes it easy to type on.

The Pencil

There are so many things about the Pencil that Apple has got right: the weight of it, its feel in the hand and the way that strokes appear on screen. If you’ve got any kind of creative bone in your body, you’ll enjoy using it.

But the activity we use it most for? Writing notes. Having a big screen to write notes on, rather than having to have the keyboard open and stare at the screen while in meetings, makes a lot of difference to how much you engage with what’s going on around you.

One final thing we love: check out what happens every time the Pencil comes to rest after rolling it… 

The speed. Oh boy, the speed

If Apple wanted a cheesy advertising slogan to promote its latest iPad, “nothing is slow on the iPad Pro” would be in with a shout (Apple, if you’d like to license it, we’re happy to do so for a small fee). Want to export 4K video from iMovie? Sure, go right ahead! Games? No game yet made is enough to stretch it or make it stutter.  

NOW READ THIS: Our full review of the amazing iPad Pro.

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