The iPad Makes Watching TV a Joy

As I've continued using the 10.5" iPad Pro, one aspect of the device that continues to impress me is its display. It is, without question, the best screen I've ever seen on any computer—from Apple or otherwise. Retina resolution is one thing, but what really makes the experience is other technologies such as True Tone, ProMotion, and the P3 color gamut. Apple bills the iPad's screen as "the most advanced display on the planet," and it's true. In practice, the screen truly is extraordinary; the company's marketing copy doesn't feel the least bit hyperbolic or blustery. Simply put, Apple's display engineering team has done incredible work here.

I've written in the past about how, as a visually impaired person, Retina displays enhance the viewing experience for me. One area where it's striking is when I'm watching videos on Netflix or YouTube. Picture quality is outstanding. In fact, the display on the 10.5" iPad is so good that switching back to my first-generation 12.9" model is rough. The difference between the two in terms of display quality is striking, largely because my older iPad lacks the newer display tech. (The updated 12.9" model has True Tone, ProMotion, etc.) I find this noteworthy for the simple reason that I lauded high praise on the 12.9" model's screen for its size and quality.

A testament to how fast (and how far) technology advances.

I mention this because the more time I spend with the 10.5" iPad Pro, the more I realize how great it is as a "television." I don't have a high-definition TV at home, so anything I watch—be it Netflix, YouTube, HBO Now, or Amazon Prime Video—is accessed through my iPad. I plan to upgrade to a modern TV someday (we have a '90s-era SDTV currently) along with an Apple TV, but for now, the iPad is my de-facto "HDTV."

Beyond the display, another reason I enjoy the iPad to watch video has to do with my vision. Because of the tablet's form factor, it is easy for me to get as close to what I'm watching as I need. I can hold the iPad as far as or close as I need to see comfortably. Contrast this with even a large, high-res television, and I'd still likely have to sit only a foot or two away to see everything. And I haven't even mentioned the lean-back-on-the-couch-and-do factor that makes the iPad, particularly the 10.5" model, such a compelling device.

I'd been using the 12.9" iPad as a TV too, but the substantially better display on the new 10.5" model quite literally put the task of watching video in sharper perspective. It speaks to the axiom that the iPad can be anything the user wants it to be: word processor, game console, code editor, or, in my case, television. It turns out, a thin and light slab of glass happens to be a great substitute for a real TV if, like me, you don't have one.