On 9th September 2015 Apple launched the iPad Pro 12.9”. Marketed as a laptop replacement it marked Apple’s desire to target the business user. Then on the 21st March 2016 the smaller but better equipped 9.7” iPad Pro was launched.
Upon its release, the 9.7” iPad Pro was widely regarded as the right model to choose. It had the better specification and wasn’t as cumbersome as its bigger brother. In June of this year Apple ditched the 9.7” version and gave us the 10.5”. So, which is the right one for you?
The good news is that when Apple launched the 10.5” model they also upgraded the 12.9” meaning that both models now have identical specifications. A quick comparison on our site will show you that you get the same display, processor, camera, video recording, audio and connectivity specifications across the two variants.
This is a real plus as it now means iPad Pro customers can choose their model on size alone. Previously, if you wanted or needed the larger model you always felt that you should be looking at the smaller one as it had better specifications. This no longer applies.
However, just to say that size is the only factor does somewhat simplify the point. It also misses one factor and that is if you’re a Rose Gold fan you can still only get this colour option in the 10.5” model.
Back to size. What is the impact or benefits for the user from model to model? The 12.9” is definitely the model for you if you want to ditch your MacBook or laptop completely. Its extra size means that the optional smart keyboard is easier to type on. When it comes to displaying apps in split view the larger model also benefits from using the Regular size class when going into Split View. This means that after you set two apps into Split View, those apps will display iPad-style interfaces when set side by side in a 50/50 split, and one iPad, one iPhone-style when in a 25/75 or 75/25 split. The 10.5” due to its smaller size has to use the Compact Style which means apps in Split View will look like they do on your iPhone.
The downside to the extra size is of course portability. The new 12.9” model is beautifully thin and still only weighs in at just over 1.5lbs but it is like carrying a MacBook around. Also, its extra size does mean that it is quite a handful. Well two to be exact as trying to hold it in one hand is almost impossible when working on it.
It is here that the 10.5” really does excel. It doesn’t sound like a big difference between 9.7” and 10.5” but once you had tried the bigger model you do find yourself wanting that extra real estate. However, unlike the 12.9” you can handle this iPad with one hand meaning that it is far less unruly.
Another advantage for the small iPad Pro is that you get more storage capacity for your pound. If you opted for the 256GB WiFi only models it would cost you just 11.6p per GB per month to lease the 10.5” whereas the 12.9” would cost you 13.8p. It’s a small difference every little bit helps.