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Hands-On With the New iPad Pro 10.5-Inch

This might be the tablet that replaces the MacBook Air

by Josh Rubin
on 12 June 2017

Apple's new 10.5 inch iPad Pro begins shipping this week, but I had a chance to spend some quality time with it over the weekend and was really impressed. Despite being a longtime iPad fan, my usage of the tablet had wained over the last year as my iPhone 7+ closed much of the gap between laptop and phone that the iPad used to fill. And my iPad Pro 12.9-inch got psychologically heavier as I found myself using it less often. Between the size, weight, speed and screen specs of the new Pro and the forthcoming iOS 11, I'm back in the iPad game wholeheartedly.

The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is just a slight bit larger than the previous iPad in physical dimensions, however the screen is much larger, brighter and more beautiful. At one pound, the weight of the device is the same as the previous smaller iPad, and half a pound lighter than the larger 12.9 inch Pro. It's faster, has more storage, better speakers and all the other improvements you'd expect from Apple's next-generation device. The screen resolution is greater than a 13-inch MacBook Air and, when paired with the full-size Smart Keyboard, it begins to feel like a viable laptop for many different tasks.

That laptop-ness will become much more realistic in September when Apple releases iOS 11. The iPad will gain a file browser plus drag-and-drop functionality, both of which lessen the space between the operating systems on their laptops and tablets. The application dock at the bottom of the iPad's home-screen will function more like it does in MacOS being available anytime with a swipe, including recent apps and offering a control hub for upgraded multi-tasking functionality. Of course, the Pencil is still a remarkable tool for the iPad Pro and in the new iOS you'll be able to literally draw on almost anything you're looking at.

As pleased as I am with this new iPad, I'm smitten with the Leather Sleeve. Simultaneously simple and clever, the microfiber-lined sleeve fits the tablet with or without a Smart Cover and features a Pencil holder molded directly in to the case. It also serves as a mat to rest the iPad on when working.

The 10.5 inch iPad Pro is available this week online or in-store starting at $650.

Device images courtesy of Apple, sleeve images by Cool Hunting

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