Apple iPad Pro 12.9 LTE ​​256 GB in the test

Conclusion of 11.09.2019

In the test, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 LTE ​​(2018) impresses in particular with an excellent display with 120 hertz and a first-class performance. Unlike the iPhone 11 generation, Apple has a USB Type-C port. That’s handy, the loading time is not spectacular, but alright. Rather worthy of criticism are the high prices for tablets and accessories. Overall, the iPad Pro 12.9 but a powerful tablet with fluid handling and a very good battery life.

advantages
Excellent display with 120 hertz
Great performance
USB-C connector
disadvantage
High price & expensive accessories
No classic headphone jack
Long loading time

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 2018 tested: Excellent ergonomics

The Apple iPad Pro 2018 appeals especially to those who want to use their tablet in the creative and professional field. In the test it delivers in all categories from very good values, in particular, the display and performance are hard to beat. More on that later, first a few words on optics.

The iPad Pro 2018 is reminiscent of Apple’s iPhones from Series X: The iconic home button is missing, but the iPhone’s familiar gesture control and FaceID technology are available. Although the display edges are much wider than on the iPhones, the iPad Pro does not have a cutout on the upper edge of the display (Notch).

The iPad Pro is in a high-quality processed aluminum housing. Sharp edges or corners do not exist. There are two sizes available: 11 and 12.9 inches. Be i the colors are silver and gray to choose from. The iPad Pro is available both with and without LTE module and with an internal memory of 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB. The introductory prices for the smallest version are a lavish 1,000 euros (or 1,199 euros for the LTE version) and climb in the 1-TB model up to 2,000 euros.

In our test, we refer to the variant with LTE and 256 GB of storage space. It is 280 mm high, 214 mm wide and with a thickness of 8.3 mm pleasantly thin. Only the protruding camera on the back could interfere with handling.

iPad Pro 2018 in the test: Excellent 120 hertz display

With a screen size of 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro 2018 is one of the largest tablets in the test field and is ideal for photo editing or multitasking with multiple apps.

The IPS panel in 4: 3 format resolves with 2,732 x 2,048 pixels and supports HDR10 and DolbyVision. A highlight: The image repetition rate, like its predecessor, is extremely fluid 120 hertz. The difference to conventional displays with 60 Hertz is particularly evident when scrolling through websites or photos – here, the movements seem much smoother.

Another advantage is revealed in the interaction with the separately available Apple Pencil: The minimum input delay of around 20 milliseconds is virtually imperceptible; the handwritten text appears immediately on the display. With up to 642 candelas per square meter (cd / m²) the panel is extremely bright and also the contrast values ​​with direct (16.9: 1) and diffused (85: 1) ambient light are much higher than with other tablets of our high score. This becomes noticeable, for example, when working outdoors on the iPad Pro. Since content can be better read through strong contrasts.

As for colors, there is no reason for criticism. Both the standard RGB and the large DCI-P3 color space are comprehensively covered, images are displayed with natural and rich colors.

iPad Pro 2018 in the test: performance at its finest

If you want a quick and smooth handling with your tablet, you will not be disappointed. With Apple’s A12X bionic processor and supporting 4 GB of RAM, the performance is more than enough for games or 4K video editing. Jerkiness or long load times are not here. This is also reflected in our laboratory measurements: In the benchmark test 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited, the device achieved an excellent 9,507 points, setting a new record. For comparison: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 reaches 6,015 points, the Huawei Media Pad T5 even only 478. Our self-created test PDF renders the iPad Pro 2018 in a brisk 3 seconds, also a best value. And finally, the iPad Pro runs hopelessly in the GFX Bench with Apple-optimized Metal API for games of the competition.

In combination with the new gestures that have been known since the iPhone X, the handling is fun and very intuitive.

In our battery test holds the iPad Pro with a 9,720 mAh battery almost 13 hours of non-stop video playback through. With continuous surfing it is almost 11 hours. That’s a very good result. The charging time is not spectacular at about three and a half hours, but alright.

Unlike the iPhone 11 generation, Apple has a USB Type-C port. This is handy, because with iPadOS 13 now not only monitors and cameras can be connected, but also hard disks and USB sticks.

FaceID in any orientation

On the back of the iPad Pro 12.9 2018 is a camera with optical image stabilizer and installed with one of the iPhones known resolution of 12 megapixels. Apple’s Smart HDR has also made it to the iPad Pro. This should be more detailed recordings, as several exposure levels are assembled to a recording.

On the front sits a 7-megapixel front camera. This allows FaceID to unlock the device via face recognition. Unlocking works both upright and across, making it as quick and reliable as the iPhones. Just lifting the iPad is not enough, the display has to be touched briefly before using Face ID. If the camera accidentally covers the camera with a finger, iOS sends a message.

There are also new features, such as a portrait mode with background blur and portrait light. The latter enables various lighting effects, such as “stage lighting” in which the background is displayed in black. In addition, Apple’s Animoji and Memoji are also available for making fun funny characters (or yourself). The iPad Pro captures videos in 4K at up to 60 frames per second.

In comparison, the images of the iPad camera are among the best in the test – here Apple currently competes only with itself.

Equipment with few gaps

The features of the iPad Pro 12.9 leaves nothing to be desired. In the LTE variant theoretically 1 gigabit per second in the downstream are possible. However, this is currently only a theoretical advantage, since in Germany at LTE with 500 MBit / s in the top is final. The LTE versions Apple has switched to the eSIM known from the new iPhones. But a nano SIM card can still be used. A dual-SIM feature as the new iPhones but there is not.

The new iPad supports fast AC Wi-Fi and the current Bluetooth standard 5.0. The four speakers deliver a good, spatial sound. It’s fun to watch movies or listen to music without headphones. Speaking of headphones: For a classic 3.5 mm headphone jack, there was no room in the iPad Pro 12.9 – too bad.

Who wants to operate the tablet not only with the finger, can use the Apple Pencil 2 as a stylus for about 120 euros (which is not compatible with the older models, by the way). The matching Apple Smart Keyboard, which also serves as a tablet case, beats at around 220 eurosto book – proud prices for mere accessories. After all, the new keyboard protects the entire back of the tablet and looks more stable than before. This is handy if you have it lying on your lap in the airplane or at the university. The new Apple Pencil 2 holds magnetically on the frame of the iPad and charges wirelessly. In addition, he now also responds to touch: If you hold the pen and taps twice with your finger sideways, you can automatically switch between applications.

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