Watch: 2018 iPad vs. 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro

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Apple just released a refreshed 9.7-inch iPad for 2018. Retaining last year’s $ 329 price tag, the new slate is Apple’s first budget model to support Apple Pencil and sports a speedy A10 Fusion process. Find out how it compares to its bigger 10.5-inch iPad Pro sibling in this video.
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Which iPad Pro should you buy: 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch?

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The differences have never been fewer between Apple’s two Pro models, yet the decision remains a tough one.

In 2017, Apple not only introduced a new size of iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch screen, but it also completely overhauled the internals of both models.

They now have identical screen technology, processors, RAM, and GPUs; USB-C quick-charging technology; cameras; and Touch ID sensors. This makes it easier than ever to focus on the actual size of the two devices as your primary differentiator, rather than twiddle your thumbs over which model has a True Tone display.

  • Display:
    • DISPLAY
    • 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch Retina display
    • 600-nit brightness
    • Anti-reflective coating
    • ProMotion refresh technology (120Hz)
    • True Tone
    • Wide Color (P3)
    • Full-screen virtual keyboard
  • Chips:
    • CHIPS & STORAGE
    • A10X system-on-a-chip
    • M10 integrated motion co-processor
    • 64GB – 512GB SSD storage
    • 4GB RAM
    • USB-C connection speeds
  • Cameras:
    • CAMERAS
    • 12MP, f/1.8 iSight rear camera with OIS
    • 7MP, f/2.2 FaceTime HD front-facing camera
  • Battery:
    • BATTERY
    • 10-hour battery life
    • ProMotion smart refresh adjustment (to save battery life)
    • USB-C fast-charge support (optional; not included in box)

Even with all their similarities, the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads are for distinctly different audiences. How do you decide which camp you fall into? Let’s take a look.

Are you upgrading from an older iPad or iPad Pro?

While we have a separate guide available for those considering an upgrade to a new iPad, it’s worth touching on a few points here, too. If you’re considering upgrading your current iPad or iPad Pro for a 10.5- or 12.9-inch model, you’re going to want to consider spec improvement. As I mentioned above, both now have the same internals across the board, but certain upgrade paths are now much more appealing.

Previous 12.9-inch iPad Pro owners, for example, will see much bigger improvements between those first- and second-generation models than moving from the discontinued 9.7-inch iPad Pro to the new 10.5-inch model — and if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars replacing a relatively new tablet, that boost may be necessary to justify the cost.

Should you upgrade to the new iPad Pro?

Do you need a standalone computer?

If you’re planning on using an iPad Pro to do most of your daily work, it’s hard not to appreciate the 12.9-inch model. It’s the only tablet in Apple’s lineup that offers two full-sized iPad apps in the horizontal version of Split View; that extra screen real estate also plays a part in providing a better experience digitally typing on the iPad or drawing with the Apple Pencil.

From our FAQ:

When using iOS’s multitasking features, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro uses the Compact size class when going into Split View. This means that after you set two apps into Split View, those apps will display iPhone-style interfaces when set side by side in a 50/50 split, and one iPad, one iPhone-style when in a 25/75 or 75/25 split.

The reason for this is simple: The 10.5-inch iPad Pro isn’t wide enough in landscape mode to fit two regular-sized apps without their interfacesI overlapping. Apple would need an extra 15% or more of width to make the apps scale effectively, which would make for a mighty strange iPad indeed.

In contrast, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro uses the Regular size class when going into Split View. This means that after you set two apps into Split View, those apps will display iPad-style interfaces when set side by side in a 50/50 split, and and one iPad, one iPhone-style when in a 25/75 or 75/25 split.

Both iPads have 4GB of RAM, allowing them to pull up a maximum of two Split View apps, one Slide Over app, and a Picture-in-Picture video, all on the same screen and in focus (all are useable at the same time).

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s size also means that it takes up the space of a computer in your bag and may weigh you down further if you choose to add compatible accessories, like a keyboard case.

Do you want a computer companion?

