iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2017 Review and Unboxing

iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2017 Review and Unboxing

iPad Pro 2017 box

What is in the box?

iPad Pro 2017 unbox
12.9 inch iPad Pro Gold 512GB 2017, Lightning to USB Cable, USB Power Adapter.

Specs of the iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2017 (Second Gen) 512 GB Gold

305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm (12.04 x 8.69 x 0.27 in)
12.9 inches (~76.4% screen-to-body ratio)
2732 x 2048 pixels (~265 ppi pixel density)
Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating
– True-tone display
Apple A10X Fusion Chipset
512 GB 4GB RAM

12 MP, f/1.8, phase detection autofocus, OIS, quad-LED (dual tone) flash
1/3″ sensor size, geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 8MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)
2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 1080p@120fps, 720p@240fps
Secondary Camera
7 MP, f/2.2, 32mm, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama

4 speakers
3.5mm Jack
Non-removable Li-Ion battery (41 Wh)
Colors: Space Gray, Gold, Silver

I have been working with the iPad Pro since the first was released in  2015. It was a revelation and great for artists in combination with the Apple Pencil. To me it is the best drawing and painting experience as an artist and I am also drawing on a Wacom Cintiq 24 Inch Touch. The iPad Pro has become my go to device to draw and paint with.  So why would I buy a new iPad Pro?

It is because of the new features on the iPad Pro 12.9 inch.

iPad Pro 2017 New features
40% better performance with the A10X Fusion chipset by the new feature ProMotion and bigger brightness of the display and a wider color gamut, called P3.

When you look at the iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2017 it looks the same as the first iPad Pro. The size is 305.7mm by 220.6 mm and 6.9 mm thin. The display is 2732 pixels by 2048 pixels with a pixel density of 265 ppi. The glass is scratch resistant with a oleophobic coating. These specs are the same as the iPad Pro 12.9 inch from 2015. Or the iPad Pro 1. But Apple calls this new iPad Pro just iPad Pro, so I will call it the iPad Pro 2017.

A10X Fusion and ProMotion

The size hasn’t changed, but it is what’s under the hood that makes this iPad Pro stand out. The difference of this new iPad Pro lies in the processor. It is the Apple A10X Fusion Chipset. It includes six processing cores. Three high performance cores and three high efficiency cores. That sounds like mumbo jumbo to me, but what it boils down to is this. It will have 40 percent better graphic performance than the older version. It has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a latency of 20ms. The old iPad Pro has a refresh rate of 60Hz.

That is great if you want to play games on your iPad. But is also great for drawing and painting digital. The higher refresh rate will not always apply all the time, but if you are painting or sketching really fast the device will notice and will accelerate using a new feature called ProMotion. You can also see it when you are scrolling like a madman through your browser.

Comparison Test iPad Pro 2015 and iPad Pro 2017

iPad Pro 2017 20 ms Latency

Here is a test I made in my favourite drawing app Procreate. On te left there is the iPad Pro 12.9 inch from 2015 and on the right the iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2017. I first do some tests with the Apple Pencil. First some scribbles and some fast straight lines. When you record this in real time at 25 frames per second, you can not see the difference.  You can not see it, but you can feel it. I will do the same thing again but recorded in slow motion. First on the iPad Pro 2015 and then on the iPad Pro 2017. There is a difference. The iPad Pro 2017 is faster.


iOS 11

iOs 11, Procreate 4

The ProMotion feature is not fully operational, so there will be an improvement. In the fall of 2017 Apple will release iOS 11 and that will make the difference.

Procreate 4

The guys at Savage Interactive are also working on a new version of Procreate, Procreate 4. The app will be released as soon as iOS 11 will be available. They have been teasing us with some sneak peaks on their Instagram account. But today (august 8, 2017) they have announced what is coming for Procreate 4.

Powered by Metal
Procreate 4 has a powerful new engine for exceptional graphic performance. Built on Metal, Procreate is now up to four times faster and brings incredible new features and effects.

Smudging and blending in Procreate 4 is 250 times more accurate. With this level of detail, blending, and combining colors feels exceptionally delicious.

Wet Painting
With the all-new Metal painting engine you can create beautiful organic brush strokes, push paint around, or smear and blend things in completely new ways.

Redefined Interface
Nearly every pixel in Procreate has been polished to make your workflow faster, easier, and downright prettier. See all your Brush Sets at a glance, precisely tweak Adjustments, and navigate every color option without opening a menu. Everything is just a little bit nicer.

