Revisiting The Ipad Pro 1St Generation: Features, Performance, And 2023 Viability

Apple’s first iteration of the iPad Pro arrived in 2015 and introduced game-changing creative capabilities. But how has this inaugural Pro model aged seven years later? If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: While dated in some respects, the iPad Pro 1st gen remains a remarkably capable device in 2023 for artists, media editors, and casual users alike.

This in-depth guide will revisit the original 12.9 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro models to see how their specs, performance, features, and accessory support hold up today. We’ll provide tips on use cases where the 1st gen Pro still shines in 2023, assess upgrade limitations, and detail how far the iPad Pro line has advanced over the years.

iPad Pro 1st Gen Specs and Hardware

Display and Design Attributes

The iPad Pro 1st generation boasts a stunning Retina display, offering users an immersive visual experience. With a screen size of 12.9 inches, this tablet provides ample space for multitasking, watching videos, or editing photos.

The display features a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels, delivering sharp and vibrant images with excellent color accuracy. The device’s sleek and slim design, coupled with its aluminum unibody construction, gives it a premium look and feel, making it a stylish choice for professionals and creative individuals.

Processor and RAM Capabilities

Equipped with the powerful A9X chip, the iPad Pro 1st generation delivers impressive performance and responsiveness. This 64-bit processor ensures smooth multitasking, allowing users to effortlessly switch between applications and handle resource-intensive tasks.

The tablet also comes with 4GB of RAM, providing ample memory for running multiple apps simultaneously without any lag or slowdown. Whether you’re editing videos, playing graphics-intensive games, or running complex productivity software, the iPad Pro 1st generation can handle it all with ease.

Cameras, Battery Life, and Other Details

The iPad Pro 1st generation features an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera, allowing users to capture high-quality photos and videos. The rear camera supports 1080p HD video recording, while the front camera is perfect for FaceTime calls and selfies.

In terms of battery life, the iPad Pro 1st generation offers up to 10 hours of usage on a single charge, making it ideal for long workdays or entertainment on the go.

Other notable details include support for Apple Pencil, which enables precise and natural drawing on the tablet’s display, and compatibility with the Smart Keyboard, providing a laptop-like typing experience.

Additionally, the iPad Pro 1st generation comes with Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay for convenient online purchases.

Feature and Accessory Support on iPadOS

When it comes to feature and accessory support, the iPad Pro 1st Generation running on iPadOS offers a range of functionalities that enhance productivity and creativity. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key features and accessories that make the iPad Pro a versatile device.

Apple Pencil and Keyboard Use

The iPad Pro 1st Generation is compatible with the Apple Pencil, a powerful tool that allows users to draw, sketch, take notes, and annotate documents with precision and ease. The Apple Pencil offers incredible pressure sensitivity and palm rejection technology, making it feel like you’re using an actual pencil on paper.

Additionally, the iPad Pro 1st Generation supports keyboard use, enabling users to type efficiently and comfortably. Whether you’re a student, an artist, or a professional, the combination of the Apple Pencil and a keyboard can greatly enhance your productivity on the iPad Pro.

Multitasking and Split View

iPadOS provides robust multitasking capabilities, allowing users to work on multiple apps simultaneously. With the Split View feature, you can have two apps open side by side, making it easy to reference information or work on two tasks simultaneously.

This feature is particularly useful for professionals who need to reference documents while taking notes, or for students who want to study and browse the web simultaneously. The iPad Pro 1st Generation’s powerful hardware and iPadOS’s multitasking capabilities make it a great device for multitasking on the go.

Files App and Drag and Drop

The Files app on iPadOS allows users to manage and organize their files in a user-friendly interface. With the iPad Pro 1st Generation, you can easily access and organize your documents, photos, and other files, making it a great device for professionals who need to stay organized.

Moreover, the drag and drop functionality on iPadOS makes it effortless to move files between apps or share content with colleagues or friends. Whether you’re working on a project or simply want to organize your files, the Files app and drag and drop feature on the iPad Pro 1st Generation offer a seamless user experience.

App Performance and Creative Workflows

The iPad Pro 1st Generation offers impressive app performance, making it a versatile device for creative workflows. Whether you are a professional artist, photographer, musician, or video editor, this powerful tablet can handle demanding tasks with ease.

Drawing, Photo/Video Editing, Music Production

For digital artists and illustrators, the iPad Pro 1st Generation provides an exceptional drawing experience. With the Apple Pencil, precise and fluid strokes can be achieved, allowing artists to bring their ideas to life on a digital canvas.

The combination of the iPad Pro’s processing power and advanced graphics capabilities ensures smooth rendering and lag-free performance, resulting in a seamless creative process.

When it comes to photo and video editing, the iPad Pro 1st Generation shines. Its high-resolution Retina display and color accuracy make it an excellent tool for editing and retouching images. Additionally, the device’s processing power enables seamless video editing, allowing users to cut, trim, and add effects to their footage with ease.

Music producers and musicians will also find the iPad Pro 1st Generation to be a valuable asset. With the help of professional music production apps available on the App Store, the tablet can serve as a portable studio.