Apple’s Mac line isn’t going anywhere, and people who argue for either Macs or iPads are missing the point. The true brilliance of these devices is how well they work in tandem, with different devices suited to each task. If you believe this (as I do), the 10.5-inch model makes for an excellent companion alongside your iMac or MacBook Pro. Its 1-pound weight and slim frame are perfect to dual-carry with a laptop, and the larger 10.5-inch screen offers enough portability without sacrificing usable space.

The improvements to the 10.5-inch’s software keyboard are also welcome; The virtual keyboard takes up less room on the screen and the keys are bigger, avoiding much of the cramped typing experience that the 9.7-inch iPad provides.

Do you want the best accessories right now?

The 10.5-inch iPad is a beautiful addition to Apple’s iPad lineup — but accessory makers are still making new options for it. As such, there are only two real Smart Connector keyboard cases available for this size, including the Smart Keyboard (which is pretty good, fabric feel aside) and the Logitech Slim Combo (which I really didn’t enjoy).

Here’s why the 10.5-inch iPad Pro won’t fit in a 9.7-inch case

Best accessories for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro

The 12.9-inch iPad, in contrast, can use most of its old casewear so long as the cutouts are big enough for the tablet’s new camera system. As a result, new 12.9-inch buyers have a much wider assortment of accessories available to them than their fellow 10.5-inch fans.

Can the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro fit in 1st-generation cases?

Best accessories for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Do you want to save money and get more storage for your buck?

It’s always nice to try and save a few dollars while investing in a giant purchase, and the 10.5-inch model sets users up for a very nice discount on price per gigabyte. The $ 749 256GB 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes out to just $ 2.93/GB, while the same storage option on the 12.9-inch $ 899 model costs $ 3.51/GB.

Note: You’ll notice I’m excluding the 64GB models: Both of them have absolutely terrible price-per-GB ratios (ranging from $ 10-$ 12.50 per GB), and I refuse to recommend them to anyone who actually wants an iPad Pro. If you can’t afford the extra $ 100 to go up to 256GB, I’d personally recommend waiting and saving up the money over buying a device whose storage you’ll quickly outgrow.

Storage and cost-saving shouldn’t be your primary concerns when picking up a new computer, but it’s always worth a mention — and it’s hard not to highlight the 10.5-inch model’s cost-effective pricing, especially given its respective hardware.

Which iPad storage size should you get?

Do you want rose gold?

Spoiler: The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is the only Pro model in Apple’s iPad lineup that you can purchase in rose gold. Womp womp. If you’re a fan of the color, you’ll need to go for the 10.5-inch model — or, y’know, just get an appropriately pink case.

What iPad color should you get: Silver, space gray, gold, or rose gold?

Who should buy the 10.5-inch iPad Pro

The happiest 10.5-inch iPad Pro users are going to be those who need an iPad to augment — rather than replace — their day-to-day workflow. They might be artists who return to a Mac at the end of the day; they might be writers who occasionally want an ultraportable machine for travel; they might be cost-conscious students who need an iPad Pro with enough storage but not the price tag of a 12.9-inch model.

I ended up buying a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which now travels with me alongside my 13-inch MacBook Pro. I find it an excellent combination, and best of all, I can use the 10.5-inch as a second monitor while on the go.

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Who should buy the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

If you’re considering a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you’re likely someone who’s considering committing to a tablet-only workflow — or someone who’s already had experience with it and wants the ultimate iPad for their day-to-day experiences. The 12.9-inch currently excels at being a replacement laptop for certain tasks, especially with iOS 11’s multitasking features like Drag and Drop, the Files app, and the new App Switcher.

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Questions?



Still undecided? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to help you out.

Updated March 29, 2018: Updated for iOS 11.3 and the 2018 iPad.

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New Sixth-Generation iPad vs. 10.5-Inch iPad Pro

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Support for the Apple Pencil was one of the major differentiating factors between the fifth-generation iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, with Apple Pencil connectivity limited to Apple’s more expensive flagship tablets.

Now that Apple Pencil support has been built into the sixth-generation iPad, which costs just $329, the Apple Pencil is far more accessible and there’s less separating Apple’s cheapest tablet from its priciest models. In the video and post below, we go over all of the differences between the new iPad and the existing iPad Pro.

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The iPad Pro and the sixth-generation iPad may seem similar at first glance due to the shared Apple Pencil support, but the iPad Pro continues to offer a faster processor, better cameras, and a better display to justify its high price tag.

