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iPad Pro (2020) review: beyond the trackpad

Actually move it up, looksbetter if we move it up. Hey everybody. I'm Dieter, I'm working here from home just like everybody else. This is the iPad Pro review. In the background is my TV and in the next shotyou're gonna see this, which is a pretty cool wallpaper which we'll have ontheverge.com/wallpapers. But it moves, because Apple thinks that you want Ken Burns effect. It's like screensaver,and that's annoying. Other than that, though, great video, check out the shots from Brennan King. This is the all new just announced iPad Pro that Apple put out last week. I've got the 12.9 inchversion of it right here. And, you know, the iPad Pros have been around for a few years now. And we kinda know what tothink about them at this point. We've had every possible argument, you could possibly have on whether or not they're real computers or if they could be your main computer or if they can be really usedfor productivity or whatever. I think that they're computers no matter what Apple says in their new marketing (chuckles) copy. And I think they're really good computers, that sometimes work in weird ways, because Apple imposessome limitations on them that bug me sometimes. I'm just gonna say right at the top, that you can take all the usualiPad Pro stuff for granted. The screen is amazing, face ID is great.

Battery life is a full day. Although now that I'm using itfull time to work from home, I can manage to kill the battery by like three or four or fiveo'clock, I really push it. There are lots of really good iPad apps. The USBC port is still here, and it does most of the USBCport stuff that you'd want. It's an iPad Pro. What you probably really wanna know is, how this iPad Pro compares to 2018s model. And there are a few things here. But remember, I just don't think that you're gonna take advantage of most of the new stuffthat's built into this thing, which is the story with every iPad Pro. So, let me just list the new things, so that you've got them in your head. There's three of them,well, three and a half. (chuckles) The first is this new camera module here. It's got an ultra-wide lens and LiDAR. There's a new processor inside, that Apple calls the A12Z Bionic. It has studio quality microphones. And the third half thingis, the trackpad support. And I only counted as half because, trackpad support is comingto basically every iPad, not just this iPad Pro. Which means at this point,you're probably wondering, "Hey, why do you have thedumb smart keyboard here "and not the new fancymagic keyboard cover, "the trackpad, Flippy Handsthat Apple announced?" Well, that's not shipping until May and so we don't have under review yet. Sorry. Okay, so let's actuallyget into this stuff. What should we do first? Well, let's talk about the chip. It's the A12Z Bionic,where in 2018, It was A12X. Why is it called the Z? Well, I guess Z ishigher (chuckles) than X. I don't know what's gonna happen, they've run out of letters. Anyway, the big change with the Z version of this processor, it has a more powerful graphics processor. And you know what, kinda whatever, it's-- The thing is really fast. I never felt a slow down, but I also never really felt a slow down on my old iPad Pro.

I guess now, there's just more headroom in the GPU for graphics chops and maybe Augmented Reality. Look, a benchmarking anyway, so that if you wanna argueabout numbers, you can do that. This 12.9 inch 2020version of the iPad Pro, got a 9981 GPU on Geekbench,whereas 2018 got a 9138. But if you really wannaargue at GPU specs, you can have way more fun doing that, with the Xbox series X andthe PS5 (chuckles) right now. What does 800 more on a GPUscore actually mean to you? Probably not that much. Look, it's fast. Now potentially a bigger deal is this new camera system here. The standard wide-anglelens is 12 megapixels, with a 1.8 aperture and the ultra-wide, it's only 10 megapixels, with F/2.4 and 125 degree field of view,but I love ultra-wide cameras. I think they're super fun. So I'm actually kinda gladthat they added this one here. I am on team that, it's okay to takepictures with your tablet. I just am. It's okay for people to do it. It's also okay to use yourtablet to make movies, but I just think these cameras might be a little bitoverkill for the iPad. I'm very impressed that you can shoot 4K video at 2430 or 60fps. But, I'm gonna beperfectly honest with you. If Apple sold a version of this iPad with kind of a dumpy camera on the back and just no big squarecamera module or just flush, I would probably buy that version, especially if it cost a bit less. Now on the iPad, I care waymore about the selfie camera, because I use it for video conferencing. This camera takes 7 megapixel photos and it also can record video at 1080p. And I think this camera looks great. But, I'm kind of annoyedthat it's on the side here, instead of on the top, whenyou're in landscape mode. So when you're doing a video conference, it never looks like you'relooking at the camera, you're always looking off to the side. And I'm also a little bit annoyed by the limitations on iPadOS, by the way. iPadOS doesn't let video conferencing apps have the camera on, when thatapp isn't the frontmost app.

