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iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: What’s the difference?

We compare the two 2017 iPad Pro models, the fresh new 10.5-inch version and the fully updated 12.9-inch Pro, to see which of Apple’s super-powered iPads is best for you.

At WWDC 2017, Apple launched the fresh new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, boasting a sleek new design and some killer specs. The 10.5-inch model completely replaces the old 9.7-inch iPad Pro, although you can still get the rather big 12.9-inch version if you want to go super-sized.

Of course, Apple has updated the 12.9-incher to coincide with the launch of the smaller model, packing in some shiny new tech such as the ProMotion display.

So what’s the difference between the 10.5 and 12.9-inch models of iPad Pro? Is size the only change, or do you get different specs depending on which Pro you choose? Here’s our complete comparison to help you choose the best Apple tablet for your needs.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: Specs

Model iPad Pro 10.5 iPad Pro 12.9
Screen size 10.5-inches 12.9-inches
Screen resolution 2224×1668 2732×2048
Weight 469 grams (WiFi)/477 grams (LTE) 677 grams (WiFi)/692 grams (LTE)
OS iOS 10. Upgrade to iOS 11 iOS 10. Upgrade to iOS 11
Front camera 7-megapixels 7-megapixels
Rear camera 12-megapixels 12-megapixels
Processor Hexa-core Apple A10X Fusion Hexa-core Apple A10X Fusion
Storage 64GB/256GB/512GB. Non-expandable 64GB/256GB/512GB. Non-expandable
Battery 30.4Wh = Approx. 10 hours 41W = Approx. 10 hours
Extras Apple Pencil support, Smart connector, quad speakers, ProMotion, Touch ID Apple Pencil support, Smart connector, quad speakers, ProMotion, Touch ID

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: Design

Right, so the most obvious difference between the two 2017 models of iPad Pro is the design and dimensions.

Unsurprisingly, the 10.9-inch model is more compact and lighter than the 12.9-inch version. That difference is quite significant too. While the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a pleasingly light 469g, the larger tablet weighs a considerably more hefty 677g. The new Apple device is just under 10-inches tall and 7-inches wide as well, compared with 12-inches and 8.7-inches for the older 12.9-inch tab.

Part of the reason for that difference in dimensions is the greater screen-to-body ratio of the new iPad Pro. In other words, you can expect slimmer bezels surrounding the screen. That reduces the overall size of the device and makes it easier to transport, while also just about allowing you to stretch your hand across the back of the tablet.

Beyond that, the rest of the design is more or less the same. You once again get a 3.5mm jack on both tablets, as well as four speakers and a Lightning connector.

However, while the 12.9-inch Pro comes in a choice of just three colours (space grey, gold and silver), the new 10.5-inch Pro has an extra selection. Rose Gold, of course.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: Screen and media

Both sizes of iPad Pro offer an LED-backlit Retina display, although they’re of course different sizes: 10.5-inches on the iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9-inches on the iPad Pro 12.9 (gasp, shock). To coincide with the release of the new 10.5 model, the screen tech of the older 12.9-inch tablet has also been updated, to offer the same visual benefits.

You get Apple’s ProMotion tech in both cases, which boasts a super-high refresh rate. You can expect a seriously responsive display, which is particularly handy when using the Apple Pencil accessory.

In addition, both tabs can output bright images (maxing out at 600 nits) as well as impressively accurate colours (with support for the DCI P3 colour gamut). This means you will enjoy HDR-standard visuals, in supported content.

The only real difference between these displays, beyond the size, is the resolution. That larger screen features a 2732×2048 resolution, compared with 2224×1668 on the new handset. Of course, the end result is the same: a pixels-per-inch count of 264, for crisp, detailed image reproduction.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: Features

As for features, there isn’t much difference between the two iPad Pro 2017 models.

Apple’s iOS 10 runs on both tablets for now, with an update to iOS 11 coming later this year (most likely around September time). That gives you full access to the App Store and all of Apple’s own first-party applications.

Each of these iPad Pro models sports a TouchID sensor, for quick and effective unlocking as well as extra security when authorising Apple Pay transfers and so on. They can be picked up in WiFi only or with LTE connectivity, so you can slip a SIM card in to surf the web wherever you roam.

Storage-wise, it’s a similar story. Both the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch tablets come with a choice of 64, 256 or 512G of space for your files and media. Neither is expandable via microSD.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: Performance and battery life

When it comes to performance, there’s little difference between Apple’s tabs again.

The iPad Pro 10.5 and updated iPad Pro 12.9 pack in Apple’s own A10X chipset, with the M10 GPU. In normal speak, you can expect top-end performance to rival many laptops. Games run with a perfect frame rate, even the more demanding titles on the App Store. You can even edit 4K video quite happily, without hanging around waiting for the Pro tabs to catch up.

We haven’t tested the Pro 10.5’s battery life just yet, but you can expect a very similar performance to the 12.9-inch model. In other words, close to ten hours of video playback on a single charge. The larger iPad has a bigger battery, but also drains power faster thanks to the larger screen.

Luckily it should charge back up in about the same time as the 10.5-inch version, as it can suck up juice at a more rapid rate.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: Cameras

Again, these two iPad Pro models share the same camera tech. So if you want to get stuck into some FaceTime video chatting or take snaps of your cat, you’ll get the same experience and results.

For the record, that’s a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture camera on the back of each device. This can shoot up to 4K resolution video, as well as slow motion and timelapse footage. Around the front you have a 7-megapixel snapper with f/2.2 aperture, which can shoot up to Full HD video.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 vs 12.9: Verdict

The main difference between these two tablets is the design, now that the 12.9-inch model has been updated with Apple’s new display tech and the same specs as the smaller version. You can expect pretty much identical performance and the same features, no matter which version you choose.

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