Apple iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (256GB)

Last updated date: June 13, 2019

DWYM Score
8.9

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We looked at the top 1 iPads and dug through the reviews from 6 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Tech Radar, Laptop Magazine, Pocket-lint, PG Magazine - SE Asia and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best iPad you should buy.

Overall Take

Though it's expensive, the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro is so worth it if you need tons of storage space, two stellar cameras and cool features, like the Apple pencil. It's the thinnest iPad ever, so you won't feel like you're lugging around a mini computer here. In our analysis of 93 expert reviews, the Apple Apple iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (256GB) placed 4th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note June 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Apple iPad for a detailed review of all the top ipads.

Expert Summarized Score
8.1
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.7
926 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Includes new FaceID sign in tech. The liquid retina display makes the massive screen seem even bigger.
- BestReviews
Many of the media-heavy tasks that the Pro models are best suited for will generate large files, and the higher-resolution screen of the 12.9-inch Pro means apps will often be larger to include correspondingly higher-resolution app graphics.
- New York Times Wirecutter
March 19, 2019 | Full review
The iPad Pro 12.9 is as big as a computer and, thanks to iOS 11, it acts more like a computer operating system.
- Tech Radar
October 25, 2018 | Full review
The 7-nanometer A12X Bionic chip inside the iPad Pro is so fast we almost did a spit take when we tested the CPU in our labs. This processor packs four performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, and there's a new GPU that promises twice the graphics performance as the A10X processor inside the last iPad Pro provided.
- Laptop Magazine
December 20, 2018 | Full review
The new Apple iPad Pro 12.9 runs on the A12X Bionic chip with embedded M12 coprocessor and a Neural Engine
- Pocket-lint
November 7, 2018 | Full review
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is really big. It's 12.04 by 8.68 by 0.27 inches and about 1.5 pounds; it weighs a few ounces more with the almost-mandatory $169 Smart Keyboard case.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
What experts didn't like
Third-party apps like excel are kludgy on the ipad despite on its improved performance.
- BestReviews
The iPad Pro’s biggest downside, especially when viewed as a laptop replacement, is iOS. iOS 12 is a great tablet operating system, but it can come up short as productivity software. Getting work done an iPad Pro simply isn’t as intuitive as it is on a desktop or laptop computer.
- New York Times Wirecutter
March 19, 2019 | Full review
You can shoot video at 4K resolution with the rear camera, and 1080p with the front-facing one. However, even though this is a plus-sized iPad Pro there's no optical image stabilization, and you won’t find a dual-lens camera on any iPad just yet.
- Tech Radar
October 25, 2018 | Full review
My biggest gripe with the iPad Pro is the short, 1-meter power cable. It didn't even reach to my kitchen table from a very close wall. Apple sells a 2-meter USB-C cable for $19, but that accessory should have been included.
- Laptop Magazine
December 20, 2018 | Full review
The lack of mouse support leaves you frequently reaching for the screen to tap interface elements, which can be ergonomically awkward.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia

From The Manufacturer

12. 9-Inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with Promotion, true Tone, and wide Color. A12X Bionic chip with Neural Engine. Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay. 12MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD Front camera. Four speaker Audio with wider Stereo sound. 802. 11AC Wi-Fi and gigabit-class LTE cellular data. Up to 10 hours of battery life. Usb-c connector for charging and accessories.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB)
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 9
2. Apple iPad Pro 10.5 inch
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 8
3. Apple iPad, 9.7-inch (128GB)
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 5
4. Apple iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (256GB)
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Apple iPad 9.7″ (2017) 128GB
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 8
6. Apple iPad with WiFi
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 4
7. Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Apple iPad MP2G2LL/A
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 8
9. Apple iPad Air 2 MGLW2LL/A
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
10. Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 5
11. Apple iPad mini 4
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 9
12. Apple iPad Air MD785LL/B
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 4
13. Apple iPad Pro
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On IPads

The iPad has come a long way in the years since its 2010 release. The device has gotten thinner and lighter, allowing it to increase in screen size without compromising its portability. In 2012, Apple debuted the iPad Mini, which struck the perfect compromise between smartphones and tablets.

Today, you have plenty of choices within the iPad family, from the powerful 11-inch latest iPad Pro to the 8-inch Mini. If you plan to take your tablet everywhere with you, the Mini packs a good punch while still comfortably fitting into your purse or backpack. But there is also ample reason to choose the larger versions as well, including the larger screen size and faster speeds for browsing and viewing.