Apple’s iPad Pro, for example, uses ProMotion technology with a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes all motion on the screen smoother, crisper, and more responsive.

It’s dramatically different than other iPad displays with smoother text, better gameplay, and enhanced videos. True Tone technology, which adjusts the white balance of the display to match the ambient lighting is also an iPad Pro-only feature, as is wide color, for brighter, more vivid colors.

The sixth-generation iPad, meanwhile, uses the same non-laminated display that was first used in the iPad Air, albeit with improvements to make it brighter and a new touch sensor to allow for Apple Pencil support. It’s Retina, but otherwise unremarkable.

The iPad Pro is also using an A10X Fusion chip, new in 2017, while the iPad is equipped with the A10 Fusion from the 2016 iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Major improvements have been made in processor and GPU speed in recent iterations, so the iPad Pro is going to be a good bit faster than the iPad, though you’re not going to notice in everyday tasks.

If camera quality is of importance, the iPad Pro has the latest 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera that is leagues better than the 8-megapixel f2.4 camera in the iPad. The iPad Pro’s camera supports a laundry list of features not available in the iPad, like True Tone Flash, stabilization for live photos, wide color capture, 4K video recording, and more.

The iPad Pro’s front-facing camera is also 7-megapixels, a big upgrade over the 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera in the iPad. To make it easy to compare the two tablets at a glance, we’ve made a handy chart that also includes the fifth-generation iPad:


So which one should you buy? If you want an impressively fast but affordable tablet that works with Apple Pencil and is going to play the most recent games and apps for several years to come, go with the iPad.

If you want the fastest, thinnest device you can get with the absolute best display available on the market, go with the iPad Pro, but don’t buy right now if you can hold out for a refresh. We’re expecting to see updated iPad Pro models either in June or September with slimmer bezels, no Home button, and support for the Face ID facial recognition system first introduced in the iPhone X.

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Deals: 10.5-inch iPad Pro at Walmart, Anker Gold Box Discounts, One-Day Sale at Twelve South, and More

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Walmart today has the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi only) on sale for $765.83, down from $949.00. This deal is the best available online for the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro, compared to retailers like B&H Photo and Adorama, which are both offering the same model for $924.00. At the time of writing, only the Gold and Rose Gold options have received the discount, while the Silver and Space Gray colors are priced at $940 and above.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The tablets are shipped and sold by Walmart, and are available for free two-day shipping. Check out the sale prices below:

There are also a few one-day-only sales going on today worth noting. First is Anker’s Gold Box Deal of the Day over at Amazon, which has savings of up to 35 percent off a pair of iPhone-compatible Qi charging mats, and a few USB Power Delivery hubs. As with all Amazon Gold Box sales, the discounts will expire around midnight tonight, so be sure to order anything you’re interested in before tonight.

Second, Twelve South is making amends of sorts today, following a snafu with the accessory maker’s checkout system yesterday that made it impossible for customers to purchase items for most of the day. As a thank you to customers for their patience during the technical difficulties, Twelve South is now offering 15 percent off your entire order for one day only with promo code “Oops2018” — ending tonight, March 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET.


Twelve South has a store full of Apple-only products, and the discount can go towards anything from smaller items like the $29.99 PencilSnap for Apple Pencil (discounted to $25.49), bigger products like the $99.99 BookBook for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (discounted to $84.99), or any combination orders. All that you have to do is enter the promo code “Oops2018” and the discount will be applied to your order.

Lastly, Target has launched a new and unique offer for users interested in purchasing an App Store and iTunes Gift card. Through March 3, customers can get 10 percent more in iTunes credit when they buy an iTunes gift card (email delivery) at Target, and they’ll see the bonus value added to their Apple ID “instantly” upon redeeming the gift card.


We’ve broken down each of the qualifying iTunes card tiers and the bonus amount you’ll get in the list below. This deal isn’t as good as the straight $10 or $15 discounts we’ve previously seen for iTunes cards, but if you’re willing to spend on the $100 tier you can get an extra $10, making it the best offer here.

