Matt Gemmell

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iPad Pro 10.5-inch first look

tech & ipad-only 2 min read

This article is part of a series on going iPad-only.

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My wife surprised me with a new 10.5” iPad Pro for my birthday, and I thought I’d share some photos and brief thoughts about it after a few hours of playing around. Note also that I’m thus selling my beloved and nearly-new 9.7” iPad Pro, and you should buy it!

The first thing that struck me about the 10.5” model is how thin the bezels along the longest sides are.

Thin bezels on 10.5-inch iPad Pro

Thin bezels on 10.5-inch iPad Pro Home screen

Thin bezels on iPad Pro 10.5-inch with Ulysses open

The next thing I saw was that ProMotion — the 120Hz adaptive screen-refresh rate — is absolutely noticeable, and has a slightly eerie feel to it at first, like it’s a pre-rendered special effect rather than being live. It’s quite something. Here’s a YouTube video showing side-by-side scrolling on the 10.5” and 9.7” iPad Pro models. Relatedly, the reduced latency when drawing with an Apple Pencil is immediately apparent when using the device.

Oh, and the box cover art is back!

Box cover art for iPad Pro 10.5-inch

Despite the size difference from the 9.7”, the boxes are very similar in dimensions. Even less wasted space.

Boxes for iPads Pro 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch

Boxes for iPads Pro 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch

The boxes for the UK models tend to be a bit thicker than elsewhere, since we have comparatively large plugs.

Whilst not dramatic, it’s immediately obvious that the 10.5” iPad is appreciably larger. What’s only really apparent with them side by side, though, is that all the bezels on the newer machine are smaller than before; not just those along the longest sides.

iPads side by side

(I have a webcam privacy cover on the 9.7” model. It slides over when I want to use the FaceTime camera.)

The difference in width (in portrait orientation) is less pronounced, due to the bezel reduction.

iPads one above the other

Any difference in thickness, though, (and there is one) is barely distinguishable.

iPad thicknesses

Lastly, the screen area is pleasingly more spacious, without the sparsity or leap in scale of the larger, 12.9” model. It’s also much nicer to hold, being essentially the same size and weight, but with a bigger active area to interact with.

iPad Pro Home screens side by side

Beyond that, well… it’s an iPad Pro. iOS 11 later this year will really transform the experience of using it. Meantime, I’m getting on with my work.

iPad Pro during initial setup, display the word Hello