Watch: 2018 iPad vs. 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro

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in iPad edited April 2018
Apple just released a refreshed 9.7-inch iPad for 2018. Retaining last year's $329 price tag, the new slate is Apple's first budget model to support Apple Pencil and sports a speedy A10 Fusion process. Find out how it compares to its bigger 10.5-inch iPad Pro sibling in this video.





Apple Pencil support is a huge deal for users who want to write or draw with Apple's pressure-sensing stylus, but were unwilling to pay upwards of $600 to do so -- the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro retails for $649, to be exact, although deals can be found in our Price Guide.

There are a few differences in display technology that can actually make a difference while using the Apple Pencil. The 2017 iPad Pro boasts ProMotion, a technology that refreshes the screen at a rate of 120 times a second rather than the normal 60Hz seen on all other Apple devices. The difference is immediately apparent in slow-motion footage, which shows the iPad Pro's display is much more fluid when interacting with Pencil.

Testing Apple Pencil response time, it takes much longer for marks to show up on the 9.7-inch iPad's screen when compared to near instantaneous reaction times on iPad Pro.

Another big difference is that the iPad Pro's display is fully laminated, giving the illusion that the LCD panel is part of the cover glass. It also helps boost contrast and color reproduction. The budget iPad has a non-laminated display, which looks a bit grey compared to the deep blacks the Pro is capable of reproducing.




You can also easily notice a gap in-between the display and the glass on the cheaper model. When using Apple Pencil, the gap becomes much more noticeable because concentrating on the stylus tip. This can cause issues with accuracy, especially when drawing detailed graphics when not looking straight down at the iPad. On iPad Pro, however, the gap between Apple Pencil and LCD is almost non-existent, so it pretty much feels like you're actually drawing on a piece of paper.

So the Apple Pencil experience is definitely better on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but is the Pro worth twice the price?

The 2017 iPad Pro's display includes P3 wide-color gamut support, so colors really pop. The screen on the Pro is also noticeably brighter, which is especially helpful when using the device outside. On top of that, the iPad Pro has an antireflective coating which definitely helps cut down on glare. Another great display feature that comes on the Pro is True Tone, which automatically tunes the display's white balance to match ambient light.




The new 2018 iPad comes with Apple's A10 Fusion processor, a four-core processor pulled directly from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, whereas the 2017 iPad Pro is loaded with the A10X chip, Apple's first six-core mobile processor.

In Geekbench 4, the iPad Pro got a 13 percent higher score in the single-core test, which honestly isn't anything to write home about. However, there's a huge difference in the multi-core test, with a 57 percent better score for the Pro. The iPad Pro more than doubled the graphics score put in by the 2018 iPad, which will translate into massive improvements in rendering and multi-core processes.

In Antutu's benchmark, the Pro scored 19 percent higher than the budget iPad. We saw similar results in 3DMark's Slingshot Extreme benchmark, with the iPad Pro scoring 20% higher than the iPad. We also tested browser performance, and there wasn't much of a difference.

In Octane 2.0, the Pro only scored about 10 percent higher. In Antutu's HTML5 browser benchmark, there was an even smaller difference, with 6 percent better scores on the Pro.This isn't too surprising because the 2018 iPad scored so well in Geekbench 4's single-core test, and only one core is being used for the browser benchmarks. However, when you start to add more and more tabs and switch between them, the iPad Pro's extra cores will really make a difference.




Since the iPad Pro did so well in the graphics test, we decided to play the newly-released Fortnite, which is now open to all comers, for an hour on each device. We noticed that the graphics quality on the Pro was higher, and the game loaded quicker than on the 2018 iPad. Gameplay was very smooth, and we didn't notice any frame drops. The colors popped more on the Pro, and the larger screen size made gameplay more immersive.

On the other hand, it was much more comfortable to play on the 2018 iPad, since it isn't as wide. We did notice that the screen was more reflective on the 9.7-inch iPad, which was distracting at times.

After an hour of Fortnite gameplay, the iPad Pro's battery dropped to 80 percent. On the 2018 iPad, it only dropped to 87 percent, so we can see that the extra horsepower does drain more battery life while performing processor-intensive tasks.




