Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs Pro 9.7: What's the difference?

Larger, smoother screen and augmented reality support among new features on tech giant's latest tablet

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

Apple has ushered in the second generation of its top-tier tablet with the announcement of a new 10.5ins iPad Pro at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

It replaces the 9.7ins first generation iPad Pro and is positioned as Apple's entry-level professional tablet, sitting below the range-topping 12.9ins variant.

One of the key differences between the new model and its predecessor is that it has a larger screen, which is smoother to use than the outgoing model.

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There are also a host of new additions under the skin, including a faster processor and support for augmented reality.

Here are all the details on what sets the new 10.5ins iPad Pro apart from its predecessor.

It's one-step closer to being bezel-free

Apple has managed to pack a 10.5ins display on to the iPad Pro without making the tablet significantly larger than its 9.7ins predecessor, meaning it has an incredibly thin bezel.

It roughly equates to a 40 per cent reduction in border size, says Alphr, although Apple has managed to maintain the old iPad Pro's 1lb (454g) weight.

The larger display also means the new iPad Pro can house "a full sized keyboard" either on the screen or as part of the keyboard cover accessory - a feature compromised on the previous model due to its smaller display.

It'll be 30 per cent faster

The iPad Pro debuts Apple's most recent mobile processor, the A10X, which features on the new 10.5ins and upgraded 12.9ins tablet.

It's a six-core chip paired to a 12-core graphics processor, says TrustedReviews, resulting in a 30 per cent processing boost over the first generation iPad Pro and a 40 per cent jump in graphical performance.

Apple has also made it more efficient, with the site saying the 10.5ins iPad Pro will lower the screen's frame rate when looking at a still image to conserve battery. This allows the new iPad to maintain the old model's ten-hour battery life despite being considerably more powerful.

Scrolling will be smoother

The hardware upgrade allows the new iPad Pro to run its larger screen at 120Hz, which ArsTechnica says helps "scrolling and animations look just as lovely and smooth as Apple says they do".

It's around double that of the outgoing 9.7ins iPad Pro, although the site says that potential buyers will need to get their hands on the unit to see the difference as the majority of video recordings of the device won't be of a high-enough quality to relay the improved screen.

Augmented reality (AR) debut

While the 10.5ins iPad Pro has the same 12 megapixel rear-facing camera as the old model, Apple has bumped the front-facing camera to a seven-megapixel sensor over the 9.7ins version's five-megapixels.

It also paves the way for augmented reality (AR) to debut on an Apple device, which MacWorld says will allow users to layer 3D objects over real life. The tech giant has currently demonstrated how users can place a virtual lamp and coffee cup on to a real desk using the iPad Pro's camera.

Price and release

The new iPad Pro 10.5ins is out now and costs £619, the same starting figure as the outgoing 9.7ins model. However, buyers get double the internal storage in the base model, which jumps from 32GB to 64GB.

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