Review: Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ (2017)


The following review is part of the Back to Business special.


Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ (2nd Gen)

As with all technology, the hardware for tablets is evolving at a rapid pace.  However, for this review to make it into the business special, it was the release of the latest software, iOS11, that not only improves the iPad but makes it a potential notebook killer for some business travellers!



The 12.9″ Pro is the biggest tablet Apple make and you really do notice the size difference on first use, even if moving up from a standard model.  But this extra-large screen is a delight.  I’ve been moving between both hand gestures and Apple Pencil and the response is near immediate and very smooth!

If you are someone who does plenty of video conferencing or creates video content the Pro is well equipped to support you.  There are four, yes four speakers on this model and a dual microphone configuration at the top.  Add these to the front facing 7MP  FaceTime HD camera and you will have no problems on Skype or Facebook live!


One of the strongest points of the Pro, I have found, is the battery life.  Apple claim it will last up to 10 hours depending on use.  So far, I have found this to be fairly accurate.  I’d assume if you were going to just stream video, you may not see this, but I have edited this site for 4 weeks now, using just the Pro, and it delivers every day!

A true review of the bigger Pro has to include the Apple Pencil.  I’m not going to review the item itself, but to get the best from this tablet you need the Pencil.  I’d go so far as to suggest getting this before a case, and I’m Mr Sensible when it comes to protecting your tech!


iOS 11

When the 2nd Gen iPad Pros went on sale they were released with a latter version of iOS10, but we were promised great things with iOS11 which would follow shortly after!

It is this new software, more so than the huge power inside, that makes this a real business contender.  Most people are aware of how to use and navigate iOS software on an iPhone or iPad, but I urge you to give iOS11 a bit of time to understand the changes and you will reap the rewards.

Files, probably the most requested addition to iPad, is an Apple app that pulls all your documents together delivering a storage system you are used to on a notebook.  But think bigger than just items stored locally.  Files can pull in all your Cloud stored files and present them for selection within the app, whilst keeping them separate.


It took me a while to appreciate just how intuitive it is.  All of the Apps I use to publish this site, none of which are Apple made, can access the Files App.  So I keep everything across my Cloud accounts and can now work on them easily on any of my devices and finally iOS helps me, rather than fights me, in doing this.


Multi-tasking has always been a sore point for Apple, which I believe they have always struggled to get right.  With iOS11 though, they have cracked it, and on the bigger iPad Pro, it will improve how you work!  Thanks to more screen space, I can leave the Notes App open while I am working.  As both Apps are now active I can ,not only scribble down notes, but I can drag and drop from virtually any App into my To Do List.

The more you use the device, the more uses you find for the new Multi-Tasking capabilities!

  • Dimensions 12 x 8.68 x 0.27 inches
  • Weight 692g
  • 12.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch Retina Display
  • Storage Options 64/256/512 GB
  • 4 Speakers
  • Dual Microphone
  • TouchID & Apple Pay
  • Up to 10 hours of Battery life depending on Use.
  • 12MP Main Camera w/ 5X Digital Zoom 
  • Colour Options Gold, Silver, Space Grey

The price will vary depending on the configuration you choose.  For the review, I used a 256GB WIFI+Cell Space Grey which retails for £1,049 direct from Apple.  If you prefer a different colour or storage option then you can make use of the configuration tool.

In Summary

Prior to iOS11 being released, I would have described the largest iPad on the market, as a great tool for the creatives; with the Apple Pencil and powerful apps, photo and video editing is easier to do.

Now, with Files baked into the OS and nearly all the main apps supporting it, file management really works well.  I can’t help but think, if Apple were serious about the iPad replacing notebooks for business, they would join the rest of the market, and incorporate an expandable Micro SD slots into the unit!

Depending on the type of job you have, you may or may not, have to rely on Microsoft Excel for your work.  If so, do not assume you could not use the iPad Pro for work.  I am probably considered a power user of Excel, and although I will admit building some of my more complex spreadsheets could only be created on a notebook; the Pro Excel App was good enough to support them when travelling and providing read access!

Yes, it is expensive.  Yes it is huge to hold.  Yes you will need to buy a £99 Pencil and a £100+ case.  But, Yes, you will be so grateful you did!  PS Do not forget Apple Care!!!

Connect with Apple
Tom Payne
Tom, Editor. An online publication providing news & reviews on apps, gadgets and luggage for the connected traveller.


  1. I’m finally starting to appreciate the iOS 11. I too, initially didn’t think much about the File, but now I never want to go back to a life without. I’m using an iPad 2 Pro, the smaller older version of what you have, and I have some green eyes for your 10 hour battery life. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. That’s so neat about the Apple pencil. I think I would enjoy it a lot. And I can see how it would be a killer for notebooks. It’s crazy to think about how far technology has come, and we still have so much more to go!

  3. I’m not a big fan of Apple products as I find them too complex for life. I however do like the Apple camera. Always a win ????

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