ArsTechnica has been putting the iPad Pro through its paces in a whole raft of benchmark tests, comparing it to other iOS devices as well as to MacBooks and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4.

When it comes to other iPads, nothing comes close in Geekbench tests. In single-core tests, the iPad Pro gets an overall score of 3233 against 1831 for the iPad Air 2. The much newer iPhone 6S gets closest, at 2537.

In multi-core tests, the differences look far more modest, but there’s a twist … 

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While the A8X chip in the iPad Air 2 uses three CPU cores running at 1.84GHz, Apple has managed to comfortably outpace it using just two cores running at around 2.25GHz. So while the overall gain is more limited, Apple has managed to squeeze far more performance out of each core.

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On paper, the iPhone 6S also gets close to the performance of the iPad Pro, but the piece notes that the much larger casing of the giant iPad gives it greater cooling capacity than the phone. While the A9X chip in the iPhone 6s can’t maintain its maximum clock-speed for long without frequent and dramatic throttling, the iPad Pro version can.

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Similar results are seen in Sunspider, Kraken and Google Octane benchmarks, the iPad Pro significantly outperforming other iPads, while the iPhone 6S puts up a brave fight but can’t match its performance.

Tim Cook had suggested that the iPad Pro could replace a laptop for many. Reviewers seem to universally disagree, because iOS apps don’t match OS X ones, but it doesn’t do badly in pure performance terms.

The A9X can’t quite get up to the level of a modern U-series Core i5 based on Broadwell or Skylake (see the 2015 MacBook Air and Surface Pro 4 results), but it’s roughly on the same level as a Core i5 from 2013 or so and it’s well ahead of Core M. And despite the fact that it lacks a fan, the A9X shows little sign of throttling in the Geekbench thermal test, which bodes well for the iPad Pro’s ability to run professional-caliber apps for extended periods of time.

As always with ArsTechnica‘s detailed reviews, the full piece is well worth a read.

El Mundo‘s tech writer Angel Jimenez de Luis has been putting the Apple Pencil through its paces (via GforGames), to see how it compares with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 stylus. The Apple Pencil clearly does deliver lower latency, though the real-life difference is less dramatic than one might have expected.

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