9.7 inch iPad Pro test (2016) |igeneration

9.7 inch iPad Pro test (2016) |igeneration

From year to year and test test, it is always the same story that returns to the carpet: if the iPad is at the forefront of the material technologies of the moment, it is the software - iOS so as not to name it- who sinks.And this new iPad Pro is no exception to the rule.But in addition, this time he must justify his qualities of "pro".

The iPad is a great machine, potentially capable of all prowess, including replacing a traditional computer.But this has never been the case for the majority of the users of the tablet, and despite its attire, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is still not the device that will definitively switch to the post-Pc.However, there is not much missing.A little pro, maybe?

Owner's tour

The new iPad Pro is an iPad Air 2 in which most of the components of the 12.9 -inch model launched last year.At first glance, it is very difficult to make the difference between the two tablets.The common points are numerous: identical dimensions (up to thickness, 6.1 mm for each), same weight (437 grams for Wi-Fi, 444 grams for Wi-Fi + Cellular), similar design ...

But at the game of the 7 errors, there are still differences.The first of them is the outfit camera, an inheritance of the iPhone 6 which was already not very tasteful on the smartphone and which is still not on the tablet.Let us be reassured, however, this is not a problem when the iPad is posed on the desk: the protuberance does not interfere, the tablet is not wobbly.And it is an evil for a good: the quality of the images taken with the iPad Pro is much higher on the shots made with all the other models of tablets.The presence of a True Tone flash - a first for the iPad - confirms the background trend: yes, we can take photos with the tablets, and Apple wants to give these photographers on the big screen the best possible material.

The pink color is another way to differentiate the iPad Pro from the iPad Air 2, and for good reason: this shade did not exist on this previous tablet.Rose gold is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea, it is understood;Following his personal tastes, the result on the iPad Pro will be deemed successful or Too Much, but in any case it does not leave indifferent.We will also greet, on Wi-Fi + Cellular models, the new drawing from the antenna on the back, much more discreet than the large black or white strip usual usual.This antenna is reminiscent of, obviously, which is found at the back of the iPhone since version 6.

Another distinctive sign of the iPad Pro: the presence of two additional grids on the upper edge for the speakers, as well as the Smart Connector port on the left edge.Finally, note the fat of the engraving of the word "iPad" on the back, thinner on the pro than on the air 2.Unequivocal possible, the iPad Pro is a very close cousin of the iPad Air 2, at least with regard to design.

A dynamic screen

If the iPad Pro screen retains the same characteristics as that of the iPad Air 2 (9.7 inches, 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, density of 264 pp), Apple has brought some significant new features.The first of them is the support of the Apple Pencil, which becomes the companion of the whole range of Apple's pro tablets.The other significant change is the adaptation of the color and intensity of the slab to the ambient lighting.

This True Tone function - which is squarely the subject of a new first configuration panel of the tablet - exploits two brightness sensors with four channels which are placed on the front.The idea is to dynamically modify the colors according to the lighting of the room in which we are.The effect is subtle and we only really realize it by deactivating the function (strangely, the option is not available in the control center when it would have had its place alongside the Night buttonShift).

Dans les réglages Luminosité et affichage, désactiver la fonction True Tone permet en effet de constater à quel point la colorimétrie de l’écran de l’iPad tire sur le bleu.Here, the difference is sensitive.Apple imagined True Tone as the digital equivalent of the natural adjustment of a sheet of paper in the colors of the environment.Indeed, we are not far away.

Difficult to say if True Tone really brings something convincing on the "medical" level, but Apple does not take advantage of it.On the other hand, reading long documents is actually more pleasant because it is less tiring for the eyes.The downside of all this is that you always have the impression that the iPad Pro slab is shooting yellow, as long as we are surrounded by yellow light, which is often the case.

Photographers and graphic designers will also want to deactivate True Tone lighting during image editing, just to avoid unpleasant surprises.The latter will also be at the party, since Apple offers them a P3 screen, which is the daily life of users of iMac 4K and 5K since last year (read: Imac 21.5 "Retina 4K test (end of 2015)).

The manufacturer boasts "the same palette of colors as the digital cinema industry" and an enlarged gamut offering a level of saturation 25% higher to that of the previous iPad models.The DCI-P3 coverage provides 93.6% coverage of the Adobe RGB, which itself covers 52.1% of the 1931 Cie (the reference colorimetric space in the screens industry).To give an idea, the.2020 for 4K and 8K, which the television and cinema industry has developed for its own needs, covers 75.8% of Cie 1931.