New Gallery
Now you can effortlessly manage thousands of artworks with all the power of iOS 11. Drag and drop to quickly transfer files, use Stacks to keep things organized, and easily share to any location with the new Files app.

Layer Masks
Layer masks let you choose which parts of a layer to show without losing any of the original content. You can alter the mask in powerful ways by painting, erasing, transforming, or even smudging it.

Wide Color
Cause pleasurable discomfort to your eyeballs with P3 Wide Color. Procreate 4 has full P3 support on compatible devices, including import, export, and video, so you can burn your retinas on any compatible display.

Drag & Drop
Move images, brushes, and palettes in and out of Procreate faster than ever with iOS 11. Drag out individual layers or entire Stacks of artworks, or drop in brushes and use them straight away.

Procreate 4 is fully compatible with the new iOS features, and will launch with iOS 11 as a free update this Fall.

So if you want to see some sneak peaks of what is coming to Procreate 4 check them out on Instagram.

True Tone Display

iPadPro 2017 TrueTone

The iPad Pro 2017 now also has a True Tone Display. When you go to the settings of your iPad you can toggle it on. The True Tone Display adapts to the color gamut of your display to your surroundings. So if you work in the day with daylight, the display will be more blue. When you work at night, the display will turn more yellow. I just tested this out with changing the settings of my lights. It is not the same as Nightshift or the Adjust Brightness feature that has been available on iOs for some time now. I am not quite sure if I want to use this feature, but fortunately you can Toggle it off.

Wider Color Gamut and 600 Nits

The brightness of the new iPad Pro 2017 is 600 Nits.  But to be quiet honest the iPad Pro 2015 seems brighter to me. Maybe there will be a change with iOS 11 installed. I am a bit disappointed actually. I turned of the True Tone feature and see if that helped. The display also has a wider Color Gamut called P3,  basically you get more brighter reds and greens to work with, which is a great improvement for artists. According to Apple the screen now has an Ultra Low Reflectivity. I don’t see much difference when I compare it to iPad Pro 2015. And there is HDR Video support. So when you look at videos you can now enjoy them in a HDR!


iPAd Pro 2017 Camera
The cameras on the new iPad Pro have also changed. The front camera is 12 MegaPixels and you can shoot 4 K video with it.  It now also has Flash light! I will post all the specs of the camera’s on my website so you can check them out there. Just press on the I in the upper right corner and that will take you to my site.  I am filming this now with my iPad using the back camera. I will now switch it around and use the secondary camera you can use for face time. The secondary camera is 7 Mega Pixels and you can shoot video’s at 1080 pixels and it has face detection.

Touch ID
The iPad Pro also has Touch ID, so you can open your screen  by just using your thumb.

The Microphone of the iPad has been moved to the middle. So if you have a sleeve and want to film something you have to take it off, or by a new sleeve.

Battery Life
Apple claims that you can use the iPad Pro for 10 hours on Wifi.  I have not tested it out yet, but when I am painting in Procreate it will last for about 6 hours.

iPad Pro 2017 speakers

The iPad Pro has great sound coming from 4 speakers. They are a bit louder than the iPad Pro 2015. You can play your favourite music or watch your favourite movies  or your favourite YouTube channel. Or you can plugin your earphones in the 3.5 mm Jack.

Apple Pencil

Stayf Draws Apple Pencil
I have been working with the Apple Pencil since  November 2015 and it is the best drawing experience so far. The Apple Pencil has not changed so the original Apple Pencil works perfect on this iPad Pro 2017.

Smart Keyboard
The original Smart Keyboard works great with the iPadPro 2017. Apple has released a new version of the Smart Keyboard, but the old one works fine. You connect it with the smart connectors on the bottom of your iPad.

If you already have an iPad Pro. There isn’t much difference yet. You will have to wait for iOS 11 and Procreate 4, if you are an artist. So I will make a new video in the fall of 2017 when that happens.

If you are working on an iPad or iPad Air or Mini and want to upgrade. Go for the iPad Pro in combination with the Apple Pencil. You can also use the app Astropad Studio to turn your iPad Pro into a screen you can draw on your Mac. If you are an artist and want to start out painting digital. The iPad Pro is the best experience for drawing and painting. It comes closest to drawing on paper.