Both iPads weigh around a pound, but the 2018 iPad is actually thicker than the 10.5-inch Pro. For having a screen that's almost one inch larger, it's not much bigger thanks to slimmed bezels all around. The Pro's camera protrudes a little bit, which may be annoying to some. There's also no rear-facing flash on the budget iPad.

The Pro also has 4 speakers instead of two on the 2018 iPad, and they sound much better. The 2018 iPad does have stereo speakers, but they're on the bottom edge of the device, making stereo output a nonstarter when in landscape mode.

The Pro also gets Apple's Smart Connector, which transfers both power and data to a variety of Apple and Logitech accessories.

Both phones have a physical Home button with Touch ID, though the Pro gets Apple's second-generation technology. We tested Touch ID speed, and the Pro unlocked much quicker and much more reliably than the budget iPad, which would often fail to unlock unless you kept your finger on the sensor.

There are some huge differences in the cameras as well. The Pro gets a 12MP sensor capable of shooting 4K video. The 2018 iPad only gets 8MP and can shoot up to 1080P. Photos are more detailed and the colors look better on the Pro. Also, the video on the iPad Pro looks much more detailed than on the low-end iPad.

An even larger disparity is seen in the FaceTime camera, with 7MP on the Pro capable of 1080p video and a quite poor 1.2MP on the iPad, with up to 720P recording.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    Nice review!  I agree with your conclusion.

    You get a lot for your money with the new $329 IPad.  I’ll wait to take a look at the next 12.9 IPad personally, but I bet Apple sells a bunch of the $329 model.  It’s a perfect upgrade for older iPads...

    The $329 IPad must be a real threat, because Android commentards out in force elsewhere.  They’re bitching about water resistance and ifixit scores.  Seriously that’s the best they could come up with...

    This looks like a big win for Apple.
    edited April 2018 supadav03chiajbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    lieuwelieuwe Posts: 2member
    Great and informative comparing:)
    but could you consider keeping the two devices during comparison  at the same side, fx iPad Pro left, so you don’t “refocus” on which one in one but focus on the great info:)
    [Deleted User]watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,607member
    Great comparison.
    The 2018 budget iPad is great but I want to see what's in store for the 2018 iPad Pros.
    Perhaps the 2017 iPad Pro 10.5 will drop in price after the release of the 2018 iPad Pros with Face ID.
    Time will tell.
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    LatkoLatko Posts: 354member
    Nice iPad - however certainly a duh for edu. Because combined w. pencil and keyboard, it is by far no competition for a Chromebook. Why the hell didn’t Apple do a better job integrating that pencil with a stowaway/charging solution. It just feels so 2013... (yes - I know the CPU is faster) Having lost so much ground in edu, Apple is never gonna gain that back with this offering. I just can’t imagine a school or institute to standardize on Apple’s school infra BESIDES their G-infra - unless they are Apple-exclusive maybe, and how many are that...? So...nice machine for that single rich kid on the first row - who didn’t need the discount because it’s parents would have bought it anyway
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 5 of 12
    mbenz1962mbenz1962 Posts: 120member
    I would also be interested to know if the 2018 iPad will support quick charging (14.5V @ 2A) like the iPads Pro.  I don't think so, but it would be nice to get a definitive answer.  If not, that would be one more differentiating factor for the Pro line.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,829member
    Latko said:
    Nice iPad - however certainly a duh for edu. Because combined w. pencil and keyboard, it is by far no competition for a Chromebook. Why the hell didn’t Apple do a better job integrating that pencil with a stowaway/charging solution. It just feels so 2013... (yes - I know the CPU is faster) Having lost so much ground in edu, Apple is never gonna gain that back with this offering. I just can’t imagine a school or institute to standardize on Apple’s school infra BESIDES their G-infra - unless they are Apple-exclusive maybe, and how many are that...? So...nice machine for that single rich kid on the first row - who didn’t need the discount because it’s parents would have bought it anyway
    Apple will never compete on price. They never have and never will. Its like asking BMW to make a $18,000 car...just isn't gonna happen no matter what. They're not in a race to the bottom. I don't know why people just don't get this. We hear a few stories about how some schools are switching to Crapbooks and all of a sudden Apple needs to respond with something cheaper! This isn't how Apple works. We went through this same crap with Netbooks. Crapbooks are IMO, the next generation Netbook and yes it took a couple of years but look where they ended up down the road...in people's closets/drawers and recycling centers! 