  • $15 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $16.50
  • $25 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $27.50
  • $50 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $55.00
  • $100 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $110.00

Head over to Target’s website to purchase an iTunes gift card before Saturday, March 3 if you’re interested. It’s also worth noting that if you do make a purchase, you have until the following Saturday, March 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET, to redeem the iTunes gift card within your Apple ID account to receive the 10 percent bonus.

For more of the latest sales, be sure to read our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Alleged Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 spotted with 10.5-inch display and 8MP front camera

A new Samsung Galaxy device has appeared in a benchmark listing. The handset carries a model number of SM-T835, suggesting it could well be the Galaxy Tab S4 tablet given that last year’s Tab S3 was SM-T820/SM-825. Specs revealed by the device’s GFXBench listing include 10.5-inch display with 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, octa-core 2.3GHz CPU and Adreno 540 (strongly indicating the presence of Snapdragon 835 SoC). Other key specs include 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and 12MP/8MP camera combo. OS is Android 8.0 Oreo. No information yet on pricing and availability (although just like the…

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iPad Pro, in 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models, introduces the world’s most advanced display and breakthrough performance

Apple introduces powerful new iPads that feature the world’s most advanced display and incredible performance.
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Apple Now Offers Refurbished 10.5-inch iPad Pro 15% Off Retail

Apple began offering refurbished models of its 10.5-inch iPad Pro on Wednesday via its online store in the U.S. and Canada.

There are quite a few variants to choose from, about 20 in all. That includes various colors and storage configurations in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The refurbished 10.5-inch iPad Pros retail for around 15 percent less than brand new models — so it might be a good time to pick one up if you’re in the market for an iPad Pro.

For the most basic configuration, a Wi-Fi-only model with 64 gigabytes of internal storage, Apple is pricing refurbished devices at $ 549. That’s about $ 100 off the same model sold as new. Currently, there are Silver, Gold and Space Gray versions available. Wi-Fi-only models with 256GB and 512GB retail for $ 649 and $ 849, respectively ($ 150 off the usual prices of $ 799 and $ 999).

If you’re wary of purchasing pre-owned electronics, keep in mind that Apple still offers its standard one-year warranty on the refurbished models (effective until one year from the date that the device is delivered). As with new iPad Pro devices, Apple also allows users to purchase the extended two-year warranty AppleCare+ for iPad for $ 99.

Apple says that it thoroughly inspects, tests and cleans all refurbished products before repackaging them in new white boxes, with all of the standard manuals and accessories included. The company also replaces the battery and outer steel of the devices with new components. Put simply, it’s tough (if not nearly impossible) to tell a refurbished model from a new one.

Of course, as with all of Apple’s refurbished products, supplies are limited. So it’s smart to place an order as soon as possible if you’re interested — particularly if you want a specific color or storage configuration.

Apple first introduced the 10.5-inch iPad Pro last June. It’s only slightly larger and heavier than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro that it replaces, and the tablet sports a display about 20 percent larger due to reduced bezels. The iPad Pro is powered by Apple’s A10X Fusion chip, and features Touch ID, a 12-megapixel rear camera, four speakers, and a ProMotion Retina display with a 120GHz refresh rate.

iDrop News

Review: 4 Reasons Why You’ll Love Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro

Apple took the wraps off of a bounty of exciting new hardware products at WWDC 2017 earlier this month, including newcomers like the HomePod Siri speaker, as well as refreshes in a variety of other product categories from iMac to MacBook, and MacBook Pro to the upcoming iMac Pro. As rumored in multiple reports, most notably by KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple also showed off a duo of new iPad Pro models at WWDC: a refreshed 12.9-inch variant, and a first-of-its-kind 10.5-inch variant, which comes off the heels of months worth of rumors and renders and quantitative anticipation.

While the earliest reviews of the ultra-powerful, thin-bezeled iPad Pro have shown that it’s quite the impressive and capable mobile computing device, iDrop News has finally had a chance to spend some hands on time with the tablet. And though it may be cliché, so far we’d have to agree with the pundits: the 10.5-incher is quite possibly Apple’s best iPad yet. Here are 4 key reasons why we think you’ll love the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

4. Perfect Size, Weight, Design

At just 1.03 pounds, Apple’s newest iPad Pro clocks in at exactly the same weight as its latest, entry-level 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad Air, but is approximately half a pound lighter than the behemoth 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Having previously spent time with the original, 1.49 pound iPad Pro, we can say with certainty that Apple has done a phenomenal job in designing the 10.5-inch iPad. By trimming the bezels on either side by several millimeters, and lengthening the chassis by about half an inch, Apple was able to achieve a form factor remarkably similar in size, weight, and portability to the 9.7-inch iPad — all while incorporating a gorgeous, high-definition Retina display that’s 20% larger. The device is also extremely comfortable to hold, thanks to its light-weight chassis and compact footprint.

