New Delhi: Apple’s iPad Pro series, touted as the company’s first real answer to Microsoft’s Surface line of devices, is a worthy rival even though it does not run desktop software, which the Surface does. The iPad Pro 2018 includes some integral features of Apple’s newest iPhones to make it more appealing.

Face ID: The new iPad Pro doesn’t have a home button anymore because Face ID (Apple’s biometric facial recognition technology) is the only way to unlock the device now. It’s as dependable here as it is on iPhones. Face ID notifies the user that s/he has to look at the front camera.

New screen: The new iPad Pro also borrows the Liquid Retina display that Apple introduced on the iPhone XR. Hence, the iPad Pro’s screen feels slightly warmer and colours are noticeably more vibrant than older iPads. Combined with Apple’s True Tone technology, which matches the screen’s colour temperature with ambient lighting, this may be the best screen you can find on a tablet today.

Performance: Only those who need a portable device that can run fully featured photos or video-editing software can optimise the use of iPad Pro’s speed. In keeping with the new iPad Pro’s claim of “console-quality" graphics, the tablet actually renders shadows, difference in lighting, etc., in a manner comparable to a gaming laptop. The company’s new neural engine (that tunes Apple’s Artificial Intelligence features) is also fitted inside the iPad Pro. Besides, the iPad Pro has the hardware to handle augmented reality and virtual reality implementations.

Battery: If you’re using it only for word processing, the iPad Pro can rival almost any laptop. It charges through a USB Type-C port now, another change Apple made in this year’s variant.

Keyboard: You still have to buy one separately, though Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio serves both as a case and keyboard for the iPad Pro. It attaches seamlessly to the tablet through magnets and draws power wirelessly from the iPad Pro. It is reasonably easy to type on, though it might take some getting used to.

Apple Pencil: The 2018 edition is mostly the same as before, but it clips magnetically to the top of the iPad Pro now, charging wirelessly when it is attached. It retains the pressure sensitivity as before. The Pencil also has a double tap feature now that developers can make use of to add shortcuts to apps. For example, in Apple’s own Notes app, double tapping the Pencil puts it in eraser mode.

Verdict: The new iPad Pro is well suited to professionals who need this kind of power, and would be a great portable tool for the creative community. It’s also a step closer to replacing laptops altogether but like its competitors, Apple needs to figure out how to deliver the full laptop experience on such a device.

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