Apple debuts 10.5-inch iPad Pro

by Haadi Bakar
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The iPad is now seven years old and the lineup is still going strong while much of its competitors have phased production of new tablets (most of them are now in the laptop/tablet hybrid business).

Even though demand for tablets have slowed down ever since smartphones have gone the Plus route, Apple keeps making them and even insist consumers to replace their laptops with iPads.

Earlier today at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple unveiled a new iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch Retina Display. Interestingly, this iPad Pro is only slightly bigger than the standard 9.7-inch model its replacing while the screen is enlarged by 20 per cent the side bezels are narrower.

Those who are concerned with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s heft but still want a massive screen to work with should find this 10.5-inch version a viable option. Unlike the 9.7-inch version, that larger 10.5-inch display can fit a more manageable full-size onscreen keyboard, while the entire iPad dimension can fit Apple’s full-size Smart Keyboard accessory.

Apple also introduced new display tech with the release of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro – the screen now has a 120Hz refresh rate, which should reduce latency when using the Apple Pencil. Videos and games should also look smoother with a higher refresh rate.

The screen is also 50 per cent brighter than earlier models (600 nits) and support HDR video.

To achieve all this, Apple uses its new A10X Fusion six-core chip and a 12-core GPU to power up the new iPad Pro. The company claims that this setup makes the iPad Pro more powerful than most PC laptops.

Apple says the A10X CPU is so powerful that users can edit 4K video and render elaborate 3D models on it while maintaining a 10-hour battery life.

At WWDC, Apple also announced iOS 11. This update brings several new software features to the iPad Pro that should bring it closer to a PC experience, like the ability to drag and drop while on split view, and a new file system, a Windows-style App Switcher and a more powerful dock borrowed heavily from Mac OS.

This is a step in the right direction for Apple as the company is pushing iPads as laptop relacements. It hasn’t hit home run yet, but it’s getting there.

Apple also announced a refreshed 12.9-inch iPad Pro today with the same display tech and processing power found on the 10.5-inch model.

Both models start at wifi-only 64GB of storage and go all the way up to 512GB with cellular connectivity. The base 10.5-inch iPad Pro retails at $649 (around B$900).

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