Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (SIM Free / UK)
Anything you can do, you can do better.
First released in 2016, the iPad Pro is aimed at hard working professionals - be those graphic designers, musicians, programmers or other creative types.
With more power than many PC laptops, the iPad Pro is simple, intuitive and highly-capable.
With the release of iOS 11 in Autumn 2017, the new iPad Pro range will become even more versatile. A full desktop file management system will be added, alongside a MacOS style dock for multitasking. Intelligent drag and drop between apps will enhance productivity, as will a range of new applications for the Apple Pencil.
New for 2017 is a 10.5" version of the iPad Pro, along with this upgrade to the large 12.9" model.
Reasons to buy Apple iPad Pro 12.9
- iOS 10 OS (update to iOS 11 due September 2017)
- 64bit 6-core Apple A10X processor with M10 coprocessor
- 12.9" display 2732 x 2048 (264 ppi) with Promotion technology
- Anti-reflective & anti-fingerprint screen coating
- 12 MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture, six-element lens & quad-LED true tone flash
- 7 MP FaceTime camera with f/2.2 aperture
- 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm (12 x 8.68 x 0.27 inches)
- 677 / 692 grams (1.49 / 1.53 pounds) (WiFi / Cellular)
- Apple Lightning connector
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor
Colour and memory variants
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is available in Gold, Silver and Space Grey colours.
Wi-Fi and Cellular options are available in all colours, with 64, 256 and 512 GB storage options.
- Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
- Apple Lightning to USB cable
- Apple USB Power Adapter
Yearly updates to Apple products have become a fixture of the tech industry's calendar. With the iPad, these have always been fairly incremental, although in 2016 the new iPad Pro changed this.
With the Pro line, Apple intends to differentiate a standard iPad - which is still good for browsing, social media, entertainment and shopping - from a professional's tool. With that line drawn in the sand, the iPad Pro range feature improved specifications across the entire device.
The familiar design of the iPad remains fairly unchanged - after all, there is little that can be done to improve on such a minimalist look.
Even with a very slim 6.9mm profile, Apple is able to include a lot of control and technology. Four-speaker audio outputs at the top and base of the iPad Pro for a loud stereo experience. There's also room for a Lightning connector, 3.5mm audio jack, Sleep/Wake button, volume control, smart connector and a nano SIM tray (Cellular model only).
Oriented in portrait, a classic Apple Home button adorns the Pro's chin. This doubles as the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Apple is yet to integrate this as a virtual button into the screen glass for the iPad range, as they have done on the iPhone 7 models.
Both Wi-Fi and cellular models weigh in at under 700 grams (677 / 692 respectively), so are light enough to be comfortably carried around throughout a working day.
A large 12.9-inch panel creates a beautiful window to the world. At 2732 x 2048, the Retina resolution of 264 pixels per inch is retained for high-fidelity viewing.
This has been treated with an anti-fingerprint oleophobic coating. There is also an anti-reflective layer to reduce screen glare outdoors or in brightly-lit work environments - complemented by the maximum 600 nits of brightness.
Apple ensures the iPad Pro screen adheres to the DCI-P3 colour gamut widely used in digital movie projection. This creates a working colour space that best matches current practices for editing both still and video photography in a professional capacity.
By far the biggest upgrade to the screen quality is the new ProMotion feature. With Promotion, Apple iPad Pro now supports 120Hz refresh rates.
The system is intelligent enough to recognise when a 120Hz refresh rate would be beneficial. Modern digitally enhanced movies and games that can utilise 120Hz will look smoother than ever.
ProMotion also enhances the use of the Apple Pencil, with the screen now able to more quickly represent the subtlest of interactions.
Power & Performance
This generation of iPad Pro uses the new A10X Fusion chip. Compared to the 2016 model, there is an additional 30% maximum processing speed through the 6 cores, plus 40& improved graphics rendering speed on the M10 coprocessor.
Both the rear and front cameras on the iPad Pro 12.9 are at an excellent standard for tablets.
The main rear-mounted sensor is 12 megapixels and is benefited by advanced optical image stabilisation. A combination of 6 element lens and f/1.8 aperture, plus enlargened focus pixels and noise reduction helps to capture stunning images even in conditions with tricky lighting.
Burst mode allows for up to 10 pictures per second, with iPad able to detect smiles and blinks to suggest the best images. Video can be shot at 120 fps for super slow motion effects.
The front-facing camera has been upgraded to 7MP with f/2.2 aperture. Improvements here make FaceTime calling more detailed, especially in darker environments.
Once you've taken images or video, you can also edit them! Apple includes a full editing suite to adjust exposure, colour, brightness and contrast, as well as applying filters, stickers and animations.
Touch ID is arguably the most robust security feature available on modern mobile devices.
Apple's own encryption allows you to use your own fingerprints as the ultimate password to authorise purchases, download apps and lock both files and the phone itself.
On the 2017 models, both the sensor and software have been updated. The result is scanning fingerprints in half the time with a much-reduced failure rate.
Created as part of the initial procedure to set the iPad Pro up, all you need to do is press a finger to the home button to unlock the screen.
The sapphire crystal coating is strong and resilient, taking a perfect image and resisting damage from wear over time.
Two main options for the new iPad Pro offer either a Wi-Fi only configuration or one with Cellular access.
The Wi-Fi antenna in both options handles dual-band connections (2.4/5 GHz), utilising speeds throughout the a/b/g/n/ac bands.