DCI-P3 is usually used for film projectors.Suffice to say that we are here in the presence of a very beautiful screen, whose nuances will unfortunately escape the Boeotians: it is indeed very difficult to measure the qualities of restitution of the colors of this screen, unless you have on handA previous generation iPad.But even in this case, the difference does not jump to our profane eyes, even if we detect warmer shades on the iPad Pro.

Apple also promises a 40% less reflective screen than the iPad Air 2, while pushing a 25% superior brightness.In full sun, reading is easier on the iPad Pro, even if it is not yet ideal.We are approaching, which is not so bad.

The first iPad cut for the photo

The 9.7 inch iPad Pro is the first Apple tablet for whom photography is not just a gimmick.Despite their congestion and the incongruity of the format, the tablets are willingly used to take photos - the followers of concerts or sporting events know how painful it is to find themselves behind an iPad user ...

With its 12 -megapixel camera, a ƒ/2 opening.2 With pixels of 1.22 µm, the pixel focus for automatic and manual focus, management of automatic HDR and its True flash, the new iPad marks a clear break with the rest of the range of tablets.We are even very close to what the iPhone 6S offers (the 6s plus keeping the advantage of optical image stabilization).

To realize the quality of the iPad Pro sensor, we made a small comparison of shots made at the end of the cloudy afternoon in Lyon.If the photos of the iPad Air 2 are only there to measure the clear difference in quality with the iPad Pro, we can see the similarity of the images produced by the tablet and an iPhone 6S Plus.

This iPad Pro is also the first of its kind to inaugurate a True Flash: it finally becomes possible to take quality photos when the light is missing.This is a real change and something that had been expected for a long time by iPadography lovers!Here is an example taken with flash:

Test de l’iPad Pro 9,7 pouces (2016) | iGeneration

We did not really expect the Retina Flash function in the iPad Pro, so much the idea of taking egoportraits with the tablet had not touched our minds.But Apple has made selfies more respectful of the skin shades (the Retina Flash illuminates the subject by multiplying by three the brightness of the screen).

The images are also larger, since the sensor includes 5 megapixels (against 1.2 megapixel for the rest of the range).The end result is very close to the iPhone 6S Plus and for good reason: the technical characteristics of the APN Facetime HD are similar from one product to another.

The iPad Pro also knows how to take live photos, whose deployment within third -party applications is at a senator rate.Perhaps the availability of this function, activated by default, within the iPad Pro and iPhone will allow it to really democratize ... Passing these considerations, finding live photo on iPad is a small bonus that will not be refused.

It is all the more true that the animated images take on their full meaning on this 9.7 -inch screen.Even if the iPad Pro and the iPhone are not equipped with 3D touch, consulting live photos is very simple, just hold your finger on the screen.We also wonder why Apple does not offer this function on its other tablets since obviously, it is a software particularity.

The 9.7 -inch iPad Pro combines the first, since it allows 4K video recording (3,840 x 2,160).We can also capture slow motion at 240 images/second in 720p, in addition to the slow motion at 120 I/S (1080p), things which can not be avoided neither the iPad Air 2 nor even the iPad Pro of 12.9 ".As for the iPhone 6/6S/6S Plus, the stabilization of the video is of "cinema quality" and the focus is automatic continuously.We therefore find on the iPad Pro most technical specifications of the iPhone 6s, with a 6s plus which retains optical stabilization of the image.

Audio: a tablet that is heard

The 9.7 -inch iPad Pro takes over the four speakers that his big brother had inaugurated last year.They outperform that of the iPad Air 2 in all sectors.We no longer find, on the new tablet, the vibrations that could interfere with big sound lovers on the air 2.

The audio quality of the iPad Pro sound system is also distinguished by better spatialization, deeper bass, and greater precision of sound.Better still, the sound "follows" the user movements: depending on the position of the tablet in the owner's hands, the high frequencies tip over on the speakers located at "high".

On the 12.9 inch model, this effect is more sensitive being given the size of the tablet.But he remains present on the 9.7 inch.Watch a movie on Netflix or YouTube has always been a pleasure on the iPad, but on the iPad Pro is much more pleasant with these new efficient speakers.It is far, obviously, to be sufficient to justify the purchase of this tablet, but it is undeniably a plus.

