Apple took the wraps off of its first-ever 10.5-inch iPad Pro model during last Monday’s WWDC 2017 keynote, and before the device has officially begun shipping to early adopters, a number of reviewers have already been graced to have some hands-on time with the latest and most powerful, Pro-grade tablet yet.
Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro is effectively a replacement for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro model released back in March, 2016, and offers up a laundry list of advancements over its predecessor including a gorgeous ProMotion display that’s 20% larger —boasting an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, side bezels that have been slimmed down by 40%, and a swath of next-generation hardware across the board.
True Tone display w/ ProMotion technology, scratch-resistant, oleophobic coating
Apple A10X Fusion SoC
12 MP rear camera and 7 MP FaceTime camera (same hardware as iPhone 7)
Four channel quad-speaker setup, active noise cancellation with dedicated microphones
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, USB 3.0, NFC, Touch ID — (LTE on select models)
Non-removable Li-Ion battery (30.4 Wh) promising up to 10 hours of multimedia playback over Wi-Fi
While the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is arguably Apple’s most Pro-grade iPad model yet, it’s important to note, as TechCrunch points out, that a lot of these Pro features are dependent on iOS 11 — Apple’s upcoming major software update for iPhone and iPad that’s slated for release later this fall. Even in the absence of iOS 11, though, TechCrunch notes being particularly impressed by the 10.5-incher’s screen size, calling it “the sweet spot” in regards to a tablet form-factor, while going so far as to suggest that Apple may drop the behemoth 12.9-inch model at some point just because the 10.5-inch size is so ideal.
“I’d expect to see all iPads at 10.5 inches at some point. It’s just the right size,” said Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch, while ultimately concluding that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro “is a full-fledged computer.”
ArsTechnica, meanwhile, called the new 10.5-inch display “the best display Apple ships,” citing Apple’s implementation of what it’s dubbed ProMotion technology. This technology was flaunted at WWDC, and ensures that the new iPad models (yes, even the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro refresh, too) are now capable of an impressive 120Hz refresh rate — up from 60Hz in the previous generation — which offers up overall smoother motions, animations, and significantly reduces input lag when typing or scrolling while reading text, for example.
“As for how it is to use a 120Hz display, I can say that it’s undeniably slick and it makes animations and transitions look great,” said Andrew Cunningham of ArsTechnica, while adding that “It’s also easier to read text and scroll simultaneously, since the ‘ghosting’ effect you get at 60Hz is much-reduced.”
This stellar performance is in part driven by Apple’s beefed-up A10X CPU, which runs the show behind the scenes. Geekbench 4 scores have determined that in multi-core tests the new 10.5″ iPad Pro nearly doubles the performance of the 1st generation 12.9″ iPad Pro, with scores reaching 9,185 and 5,379 respectively. For comparison, the latest and greatest 2017 MacBook Pro’s multi-core score clocked in at 13,727, proving that the new 10.5″ tablet’s processing power is a force to be reckoned with.
In terms of battery performance: while Apple touts the 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s 10-hour battery life, The Verge, in its review, claimed to have achieved between 8 and 9 hours, while calling the 10.5-inch iPad Pro a “stupendous device.” They cautioned, however, that the tablet won’t truly shine until iOS 11 touches down this fall, which will bring a ton of new features to iPad Pro that should render the device a “true PC competitor” as Apple intended.