Apple 2020 iPad Pro 12.9in review: a best mobile inscription can now get genuine work done


The 2020 iPad Pro takes 2018’s wow-factor redesign and beefs adult a camera on a behind with lidar (light and radar) technology, ordinarily used in self-driving cars, not inscription computers.

Apple re-invented a iPad Pro in 2018 with a overwhelming pattern featuring large, pleasing screens with skinny bezels, Face ID instead of a Touch ID home button, and squared-off sides.

The new £769 iPad Pro is radically matching and usually as overwhelming twin years on as a original, here reviewed in a incomparable 12.9in form starting during £969 and a Smart Keyboard Folio costing £199.

The inscription has 4 glorious speakers in a sides, a USB-C port, captivating wireless horse for a Apple Pencil stylus and a tiny pogo-pin intelligent connector on a behind for keyboard cases. There’s no headphones hollow though.

The camera pile has grown on a back, mirroring that used on a iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, featuring a twin camera complement and a lidar scanner – some-more on those in a moment.


  • Screen: 12.9in 2732×2048 Liquid Retina arrangement (264 pixels per inch)

  • Processor: Apple A12Z Bionic

  • RAM: 6GB

  • Storage: 128, 256, 512 GB or 1TB

  • Operating system: iPadOS 13.4

  • Camera: 12MP wide, 10MP ultrawide and Lidar scanner, 7MP TrueDepth selfie camera

  • Connectivity: Wifi 6 (4G optional, eSim), Bluetooth 5, USB-C, Face ID

  • Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm

  • Weight: 641g (4G version: 643g)

Power and battery life

The Apple A12Z Bionic processor is a same as a A12X Bionic used in a 2018 iPad Pro, though with an eight-core GPU instead of seven. It performs a same: discerning and smooth.

Apple says a iPad Pro is some-more absolute than many full-blown computers; positively Affinity Photo was faster behaving a same formidable edits on a iPad Pro than on a new MacBook Air with an Intel Core i3 chip.

Battery life wasn’t utterly as good as a prior indication when tested in 2018. The new iPad Pro manages some-more than 8 hours of consistent work between charges; adequate for day’s work and examination a video on a invert home though not utterly a 1.5 days working-day battery that 2018’s indication managed.

Part of this inequality could be explained by a ascent from iOS 12 to a some-more means iPadOS 13.4, that does more, mostly concurrently, so will be some-more appetite inspired – though also some-more useful. With lighter use, such as reading or examination offline movies, a iPad Pro lasts good over 9 hours between charges.

Charging a 12.9in iPad Pro with a enclosed folding 18W horse took 3 hours 20 mins from flat. Using 45W horse shaved some-more than an hour off that time.


Apple does not give a rated lifecycle for a iPad Pro, typically 500 full-charge cycles, though it can be transposed for £99. The inscription is generally repairable, with a out-of-warranty use cost being £616.44, that includes a screen. The iPad Pro was usually awarded a 3 out of 10 for repairability by a dilettante iFixit.

The iPad Pro has 100% recycled tin in a solder of a categorical board, peep and wireless horse and during slightest 35% recycled cosmetic used in mixed components. Apple is also regulating renewable appetite for final public of a machine, and breaks down a tablet’s environmental impact in a report.

Apple also offers trade-in and giveaway recycling schemes, including for non-Apple products.

iPadOS 13.4

Since bursting iOS into iPadOS for Apple’s tablets and iOS for a smartphones, a iPad line has gained poignant application some-more fitting of a inscription computer.

The vast new further for iPadOS 13.4 is Bluetooth or USB-C rodent and trackpad support, an refurbish accessible for a vast operation of iPads, not usually a iPad Pro.

You don’t utterly get a rodent pointer on-screen like a Mac. Instead we get a morphing blob that changes figure when nearby actionable items. A caret appears when over content like a Mac, though when we go nearby a symbol a cursor jumps to it, morphing into a light-grey rectangle highlighting a button. This present preference reduces a pointing compulsory to click something obvious.

A trackpad is a best choice for a iPad as it opens adult a bucket of gestures many of that are identical to those on a Mac. Highlights embody two-finger scrolling, three/four/five-finger swipes replicating iPadOS’s navigation gestures (up for home etc), and a five-finger splash to see recently used apps. You can even two-finger or right click, that brings adult what would be a tap-and-hold menu on icons and items.

