iPad Pro 10.5-inch: The smart person's guide

This in-depth guide examines Apple's newest iPad Pro 10.5" model. It covers the tablet's new and exciting features, its hardware specifications, and how the mobile device impacts business users.

WWDC 2017: The big 3 announcements

Apple announced on June 5, 2017 at WWDC the all-new 10.5-inch model iPad Pro. This line of tablets is aimed squarely at professional users.

With a major redesign and upgraded hardware, the advanced features provide mobile professionals with a modern computing environment that is powerful enough to handle their business needs while on the go. All of this performance comes packed in a lightweight, very easy-to-carry form factor that marries Apple's world-renowned design aesthetic with the efficiency that users have come to depend on.

This smart person's guide details what you need to know about Apple's iPad Pro 10.5-inch, including the device's specifications, who it is designed for, why it matters, and how to get it.

SEE: All of TechRepublic's smart person's guides

Executive summary

  • What is the Apple iPad Pro? The iPad Pro 10.5-inch is a tablet computer designed by Apple and based on the popular iPad line of tablets. It include features aimed at professional users, such as additional high-speed storage, powerful processors, and larger screens.
  • Why does the Apple iPad Pro matter? With the workplace becoming more mobile, professionals require powerful hardware that strikes a balance between efficiency and performance in order to be able to work from anywhere in the world.
  • Who does the Apple iPad Pro affect? Any professional or advanced user that needs to work from just about anywhere and still have a device that is capable of getting the job done.
  • When is the Apple iPad Pro available? The new 10.5-inch version of the iPad Pro is available worldwide beginning June 13, 2017.
  • How do I get the Apple iPad Pro? The iPad Pro 10.5-inch model is available directly from Apple's website, Apple Stores around the world, and authorized Apple resellers online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Pro Research)

Image: Apple, Inc.

SEE: The Macintosh we deserve: How Apple can win back loyalty from professionals (TechRepublic)

What is the Apple iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro 10.5 inch is the thinnest, lightest tablet from Apple that runs on iOS--a customized version of the same operating system that powers its desktop computers yet is optimized for mobile devices. Based on the best-selling iPad line of tablets, the iPad Pro features hardware enhancements and comes in beefed up configurations.

The base model starts at $649 USD and comes in your choice of Silver, Gold, Space Gray, or Rose Gold finishes. Included in this model is 64 GB of flash memory for storage, 4 GB of 4th generation Low-Power Double-Data Rate (LPDDR4) RAM, a 2.93Ghz 6-core 64-bit CPU, and 12-core GPU. Optional upgrades are available, increasing the storage up to 512 GB, adding cellular data connectivity or accidental drop protection as covered through AppleCare+.

While the iPad Pro shares much of the underlying specifications between other devices in the iPad line, the larger, higher-resolution screen and faster processing and graphical performance found in the Pro version still allows for the device to last an estimated 10 hours of productivity.

SEE: Apple's first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez (PDF download) (TechRepublic)

Accessories for the iPad Pro are available from Apple. The Apple Pencil is like having several tools in one sleek device: a pencil for jotting down notes, a brush for painting (using the iPad Pro as a canvas), or even as a highlighter for annotating forms and a pen to sign documents. The other accessory is the Apple Smart Keyboard, which adds keyboard functionality and doubles as a slim, protective cover when folded over the device.

Since the keyboard utilizes the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro for connectivity, that leaves the Lightning, 3.5" audio, and wireless ports free for plugging in or pairing additional devices. The full-size keyboard provides tactile feedback when typing documents similar to the response you'd feel when typing on a regular keyboard and adds the ability to use keyboard shortcuts to switch between apps and modified content like a power user.

iPad Pro 10.5-inch tech specifications

  • Colors: Space Gray, Rose Gold, Silver, Gold
  • Capacity: 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
  • Screen Size: 10.5-inch LED-backlit MultiTouch Display
  • Resolution: 2224 x 1668 at 264ppi
  • Processor: A10X Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and M10 Coprocessor
  • Camera: 12mp (rear) and 7mp (front)
  • Video Recording: 720p HD at 30fps, 1080p HD at 30/60fps, 4K at 30fps
  • Speakers: Four
  • Microphones: Dual for calls, video and audio recording
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac; Dual-band (2.4Ghz/5Ghz), MIMO
  • Bluetooth: 4.2
  • Cellular (Optional): UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900 MHz), LTE Advanced (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41)
  • Sensors: Touch ID, Three-axis Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Barometer, Ambient Light Sensor
  • Voice Assistance: Siri
  • Battery: Built-in 30.4 watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours

Additional resources

Image: Apple, Inc.

Why does the Apple iPad Pro matter?

Since the inception of the 1st generation iPad, users have shown there is a demand for a highly portable device that is powerful enough to accomplish work, as well as being energy efficient and lightweight. There has been a sharp increase in market share from enterprise-level users who have embraced the device's mobile-centric platform.

Apple has met this increased demand by designing a device that expands on the iPad's tried-and-true mobile capabilities and includes augmented hardware. The result is an iPad Pro tablet that provides users with a flexible, yet powerful tool without sacrificing battery life or mobility.

The iPad Pro runs on iOS, the same operating system that runs on all of Apple's mobile devices and is a customized variant of the macOS operating system found on all of Apple's computer and server devices--this OS is optimized for use exclusively on mobile devices in order to perform efficiently and conserve battery life. As of January 2017, there are over 2 million apps available for iOS, and that doesn't include enterprise applications developed in-house or by third-party developers; this means there are many ways for business users to gain even more productivity from the iPad Pro.

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Who does the Apple iPad Pro affect?

Any consumer can readily purchase and use the iPad Pro; however, business professionals, creatives, and mobile employees that travel for work will benefit most from the tablet because they will see that the iPad Pro's upgraded hardware, 10-hour battery life, and its lightweight portability is second to none.

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What are competitors to the Apple iPad Pro?

Competing with the iPad Pro in the tablet marketplace are a whole host of offerings from all the major computer manufacturers, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Google, and Microsoft. Of all of the tablet devices, only Apple's line runs on iOS. Some of the other devices run Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 10, which adapts to mobile and standalone devices automatically in order to provide the best user experience based on the underlying hardware. Additionally, Google has made its Chrome OS available to 1st and 3rd-party manufacturers for use on low-cost devices, including a 2-in-1 hybrid or more traditional laptop-style devices.

Depending on the device and the operating system it runs, each OS has ties to a respective ecosystem that includes its own App Store whereby users may download and install software for use on the respective device.

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When is the Apple iPad Pro available?

As of June 13, 2017, the newly designed iPad Pro-10.5 inch was made available to the public in its base configuration, as well as with the optional upgrades in a configure to order (CTO) model.

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How do I get the Apple iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro 10.5-inch tablet is available directly from Apple's online store and in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores throughout the world; all of the various configurations and accessories may be purchased directly from Apple. Additionally, you can purchase the tablet from Apple authorized resellers online, such as MacMall and B&H Photo or traditional retail outlets like Best Buy and Costco Wholesale.

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