Apple’s 2017 update of the iPad Pro did more than just bump the display size from 9.7″ to 10.5″. In fact, aside from smoother animations, the biggest improvements lie within. We’ve compared each of the specifications of these premium tablets to see how well the upgrades of the newer iPad Pro 10.5-inch stack up with the 2016 release.
iPad Pro 9.7 vs 10.5 Comparison Chart
|Model||iPad Pro 9.7-inch 256GB Wi-Fi Only||iPad Pro 10.5-inch 256GB Wi-Fi Only|
|Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Price||Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Resolution||1536 x 2048 pixels||1668 x 2224 pixels|
|Pixel Density||264 ppi||265 ppi|
|Weight||15.66 oz||16.83 oz|
|System Chip||A9X||A10X Fusion|
|Processor||Dual-core, 2260 MHz||Hexa-core, 2380 MHz|
|GPU||PowerVR Series 7XT||Apple 12-core GPU|
|Internal Storage||32GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Rear Camera||12MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture size||12MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture size|
|Colors||Gold, Gray, Pink||Gold, Gray, Silver, Pink|
|Battery Capacity||7306 mAh||8134 mAh|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 hours||Up to 10 hours|
The iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch look virtually identical.
The side-by-side comparison above clearly shows there’s not really much of a difference between the designs of the iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch. However, you’ll notice that the bezels of the 10.5-inch are narrower, and the Touch ID sensor is also bigger. By making the bezels slimmer, Apple was able to offer a bigger screen in comparatively similar dimensions. The 10.5-inch sports a 78.27% screen-to-body ratio, compared to the 72.80% of the 9.7-inch. You’ll barely notice the size and weight difference while holding these devices, which makes the newer iPad Pro more impressive considering all the power it packs inside.
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch has a slightly bigger display with smoother animation.
It’s not much, but you do get more pixels on the iPad Pro 10.5-inch compared to its predecessor. But where it makes leaps and bounds is the higher refresh rate made possible with its new ProMotion display technology, which can double the 9.7-inch’s maximum of 60Hz to 120Hz. It makes animations on the screen look super slick and smooth, and it’s the first tablet (along with its 12.9-inch brother) to deliver this capability.
Moreover, ProMotion also virtually removes the lag between the Apple Pencil and the tablet as you move it across the display. Digital artists in particular will be able to sketch on the more responsive touchscreen of the 10.5-inch like they would on actual paper. What’s even better about it is that this improvement is on the iPad Pro itself, so you don’t have to buy a new Apple Pencil if you’re intending to upgrade.
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch is faster and beefier.
Apple upgraded the dual-core A9X processor of the 9.7-inch to the six-core A10X Fusion chip for the 10.5-inch. What’s more, they doubled the RAM to 4GB and gave it a 12-core GPU. What this translates to is 30% faster CPU performance, a 40% speed increase in graphics-related processes, and a whopping 80% improvement on multi-core tasks.
It’s a sizable leap considering the earlier iPad Pro was already offering top end processing power for tablets. It makes the newer 10.5-inch significantly faster and more powerful, as well as better able to handle multitasking. With these upgrades, the iPad Pro is getting closer and closer to being the laptop replacement that Apple wants it to be.
Cameras and Storage
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch has a better main camera and double the storage.
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch received minor camera improvements — its front FaceTime camera is now 7 megapixels (2MP more than the 9.7-inch), and its back camera is now OIS-enabled and sports a ƒ/1.8 aperture size, letting you take brighter photos with more depth.
Apple also addressed internal storage issues, which is a weakness of tablets in general, by simply doubling the sizes they offer the newer iPad Pro in — you can get up to 512GB for various apps, videos and photos. Battery capacity was also bumped up, so even though its more powerful CPU requires more juice, runtime remains the same at 10 hours.
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch has enough improvements to be the better recommendation.Amazon product
Overall, the iPad Pro 10.5-inch offers sufficient upgrades over the 9.7-inch to make it clearly the better tablet. You’ll get more speed and power in nearly the same package, and you’ll be able to store double what you can stuff in the older model.
It’s easy to recommend the 10.5-inch to graphic designers, since it makes the Apple Pencil so much smoother, and professionals who are always on the go, since they can rely on its power and portability. It might be more difficult to convince those who already own the iPad Pro 9.7-inch to upgrade to the newer model though, especially if they use the tablet mostly to watch videos or play games.
However, if this is the first time you’ll be buying an iPad Pro, the 10.5-inch is definitely well worth the additional cost.