What I Love and What I Can’t Stand

What I Love and What I Can’t Stand

Both the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro are true monsters of tablet performance.
Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

The latest iPads are strange beasts. Beyond the cheaper base iPad, you have the iPad Air and the iPad Pro. They’re both at the top of their game. They’re more powerful than ever, and the more expensive version has processing capabilities nearly equivalent to that of a MacBook. And as tempting as they are, before you go ahead and slam the purchase button, you need to remember that they still can’t be your entire device.

There’s a lot to love about these tablets, but we found there’s plenty that grinds our gears. The iPad Air is more than enough for most people thanks to the newly included M2 chip, but the iPad Pro with its M4 will work perfectly well on practically any app you throw at it. But when you get to the end of the road, you’ll realize that using an iPad isn’t nearly as clean as any old MacBook or PC.

Let me offer one example before you dig into the slides. With that newfound power under the hood, it’s truly never been a better time to game on iPad, though it still isn’t nearly as good as it could be. Apple has worked exclusively with some developers like Capcom to bring titles like Resident Evil 4 and Death Stranding: Director’s Cut to all Apple systems.

However, touch controls for most of these 3D games require some contortionist levels of finger dexterity, not to mention how your fingers will muddy and disrupt the screen. You need to use a controller, of course, and there are plenty of other free games from services like Netflix you can get without going into the Apple Arcade library. The M4 chip also supports hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing for those few titles like Diablo: Immortal, which supports it.

And yet, it could be so much better. The problem is many developers still don’t support Apple’s ecosystem. You have plenty of folks making their emulators available on iPhone, but so far none have thought to bring their tools to the iPad as well.

That’s the kind of experience you get with these latest iPads. It’s amazing hardware brought down by both first- and third-party software. You’re already golden if you know which apps you want to use it with. Otherwise, we have our own boons to praise and bones to pick with these latest Apple tablets.

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