Among the larger iPads, you still have two major choices to make. The standard iPad will save you some money, but those savings may not be worth it for those who plan to engage in bandwidth-consuming activities, like gaming and video streaming. You’ll likely see minimal differences between the 11-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pros since both feature the latest technologies. However, the 11-inch version does offer up to 1 terabyte of storage. So if you plan to save videos to watch later or you have an extensive music library you’d prefer to have on the device itself, it might be worth the extra expense.

Before you start shopping, though, make sure tablets are the right option for you. A laptop may be more expensive, but the convenience of a built-in keyboard can be a plus if you plan to use your device for work or school. You should also consider other tablet models to make sure the iPad is the best choice for your own unique needs. There are many advantages to the iPad, but  Android, Chrome and Windows tablets also have their own benefits.

DYWM Fun Fact

Even though the iPhone debuted three years earlier, the iPad project came first. At some point, Apple decided to temporarily pause the iPad to focus on launching the iPhone. When Steve Jobs debuted his new tablet technology in 2010, it was introduced as a new category that fell between the iPhone and the MacBook. But the iPad wasn’t the first tablet on the market — that distinction goes to Microsoft, which has been credited with coining the term “tablet PC.” However, Apple’s introduction of the iPad ushered in an era in which consumers gravitate toward smartphones and tablets rather than laptops and desktops. Although iPads are far from the only choice when it comes to tablets, they still hold a sizable share of the market.

The IPad Buying Guide

  • When it comes to size, each iPad has its own pros and cons. The latest version features an 11-inch screen, which offers plenty of viewing space. If you go all the way down to the Mini, though, the 7.9-inch screen squeezes everything down to a small size. At the same time, the size makes it far more portable.
  • Though the screen size may vary greatly, there isn’t a huge difference in size of the unit itself. The iPad Mini is 8” X 5.3”, while the newest iPad Pro is only 9.74” X 7.02”. You’ll also only save an inch in thickness by going for the Mini versus the iPad Pro.
  • When it comes to weight, though, the Mini soars. This is important if you’re planning to carry your iPad around with you. The iPad Mini weighs in at only 0.65 pounds, while all of the newer iPad Pros are 1.03 pounds.
  • Newer iPad models feature Apple’s Retina display, including both the Mini and standard versions. The Retina display reduces pixelation to give you a crisp, clear image.
  • When you’re playing games or watching movies, speed is a must. Although all of the iPads perform well in speed tests, the latest iPad Pro promises a central processing unit (CPU) that’s three times faster and graphics that are eight times faster. On the other end of the spectrum is the Mini, which has a slower CPU.
  • One thing you’ll get with the iPad Pro 11- and 10.5-inch models is Apple’s ProMotion technology, which provides a smoother, more responsive web experience.
  • As with any mobile device, battery life is a top consideration. You’ll get up to 10 hours of battery life per charge, whether you buy a Mini or the newest larger iPads.
  • The iPad is made to be portable, which means you can watch movies, listen to music and even snap photos anywhere. But storage can be limited, depending on the model you choose. The iPad Mini comes with only one storage option, 128 GB, while the standard iPad comes in either a 32 GB or 128 GB option. The 10.5-inch version of the iPad Pro provides up to 512 GB of storage, although you can go as low as 64 GB if you want to save some money. For the widest range of storage options, though, consider the newest model of the iPad Pro, which has 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB versions.
  • One major choice you’ll need to make when you purchase an iPad is whether you want Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus cellular. The Wi-Fi plus cellular model will let you access the internet even when you aren’t on a Wi-Fi network. However, in addition to adding more than $100 to the purchase price, you’ll also need to purchase an extra monthly plan from your cell phone provider, which may come with data limits.
  • If you’re working within a budget, cost is probably going to be one of the most important deciding factors. Your cheapest option will be a standard iPad on a Wi-Fi plan, but it’s neck and neck with the iPad Mini. The Wi-Fi only version of the latest iPad Pro nears $800, with cellular putting it around the $900 mark. Prices can fluctuate, though, and you can definitely find deals on iPads, especially during back-to-school season and as new editions are released.
  • No iPad purchase is complete without accessories. At the very least, you’ll need a case if you want to prop it up while you’re streaming video. Since these accessories add to the purchase price, it’s important to look into them before you buy. You may also need a keyboard and an Apple Pencil stylus.
  • iPads have a variety of applications beyond leisure time. They’ve become especially popular in the medical field, where professionals can use them for charting and accessing patient records.