Naturally, the new 2017 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPads Pro are not only bigger than any other Apple tablet but also faster and smarter in many other aspects. But to what extent? And are there sufficient advantages compensating for the higher price, if you upgrade from your older model. Suppose you are considering what to purchase to substitute for your current first-generation iPad Pro, or still in doubt whether to select the 2018 iPad or a recent iPad Pro. Then here’s what you should know to make a proper choice.
Capacity & Colors
Both the 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPads Pro start at 64GB of storage space, which is considerably better than previous iPad Pro models, and finish at 512GB in their top configuration. Thus, if for some reason you are not satisfied with cloud-based storage, you may select a 512GB configuration (which is the biggest volume on an iOS device ever).
As regards colors, the two new iPads Pro differ in just one point. While the 10.5-inch model has four color options, namely Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold, the 12.9-inch device lacks the Rose Gold.
ProMotion & Other Screen Related Features
Both new iPads Pro support advanced screen technologies. Presently, the whole line is equipped with a 264PPI Wide Color Retina display. The True Tone feature makes it possible to adjust the outside light to harmonize the screen with the environment. The anti-reflective coating and laminated display are both in place, and the bigger screen sizes make the models’ appearance really impressive (just compare even with the 6.1-inch iPhone display).
However, the most impressive screen refreshing feature is the ProMotion. The technology tremendously speeds up the iPad Pro screen. Scrolling is now highly responsive, and the applications open instantly. Another advanced feature, the Apple Pencil is progressing fast as well. Drawing with Apple Pencil is still somewhat different from drawing on paper, but much more convenient than before.
For many, ProMotion alone is worth upgrading to the new iPads Pro just for the impressive screen speed jump. And for those keen on drawing on the iPad Pro, such an upgrade is just mandatory.
A10X Fusion Chip
The processor is another good reason to upgrade. Apple chips change every year, but the upgrade in 2017 was especially significant. The current chip has three fusion cores and a 12-core graphics processor making it possible to attain impressive performance. With such a sophisticated engine, the current iPads Pro are capable to challenge some entry-level Macs both in terms of speed and by other parameters.
Both iPads Pro now have the 7’s 12MP iSIght and 7MP FaceTime HD front-facing cameras, with all their advanced features such as optical image and video stabilization. It is difficult to guess why Apple chooses exactly the iPhone 7 camera. Anyway, the novelty is a welcome introduction for iPad camera fans.
Instead of a Taptic Engine-based Home Button, the new iPads Pro are equipped with the Apple’s second-generation Touch ID sensor, which is considerably faster.
Like all previous iPads, the current iPads Pro come with a 10-hour battery (9 in the cellular versions). In view of the increased power needs of the new models, the internal batteries are now somewhat different: a 30.4-watt-hour battery in the 10.5-inch iPad, while the 12.9-inch model is still packed with a 41-watt-hour unit. The batteries are compatible with all main modern rechargers, though specialized units like Powerbank for Apple are perfect.
There have been a lot of digital stylus pens made for the iPad, and many tried to emulate pressure sensitivity, but the Apple Pencil has achieved most. With this tech, the users get an unprecedented drawing experience. Apple’s 2018 6th gen iPad is the first non-Pro iPad to offer support for the Apple Pencil (however, the model still lacks the above-mentioned ProMotion technology of the 2017 iPad Pro line).
For a person regularly engaged in drafting, writing, scribbling, sketching or doing a technical drawing, either iPad Pro is a valuable convenience. However, if you only use the Apple Pencil occasionally, the base model iPad will perfectly suffice.
Smart Connector & Keyboard
All iPad Pro models come with Smart Connector, which allows a quick powered wireless connection to keyboards, docks, and other accessories. The company’s 2nd-gen Smart Keyboard is very similar to the 1st-gen version. It allows direct connection and charging without the use of Bluetooth or batteries. In the 10.5 and 12.9 models, the Smart Keyboard is a full-sized unit (no more miniature keys).
Finally, should I upgrade or not?
There are a few contradicting reasons whether to upgrade to the new iPads Pro or not. In any case, the new iPads are faster and have a marvelous screen. Their bigger sizes make their use perfectly convenient and their camera package is no worse than those installed on the current iPhones. However, much depends on what iPad model you currently have, that is, from what level you are upgrading. So let us consider separately the cases when you plan to upgrade from a non-Pro model, or from a 1st-gen 12.9-inch or 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
If you are upgrading from a non-Pro iPad
Here the suggestion is simple. If you can afford an iPad Pro, you should seriously consider upgrading. Because the numerous and impressive benefits such as the processor boost, screen improvements and other valuable novelties in the new models call for your positive decision.
If you’re upgrading from a 1st-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro
Even regardless the form-factor change, the 2017 12.9-inch iPad Pro is a serious update. Its current screen has True Tone, Wide Color, and ProMotion. Robust improvements have been introduced in the camera system, and the powerful A10X processor will have no trouble with any app. If you have the cash ready and need at least one of the above-mentioned features, go ahead with your update.
If you’re upgrading from a 1st-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro
The case is the most complex of the three. Mainly because 9.7-inch iPad Pro still remains very competitive. It already has a 12MP rear camera and True Tone and the only important reasons for the upgrade may be the fast A10X, the ProMotion feature, the increased RAM (from 2GB to 4GB) and certainly the wider and smarter screen. The above improvements together are certainly nearly compelling arguments. However, if you don’t strongly need either ProMotion, wider screen or very fast processor, you could easily postpone upgrade for another year or two with no trouble.