Say Siri and Touch ID: new and old

If the two iPad Pro share the same processor (A9X) and Coprocessor (M9), the new model benefits from a significant little extra: the "Dis Siri" function is always attentive, even if the tablet is notnot connected to the sector.Why is this privilege reserved for 9.7 inch?Hard to say.Anyway, it is welcome, especially ... in the kitchen, to launch a timer, create a reminder or launch a search on the internet!At the very least, it facilitates the use of Siri, which is always good to take.

The iPad Pro 9.7 "in fact more for Siri, but is satisfied with the minimum union for Touch Id.Apple did not see fit to offer users of the new tablet the same velocity of fingerprint recognition as the iPhone 6s/6s Plus.It will indeed have to be satisfied with the first generation Touch ID.It is certainly not a drama, all the more so that the use of a tablet is quite different from that of a smartphone: we light it and extinguish it less often, which amounts to identifying oneselfless frequently.But we would not have had anything against a faster touch ID (it is also true that we must keep a little under the pedal for the next generation of iPad ...).

Apple SIM: While waiting for the iPhone?

The iPad range has always been available in two models: Wi-Fi, the other Wi-Fi + cellular.Since October 2014 and the iPad Air 2, Apple has also been sliding a SIM card from its manufacture for tablets sold in certain countries;And since last July, for French users on a trip to the United States and Great Britain, the manufacturer offers to equip themselves with such an Apple Store card.

This universal SIM card allows you to select a data package in order to surf from the iPad in countries where operators provide such a service.In all, it is possible to stay connected in this way in 90 countries and territories, often paying the big price among partner operators.

In France for example, you can choose the offers of Always Online and Gigsky.Prices for a day of surfing in 4G are respectively $ 9.99 (for a day, 200 MB) and $ 15 (for three days, 100 MB).We see it, it's far from being cheap ... but it can help out.

The novelty compared to the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular is that the SIM card is integrated into the new tablet.The cradle is therefore free to insert the SIM card of its usual operator, while retaining the possibility of calling on another operator if necessary.

iOS and applications

Add the shared display Split View in iOS 9 exempts Apple to do more to improve the productivity of the iPad?Obviously no.Because there is still a lot of the work to be done by iOS to take the tablet out of the living room and make it a complete tool for the office.Here we touch the heart of a problem that prevents the iPad from embodying the "future of the computer" as imagines the manufacturer.

The 9.7 -inch iPad Pro is less subject to the interface quirks observed with its big brother: we can find that there remains poorly exploited space, in particular on the reception screen, but C 'is less visible than on the 12.9 -inch screen.We would obviously have nothing against more flexibility, for example the center of control or notifications always displayed on the screen (and why not in the form of widgets, let's be crazy!), Or even interactive and resized icons as we canfind it under Windows 10.

Being satisfied with a smartphone operating system on a tablet is almost counterproductive.The uses are so different-and Apple itself does not hesitate to do the article of the "pro" uses of the iPad-which we no longer understand why it would be necessary to be satisfied with a "simple" iOS for thelarge screens.The WWDC, in June, will take care of drawing the roadmap that Apple hears for its iPad, but if we dare not hope for an iPados, it would be good that we can:

There are many other complaints, but we would already be very happy if Apple had to deliver these functions with iOS 10.

The other pitfall remains the software ecosystem.Apple braces, with reason, the vast catalog of applications available for the iPad (pro or not), which allows you to accomplish a large number of tasks.Whether it's drawing, editing images, taping text, laying down, creating music, mounting videos (in 4K from the 9,7 ''), imagine concepts of design of designWebsite… tablets are versatile.And even by remaining within the limits of iOS, one can imagine performing real productive tasks with the iPad.And it's even better if the work involves drawing: the Apple Pencil will then be the ideal complement.

If Apple brings back on third -party publishers a large part of the success of the iPad, the manufacturer unfortunately does not show the path.Garageband and Imovie are good software obviously, but the office suite (pages, Numbers and Keynote) is seriously starting to mark the competition.

It is not innocent that Apple first promotes Microsoft's productive tools, rather than his family.Where is the equivalent for iPad of the App seen to open PDF and annotate them?Will developers one day develop on the iOS version of Xcode?Why is it not possible to be more precise in the photo app with the Apple Pencil?

Power to resell

Like the iPad Air 2 at its launch (in October 2014), the iPad Pro incorporates the end of the end in terms of components.Starting with an A9X processor, of course, a little less swift (on paper) than that of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro: 2.15 GHz, against 2.25 GHz.In geekbench 3 benchmarks, the difference is not really visible-on the contrary even, in multi-core tasks (the A9X takes two), the new iPad pro gives better results than its predecessor.In single-core tasks, on the other hand, the two processors return very close results.