3. Incredible ProMotion Display

Up until now, Apple’s iPad models were limited to a 60 Hz refresh rate, meaning the LED display has been capable of showing 60 frames per second. While impressive, Apple has seriously upped the ante in the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The tablet now boasts a proprietary display technology Apple has dubbed ProMotion, which increases the refresh rate to a staggering 120 Hz (or 120 frames per second.) What this means, in essence, is that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s display renders images and navigates content with such buttery-smooth precision and ease — you simply have to see it (and touch it) to believe it. There’s been no instances of the dreaded ‘ghosting effect’, where the display shifts and takes a second or so to buffer text or images. What you get, rather, is a truly remarkable display, featuring a generous 1668 x 2224 (~265 ppi) resolution, TrueTone and Nightshift technology, and all the great accessibility features iOS has to offer.

2. It’s Insanely Powerful

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is simply the fastest device Apple is selling right now (well, aside from Mac computers, of course, although Geekbench scores did reveal that the iPad Pro is essentially as fast as a late 2016 MacBook.) Likewise, the iPad Pro was determined by Geekbench to boast over double the raw performance of Apple’s original, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which itself was a powerhouse. Unlike Qualcomm, makers of the Snapdragon SoCs found in some Android devices, Apple has historically refrained from sharing details about raw clock speeds or features of its A-series silicon, mentioning only the key details — how it’s 20% faster, or 40% more likely to knock your socks off, than the previous generation. Geekbench has revealed, however, that the A10X is a quad-core, 2.39 GHz SoC, which is just slightly more powerful than the quad-core, 2.34 GHz A10 Fusion powering the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

1. Special iOS 11 Features

While the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is technologically more powerful than some laptop and desktop PCs, it’s worth noting that in its inherent form, running iOS 10.3.3, the breadth of what the new devices have to offer won’t be actualized until iOS 11 is released later this fall. That’s because the upcoming software for iPhone and iPad will include a laundry list of features exclusive to iPad. We were able to get our unit up and running on the first iOS 11 public beta, however, and while the device’s performance has been somewhat shaky due to the rudimentary, unstable nature of early beta software, we were able to get screenshots of key new UI features. You can see the new dock, which allows you to place frequently used apps for easier access and multi-tasking, as well as the all-new Control Center/App Switcher view. All in all, the interface is solid and easy to navigate. There was a learning curve, of course, coming from iOS 10 — but the new features in iOS 11 are well worth the adjustment.

Conclusion

It may seem like overkill for Apple to throw yet another iPad model into its range of offerings. (7.9-, 9.7-, 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPads are all currently available.) — I mean, if anything it begs the question: how many iPads do we really need? Well, while the 10.5-inch model may seem out of place, like just another choice among the many we already have to choose from, the newest addition to the iPad family provides a unique, first-of-its-kind experience that you just won’t get on any other iPad. It’s smooth as butter, fast as lightning, and lighter than a couple magazines — all at the same time. It’s an all-around amazing tablet that, come iOS 11, will surely be giving PCs a run for their money.

10.5″ iPad Pro Specifications

  • 10.5-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD touchscreen display @ 1668 x 2224 pixels (~265 poi).
  • True Tone display w/ ProMotion technology, scratch-resistant, oleophobic coating.
  • 2.39 GHz Apple A10X Fusion quad-core 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), up to 10 hours of multimedia playback over Wi-Fi.

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Watch: What’s new with the 2017 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro

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As part of last week’s refresh, Apple released an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro plus an all-new 10.5-inch iPad, with a much smaller side bezel, a new ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate, and the A10X Fusion Processor. AppleInsider compares the new versions against earlier iPad Pro models.
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