The More Powerful Apple iPad Pro 2: Release Dates, Specs, and Prices

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Apple formally launched its all new range of iPads at the 2017 WWDC—the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Both are now ready for pre-order online and shipping starts this week. Apple Stores and authorized resellers will sell these models this week as well.

It seems the company has been working hard at making their tablets even better, as both devices feature improved hardware and performance. So what’s new?

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Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing said, “These are by far the most powerful iPads we’ve ever created with the world’s most advanced displays featuring ProMotion, the powerful new A10X Fusion chip and the advanced camera system of iPhone 7. Together with iOS 11, these new iPad Pro models will radically change what users can do with iPad.”

Design

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is 20% bigger than it’s predecessor, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro released in 2016. It measures 9.87 x 6.85 x 0.24 inches and weighs 1.034 lbs for non-cellular and 1.05 lbs for cellular iPads. It comes in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray.

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The 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 is basically the same size but measures a bit less than the previous model released in 2015. It measures 12.04 x 8.69 x 0.27 inches and weighs 1.49 lbs for non-cellular and 1.53 lbs for cellular units. Color choices are Gold, Silver, and Space Gray.

Both iPads come in a durable aluminum chassis and still have Lightning ports (despite the hopes of some that Apple might switch to USB Type-C connectors). They also have four-speaker audio systems and a headphone jack.

Display

While the new iPad Pros haven’t upgraded to OLED (unlike the iPhone 8, which is rumored to have an edgeless OLED display), Apple still boasts that they have the most advanced display. This is because both devices feature ProMotion, a new technology that allows these new iPads to have a 120Hz refresh rate. That is twice the rate of a standard LCD.

According to Apple, this means “fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness and smoother motion content.” You can expect less blurring and distortions when viewing animated content. At the same time, it adjusts the refresh rate when you’re doing more static tasks (writing emails or viewing photos) so you get to save more battery life.

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The 10.5-inch iPad Pro has 2224 x 1668 resolution at 264 ppi. The 12.9-inch model, meanwhile, has a resolution of 2732 x 2048 with a pixel density of 264 ppi. Both have High Dynamic Range (HDR) support and have brighter, more colorful screens. And thanks to anti-reflective coating and True Tone, the screens will automatically adjust to the light around you. So, they will be ideal to use for indoor and outdoor environments any time.

Camera

iPads aren’t really the go-to gadgets for taking pictures. But with the new iPad Pro 2 range, your tablet could become a dependable backup camera. The 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro have the same camera as the iPhone 7. You’re getting a 7MP FaceTime HD snapper with f/2.2 aperture in the front.

The rear camera is 12MP, with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), True Tone flash, f/1.8 aperture, 4K video recording, and slow motion for 1080p video at 120fps and 720p at 240fps.

Performance

Apple emphasized that the all-new iPad Pro models deliver “groundbreaking performance, connectivity, and versatility to tackle the most demanding tasks.” The new iPads have the Apple A10X Fusion chip, which packs a six-core CPU that is 30% faster and a twelve-core GPU that is 40% faster than that of their predecessors. Gaming, photo and video editing, and even 3D image rendering will be even smoother.

iOS & Features

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that you buy as of this writing will most likely not carry the new iOS 11, as the latest software won’t roll out until fall this year. But both new iPads are sure to receive the update and enjoy all the powerful new features of the upgraded OS. Owners of the new Pro iPads can enjoy a customizable Dock, multi-touch drag and drop functionality, the Files app, and a new document scanner in Notes, among other features.

Battery Life

There are no significant changes here as the new iPad Pro models still carry basically the same battery as earlier versions. This means you can expect a battery life of up to 10 hours (or 9 hours when using cellular). Hopefully, Apple will soon provide better batteries as more iOS users are looking for devices that charge faster and wirelessly, and have longer battery life.

Apple Pencil

Thanks to the ProMotion technology that goes with the iPad Pro 2 range, the Apple Pencil works even better with the new iPads. It is now more responsive with 20-millisecond latency. Drawing is now a more fluid and natural experience. iOS 11 also further improves the performance and functionality of the Pencil. For example, you can now mark up screenshots, webpages, and emails.

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Keyboard

The 10.5-inch is big enough to support its own full-sized keyboard, and Apple custom designed a Smart Keyboard for this model. It is priced at $159, which might be too much for some considering how much the iPad Pro 2 already costs. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro also supports a Smart Keyboard priced at $169. You could search for a compatible third-party keyboard as an alternative.

Price & Storage

The iPad Pro 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models come in options of 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. Here is a breakdown of the prices:

10.5-inch iPad Pro Prices

Wi-Fi (Non-Cellular)

64 GB – $649

256 GB – $749

512GB – $949

Wi-Fi + Cellular

64 GB – $779

256 GB – $879

512GB – $1,079

12.9-inch iPad Pro Prices

Wi-Fi (Non-Cellular)

64 GB – $799

256 GB – $899

512GB – $1,099

Wi-Fi + Cellular

64 GB – $929

256 GB – $1,029

512GB – $1,229

The Future of the iPad

The new iPad Pro 2 range packs a lot of power into more compact devices. And with the upcoming iOS 11 update soon to reach the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, these tablets are set to become even more powerful computing devices. It seems Apple is getting more serious in making their iPads a more viable replacement for laptops and even desktops.

*All images are from Apple.com