The three cores of the A8X processor of the iPad Air 2 are starting to be seriously distant by the two hearts of the A9x of the iPad Pro, which is not surprising.The ANTUTU scores noted on the two 9.7 -inch tablets reflect the difference in power between their respective processors: the iPad Air 2 displays a score of 108787, the iPad Pro A file of 164974.The A9X therefore largely upgrades the A8X, which is not very surprising.

These figures being placed - and they do not fail to be impressive - they only indicate the raw power of the tablet.In itself, if the operating system or third -party apps do not take advantage of it, they are only there to play the one who has the biggest, with a limited interest.IOS is obviously fluid and swift on the iPad Pro, but this was already the case on the iPad Air 2;The apps are also reactive, but there again the difference in real life is not breathtaking.There are still few software to really use the two or three cores of the AXX processors.This mobilizable power is above all a promise for the future, but we also said that of the iPad Air 2.

One of the real differences between the two iPad Pro is the quantity of RAM: where the 12.9 inch model contains 4 GB, the declination of 9.7 inches is content with half.These 2 GB of RAM LPDDR4 - the same quantity as the iPad Air 2 or the latest iPhone - are sufficient to comfortably enjoy the Safari tabs (they do not recharge the web page constantly).For the rest, again the apps capable of actually exploiting 4 GB of RAM are very rare (if there are any) and we have not (at all) felt the difference that these 2 GB of additional RAM could bring.

The autonomy of the iPad Pro is identical from one screen size to another (and even from one iPad to another): Apple promises ten hours for Wi-Fi surfing (9 hours in cell), video reading and musical listening.The Geekbench 3 battery test returns an autonomy of 1:20 p.m. (with reduced backlight), compared to 8:26 for the iPad Air 2.

This last tablet having already burned a little in our bag for a year and a half, its battery was able to lose a little of its power over the cycles.The iPad Pro, on the contrary, is new;The two devices carrying out a very close capacity battery (7,306 mAh at 27.91 Wh for the iPad Pro, 7,340 mAh at 27.62 Wh for the iPad Air 2), it is possible that autonomy is revealedA little better on the new tablet thanks to the A9X processor and the constant optimizations brought by Apple on this subject Ô how sensitive.

Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard

The new tablet is the second iPad to take care of the Apple Pencil.As on the 12.9 inch version, the "pencil" is like (in Bluetooth) and recharges its battery by connecting it to the Lightning port of the tablet.The painting is still as bizarre, especially when you find yourself in a public place with the looks that arise on you when the pencil is responsible.

Beyond the aspect, however, it should be conceded that the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil duo is able to multiply productivity.If the large area of the 12.9 -inch model encourages the drawing, the portability of the 9.7 -inch declination calls for a “notes” type that suits it well.

Being a very poor designer, I took the opportunity to use the iPad as a digital notebook as part of an upcoming project.On this occasion, I found the pleasure of writing handwritten notes, with the help of the Goodnotes app, after years of hitting the keyboard.The software also has this particular that he knows well enough well to transcribe it into text that it is then possible to edit.

The accuracy and performance of the Apple Pencil are identical from one iPad Pro to another.The 9.7 -inch screen analyzes the stylus signal 240 times per second (twice as much as when it detects a finger);The tip of the pencil is sensitive to pressure, which makes it possible to modulate the finesse of the line.The inclination is also taken into account to create shade effects.And then the detection of the palm, which allows you to put the hand on the screen without it being interpreted as a point of interaction, is just as effective on this tablet.

The designers on the thumb will be with angels, the 9.7 -inch iPad Pro that can also serve as a sketchbook: here again, the smaller size of this model, compared to the 12.9 inch, facilitates transportand use in mobility.All this is beautiful and good, but it is not given: count indeed 109 € per accessory, that we would have liked to find provided by default with the tablet.

The Smart Connector port, an inheritance of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, is only present for the gallery.Currently, the only accessory compatible with this proprietary port (which takes the form of three small round contacts) is the Smart Keyboard of Apple, a-clavor case which does not have too much interest with us: it is noteffect available than qwerty.Apple is working on a localized version for other countries, but the manufacturer takes its time (to assess its interest?).

The keyboard is identical to its counterpart for the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, of course obviously.The typing comfort is also reduced (the tab touch is ridiculously small), to which we must add the strange "fabric" texture of the keys.After a while, we get used to it, but this accessory is not the best imagined by Apple, far from it.And the case function is not frankly exciting either, unless you love the delicate art of origami.Fortunately, Apple provides a user manual in the keyboard packaging ...

