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By Tania Clarke   |  
November 18th, 2015

iPad Pro Road Test

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We put the new iPad Pro through it’s paces

Today our first iPad Pro arrived. This has been released without any long queues at Apple stores or the usual hype around Apple products.

I first heard about the oversized iPad in the middle of the year, but it is only now that I have been able to get hands on with one. ¬†With the iPad Pro in hand, the first thing we did was take it to a nearby construction site and put it through it’s paces.

I wasn’t expecting the form factor to be so good. It is balanced perfectly and the thin, light weight construction, feels genuinely more like a clipboard than a mobile tablet. Each time I hand it to someone to try, they are taken back by how big it is, but how pleasant it is to hold.

I can’t imagine myself typing emails and doing the usual tasks that I would use a phone for. This is something different again. Apple has a knack for giving us products we didn’t know we needed and the iPad Pro is no different. Once I started showing images or drawings to another person with the iPad Pro, I realised how much better it is than a regular iPad. This lends itself for situations where people are explaining a diagram or image to another person, it is so much better than anything I’ve seen before for demonstrations.

Luke Holding Up iPad 5_SMALL

A doctor demonstrating to a patient what a procedure involves would be an obvious use case, as would site plans on a construction site. I still see people carrying paper plans with them on site, because smaller devices aren’t practical for such detailed documents, except for a quick review of a plan that you are already very familiar with.

Outdoor use is always a consideration, and has been something that we have worked hard on with iAuditor. Some of our earlier designs didn’t have enough contrast for use in direct sunlight, so over time we have improved the outdoor usability of the app. The iPad Pro has no issue with direct sunlight. The screen is clear and bright and although I wasn’t able to run the battery flat on our test, it only dropped 8 percent in the time we had it on site.

Drop testing is the only thing we didn’t put it through. The device doesn’t feel fragile, nor does it flex or feel like it could break easily, but obviously a rugged housing would be required to protect it from drops and the elements would be sensible.

The camera is the same 5 megapixel as the iPhone 6, which means the images are fantastic. Apple have really pushed the boundaries with their cameras and are well down the path of replacing point and shoot cameras for the worksite. I can remember the earlier iPad camera really struggled in low light, but this is much better.

Overall, I liked the device. It won’t replace my phone, nor am I going to read a book on it, but for applications where we are demonstrating iAuditor, or wanting to show detail to people on a device, then the iPad Pro is a great tool for the job.

Going paperless is getting easier every day, and the iPad Pro has filled another gap that until now, paper has still dominated.

Luke Anear,
SafetyCulture CEO

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