The interface and cursor have a bit a movement too. For instance, we can click a time to get to notifications or battery idol to get to discerning settings, or we can hurl a cursor to any particular cursor with a bit of force instead. To move adult a wharf we need to hurl a cursor to a bottom of a screen. It’s surprisingly fun, if regulating a cursor on a shade could ever be described as such.

Not all a common interactions we design are supported, such as a miss of hover-over for apparatus tips, that stops some functions in web apps from working. Some buttons also exclude to click, such as a behind arrow in Evernote. Clearly, some third-party app developers will need to do some work.

Overall, trackpad and rodent support is sincerely transformative for a iPad Pro as a work appurtenance trustworthy to a keyboard. It adds much-needed pointing for content selection, operative in spreadsheets and other bureau duties, while also shortening a aria of consistent prodding of a screen.

Lidar and camera

The vast new hardware further to a iPad Pro for 2020 is a new dual-camera setup, identical to that used on a iPhone 11, and a lidar sensor.

The cameras are good for a tablet, though not as good as those on a iPhone 11. Fine for pointless snaps, though a phone is expected improved for keepsakes.

The front-facing 7-megapixel camera is glorious for video calls – forever improved than those propitious to Apple’s laptops. we wish it was propitious to a tip in landscape, rather than portrait, that would be distant improved for use in a keyboard case.

The lidar sensor aids protracted existence (AR) apps. It measures a stretch to objects adult to 5 metres away, permitting some-more accurate chain of practical objects into a genuine world, quite when they’re placed behind genuine objects.

The magnitude app, for instance, is some-more accurate, as is Ikea’s seat visualization app. Other than a occasional points of interest, we have nonetheless to be assured of AR practice by a inscription or a phone.

Therefore lidar feels like a future-proofing further that will be useful during some stage, once apps that can truly take advantage of it have appeared.


  • Face ID continues to be great

  • Base models of a 2020 iPad Pro come 128GB of storage, twice as most as a predecessor


The 2020 iPad Pro comes in space grey or silver, in twin shade sizes, 4 storage options and versions with or though 4G.

The wifi-only 11in iPad Pro costs £769 with 128GB of storage, £869 with 256GB, £1,069 for 512GB and £1,269 for 1TB. It costs £150 to supplement 4G to any of a storage versions.

The wifi-only 12.9in iPad Pro costs £969 with 128GB of storage, £1,069 with 256GB, £1,269 for 512GB and £1,469 for 1TB. It costs £150 to supplement 4G capability to any of a storage versions, that is generally useful for operative on a go, though requires another mobile broadband subscription.

The Apple Pencil costs £119 and a Smart Keyboard Folio costs £179 for a 11in iPad Pro and £199 for a 12.9in iPad Pro. Apple’s Magic Keyboard with integrated trackpad will cost £299 for a 11in and £349 for a 12.9in iPad Pro shipping in May.

For comparison, Microsoft’s Surface Pro X costs from £999 and a Surface Pro 7 costs from £799 though keyboards.


The 2020 iPad Pro is really most a 2018 indication and combined cameras and lidar.

It’s a underline that improves AR and might infer transformative down a line. But AR on a inscription stays niche.

Instead a vast changes are program as partial of iPadOS 13.4, that is also accessible for comparison models. It creates a iPad Pro some-more of a full mechanism deputy than ever.

I can finally get each partial of my work finished on a tablet, though resorting to hacky work-arounds or finishing on a PC. This examination was created and edited, a photos alien and edited, and finally a lot extrinsic into a Guardian’s backend systems, something I’ve simply not been means to do before all on an iPad.

The 12.9in shade was vast adequate not to feel cramped, while some tasks were faster and others slower than when operative on a Mac or PC. But, finally, a answer to a ever-present doubt unresolved over a iPad Pro of “can we get genuine work finished on an iPad” is: yes. And though large adjustments too.

It might not be most opposite from a final one, though a 2020 iPad Pro is a really best mobile inscription we can buy – that it positively should be for during slightest £969 for a 12.9in chronicle – and arguably a plain laptop or PC replacement.

Pros: good battery life, fast, pleasing screen, discretionary 4G, USB-C, good speakers, Face ID, rodent support, means work PC replacement, lidar

Cons: really expensive, no kickstand though case, no headphone socket, will still need a PC for some tasks

Other reviews

  • Apple MacBook Air review: 2020’s near-perfect consumer laptop

  • 16in MacBook Pro review: bigger battery, new keyboard, new Apple

  • Microsoft Surface Pro X review: not nonetheless prepared for primary time

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review: a best Windows 10 inscription PC we can buy

  • Microsoft Surface Go review: inscription that’s improved for work than play

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