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After just a few days using a review unit provided by Apple, I'm already tempted to scrap my 9.7-inch iPad Pro—that I bought last year—and upgrade to this new model.
It's that good.
I covered a few of my initial highlights of the tablet earlier this week, but I just wanted to spend a bit more time talking about the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro in an official review. If you're in the market for a new iPad, or even a new tablet, you should buy this.
The screen is the best I've ever seen on a tablet, thanks to Apple's new ProMotion technology that switches the refresh rate based on what you're doing. Colors don't pop like they do on Samsung's AMOLED screens, but this one just feels so smooth and natural in action.
You'll save battery life when the tablet doesn't need refresh the display much, like while reading. Everything looks super-smooth when you want the screen refreshing frequently, like while scrolling through documents. This is all done behind the scenes, or on the fly, so you don't have to do anything. It's also brighter than last year's model, which means it's easier to read outdoors.
When iOS 11 launches this fall, you'll have enough power under the hood to handle all of Apple's new multitasking experiences. I saw this in a demo with Apple, where an employee showed me just how quickly the iPad can change apps and support multiple windows on the screen at once. You can't do much of this now, but if you buy the 10.5-inch iPad Pro now, just know that it's going to get even better in a few months.
There are other features I dig, too. The keyboard is really good, even easier to type on since it's slightly larger than the model for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The Pencil performance is supposed to be better and more natural, but I found it was pretty similar to the experience of last year's iPad Pro. It's a blast sketching and using an iPad for taking notes, but I don't really do much else.
Finally, the battery life is pretty solid, lasting most of the day during my tests which included spending a couple of hours reading Apple News at night, and catching up on a new game called Asphalt Storm. The stereo speakers also sounded really nicely balanced, and I enjoyed listening to jazz while catching up on the news.
Of course, none of this comes cheap. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts out at $649, and that's before you toss in the $99 Apple Pencil and the $159 Smart Keyboard—both of which I think are must-have accessories to take full-advantage of the tablet's capabilities. That means you're looking at paying $969 to get you started.
If you're in the market for a new iPad, this is the one to get.