• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

When it comes to tablets there’s arguably no company that can compete with Apple. Few Android device makers even try anymore and while Microsoft’s Surface range impresses it’s relatively niche, and in many cases even more expensive than buying an iPad.

But ultimately there’s only so much you can do with a tablet, and while Apple reinvented its range of slates with the iPad Pro, the changes this year aren’t quite so drastic.

There’s a new screen and a lot of improvements behind the scenes, but you’ll pay a high price, so is the iPad Pro 10.5 the slate you’ve been waiting for or a tablet too far?

Screen

The screen is the single biggest upgrade you’ll find on the iPad Pro 10.5. Most obviously it’s now a new size, coming in at 10.5 inches, which is almost 20% bigger than the iPad Pro 9.7, but still far smaller than the iPad Pro 12.9.

It’s a significant change, leaving room for a full size on-screen keyboard (or a hardware one if you invest in one of the pricey accessories).

ipad pro 10.5 gaming screen

That brings the iPad Pro 10.5 closer to fulfilling Apple’s productivity promises than its smaller predecessor, while remaining far more portable than the near MacBook-sized iPad Pro 12.9.

But it’s not just bigger, the screen also has a 120Hz refresh rate, where other tablets and phones stick with 60Hz. In practice that means it feels a lot smoother and more responsive, and that’s saying something, given how speedy Apple’s tablets tend to be anyway.

The screen is also brighter and less reflective than previous models, so you can comfortably use it outside, and it’s sharp at 1668 x 2224.

Design

There aren’t any huge differences here. As usual the slate has a premium metal unibody, but it’s slim at 6.1mm and light at 469g – that’s the same thickness as and only slightly more weight than the iPad Pro 9.7, and the rest of the dimensions aren’t much bigger either, which is impressive considering the larger screen.

It comes in Space Grey, Gold, Rose Gold and Silver, and has Apple’s iconic home button/fingerprint scanner on the front, as usual.

It’s a slight shame that more hasn’t changed, and a bigger shame that there’s no water or dust resistance, but this is still one of the very best-looking tablets around.

Power

Apple’s beefed up the specs in the iPad Pro 10.5, making it worthy of the ‘Pro’ moniker. There’s a new A10X Fusion chipset inside it, along with 4GB of RAM, making it the most powerful mobile device Apple’s ever created, at least until the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus arrive.

Web browsing and video streaming are obviously effortless for it, but the iPad Pro 10.5 doesn’t show any sign of struggling even when playing demanding 3D games or running high-end photo and video apps.

Whatever you need to get done, this will do it, and it’s likely to remain smooth and powerful for years to come.

Camera

We don’t tend to spend much time talking about tablet cameras, since they’re not an important feature for most people (and shouldn’t be – that’s what your phone’s for). But the iPad Pro 10.5 has a remarkably good one.

In fact, it’s got the same cameras as the iPhone 7, meaning you get a 12MP one on the back and a 7MP one on the front. They’re both capable of taking great pictures or shooting high-quality video, especially the rear snapper, which benefits from optical image stabilisation, a quad-LED flash and the ability to shoot in up to 4K.

You should still probably use your phone as your main camera, because the size of the iPad Pro 10.5 makes it unwieldy to use as one, but it won’t let you down in terms of specs.

Features

The main feature of the iPad Pro 10.5 is its Smart Connector, which lets you connect accessories like the Apple Smart Keyboard and turn it into a real laptop replacement.

The slate also works with the Apple Pencil if you’re more into drawing, and when iOS 11 lands it will have serious software productivity skills, with drag and drop and a Files app coming.

Even now, iOS 10 gives you arguably the most intuitive tablet operating system, complete with a rich app ecosystem.

And with four speakers the iPad Pro 10.5 delivers loud stereo sound, making it a great media player too.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

The iPad Pro 10.5 promises up to 10 hours of battery life when web browsing or watching video and it largely lives up to those claims, leaving it in line with previous models.

It comes with 64, 256 or 512GB of storage, so there’s plenty of space, but no microSD card slot.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC. You can also get a model with 3G and 4G.

Verdict

The iPad Pro 10.5 is Apple’s best slate yet. It combines the portability of a 9.7-inch tablet with the productivity power of a 12.9-inch one, and has the specs and features to rival a laptop.

The screen is among the best we’ve ever come across on a tablet device, the design is as strong as ever, the camera is almost unnecessarily good, it has a long-lasting battery and plenty of storage.

It really is almost the complete package. But with a starting price of £619 it’s very expensive, especially as to get the most out of it you’ll probably want the next storage size up, bringing the cost to £709. If you want 4G that adds yet more to the price, and if you plan to make the most of its productivity skills you’ll also need to buy the Apple Pencil or Smart Keyboard, both of which are also expensive.

At that point you’ve got to ask yourself if you wouldn’t rather just have a laptop. But if you’re set on a tablet and want the best of the best, this is it.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1

Weight (g): 469

Battery capacity: Up to 10 hours

Colours: Space Grey, Rose Gold, Gold, Silver

Screen size (inches): 10.5

Resolution: 1668 x 2224

Pixels per inch (PPI): 265

Processor: Quad-core

Processor make: Apple A10X Fusion

RAM: 4GB

Internal storage: 16GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 64/256/512

Camera: 12MP (7MP front-facing)

Operating System: iOS 10.3

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