On the Cellular version, Apple has made the iPad Pro almost completely globally compatible. It can be used on all standard GSM networks, with penta (5) band access to 3G networks and support for 25 international LTE bands.
Wi-Fi calling is available (where supported by your network), and the Pro will take a Nano SIM card (models sold directly though carriers may use an embedded Apple SIM).
iOS 11 Update (coming Autumn 2017)
iPad Pro is delivered with iOS 10 but from September 2017, new models will ship with iOS 11 and existing units will be upgraded too.
iOS 11 does more than just provide a couple of new features and graphical changes though. It will completely reinvent the way an iPad can be used.
First up is a full file system available from the new Files app. Wherever files are stored on your iPad Pro - and whatever the file type - you will be able to locate and manage them, even from cloud-based applications such as Dropbox.
Proper multitasking will be introduced, with additional views for side-by-side screening known as 'Slide Over' and 'Split View'.
These multitasking views will also support drag and drop operations between applications - for instance dragging a file to an email to make an attachment, or importing an image to Illustrator.
Familiar to desktop MacOS users, iPad Pro will feature an app Dock at the bottom of the screen following the iOS 11 update. From here you can swiftly flick through the open apps and navigate to where you need to be. This is combined with a redeveloped App Switcher, which is intelligent enough to remember combinations of apps you use regularly.
The Apple Pencil will also be greatly updated as outlined below.
The Apple Pencil is the immediate accessory to set aside your new iPad Pro. Seamlessly interacting with the new Retina display, Pencil provides pixel-perfect precision with a wide array of pressure levels for simulating applied weight.
Pencil is useful for sketching, writing, annotating, painting and much more. With the iOS 11 update, there will also be new capabilities.
Instant Markup will allow you to annotate PDF documents or screenshots instantly. All you need to do is write over them on screen and changes are instantly recorded.
Instant Notes will let you jot something down without having to unlock the iPad Pro screen. Anything written using the feature is immediately saved to the Notes app. Handwritten text will also become searchable.
Inline Drawing is a little more complex. With this feature, you can create sketches and quick drawings inside other apps, such as Mail or Notes. Text will automatically move aside as you start to sketch your plan.
Scan and Sign Inside the Notes app you'll find a Document Scanner feature. This will take a quick picture of any document in front of you, then create a digital version, crop the edges and remove any creases or glare. You can then use Pencil to fill in any details or sign it, leaving you with a finished document to send back or share with others.
The other high-end accessory for both new iPad Pro models is the Smart Keyboard. There is an option for either 12.9 or 10.5 iPad Pro, both offering a full-size typing experience with responsive chiclet keys.
There are no cables or Bluetooth pairing waiting times here. The Smart Keyboard simply latches to the Smart connector on the side of iPad Pro and is instantly ready to use.
Unfolded, the Keyboard can also support the iPad Pro at an angle for traditional laptop-style typing.
Manufactured from a durable fabric, the Smart Keyboard is water resistant and durable. Also, you can't trap crumbs and dust here as there is no standard moving mechanism for the keys. Instead, the fabric itself provides a spring-like resistance that offers you tactile feedback.
- Make/ModelApple A10X (6-core)
- OtherEmbedded M10 coprocessor (12-core GPU)
- Resolution2732 x 2048 (~264 ppi)
- Type & ExtrasScratch-resistant glass, oleophobic & anti-reflective coating, Promotion technology
- Frequencies850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz (Cellular model)
- Frequencies850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz (Cellular model)
- FrequenciesLTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 13(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) (Cellular model)
- Version802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band 2.4 & 5 GHz, Hotspot, HT80 with MIMO
- Video OutWired with Apple accessories / Wireless via Apple Airplay
- Keyboard(OPTIONAL) Apple Smart Keyboard magnetic dock
- Hardware ButtonsTouchID enabled home button / Volume / Power
- Digital Compass and GyroYes
- A-GPSYes, with GLONASS (Cellular model only)
- Built-in SoftwareApple Maps
- Camera LensSix-element lens with sapphire cover, 1/3" sensor size, ƒ/1.8 aperture
- OtherBIS, OIS, Quad-LED True Tone Flash, Panorama (up to 63MP), Hybrid IR filter, Autofocus with Focus Pixels, Live Photos with stabilisation, Improved local tone mapping, Body and face detection, Exposure control, Noise reduction, Auto HDR, Burst mode, Timer, Geotagging
- Type5 MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 720p HD video recording, Retina Flash, Auto HDR for photos and videos, Backside illumination, Exposure control, Burst mode, Timer mode, Face detection
- TypeNon-removable Li-Ion mAh battery (30.4 Wh)
Dimensions305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm
Weight677g (WiFi Only) / 444g (Cellular)
SoftwareOS Features: AirDrop, AirPlay, AirPrint, Control Centre, Notification Centre, Siri, Spotlight Search, Apple Music, Family Sharing, iCloud Drive, Multitasking, QuickType Keyboard, Night Shift
OtheriOS 10 apps: Camera, Photos, Messages, FaceTime, Mail, Music, Safari, Maps, Siri, Calendar, iTunes Store, App Store, Notes, Contacts, iBooks, Home, Reminders, Clock, Videos, News, Photo Booth, Podcasts, Find My iPhone, Find My Friends, iCloud Drive | Additional Free Apps: Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, iTunes U, Apple Store, iTunes Remote, Music Memos, Clips