The "1-Minute" Review
VerdictWhile the iPad Pro 11 might not completely replace your laptop, it offers powerful performance, a beautiful display, and a flexible tablet experience you won’t find anywhere else -- assuming you’re willing to pay for it.
- Beautiful display
- Premium design
- Minimal bezels
- Blazing performance
- Flexible accessory options
- Great audio
- No headphone jack
- Slippery back without a case
The iPad Pro 11 (2018) is one of the two top-end models offered in Apple’s 2018 iPad lineup. While Apple claims that the latest iPad can easily replace your laptop, it’s priced more like a laptop than a tablet as well. Does the cost match the features and performance on offer? Let’s see what reviewers are saying.
The thin aluminum chassis on the iPad Pro 11 (2018) impressed reviewers. They loved how light the tablet feels in the hand as well as the rounded corners.
However, there were multiple mentions of slippery grips and the tablet sliding off flat surfaces. So you’ll likely want to look at a case or Apple’s keyboard dock and folio case to keep things in place and provide a bit of protection.
Overall, reviewers felt like the design of the tablet is second-to-none and feels premium enough for the price.
Around front, you’re greeted by an 11-inch 1668-by-2388 display. Apple included their ProMotion dynamic frame rate and TrueTone color adjustments as well. Reviewers raved about the display, applauding its clarity, color reproduction, brightness, and silky movement.
Apple ditched the home button and fingerprint scanner for the iPad Pro 11 as well. This means the screen takes up a substantial portion of the front of the tablet. And even with the thin bezels, reviewers had no problems with holding the tablet or registering false touches on the edge of the display.
Powered by the Apple A12X Bionic processor, the iPad Pro 11 (2018) offers performance that is only matched by the larger iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Whether you’re playing games, editing video, streaming video, or even doing two things at once, reviewers noted you can expect fast response times and flawless performance.
Paired with 4 or 6GB of RAM, there are no delays when switching apps or loading new apps either.
The tablet ships with iOS 12 and brings a few new features to the iPad lineup. The features most mentioned by reviewers are the split-screen mode and the gesture-based controls. Both allowed reviewers to use the tablet a bit more like a laptop. But many still noted that two apps at once are still far from the freedom of a full desktop or laptop experience you’d expect in Windows, macOS, or Linux.
Also, in ditching the home button, Apple now relies on FaceID to log in to the tablet. Reviewers found the integration flawless and the camera capable of detecting your face in a variety of lighting conditions and from multiple angles.
As with previous iPads, their latest release comes with a range of internal storage options but no microSD support. You also cannot connect external drives to the USB 3.0 port on the bottom of the tablet. So be sure to choose a model with slightly more storage than you’ll think you need. Fortunately, options span from 64GB to 1TB, so even the lowest option is generous.
While the size of the tablet makes it less than ideal for photography, reviewers found the 12MP rear camera and front-facing 7MP cameras perfect for video chats, capturing whiteboards, and quick snapshots.
The cameras won’t rival the powerful shooters in the iPhone lineup, but they are more than capable of taking usable images with a steady hand.
Apple claims you can reach roughly 10 hours of use on a single charge. Reviewers found this estimate quite accurate with many lasting a full day of work without a problem. However, if you want to use the tablet for both work and play, you might need to keep a charger around.
Also, at the time of writing, the 18W USB 3.0 charger for the newest iPad is not available in stores. So if you want the fastest charging times, you’ll want to keep track of your charger until Apple or another third-party vendor make replacements available.
If the 11-inch display has you considering the iPad as a media consumption device, the quad speaker setup should make you happy. Reviewers found the sound well-balanced and very loud whether they were holding the tablet in portrait or landscape orientations. Many called it the best audio they’d heard from a tablet noting that it handles everything from the thumping bass of EDM to the nuanced highs of classical music without distortion.
That said, there’s no headphone jack. So you’ll need to use a USB 3.0 to 3.5mm adapter if you want to use your favorite cans.
You’ll likely want to consider some of Apple’s accessories to make the most of the iPad Pro 11 (2018). Their keyboard case received positive reviews in terms of comfort and the strength of the connection to the tablet. However, some reviewers wished there were more viewing angle options.
The redesigned Apple Pencil also pleased reviewers. The magnetic wireless charging was a hit with reviewers finding the connection secure and charge times fast enough to ensure they always had their stylus available. The tap controls and minimal lag made the stylus great for everything from navigation to digital sketching.
The price was the biggest concern from most reviewers. By the time you buy a mid-tier variant of the iPad Pro 11 (2018), tack on a few accessories, and opt for an LTE-enabled model, you could easily buy a laptop instead. If you plan to use the iPad Pro 11 as a media device, there are probably cheaper options -- namely the lower-end iPads -- that will serve your needs fine. That said, their high-end options offer performance and flexibility you won’t find anywhere else.
iPhone in Canada notes, "By adding ‘Pro’ to the name and increasing its size and price—does it actually change the functionality of the tablet? Yes, the hardware is downright impressive..."
Trusted Reviews says, "If you can afford it – and you know what you’re getting into – and the iPad Pro fits into your workflow, it’s an exceptional device; one that will certainly impress."
Apple Insider sums up who the tablet might work for best, saying, "For the content consumer, the iPad Pro is a 4 out of 5 not because of what it can't do, but because of that overkill. For the content creator that has embraced iOS and all that it entails, the 10.5-inch 2018 iPad Pro is a solid 4.5 out of 5, with a slight ding for the ridiculous limitation on mass storage, reliance on the DCIM folder, and the weakness of the Files app."
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Gareth Beavis, TechRadar
The iPad Pro 11-inch is excellent, and easily the best tablet Apple has ever made – but you'll need to know how to get the best out of it. It's designed for the professional, and those in creative lines of work will love the power, precision and overall quality on offer. If you're a 'standard' user,...
- Lloyd Coombes, Top Ten Reviews
The iPad Pro is the best it has ever been. It's a powerful and stylish tablet with a great screen and fantastic speakers. All that comes at a heavy price though, and you can certainly find similar specs cheaper elsewhere.
- Jeff Carlson, Digital Photography Review
From a hardware perspective, the power is definitely there—it’s great to not think about whether the iPad can handle a particular task. On the software side, I’m looking forward more than ever to what’s coming next. While the current software can do a lot, existing limitations, such as the winding p...
- Karan S, Geeknizer
The 2018 Apple iPad Pro 11-inch tablet is definitely a tablet worth a second look, not just for its almost bezeless display, but also for the assortment of new features that come standard with the device. It not only features improved battery, but also is easy to use for novice and seasoned users ow...
- Aabhas Sharma, Gadgets Now
The iPad Pro (2018) is far better than any of the convertible or 2-in-1 hybrid devices that are available in the market but that’s also at an extra cost of the keyboard. However, what lets the iPad Pro (2018) down is that at the end of the day it’s an iOS device. iOS is a brilliant operating system...
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