Review: Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Second Generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro | iLounge

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Review: Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Second Generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro

A-
Highly Recommended

Company: Apple

Model: iPad Pro

Price: $649 – $1,229

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Jesse Hollington

Pros: Apple’s latest pair of iPad Pro models are now on par with one another, with the new larger iPad Pro gaining the True Tone display, significant camera improvements with flash, and “Hey Siri” support, while the smaller iPad Pro gets a 10.5” screen upgrade, along with 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0 support, faster USB-C charging, and now includes a 12W power supply. New “ProMotion” display technology in both models doubles the refresh rate to 120Hz, improving scrolling and Apple Pencil performance. Both models catch up with Apple’s latest technology, sporting both front and rear cameras equivalent to the iPhone 7 and an A10X processor that provides a significant performance boost over both prior models. Battery life remains exceptional, and a new 512GB model provides for the highest storage capacity of any iOS device to date. Both models continue to be compatible with the current Apple Pencil and existing Smart Connector accessories.

Cons: The 12.9” model is still a behemoth by iPad standards, making it more suitable as a tabletop or laptop device. Despite the reduced bezels, the 10.5” model is still slightly larger than the 9.7” model, limiting case options. 3D Touch support still remains absent on both models.

Physically, you’ll be hard pressed to distinguish the 12.9” iPad Pro from its predecessor — it comes in at the same 12” x 8.68” x 0.27” dimensions, although it sheds a few grams in weight that won’t be noticeable by most humans. This means that 12.9” iPad Pro users will be able to take advantage of the existing market of cases and related accessories. On the other hand, the 10.5” iPad Pro not surprisingly comes in slightly larger than the 9.7” model. Although Apple implied that it merely reduced the bezel to increase the the 10.5” iPad Pro, clearly it was still necessary to increase the physical size slightly to 9.8” x 6.8” x 0.24” — gaining about a half an inch in length and 0.2” in width, although the thickness remains the same and the weight comes in a few grams heavier than its 9.7” predecessor. New cases will obviously be required for the 10.5” iPad Pro, although we’ve been pleasantly surprised to see the usual companies like Logitech and Speck ready to go with options right out of the gate.

Since the 12.9” iPad Pro remains physically unchanged, there’s not a lot more to say about its size — we already covered most of that in our original 12.9” iPad Pro review. It’s still large and unwieldy by iPad standards, with limited appeal to those who really need the larger screen and/or are looking to use an iPad as a full laptop replacement.

Physically, the 10.5” iPad Pro is a much more interesting update, although not as much as you’d think. While the larger screen is certainly nicer, it’s actually only a diagonal increase of 0.8”, or about 8 percent. It wasn’t until we put it side-by-side with a 9.7” iPad that we really appreciated the difference — the additional real estate is definitely a nice bonus, but we wouldn’t say it’s enough to justify an upgrade from the original 9.7” iPad Pro in and of itself.

Fifth-Generation iPad

10.5” iPad Pro

12.9” iPad Pro (2nd Generation)

The only practical advantage to the larger screen is the same one that Apple pointed out during the keynote — it’s large enough to provide a more comfortable, natural on-screen keyboard. If you like to touch-type on your iPad screen rather than using an external keyboard, this is the one area in which the 10.5” screen will tip the scales, although of course the 12.9” iPad still has the upper hand with its full-sized virtual keyboard.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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