Apple has updated its tablet range with an impressive new iPad

WWDC is running all this week, and Apple kicked off the conference with a barrage of announcements. One of the main talking points was a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro. They’re available right away, so let’s take a look at the details.

The iPad Pro range has been a hit since it launched around 18 months ago, with it offering many users a genuine alternative to working on a conventional computer. It runs the Microsoft Office suite for conventional work, has incredible power for working with architectural models or video editing, and is a great choice for artists – Pixar’s art team use the iPad Pro for a lot of design work. It’s also great for gaming and media consumption. Basically, this is the best tablet money can buy, and it’s just been updated.

Less bezels, more screen

Previously, customers could choose between a huge 12.9-inch display (bigger than a standard MacBook!) or a more manageable 9.7-inch display, which is a familiar size to users of the popular iPad Air. Now, though, the 9.7-inch model has been replaced by Apple’s latest release: a 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

Could the reduced bezels foreshadow the edge-to-edge display rumored for the iPhone 8?

By removing 40% of the bezels from the edges of the device, it manages to cram this 20% larger screen into a body that’s no bigger than before. The 10.5-inch display size was chosen as its perfect to display a full-sized keyboard on screen, or attach a full-sized “smart keyboard” for more conventional typing. It weighs just one pound.

Best display ever

Apple says the iPad Pro features “the most advanced display on the planet,” with incredible brightness levels, wide color gamut, true tone, and minimal reflectivity. Beyond that, a bump from the industry standard 60Hz refresh rate to 120Hz means everything looks “buttery smooth.”

An improved refresh rate makes the Apple Pencil smoother

Refreshing the display 120 times per second has benefits for the precision of the Apple Pencil, too, though it does eat up more power – which is why the new display is designed to automatically adjust the refresh rate to the task you’re performing, so its only running at 120Hz when you will really notice it.

Top performance

Specs-wise, this machine is a beast – Apple say it’s more powerful than most PC laptops. The new A10X chip is 30% faster than the previous generation of iPad Pro, and more than 500x faster than the original iPad. It has a 6-core CPU and 12-core GPU and (supposedly) offers 10 hours of battery life.

Complex 3D modeling isn’t a problem

iPad Pro now features the same 12MP camera and 7MP FaceTime camera from the iPhone 7 – in other words, pretty damn good. Touch ID is now twice as fast as it was before.

Price and availability

These improvements to the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro are also being added to the existing 12.9-inch iPad Pro, so the models are now equal in all but size. The new 10.5-inch model starts at $649/£619, while a bit more money will net you a gargantuan 12.9-inch model for $799/£769.

Both of these come with 64GB of storage space as default – you can upgrade either model to 256GB for an extra $100/£90 or $512 for an extra $300/£270. (We’d recommend that middle option for the best value.) Don’t forget that the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard attachments are sold separately, and they’re not exactly cheap.

Though none of the updates shown here are groundbreaking, they add up to an impressive iterative upgrade. If you’re in the market for a new iPad, this is now the best one you can get. Both models are available immediately, and can be purchased from Apple’s website.

When iOS 11 launches this September these devices will get even better, with plenty of iPad-specific features targeting pro users on their way: drag-and-drop, advanced multitasking, and a new Files app. Read more about the features of iOS 11 here.