    Crapbooks are cheap for a reason...because they really don't do much, and they have complete shit parts inside them. They're throw away items. They're good at basically doing Google Classroom crap and there's much more to education than just writing papers and doing online forms. An iPad on the other hand does so much more, including Google Classroom, and Office 365 along with the hundreds of thousands of apps for iOS including their own. They have a far better solution for management options (MDM) and are simply more versatile in the end. You can be much more engaging with students with an iPad versus a Crapbook. If you're more engaging, you'll have much more successful students in the end. 

    So if a school district wants to become beancounters and get a slightly cheaper device that in the end may not work out then they're more than welcomed to. We'll see in the long run which device works out better in the end. I have a feeling it will end up costing more in the end to own a Crapbook than we see. 
    edited April 2018 jbdragonwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 576member
    ...You can be much more engaging with students with an iPad versus a Crapbook. If you're more engaging, you'll have much more successful students in the end. 

    So if a school district wants to become beancounters and get a slightly cheaper device that in the end may not work out then they're more than welcomed to. We'll see in the long run which device works out better in the end. I have a feeling it will end up costing more in the end to own a Crapbook than we see. 
    Absolutely correct. The trouble is that most public schools in the US, and Canada have had budgets cut and cut and cut. They are literally having to chose which essential programs to eliminate. There was an article on BBC this week called "Oklahoma teachers: 'Our education system has failed'" (You can look it up. I didn't include the link because links can be problematical when posting), that describes the problem well. There teachers are having to work full time outside of the classroom to make ends meet. Another teacher put it bluntly when she pointed out that everything in her room other than the furniture she paid for out of her own pocket. There is no money for supplies. There are no aids. Textbooks are often over a decade old. Classrooms with twice the recommended number of students per teacher. No school nurse, or counsellor, or even a librarian. This is the reality for education in the US. So yes when told they need to include computers in the classroom, administrators will look at Chromebooks as a real option. iPads are great but they just don't have the money.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,680member
    The review doesn't mention whether or not the Pro supports USB3. For those of us who actually USE the massive storage capacity now available on these things, the time required to transfer 100 gig or more of data becomes relevant to enjoyment of the device. My wife's 12.9 Pro transfers files so much faster than our other iDevices that I just can't get my head around how Apple stayed with USB2 on the new iPad!
    watto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 9 of 12
    The review doesn't mention whether or not the Pro supports USB3. For those of us who actually USE the massive storage capacity now available on these things, the time required to transfer 100 gig or more of data becomes relevant to enjoyment of the device. My wife's 12.9 Pro transfers files so much faster than our other iDevices that I just can't get my head around how Apple stayed with USB2 on the new iPad!
    Good point! Totally missed that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,680member
    The review doesn't mention whether or not the Pro supports USB3. For those of us who actually USE the massive storage capacity now available on these things, the time required to transfer 100 gig or more of data becomes relevant to enjoyment of the device. My wife's 12.9 Pro transfers files so much faster than our other iDevices that I just can't get my head around how Apple stayed with USB2 on the new iPad!
    Good point! Totally missed that.
    To be clear, that wasn't a criticism. I appreciated the comparison.

    The sloooooooow transfers to the device add up to a really significant chunk of time for those of us who change content regularly. Like a "Gonna have to reschedule this appointment" kind of chunk.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 886member
    Everywhere I take my 10.5" iPad Pro, people ask about it. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    mbenz1962mbenz1962 Posts: 120member
    I guess we now have our answer with the release of the new 30w charger.

    According to AI: 
    The accessory provides "optimal charging performance" with the MacBook, which has a built-in USB-C port, Apple says. It also enables fast charging for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, as well as 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros. All 9.7-inch iPads are excluded.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/06/05/apples-new-30w-usb-c-power-adapter-replaces-older-29w-model 
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