More than most tech companies out there, Apple is a manufacturer that really gets set in its ways: no doubt after a long period of careful consideration, Apple tends to decide, “this is how we're going to do things,” and keeps on doing that same thing, over and over, for years and years.

That's especially true when it comes to the form factor of its mobile iOS devices, and something as simple as trying out a new screen size can feel like the biggest ask in the world when we're talking about Apple. And certainly when we're looking at Apple's tablets, there's ample evidence for the company really getting locked in to particular shapes and sizes.

Ever since the iPad was introduced all the way back in 2010, the tablet's featured a 9.7-inch display in iteration after iteration. And from the moment the iPad mini launched in 2012, it's represented a 7.9-inch option.

For years, that was all we had, until Apple unveiled the iPad Pro in 2015, with its big 12.9-inch display. Since then, we've also seen that Pro designation come to 9.7-inch iPads, but now we're finally ready for something new, and Apple's giving us just that as it begins sales of its first new iPad size in years, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

With this new screen size, is the 10.5-inch iPad Pro a good trade-off between the portability of the now-discontinued 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the sheer bulk of the 12.9-inch headlining model? Let's take a look.

In the box:

  • iPad Pro 10.5
  • Lightning to USB standard-A cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Apple decals


A bigger screen doesn't mean an uncomfortably larger tablet

While the screen size of this new iPad Pro option may be a first for Apple, the company's hardly going back to the drawing board for the tablet's design. Instead, what we get with the iPad Pro 10.5 is a scaled-up version of the old 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Compared to that existing model, the 10.5-incher doesn't feel significantly bigger. It's just 10mm taller than the 9.7-inch model, and less than 5mm wider. And while both generations of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro measure 6.9mm thick, this tablet sticks with the very same 6.1mm thickness we saw on the 9.7-inch tablet.

One factor that helps Apple keep sizes down here is a slightly smaller bezel than we saw with the 9.7-inch model, such that a larger screen doesn't translate linearly into a larger tablet face.

Apple offers the same sort of color options as it did with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. While all iPad Pro hardware has been available in your choice of silver, space gray, and gold, the 9.7-inch model also offered a rose-gold choice – and that option's back for this tablet.


Apple's perfectionism shines with an exceptionally well-executed screen

Let's pretend for a moment that this isn't the first 10.5-inch iPad, and so we're not super-interested in the tablet just because of the new size it represents for Apple. And while we always love a mobile device featuring the latest and greatest processing tech, let's choose to ignore that this iPad Pro is running Apple's latest silicon.

With those two big hooks out of the way, why else should you care about this iPad? One big reason: the tablet's display.

Both this and the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro feature what Apple's calling ProMotion, a technology that allows the screens on these devices to achieve refresh rates as high as 120Hz, for silky-smooth animation.

That sounds really good, but don't expect it to change every aspect of your iPad user experience. For while the screen's now capable of such high-refresh-rate feats, your actual ability to see them is going to pop up a little less frequently. For one, don't expect to see the sort of motion interpolation you get on some 120Hz television sets; videos are going to look just like they always did. And with many apps, too, you're probably going to see great frame rates as a result of the upgraded GPU, but don't hold your breath for something game-changing here.

Instead, expect more interface-driven improvements like smooth scrolling between screens. And while this review is focusing specifically on the new iPad Pro, and not accessories like the Apple Pencil, that higher refresh-rate should spell more natural-feeling input for users who do take advantage of such hardware.

We have to commend Apple for delivering one of the best-balanced screens we've seen in several months, with near spot-on color accuracy. The tablet also has one hell of a bright display, with output coming in brighter than many smartphones. Sadly, the very brightest output is reserved for the iPad's auto-brightness mode, but this is still easily brighter than models like the iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 4.



1. peace247 unregistered

This thing should get atleast 9/10.....

6. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

OMG.... Apple has be disgraced!!! Phone arena is over

12. maherk

Posts: 7010; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I agree, butnI guess PA wanted to sabe themselves from the backlash of giving another 9+ score. This should easily get 9/10, it's hands down the best tablet on the market.

18. maherk

Posts: 7010; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

but I* save** another Apple product***

57. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

You are dummy fanboy. How is the best tablet on the market? With useless OS? Even PA give con: "Even with split-screen, iOS doesn't feel optimized for tablets". What you will do on that expensive $hit? With "nice" bezels? Buy yourself Surface and at least you will have working OS. Buy huge hump iPhone 8 or X or whatever. Because it is Apple product.

60. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It isn't the best, never will be unless the surface pro is somehow not a tablet anymore.

19. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

This clearly a 9+/10 device.

22. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Triggered! LOL

24. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I guess even the most, sane, android fan will be close to triggered too. Because this iPad does really deserve atleast a 9/10. Nothing beats it overall, in my opinion.

40. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Nothing beats it overall, in my opinion." Surface Pro 4 says HELLO!

50. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

First of all, what does "in my opinion" mean? And second of all, I knew some genius would mention the Surface Pro 4 without realising that it's running a desktop OS on desktop-grade hardware. It's essentially a laptop that can act as a tablet to some extent, thereby a hybrid. So it's not a direct rival to the iPad Pro which is a mobile device. I hope this would help you clear your mind.

53. IT-Engineer

Posts: 577; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Hey Genius, you can compare it with the Surface Pro 4 since it has the same price tag.

54. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Technically, you can compare anything; the brain makes it possible. But our sense tells that it would be stupid to declare one as a rival of the second when both are based on different platforms. Just having the same price doesn't mean they both are direct rivals when looking at them overall. However, if one looks at specific things such as screen:body, then your statement is correct. But not otherwise. Sure, each of them can do certain tasks that the other is designed for in a better way. For example, the iPad Pro can let you make presentations like the Surface Pro 4. But can it reach the same level of productivity in that regard? Of course not!. That's ONE of the reasons why both aren't direct rivals. Because by your logic, can I compare a $4000 car with a new iMac 5k? Absolutely. But, when looking at them overall, does the comparison seem sensible?

55. IT-Engineer

Posts: 577; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Nope, that is a bad example you gave there. We are talking about tablets. Both are tablets, one running full Desktop OS, the other is just running IOS. Sure it looks good, and is better buy than all of the android tablets out there. But the moment you price it as the Surface Pro 4 which is also a tablet, then you need to compare it with it. That is just pure logic. Therefor if i wanna buy a good tablet without paying the hefty price of a Surface, i'll go with the normal IPAD, but i would never pay for this over grown tablet the same price as the surface, then i'll go and pick up a surface pro 4 tablet. That is common sense.

56. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

The reason I gave that 'bad example'was to show that your logic cannot be applied anywhere. Even though both can act as tablets, both are largely different due to the hardware and software. As I already stated, both can do each other's work but each one is suited for different purposes, better. And iOS and WIndows have drastic differences aside from being for different platforms. And yes, it is sensible to compare them in daily life when you wanna know which is a better buy for the price while considering your own needs at the same time. But, when you look at them without considering yourselves, then you will know that they aren't direct rivals. What you said is right, as it takes into consideration the user. But I doing quite the opposite, that's why my statements might seem incorrect to you. Though tey don't seem as such to me.

58. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

Even Surface Pro 3 is better than this useless cripple OS device.

32. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

This probably won’t happen but I’d hope they re-review it for iOS 11. I’m using the beta on the brand new 12.9” and even in beta format it’s a massive, massive upgrade (and surprisingly stable). With the right accessories it really can replace a laptop now, for anyone who isn’t a power user anyways. Only thing I miss is my emulators.

33. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I didn't read the article, but I bet they didn't give it a 9 because they reviewed it as a Laptop replacement and not a tablet. 8.8 isn't a bad score though.

59. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 300; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

I'm not an apple fan but I agree this new iPad deserves atleast a 9/10. It looks like a pretty great device, and this is the only iPad that made me really think of getting one, and I really might get one, not as a laptop replacement though but as a multimedia device and a drawing tablet.

2. LGV20

Posts: 21; Member since: May 22, 2017

Yeah, this deserves 9 and iPhone 7 deserves 6.5 instead...

14. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

And LGV20 deserves -10/10

20. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Lol, u just ruin him.

3. Papa_Ji

Posts: 876; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Still it can't beat Tab S3 it's look, feel, productivity and value... iPads display still look white washed in comparison to AMOLED on tab s3...... Basically it's same iCrap with 120Hz display wrapped in aluminium foil.

8. maherk

Posts: 7010; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I'm sorry, but apart from the Amoled panel and the free S-pen, this is way better than the Tab S3, and as much as I prefer anything Android, I would gladly take this over the Tab S3.

15. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

please ignore papa-ji; he's a troll. Btw papa-ji in english means 'dad'. Just so you guys know

48. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

Beta apny papa ki baat ko ignore nhi krty.... Madrch*d pakistani.

49. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

Think different ...think more than one PAPA Kashmir to mily ga nhi ek or papa hy ly ly...

51. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Hah! Ignorant troll!!

10. pixel_ftw

Posts: 84; Member since: Jun 19, 2017

It can beat Tab S3 even in its sleep. Android tablets are crap compared to ipad and surface. With ios 11 it'll be even more productive.

47. Papa_Ji

Posts: 876; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

The display (mostly for media) is the most important part of a tablet ....Tab S3's AMOLED capable of HDR video playback for true-to-life view and it's quad-speaker system by AKG/HARMAN can easily blow any of the iPad out.. Fast charging , Micro SD card support , S Pen , better battery backup and more premium built with best look and feel is a plus for me. Yes, Windows powered Galaxy Book and surface are best overall tablets.... iPad feels lamb, for both productivity and media.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • Display 10.5" 1668 x 2224 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10X Fusion, Hexa-core, 2380 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB
  • Battery 8134 mAh

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.