We’ve been using the 2018 iPad Pro since it came out almost a year and a half ago, and one thing’s sure. It’s been through a lot!
So let’s examine the history of this iPad Pro and the way our personal thoughts on that have changed because the software has evolved and brought us into 2020. Now we expect a new 2020 iPad Pro within the next few months, but I personally believe the 2018 model is gonna sell like hotcakes even after the 2020 model comes out.
Let’s talk about why
There are 5 main features of this iPad Pro that greatly added to its success and they’re also the features that basically matter for 2020 and beyond!
But before I get into those features, I would like to quickly go through how this iPad Pro has evolved since release. In my first review of the 2018 iPad Pro, less than two weeks after release, my thoughts were mostly negative. I discussed that it absolutely was a mistake for Apple to market the iPad Pro as a computer replacement when the software was so limiting.
Even though they added the USB-C port, you couldn’t connect a flash drive or an external storage drive. File imports were limited to photos only using an SD card adapter, and it forced you to use the Photos app to do it. They also added external display support, but it basically only mirrored your display so you continue to had to touch your iPad to control it because, at the time, there was no mouse support.
The 11” model also had a brand new aspect ratio which meant that almost all apps and games couldn’t use the complete display until they were updated to specifically support it. And in terms of performance, even though the 2018 iPad Pro is way faster than the 2017 model, they both felt precisely the same because there have been barely any apps that would utilize its full power.
So basically, when this iPad Pro was released, it honestly wasn’t really worth buying. and then came iPadOS, which completely changed the game. External drives now work perfectly fine, allowing you to freely drag and drop files to and from the iPad Pro. you can even edit photos and videos directly off of a drive without having to first import it onto your iPads local storage.
Not only that, but you can now log onto a storage server wirelessly using SMB. We did this ourselves and were ready to easily access the files on our server. Apple updated split-view so that you’ll be able to now open two instances of the same app right next to each other, making it a whole lot more useful. Alongside that, they added new gestures for text selection and undoing mistakes which make it easier to use. Safari added a new Downloads folder feature, allowing you to download PDFs and other files off the web and quickly use and edit them.
Apple even added full keyboard shortcut support so that using your iPads smart keyboard actually felt like using a MacBook. a huge bonus for artists and Apple pencil users was that the Pencil’s latency was reduced from 20ms to only 9, which makes it feel even more like a real pencil. along with that, Apple finally added mouse support.
Now while it’s not perfect, and it works similarly to how touch controls work, allowing you to set your iPad aside using it with an external display Those new iPadOS features changed everything about the iPad Pro, and it started to make us question whether it could actually replace a laptop, so we compared them to last year’s base MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
Our conclusion was that for the first time ever, the iPad Pro actually makes a lot of sense to shop for compared to a laptop. It’s got tons of power, an excellent display, great battery life, great portability, and it’s actually very functional with the new iPad OS features, giving you awesome multitasking and file management capabilities while also giving you access to the massive database of iOS apps and games.
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And then came MacOS Catalina, which allowed users to connect their Mac to their iPad Pro using the new SideCar feature for things like art and productivity. So now, here we are in 2020, and the great news is that since the release of iPadOS, the 2018 iPad Pro has continued to get better and better.
Now, most apps that we’ve tried to support the new aspect ratio perfectly. New apps like the full desktop version of Photoshop are now available and they do a great job of supporting the iPad Pro, like for example, supporting the second-generation Apple Pencil’s new double-tap feature.
We’ve noticed that there are more and more apps and games are now utilizing more of the iPad Pro’s immense performance, allowing users to really feel the extra power. Not only that, but there are now more games that support the iPad Pro’s 120Hz display, like Fortnite, which recently added 120 FPS support to the 2018 iPad Pro, and let me tell you, it works incredibly well. So while it seemed ridiculous at launch that Apple packed in so much power into this iPad Pro, we’re actually extremely glad that they did because it’s still very powerful even with the newest apps and games that are being released.
Just recently, Microsoft outlook finally added the long-awaited side-by-side multitasking support, so you’ll have two of the same Microsoft app open side by side. And if you look on Amazon, you’ll see a bunch of USB-C docks for the iPad Pro, really giving users more freedom to connect whatever devices they’d like to. Companies like Brydge are now coming out with iPad Pro keyboards that feature trackpads to make them more and more like actual MacBooks, and if Apple decides to add cursor support to a future iPadOS update, these new keyboards will be incredibly useful.
Now that we know how drastically the iPad Pro has evolved since its release, let’s get into the 5 main features that I think really matter for 2020 and beyond.
First off, the main feature that really sets the 2018 iPad Pro apart is the design. The square-edges and slate shape make it really unique compared to any other iPad. It’s also the only iPad to get rid of the home button and switch to Face ID, giving us a display with even bezels and rounded corners.
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This makes using this iPad Pro a whole different experience compared to using any other iPad, and that is what really matters going into 2020. And if the rumors are true of the 2020 iPhones coming with a new square-edged design, the 2018 iPad Pro is going to feel perfectly at home and not outdated at all.
The second main feature that really matters is the performance. Even though the new iPhone 11 Pro is using the latest Apple chip, it’s actually still slower than the iPad Pro in both processor and graphics performance.
The performance is so high that even after a year and a half, it can easily chew through any app or game on the app store without any performance issues, so that gives us consumers a lot of confidence going into 2020, knowing that we can truly rely on this iPad Pro.
The third main feature is the display. While most of the new higher-end iPads come with the same Retina-quality displays, very low reflectivity and excellent touch support, the iPad Pro gets a major advantage. And I’m not talking about the brighter 600 nit display compared to 500 on the others, but I’m talking about the fact that the iPad Pro gets the incredible 120hz ProMotion technology.
This basically means that the display can dynamically adjust its own refresh rate between 24hz and 120hz based on the content you’re viewing. So if you’re watching a movie, the display refreshes at 24hz which will save battery life. And if you’re on the home screen or playing a game with 120FPS support, you’re getting super fluid animations that you just can’t get on any other iPad, tablet, or even MacBook!
And seeing as more apps and games are starting to support 120FPS, this ProMotion feature is going to get even better going into 2020 and beyond!
Now the fourth feature is actually the USB-C port. Unlike any other iPad, the 2018 iPad Pro is able to easily connect to an external display using USB-C. You can also buy a USB-C dock and get access to a bunch of ports that you can’t get on a regular iPad.
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And what’s special about USB-C is that it’s able to supply power to external flash drives and storage drives, allowing you to easily transfer files, which is much more complicated on a Lightning-packing iPad. Having this USB-C port makes this 2018 iPad Pro much more capable going into 2020, and it’s gonna allow it to compete with the upcoming iPad Pro refresh much easier than if it was still packing a Lightning port.
finally onto the 5th main feature, which admittedly, isn’t really a feature. But it’s still a big deal, and that’s the price!
We’ve seen this iPad Pro go as low as $675 on Amazon.
That’s a whole $125 off retail price.
And in a couple of months when the new model comes out, there’s a possibility that it could drop even lower, maybe as low as 600-625 dollars brand new. And at that price, you’re seriously getting so much bang for your buck. We’re talking an iPad that’s so good that it competes with laptops, so I can imagine every 2018 iPad Pro getting snatched up off Amazon as the new 2020 model comes out, because it’s still going to be that good, going into 2020 and beyond.
So there you guys have it, that’s our review of the 2018 iPad Pro in 2020.
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