From recording and mixing tracks to creating complex compositions, the iPad Pro offers a wide range of possibilities for music creation on the go.

Gaming, Web Browsing, and Other Tasks

Beyond its capabilities in creative workflows, the iPad Pro 1st Generation also excels in gaming and everyday tasks. With its powerful A9X chip and stunning display, the tablet delivers a smooth gaming experience, allowing users to enjoy graphics-intensive games without any hiccups.

Whether you’re into casual puzzle games or action-packed adventures, the iPad Pro can handle it all.

Web browsing on the iPad Pro is a delight, thanks to its large display and fast performance. Whether you’re researching, streaming videos, or shopping online, the tablet’s responsive touch screen and efficient browsing capabilities ensure a seamless experience.

With the availability of productivity apps, the iPad Pro can also be used for tasks such as note-taking, document editing, and email management.

While the iPad Pro 1st Generation may not have all the latest features and advancements found in newer models, it still remains a viable option in 2023. Its robust performance, combined with a wide range of creative apps and versatile capabilities, make it a valuable tool for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Upgrade Limitations and iOS 16 Compatibility


The iPad Pro 1st Generation, released in 2015, has certainly stood the test of time with its impressive features and performance. However, as technology rapidly advances, it is important to note that this model does have some limitations when it comes to upgrades.

One of the main barriers to upgradability is the lack of support for hardware enhancements. Unlike newer models, the 1st Generation iPad Pro does not have the ability to upgrade its RAM or storage capacity.

This means that users may experience limitations in terms of multitasking capabilities or storing large files and applications.

Additionally, the 1st Generation iPad Pro is not compatible with the latest accessories and peripherals that have been released in recent years. For example, the Apple Pencil 2, which offers enhanced precision and functionality, is only compatible with newer iPad models.

This can be a drawback for artists, designers, and note-takers who rely on the advanced features of the Apple Pencil.

It’s important to consider these upgrade limitations before purchasing or continuing to use the iPad Pro 1st Generation. While it still offers a great user experience, it may not be suitable for those who require the latest hardware advancements or compatibility with newer accessories.


Another factor to consider when evaluating the viability of the iPad Pro 1st Generation in 2023 is its compatibility with the latest iOS and iPadOS versions. Currently, the 1st Generation iPad Pro supports up to iOS 12 and iPadOS 12.

While this is still a relatively recent version, it does pose some limitations in terms of software updates and compatibility with newer apps and features.

As Apple releases new versions of iOS and iPadOS, developers often optimize their apps and software to take advantage of the latest features and improvements. This means that over time, certain apps may become incompatible or may not perform optimally on older operating systems.

It’s worth noting that not all apps will be affected, but it’s important to be aware of this potential limitation.

If you are someone who relies on specific apps or requires the latest software features, it may be worth considering upgrading to a newer iPad model that supports the latest iOS and iPadOS versions. However, if you primarily use your iPad for basic tasks such as web browsing, email, and media consumption, the iPad Pro 1st Generation should still suffice for your needs.

For more information on the compatibility of specific apps and software with the iPad Pro 1st Generation, it is recommended to visit the official Apple Support website or consult forums and communities dedicated to iPad users.

2023 Value and Use Case Scenarios

Creative Work, Media Consumption, Light Computing

The iPad Pro 1st Generation continues to hold value in 2023 for creative professionals, media enthusiasts, and those who require a device for light computing tasks. With its powerful A9X chip and stunning Retina display, this tablet offers an excellent platform for graphic design, photo editing, and video production.

Additionally, the Apple Pencil compatibility allows artists and designers to unleash their creativity with precision and ease.

For media consumption, the iPad Pro 1st Generation offers an immersive experience with its large screen size and high-resolution display. Whether you’re streaming movies, playing games, or browsing through social media, the vibrant colors and sharp details make every visual element pop.

The device’s powerful speakers further enhance the overall entertainment experience.

When it comes to light computing tasks, such as web browsing, email management, and document editing, the iPad Pro 1st Generation is more than capable of handling these tasks efficiently. Its portability and long battery life make it an ideal device for professionals on the go or students who need a versatile tool for their academic needs.

Secondary Device, Kids/Education Uses

As technology advances, many users find themselves owning multiple devices to cater to different needs. The iPad Pro 1st Generation can serve as an excellent secondary device alongside a desktop computer or a laptop.

Its compact size and versatility make it a convenient option for quick tasks, note-taking, or entertainment purposes while on the move.

Furthermore, the iPad Pro 1st Generation is a popular choice for kids and education-related uses. Its intuitive interface, parental control options, and a wide range of educational apps make it an engaging tool for children’s learning and development.

Whether it’s interactive storybooks, educational games, or virtual classrooms, the iPad Pro 1st Generation offers a user-friendly environment for young learners.


While its age shows in some respects, the iPad Pro 1st generation remains a remarkably solid iPad option in 2023 for artists, students, kids, and casual users alike. Its specs still offer smooth performance for a wide range of creative workflows and media activities.

For those seeking an affordable Pro tablet with Apple Pencil support, the iPad Pro 1st gen delivers immense value. Just be aware of its upgrade limitations before fully committing for extensive long-term use.

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