I got an attack of the giggles the moment I picked up the enormous new iPad Pro. It felt like a normal iPad, but that I’d shrunk. Even the photo on the right won’t give a sense of just how big it is. After four weeks with the Pro and its 12.9in screen, it still seems a large, ponderous beast. But although physically it takes some getting used to, it’s actually lighter than the original iPad. It’s simply amazing too, as powerful as a sophisticated laptop.
As a way of displaying photographs, it is second to nothing I’ve seen. The image quality is quite breathtaking. It’s also superlative for watching films. I have started re-downloading my favourites in HD just for the joy of seeing them on the Pro. The sound from the device’s four speakers is also good enough to listen to without headphones. And for reading tablet-version newspapers and magazines, it is peerless. But for use in the outside world – and even at home – I’d suggest protecting it with the Silicone Case (£65) and the Smart Cover (£49). It isn’t so much awkward to carry around as an unfamiliar shape and size, and felt easy to drop – so maximum protection advised.
Artists, designers and the like are also going to find the Pro extraordinary. My artistic ability is similar to a small child’s – my drawing has not improved since I was five, and it was substandard then. But by loading up the Procreate painting, drawing, sketching app (£4.49) and buying the Apple Pencil stylus (£79) that Steve Jobs said Apple would never make, even I feel a lot like an artist. I certainly have all the tools – an infinite box of brushes and paint colours and a 5.6mega-pixel screen so good you will forget it’s not a canvas – if not the talent.
The one thing you won’t want to do, however, is actually write with the Pencil and use the handwriting recognition programmes, which are available but are rather reminiscent of the 1993 Apple Newton. I’ll stick to watching/reading/surfing on the iPad Pro and will make notes with my Christmas-new Georg Jensen Stellar fountain pen, thanks very much.