Which means that, if I'mnot just staring at Zoom and I switch away to some other app, my camera turns offwhich makes the iPad Pro, basically the perfect machinefor telling your coworkers that you're not payingattention to them (chuckles). Anyway, the biggestnew thing on this iPad, is this LiDAR sensorright here on the back. Now, LiDAR is like radar, but with lasers, and anytime there's lasers involved, tech companies can't seem to help themselves intheir marketing copy. So, Apple says that, "LiDARoperates at the photon level "and at nanosecond speeds." Yes, that's how lasers (chuckles) work. They use photons, and theymove at the speed of light. Now, the reason that Appleput LiDAR in this iPad is for Augmented Reality Apps. And I need to disclose here,that my wife works for Oculus, which makes virtual reality, which is kind of like AugmentedReality, but it's different. And anyway, none of that changesmy opinion on this LiDAR, which is that it works really well, but that there aren't really any apps that take significantadvantage of it right now. The main benefit ofLiDAR, at least right now, is that it can detect objects in the room almost instantly,instead of having to wave your iPad around like a goon, so that it can detectall the right surfaces. It also means that itcan have a much, much, more granular sense of objects and their position and size in space. And all of that helps withsomething called occlusion, which is when there'sa real physical thing between your iPad and the virtual thing, that you've put out in the world. Now older iPads and iPhonescan do occlusion with people. But with a LiDAR on thisiPad, you can hide, you know, parts of virtual objectsbehind any objects. So, on this drummer boy here, you can like hide halfof it behind a table or behind this bowl, or, youknow, even my cat (chuckles). Honestly, this LiDAR feelslike this iPad Pro hardware, is built for a software future,that just isn't here yet. Sure, I like putting a virtualIKEA chair in the corner, as much as the nextperson, but I don't know, AI just doesn't seem tobe as much of a thing as Apple really wants it to be right now. Unless you're putting afunny filter on your face, because everybody loves that, but you don't need LiDAR to do that. Okay, let's talk aboutthat trackpad thing. I think Apple kinda nailed it, it actually feels totally natural. And there are a couple ofweird things like, you know, sliding your finger to theedge, to bring up the dock or slide over apps or whatever. But for the most part, it really works. It really feels natural,and I really kinda love it. If you have a trackpad and an iPad, you should totally give it a shot. If you want to trackpad case. Well, there're aren'tany out available today, that I could really recommend. Apple's is coming in May andit's gonna cost 300 or $350. Bridge is also making one that's more like a traditional clamshell, it's gonna cost a little bit less. That should be out in April. And I'm sure that more coming soon, because it is really that compelling. I have a lot to say abouttrackpad support in the iPad and honestly I have enough to say that, I should probably just makeanother video about it. So stay tuned for that. For this review, it doesn'treally affect anything because, every iPad thatsupports iOS 13.4 and up, is gonna get trackpad support. So it just doesn't affectyour purchasing decision, because all the iPads will have it. As for software, more generally,iPadOS, is what it is. And I think we've all talkedit to death over the past year. I still think it's alittle bit hard to learn, how all the advanced stuff works. And I still think that, power users, have to use too many hacky workarounds to get certain things done. My opinion is still that, I enjoy using the iPad morethan any other computer. But, sometimes it justdoesn't do what I need it to. Also, there's still some bugs. Sometimes my smartkeyboard here just decides, that it hates an app, andit won't type text into it, until I close the app and open it again. This OS is way less buggy than it was when itfirst launched last year, but it's still not perfect. So, that's the iPad Pro. And what do I think? Well, I think the LiDAR,AR stuff is really good, but it also feels likesomething Apple did, because it could, not becauseanybody was (chuckles) actually asking for it. Overall, the thing is really fast. And I think for some people,it could replace their laptop.

 For other people it couldn't,and for yet other people, this is just the nicestiPad that you can buy, and some people just reallywant a really nice iPad. But I think for most people,this iPad is probably overkill and they'll be perfectlyhappy with a standard iPad or an iPad Air. And at this point, I think you know which oneof those people you are. And as nice as this iPad is, I don't think it's gonna change your mind. Hey, thank you so much for watching and for bearing with us, onany weirdness that happens, because we're trying to figure out, how to shoot review videos. We can't even be (chuckles)in the same room together. But most of all, please stay safe. 

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