Apple iPad Pro (10.5-inch) Wi-Fi Review
Apple announced early this month, their new tablets – a 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. These slates feature a new technology called ProMotion that can deliver refresh rates of up to 120Hz for fluid scrolling and smoother motion content.
The unit we have on hand is the smaller 10.5-inch, WiFi-only model. Will its bigger size and better display justify its increase in price? Read our full review and find out.
Design and Construction
If you have handled previous iPad models, the iPad Pro shouldn’t come as a surprise. The design language is pretty much similar – slim and premium. Pun intended, this apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
As indicated in the model name, it sports a 10.5-inch Retina display with a 2224 x 1668 resolution or equal to 264ppi. This is the main feature of the slate with its ProMotion technology, which we will discuss in detail later on.
Placed above it is the 7MP FaceTime HD camera, while down below is the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and home button.
On the left is the Smart Connector for docking it with its compatible keyboard while on the right are the metallic volume buttons.
On the upper right corner is the power/lock button. Also seen on this strip are dual speakers, microphones, and the 3.5mm headset jack. While down at the bottom is Lightning port and another set of loudspeakers — totaling to 4 audio drivers.
Flip it on its back and you’ll see the iconic Apple logo with mirror finish, along with the 12MP shooter and quad-LED True Tone flash.
The unit we have right now features a Gold color, but Space Gray, Silver, and Rose Gold are also available.
Included in the box is the charging cable, charging head, its adaptor, and a user manual.
Holding it, the iPad Pro is what you’d expect from an Apple product. Thanks to its metal build, it feels solid and hefty, but thin enough for a comfortable grip, although it’s something better held with two hands.
Its bezels up top and at the bottom also serve as the areas where you can hold the tablet when watching videos in landscape mode. At 569 grams, it’s a tad heavier than the 9.7-inch iPad but you don’t really feel the difference when you’re using it.
Display and Multimedia
As mentioned earlier, the model we have is the 10.5-inch variant and sports a new technology called ProMotion. It delivers up to 120Hz refresh rate which basically means that the display can change images up to 120 frames per second. This is above the norm since a large share of TVs today still max out at 60Hz.
During our time with it, we’ve proven that this translates to smoother movement of elements either while we’re surfing the web and scroll through articles and other content, watching movies, 0r playing games. With this feature alone, Apple has managed to further improve the already impressive display from the previous iPad.
Furthermore, the panel has been layered with an anti-reflective coating to minimize glares when outdoors and it repels smudges with its oleophobic finish.
The Cupertino-based company didn’t only design the new tablet solely for media consumption as it’s supposed to also go extremely well with the Apple Pencil. Having a display with a 120Hz refresh rate will be able to yield a more responsive feel for each stroke in addition to a reduced latency. Unfortunately, our review unit didn’t come with an Apple Pencil to further test it out.
As for the sound it delivers, this 10.5-inch iPad carries the same foursome of speakers we’ve seen on previous models. They deliver rich, full, and detailed audio which impressed us as we rarely needed to put on headphone while playing games or watching online videos. IT’s easy to accidentally cover the speakers when you use it in landscape view but because of their abundance and location, it’s easily forgivable.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running on Apple’s iOS 10, the iPad has all the latest features from the company in the software department (see Six Coolest Features of iOS 10). We can only expect it to get better when iOS 11 comes out. Since this is the 64GB model, about 55GB is available for storage as the rest is eaten up by the OS itself. If you feel like you need more space for your apps and other media content, you can opt for the larger 256GB and 512GB options.
As expected, navigation is effortless for the device. Even having multiple apps open in the background and multitasking between them proved to be an easy task for the iPad Pro. Like other Apple devices, you have the usual apps pre-installed but they can be removed from the Home screen if you want a neat layout.
The iPad Pro rocks a 12-megapixel shooter which is then accompanied by an F1.8 aperture, OIS, and Quad-LED flash. Images produced looks very natural with vivid colors and crisp details.
Digital noise is present when shooting in dimly-lit areas but overall captures bright photos thanks to its wide aperture opening. If we’re to nitpick about its rear camera, it’s going to be more of its protruded design rather than its picture quality.
Meanwhile, a 7-megapixel snapper takes care of your selfies. The sensor used here has an F2.2 aperture which could give a decent depth of field. For low-light self-portraits, there’s always the Retina flash to aid. General modes also include slow motion that can shoot up to a whopping 240 frames per second.
It’s also capable when it comes to video recording and can shoot at 4K resolution. It also includes its own optical image stabilization (OIS) to make sure your clips have minimal shakes and jerks. We have a sample footage:
Performance and Benchmarks
Breathing life to the new iPad Pro is an A10X Fusion chip from Apple which is a tweaked out version of the CPU found in their iPhone 7. This, together with an embedded M10 co-processor, a higher 4GB RAM, and better GPU, the tablet blazed through the tasks we threw at it.
We played games for an extended amount of time, doodled (without the Pencil), watched, and regularly checked our social media sites. Through all that, the iPad Pro just proved that it can keep up with its users and help them accomplish tasks both for work or just leisure.
Additionally, though, we noticed that the spot in the middle where the Apple logo is getting hot when running games or any resource-heavy apps. Good thing is that it just stays there and doesn’t spread through the entire frame.
We also ran some of our standard benchmarking apps so you can compare it against other devices in its category. Check out the scores:
- AnTuTu: 203,431
- 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited: 54,638
- 3D Mark SlingShot Extreme: 3,532
Powering this 10.5-inch device is a 30.4Wh battery. Although this new iPad has a bigger display, we’re glad that it was still able to maintain an impressive battery life. We looped a video while keeping it on Airplane Mode with brightness and speaker volume at 50% and it was able to last for almost 15 hours of playback time.
As for real-life usage, we managed to last up to 3 days of medium to heavy usage before we needed to plug it again. However, charging it will consume time as it can go from 0-90% in 3 hours.
The 2017 Apple iPad with its 10.5-inch display delivers. Period. It’s got a premium and solid build with almost the same heft as its smaller predecessor, has a gorgeous and feature-laden display, powerful speakers, and definitely more capable internals.
It is a worthy successor to the 9.7-inch iPad and if you’re into making art by sketching or doodling on a tablet, this right here is one of (if not the) best in the market.
The Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch official SRP starts at Php36,990 (64GB, WiFi), this unit, which comes from Widget City, starts at Php34,500. See listing here.
Apple iPad Pro 10.5 (Wi-Fi) specs:
10.5-inch Retina (2224 x 1668) display, 264ppi
True Tone, Fully laminated display
Oleophobic and Antireflective coating
A10X Fusion Chip 64-bit
Embedded M10 coprocessor
64GB, 256GB, 512GB storage options
12MP AF camera, f/1.8 aperture, OIS, Quad-LED True Tone flash
4K video recording w/ OIS
7MP f/2.2 aperture, Retina flash
Four speaker audio
250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm
569 g (Wi-Fi)
What we liked about it:
- Gorgeous display
- 4-speaker setup
- Detailed and powerful speakers
- Smooth performance
- Capable internals
- Long battery life
What we didn’t like:
- Device gets hot over time