Apple iPad Pro 10.5: What do the experts think?

Bezel-free screen 'feels more immediate', but only those 'looking for it' will notice, say reviewers

iPad Pro 10.5 2017
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple announced the second generation of its range-topping iPad Pro tablets at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week, including a replacement for the popular base model.

The Cupertino-based tech giant has swapped the model's 9.7ins display for a 10.5ins screen, all while retaining almost identical dimensions to the outgoing unit.

It also comes with Apple's brand new A10X processor, which helps increase the frame rate on the tablet's screen and boasts support for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

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The new iPad Pro promises to be more powerful and significantly smoother to use than its predecessor, but is it worth upgrading?

Here's what the critics had to say.

Design

"The 10.5ins Pro keeps most of the same design language," says ArsTechnica, including the existing "glass front" and all "the same ports in the same places".

Apple has tweaked the proportions to accommodate the 10.5ins display, but it "feels mostly the same" as the 9.7ins model, the website says.

While the bezels have shrunk, the tablet still feels "as sturdy and seamless as the previous model" thanks to the single piece of aluminium that encases the device, says Engadget.

Attaching Apple's optional magnetic Smart Keyboard doesn't appear to add any noticeable weight when carrying the device, says TechRadar, which says the Ipad Pro is a "great tablet to hold for extended periods".

The design is as sleek as most other Apple products, but "the protruding camera on the back irks slightly", although this is an understandable design choice considering the iPad Pro uses the same sensor as the iPhone 7, which also has a bulging camera, adds the site.

Performance

The new 10.5ins screen comes with Apple's "Pro Motion" feature, says The Verge, which modulates the frame rate of the screen to smooth scrolling animations and save battery life when looking at a still image.

For instance, the frame rate will "lower and optimise" with on-screen video and pictures to save battery life. However, it will increase to provide a smoother experience when the user is scrolling through an article or typing.

The £79 Apple Pencil also benefits from an increase in frame rate, as Wired says drawing and note-taking "feel more immediate". This is partly due to the improved processing power, which can "predict" the user's writing inputs.

It's noticeably different to the regular iPad, but the Verge argues users will only see the difference if they are "looking for it".

One of the benefits of the faster A10X processor is its ability to easily edit 4K video, reports TrustedReviews. It can also be exported in native 4K as well, all while seamlessly jumping between tasks thanks to the increase in RAM from 2GB to 4GB.

However, the biggest upgrade users will notice is when Apple releases its iOS 11 software update, the site says. The update "is almost exclusively aimed at making the iPad more of a laptop replacement" and will give the tablet a "macOS-style dock and proper file system".

Price and release

Orders have already opened for the new iPad Pro 10.5ins and updated 12.9ins model, which can be picked up for £619 and £789 respectively.

These models both come with 64GB of stage - double that of the old model - and 128GB and 246GB variants are available.

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