David Di Franco


7 Things I Like About the iPad Pro 10.5-inch (2017)

Apple recently refreshed the iPad Pro line, which brought all kinds of new features and enhancements — including an all-new 10.5-inch model. While at first glance things may seem similar to what you've been used to for the last year or so, I can assure you that a lot has changed. Some enhancements are more noticeable than others.

The following are seven things that I like most about the iPad Pro 10.5-inch. Of course, it's worth noting that this list also applies to the 12.9-inch model. The only obvious difference between the two is the screen size.

1. ProMotion is a game changer

Immediately disregard everything you enjoy about the displays on your existing iOS devices — unless you happen to own one of the new iPad Pro models, of course. ProMotion, Apple's marketing term for a 120Hz display, is truly a huge leap forward in display technology for tablets. Capable of displaying up to 120 frames per second, the iPad Pro displays everything at twice the normal rate.

Similar to making the transition from a non-Retina display to Retina, witnessing ProMotion for the first time is feeling that I will soon not forget. I just hope Apple continues to implement this technology in all future iOS devices, including the iPhone's upcoming 10th anniversary.

2. Apple knows premium design

Okay, so they're not perfect. You'll quickly realize this when you go to charge the Magic Mouse 2 for the first time. But regardless, Apple is typically very good at designing their products to give off a premium vibe. Thankfully, with the new iPad Pro, things continue in that direction.

From an aluminum body to a glass display, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro simply looks and feels incredible. And thanks to the 50% thinner side bezels, the form factor of the iPad Pro doesn't feel that different than the previous 9.7-inch model.

3. Audio continues to impress

This is one area where not much has changed, but is that such a bad thing? Ever since the original iPad Pro was released, audio has always been phenomenal — at least for a tablet. Thanks to the four onboard speakers, listening to music or watching movies on the iPad Pro far exceeds the experience you get on any traditional tablet.

Using the built-in accelerometer on the iPad Pro, iOS can intelligently route audio through the appropriate channels, depending on which orientation the device is positioned in. Much like ProMotion, experiencing the audio is something you should really do in person.

4. The cameras are better than ever

I think we've reached the point in society where it's okay to take photos (and shoot videos) with our tablets. Right? Well, at least I think so, anyway. I'm not typically the close-minded type. If somebody wants to use their devices in a creative way, who am I to stop them? You just need to be responsible when doing so.

If you are someone who enjoys taking photos with their iPad Pro, then I have good news for you. The latest iPad Pro models both feature everything we love about the iPhone 7 cameras — aside from the Portrait mode, which requires dual lenses. The rear-facing camera shoots in 12-megapixel resolution and 4K video, while the FaceTime HD camera uses a 7-megapixel sensor. Not bad for a tablet!

5. Apple Pencil just got a lot better

That's not to say there was anything wrong with the Apple Pencil to begin with. It's actually incredible. But you know what? It's now even better, and that's thanks primarily to the introduction of the ProMotion display.

Now that the iPad Pro is capable of displaying information 120 times per second, this means it can register inputs from the Apple Pencil twice as fast. The latency has dropped from 40 milliseconds to an impressive 20 milliseconds. And before you ask, yes — you can notice the difference.

6. Creatives should feel at home

When comparing the iPad Pro to other tablets, it's like night and day. Sure, there are some creative apps available no matter which platform you decide to use, but nothing even comes close to the app selection for iOS. From digital art apps to fully fledged photo editors, creatives are going to feel very comfortable when using the iPad Pro.

Between support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, the iPad Pro continues to dominate in the creative space. Now, I'm not saying this is set to replace your actual computer any time soon, but it's certainly moving in that direction. And besides, there's something very satisfying about 'touching' your work and seeing it come to life.

7. iOS 11 is right around the corner

iOS 11 may not be available to the public yet, but I feel like it deserves a place on this list. As of this fall (or earlier if you give the public beta a try), iOS 11 will be giving the iPad Pro experience a major facelift — from not only a creativity perspective, but especially productivity.

Users will soon have access to an actual file browser, multitasking will be reimagined, and drag-and-drop functionality between apps is going to be fully supported. Needless to say, iOS 11 is a massive upgrade for iPad Pro users. I can't wait to get my hands on it. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later.