LAPTOP reviews Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro: Amazingly fast performance beats most Windows laptops

“When I first saw the new iPad Pro’s test results from our lab, I thought there was a big mistake,” Mark Spoonauer writes for LAPTOP Magazine. “This new 10.5-inch tablet turned in performance scores so high that they blow away most laptops. In fact, the iPad Pro (starting at $649 for 64GB, $907 with keyboard and Apple Pencil) smokes the new 12-inch MacBook and rivals the 13-inch MacBook Pro. That’s how powerful the new A10X Fusion chip is inside this 1-pound powerhouse.”

“But what can you do with all of that power? Actually, more than you might think, including performing sophisticated photo edits on the go, editing and processing video in seconds instead of minutes and creating finely detailed drawings with the Apple Pencil with zero lag, thanks in part to a new display that dynamically scales its refresh rate,” Spoonauer writes. “The A10X Fusion chip inside the iPad could very well be the most powerful mobile processor ever. The six-core CPU and 12-core GPU combine to offer amazing power given the iPad Pro’s slim profile.”

“The result is a tablet that beats most Windows laptops on the Geekbench 4 benchmark, which measures overall performance,” Spoonauer writes. “The iPad Pro scored a crazy-high 9,233 on the multi-core portion of the test. That’s more than double the Galaxy Tab S3 tablet with a Snapdragon 820 chip. More impressive, the iPad Pro’s mark is whopping 42 percent faster than the Dell XPS 13 notebook with a 7th-generation Core i5 processor (6,498) and 17 percent faster than a Core i7-powered HP Spectre (7,888).”

iOS 11 “will finally offer a real File system along with much improved multitasking,” Spoonauer writes. “At that point, I could see myself potentially using the iPad on the road a lot more as my daily driver. And that’s pretty impressive for a 1-pound tablet.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: These new iPad Pros and iOS 11 are creating serious issues when it comes to trying to justify new MacBooks for our road machines.

Ars Technica reviews Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro: Much more ‘pro’ than what it replaces – June 12, 2017
These go to 11: Apple makes iOS more Mac-like and iPad’s promise is finally realized – June 9, 2017


  1. I have been part of the group that has been predicting this transition point at which Apple’s A-series SoCs surpasses the performance of the mobile versions of the Intel core processors. It appears that time has finally arrived with the A10X, and I suspect that Apple has been testing A-series powered MacBooks for the past few years.

    I still believe that the A11/A11X will be the first A-series SoC used to drive a commercially available Apple laptop.

    1. Not so fast.

      Benchmarks of the new iPad put it marginally ahead of the iPhone 7 in terms of processing power. So let’s make the clear distinction that the iPad, when iOS11 is out, may gain more utility (like a Microsoft Surface) to be a lightweight netbook. Nobody in their eight mind would use any iPad for number crunching, not even for involved spreadsheet work.

      Also, regardless of how powerful hardware is good enough for your needs, any objective comparison between equivalent iOS and Mac apps shows that the iOS version is missing features. Unless you have very limited consumer-focused needs, the software for the iPad is still underwhelming.

      Also don’t forget that you have to wait about 3 months before the Mac features show up with iOS 11, until then you’ll suffer with an iOS version that is a poor system for file collaboration and sharing. That is assuming that iOS 11 works as advertised.

      Be sure to budget an additional $250 for keyboard and stylus, er “Pencil”. Also, since Apple has strangely decided to drag its feet on USB-C rollout on the iPads, be sure to pick up a USB-A to USB-C adapter cable. The new iPad comes with the old lightning-to-USB-A cable.

      For power, value, and versatility for most computing uses, the 13″ MacBook Pro blows any iPad out of the water.

      1. I think we’re probably a little way away from A-Series based Mac laptop. Processor advances are flattening out, requiring the addition of secondary processors to keep the gravy train rolling. It’s one of the reasons the Touch Bar MacBook Pros use a separate processor. There was a story about Apple adding specialized processors for machine learning. Their newest A-series processors have a mix of high performance and high efficiency processors. For many years now the GPUs have been doing things other than just graphics. Apple has added a processor for motion in their phones and a processor for secure transactions over RFID. This functional specialization is necessary due to the diminishing returns processor makers are facing as they approach the limits of miniaturization and transistor count. In every generation they have to keep more and more of a processor dark (off) to control power/heat. There’s a limit and they are reaching it. BUT with specialized processors for various tasks, they spread out the functions. It’s not unreasonable to expect that Apple could build a processor to handle specific types of maths to make their devices tailored to number crunching as well. But that’s the future.

        The major limiter of the iPad will always be the software design. If Apple wants it to be the laptop replacement they claim it is, they’ll have to do a lot better. My laptop is dying and I’ve been relying more on my iPad Air 2. But there are so many things it is just irritating to do on it. Some websites behave poorly on the iPad, for example. They need to fix Safari so that it’s functionally the same as the computer.

  2. This review from Laptop Magazine states the Pro’s & Cons…I can’t believe your con.. keyboard lacks a touchpad. You are kidding right? This is a touch tablet, where the keyboard is an add on, NO need for a touchpad. It’s bad enough that when I sold iPads, the odd person would ask for a mouse to control the touch tablet. Let’s get real with this need. It’s a touch screen lol

    1. Maybe that was yesterday, but today a user can attach a mobile device to an external screen and use it like a traditional computer with mouse, keyboard, etc. support.

      It would be a productive feature if Apple allowed mouse, trackpad, etc. support to their mobile devices. Ideally, the Apple mobile device wouldn’t need a dedicated dock like the Samsung implementation, but connect wirelessly to a monitor dongle. When the user is near the monitor a message could appear asking the user to connect.

    2. A trackpad/keyboard is an ergonomically superior input method to reaching for a screen. It’d be great to see Apple offer a true hybrid device in the future, but besides profit margins, I still don’t see the problem that the iPad solves. It’s still in the “nice to have, but not necessary” category. If I had to choose I’d still go with the MacBook (regardless of spec) over an iPad Pro.

  3. A tablet is not a laptop replacement, as this review states in the first paragraph:

    “Despite a slightly larger screen than before, the iPad Pro still isn’t a great laptop replacement, even when you add in the optional keyboard.”

    Read the caveats dripping all through this review.

    Of course, low-intensity users will point to iOS 11 as the magic event when suddenly an iPad becomes a legitimate work machine.

    Sorry, I am not sold on an Apple branded Surface that operates in a walled garden with no ability to run Windows or Mac software. A MacBook Pro remains the more versatile machine, it handles sustained multithreaded operations, it has the easy ability to feed large displays without fuss, you can access Windows servers when and you can actually print stuff anywhere.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.