Depending on who you ask, the purple iPhone launch might or might not be the highlight of Apple's Spring-Loaded Event in April. But one thing that everyone's agreeing on is definitely the powerhouse-in-small-package that is the Apple M1 powered iPad Pro.
The A12Z bionic chip-enabled iPad Pro of 2020 was already the best in the category and now, with the 2021 Apple M1 upgrade and iPadOS 14.5, there's no better time to appreciate this undisputed champ.
But this sleek 'laptop-replacing' iPhone-MacBook hybrid is probably not for everyone. And even though good PCs are getting cheaper, and cheaper PCs are getting better, iPad Pro, in 2021, is still worth buying over Windows machines for certain groups of enthusiast and casual users, thanks to the new generation of Macbook-defining and unanimously praised M1 Chipset.
2021 Apple M1 iPad Pro specs:
Display: 2388 x 1668 pixels & tradional LED in 11-Inch. 2732 x 2048 pixels with mini-LED & Liquid Retina XDR display in 12.9-Inch variant
Processor: Apple M1 Chip with 16 core. 50% faster CPU & 40% faster GPU compared to the previous A12Z bionic chip
Storage: Upto 2TB of storage
Ports: USB-C with Thunderbolt & USB-4
Connectivity: WiFi & Optional 5G
High-Tech Canvas for Artists
If I had to pick one group of people who would appreciate the iPad Pro the most, I'd say digital artists, considering the person is willing to spend a few extra bucks for the Apple Pencil 2. I'm not exaggerating when I say that in the right hands, iPad Pro and Apple Pencil can be used to make masterpieces.
I'm one of those people who couldn't draw a mango in his 2nd-grade art test and yet I managed to draw some stuff, which may not be Monalisa, but good enough to share them on social media and enjoy the applause in the comment section.
To give you an example of how easy it is to draw on an iPad, in the Procreate app, if you want to draw a perfect circle, you'll have to just stroke the Apple pencil in a circular shape and hold the pencil for a second on the canvas. The app, from Apple Pencil's input, recognises that you're trying to draw a circle and creates a perfect circle, regardless of how awful the original circle shape was.
Want to create a zigzag line and not sure how to maintain an asymmetric ridge? Well, let the app draw it for you. Just draw the closest version of your desired geometric shape and it takes care of the rest. And don't even get me started on the wide array of brushes that comes with drawing apps on iPad Pro. It's like owning a paintbrush factory as I literally had every paintbrush type I could think of.
Thanks to the seemingly lag-free second generation of Apple Pencil, artists can now change drawing tools just by tapping on the touch-sensitive side of this wirelessly connected input accessory. No need to go through the settings to choose 'erase'; one tap is all you need.
Portable Studio for Music Creators
Maybe you are not a paintbrush guy. Maybe you like music and want to make your own but don't have a studio. Well, you don't need one. In iPad Pro, you can create music from scratch using Garageband.
The music creation aspect is not limited to amateur users. Professional music composers and sound editors can take full advantage of iPad Pro's efficient performance using apps like BeepStreet Sunrizer, Moog Music Animoog and Blip Interactive NanoStudio. I have seen a music composer hold the iPad Pro on the left hand and create a sick beat using his right while slouching on a couch. He didn't even need a desk to do his work.
Perfect Notebook for Students
Despite Macbook Air being the 'official' Apple device for students, iPad Pro comes shockingly close and, in some instances, exceeds Air's limitations.
With a first-party Apple Folio or Magic Keyboard, you can turn your iPad Pro into a fully functioning laptop and use it like a Macbook to take notes. But unlike Macbook Air, you can also draw diagrams, take handwritten notes and even export the handwritten notes into plain texts.
This handwritten text to plain text feature, what Apple calls Scribble, came to iPad Pro with iPadOS 14 update and this feature is convenient to students who want to take quick notes using Apple Pencil and save it for later as plain text.
Well-Rounded PC for Casuals Users
Perhaps the biggest demographic for iPad Pro is the casual users who take notes, facetime with family & friends, create documents, make presentations and browse the internet. Granted, you can do all these in iPad Air or other generations of older iPads, iPad Pro will let you do this faster and more efficiently.
One thing that people often fail to realise is how good its cameras are. iPad Pro has the same set of cameras as the high-end iPhones. So, iPad Pro can be used for video making and to capture perfect portrait shots that average consumers appreciate.
Not for power users
All that being said, the iPad Pro is not a perfect machine. It's not for everyone, certainly not for power users.
If you are planning to edit 8K videos on the iPad Pro, good luck. It could probably process the video and let you tweak a few things, but the entire workflow will not be as smooth as you'd have in a desktop setup or a high-end laptop.
Besides, the iPadOS is not as polished as iOS and macOS. Even though the experience will get better with time as Apple rolls out incremental updates every few months, the latest being iPadOS 14.5, the known issues are quite annoying. But did these issues prevent me from making it my daily driver? No.
Pricing & Where to Buy
If you are someone like me who doesn't mind waiting for incremental upgrades to see the experience get better and appreciate portability, performance and a stunning display, you can get an iPad Pro from gadget importers like iStore BD, iCenter BD, Gadget & Gear, Apple Gadgets BD in Bashundhara City Shopping Complex, Jamuna Future Park or Multiplan City.
As for the price, the base model 11-inch is priced at $799 that converts to 67 thousand and 500 Taka as of today. But since Apple doesn't have any official stores in Bangladesh, the actual market price for the iPad Pro will be much higher, depending on the taxes, shipping and carrier fees.
Considering what you can do with this slab powerhouse, as an iPad Pro user myself, I'd say it's totally worth the price. To this day, the iPad Pro is my go-to device when I am travelling or even when I'm home and don't like to sit in front of my desktop. It's lighter, doesn't have the awful CPU fan noise, looks cool, feels premium and works like a charm.
So, iPad Pro – a daily driver? Yes.
A Portable studio? Yes.
A Desktop replacement? No, but close. Really close.
Rifat Ahmed is a Student at the Department of Mathematics, University of Chittagong