And otherwise ?Well that's all.We imagine the manufacturers of accessories in the starting blocks to flood us with gadgets compatible with the Smart Connector port, but for the moment it is rather the sound of the locusts in the middle of a desert landscape.

Apple's desire to open this new connector to third -party manufacturers is not yet clearly established (the Smart Connector does not appear within the MFI program).Logitech launched, for the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, a keyboard more robust than that of Apple, but which also presents defects.There is (not yet, at least) version for the 9.7 -inch tablet.

Currently, the number of compatible accessories Smart Connector can be counted on the fingers of a three fingers: there are the two Apple keyboards (only QWERTY), and that of Logitech.It's very thin, and it's a shame because this connector has some qualities: pairing is automatic (when bluetooth is manual and requires a few seconds), the device draws its juice from the iPad battery, and itsfirmware can be updated directly from the tablet.

Storage and price

The iPad Pro is, with the iPad Mini 4, the most complete tablet in terms of storage.And even better, since the entry -level model has 32 GB of disk space, double what the small tablet offers!This standard endowment is now a minimum to scratch the surface of the possibilities of such a tablet - in particular with its largely improved photographic capacities producing heavy images and videos.We would like it so much that Apple inspires it for the iPhone ...

From the strict point of view of the choice, the iPad Air 2 therefore becomes less interesting, with its two capacities 16 and 64 GB, while the iPad Pro aligns 32, 128 and 256 GB, whether in Wi-Fi orIn Wi-Fi + cellular.The tablet is also better than its big sister which does not offer a cell variant of 32 GB.

The iPad Pro also establishes an unprecedented storage capacity for an iOS device: 256 GB.Think, it's more than most Macs ... is it too much?We have learned, from the original iPod and its "huge" 5 GB hard drive (!), To be wary of the final qualifiers;What is certain is that with such a space and with the apps assistance that use storage in the cloud, we are quiet for a little while.

These capacity changes also have another advantage for Apple, that of blurring pricing cards: the 256 € difference between the range entries of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro 9.7 "can they justify themselvesFor the 16 small GOs of difference between the two?

Obviously, we cannot base our choice only on the price.He takes into account the uses we will have and the size of the screen.Without forgetting that to make the most of the iPad Pro, it is practically essential to add an Apple Pencil, which adds € 109 to the small bill ...

Apple is not in philanthropy, otherwise it would be known.But it is true that the iPad range had given us a certain temperance compared to the flambés of prices observed on Mac (mainly due to changes in the Euro/Dollar exchange rate).This is even more true when the iPad encounters serious difficulties in reassembling its sales.

Why fall back into these old flaws that risk handicaping the renewal of iPad sales?Difficult to say, even if we can defend higher labels by aligning one behind the other novelties of the iPad Pro: the sum of these additional functions, as well as the greatest storage capacity almost ends up justifying thePrice greater than 499 € of iPad Air and Air 2 to their launches ... Even if it stings.

To conclude

All the new features brought by the iPad Pro 9.7 "do not meet the same needs of all users; in the bouquet garni offered by Apple, everyone will draw what they need.And it is true that there is a little of everyone for everyone: compatibility with the Apple Pencil for graphic designers, designers, and those who want to take handwritten notes;New audio and screen capacities (True Tone) for those who want to consult content comfortably (films like books);SIM integrated for large travelers;A real camera and flash combo;Huge high -end storage capacity…

But by making this iPad Pro the replacement for the PC, there is a big one, a huge step that we will not yet be able to take.At least not before knowing what Apple has in its boxes for iOS 10, or even for an iPados that we call for our wishes, an operating system capable of finally freeing the capacities of the tablet.

This iPad Pro is oversized for users who have their tablet only use of content consultation, with a little light office, game and the Internet.For them, the iPad Air 2 is there and is still capable of going back to many competitors, especially at its price - it is currently one of the best quality/price ratios in Apple Apple.

But if we try to be really productive, it is still very difficult to do without a Mac.The iPad Pro can be a very good supplement for a traveling professional, needing a note taking tool or a sketchbook.To draw, nothing will be worth the 12.9 inch iPad Pro;For office automation, web design or a little heavy graphic work, the Mac is a solution that still retains its relevance.

The 9.7 -inch iPad Pro still remains a very pleasant product, clearly the best proposal in the 10 inch category, all platforms combined.It only remains to seriously build up iOS, an antiphon who comes back constantly when testing the new Apple tablets.