Apple expands its range of tablets, reports Oscar Raymundo
New size, faster chips, and more storage – that’s just a little of what you can expect from Apple’s new iPad Pro line-up, unveiled during WWDC. In addition to upgrading its 12.9in iPad Pro (which originally launched in 2015), Apple released a new 10.5in model that replaces the 9.7in version (which launched in 2016). We spent some hands-on time with the latest iPad Pro after the WWDC keynote.
10.5in iPad Pro: £649/£749: 64GB/64GB + Cellular, £709/£839: 256GB/256GB + Cellular £889/£1,019: 512GB/512GB + Cellular 12.9in iPad Pro: £769/£899: 64GB/64GB + Cellular £859/£989: 256GB/256GB + Cellular £1,039/£1,169: 512GB/512GB + Cellular
The 10.5in iPad Pro comes in Silver, Space Gray, Gold and Rose Gold. The 12.9 version is available in Silver, Space Gray and Gold.
The iPad Pro models have a new trick up their sleeve. Apple has added a new feature called ProMotion which
doubles the display refresh rate from 60- to 120Hz. ProMotion also helps to automatically adjust this refresh rate depending on how you’re using the iPad Pro, as a way to conserve battery life.
Apple has upgraded the original iPad Pro with True Tone. This means the Pro dynamically adjusts the screen’s white balance based on the lighting in the room to provide more-accurate colours on a paper-white screen.
The iPad Pro models come equipped with the top-ofthe-line A10x fusion chip, plus a six-core CPU (three high performance cores and three high efficiency cores) and a 12-core GPU. This gives the new iPad Pro models 30 percent faster CPU performance and 40 percent faster graphics performance than previous Pro models with the A9x chip.
Despite improvements in speed and performance, Apple says that the 10.5- and the 12.9in model will both deliver up to 10 hours of battery life, or nine hours if using an LTE model on a cellular connection. The 10.5in iPad Pro has a 30.4Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, while the 12.9in model’s battery is a 41Wh .
The iPad Pro has camera specs modelled after the iPhone 7, so Live Photos and all their new editing
functions are available. Unfortunately, the iPad Pro does not have a dual-camera system, so you can’t use it to take photos in Portrait mode like on the iPhone 7.
The iPad Pro is equipped with four speakers, one near each corner to create an immersive ‘soundstage’ experience. These speakers have also been programmed to produce a well-balanced sound, whether you are holding the iPad Pro vertically or horizontally. And a new casing design gives the Pro speakers 61 percent more back volume, a wider frequency range and up to 3x more acoustic output than previous iPads.
Apple’s £99 stylus is pretty self-explanatory. You can use it to add handwritten notes to your digital documents, but it’s also got some cool technology that will be particularly intriguing for sketch artists.
The Apple Pencil has several sensors on both its case and the tip that can detect the position, pressure, angle, and orientation of your strokes. Draw gently on the screen to create light strokes, or press down to draw thicker lines. Two sensors on the tip work with Multi-Touch display to detect whenever you’re tilting the Pencil to create a shading effect. Apple Pencil can also be used simultaneously with your fingers, too, for those who have yet to graduate past the finger painting stage.
In iOS 11, Apple reduced the latency to an industrybest: 20 milliseconds. In addition, iPad Pro users can
now use the Pencil to use Markup in screenshots and in documents scanned using the Notes app. In addition, the Notes app is able to search through your notes handwritten with the Pencil.
Instead of an eraser at the tip, the Apple Pencil has a Lighting connector. Simply take off the cap and plug the Pencil into your iPad Pro. Fully charged, it lasts up to 12 hours. And just having the stylus charging for 15 seconds will get you 30 minutes of sketching time.
Think of the Smart Keyboard as an iPad Smart Cover but with a slim, foldable, lightweight, water-resistant, 4mm keyboard built in. In addition to using it to type, you can fold up the Smart Keyboard to prop up the
iPad Pro or cover up the screen completely. Recently, Apple has added keyboard support for 30 languages, including Chinese and Japanese. It costs £159 for the 10.5in iPad Pro and £169 for the 12.9in model.
Apple has created a three-pronged Smart Connector that allows for the Smart Keyboard to be connected to the iPad without plugs, wires, or Bluetooth pairing. It’s similar to how the Apple Watch’s diagnostic port works. The Smart Connector allows for the seamless transfer of data and power between devices, so you won’t have to charge the Smart Keyboard.
Old iPad Pro cases
Most cases for the previous generation 12.9in iPad Pro should still fit the upgraded 2017 model. The camera bump is a little more pronounced, but you should still be able to squeeze it in.
As for the cases designed for the 9.7in iPad Pro, they will not fit on the new 10.5in model.
Apple also has new £49 Smart Covers for the 10.5in model in seven colours. The £59 Smart Cover for the 12.9in iPad Pro comes in only two colours: Charcoal Gray and White. In addition, Apple has brought back Leather Smart Covers to outfit the iPad Pro. The 10.5in Leather Smart Cover is £69 and comes in four colours.
The 12.9in Leather Smart Cover is £79 and comes in three colours. Plus, Apple has released an all-new Leather Sleeve (£129 for 10.5in tablet and £149 for 12.9in iPad) that incorporates a special spot for Apple Pencil. You can also store the Apple Pencil in its own designated case that’s £29.
In iOS 9, Apple introduced three ways to view and interact with two apps simultaneously on an iPad Pro. These multitasking features have been refined and expended with each subsequent iOS release.
First, we have Slide Over, where you can choose a second app to open up as a pinned sidebar on the right or the left. Second, there’s Split View, where two apps each take up half of the screen. Apple introduced the ability to drag-and-drop in iOS 11, so you can seamlessly move text, photos, files, and URLs from one app to another. Finally, Picture-in-Picture lets you watch a video or chat on FaceTime while having another app running in the background. The video screen becomes a smaller window that you can drag and resize.
iOS 11 also brought other Mac-style capabilities to the iPad, including a new Dock and App Switcher. Like on macOS, this Dock gives you quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen. You can then drag these apps from the Dock to the right or left side of the screen to open in Slide Over or Split View.
There’s also a new Files app that keeps all your files and documents in one place, whether they’re stored locally or in iCloud, Google Drive or Dropbox.