New iPad Pro range brings Portrait Mode to Apple's tablets

We went a bit Apple-frantic yesterday with the launch of the new iPad Pro 11, iPad Pro 12.9, new Macbook Air and Mac Mini (2018) all getting a once-over from our tech eye.

It was during this run-through that we decided to check out one of the features on the new iPad Pro range - given that it has the TrueDepth camera for Face ID, allowing you to open the tablet with your face, would that mean that selfies are improved too?

After all, that camera was first brought on the iPhone X in 2017, and it allowed Apple to offer selfies with bokeh (background blur) with only a single sensor.

That trick has now come to the iPad for the first time, allowing you to take portrait shots of yourself that look a little bit niftier than just a generic pic of your wonderful visage.

You can also play with the lighting effects, as you can on the iPhone X and its newer 10-monikered bedfellows, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. However, there are only three effects available, with Stage Light and Stage Light Mono (where the background is darkened out) curiously not available.

We say curiously as there's certainly enough power under the hood to allow for it - the A12X Bionic chip is going to be light years ahead of the power of some phones Apple has made, and yet they can handle the Stage Light effect.

While it's cool that you can have extra features on your new tablet - and given the price of the new iPad Pro range, you'd expect that you'd have every single goshdarn option going - we didn't find it that easy to take a snap holding the tablet.

Yes, you've got a massive viewfinder that lets you find your face more easily, but we tried it on the large iPad Pro 12.9 and it wasn't the easiest thing to hold with a single hand.

But, if you're thinking for some inexplicable reason that you'd like a massive screen to take your selfies, at least you can now buy the new iPad Pro with the safe knowledge that option is now open to you.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.