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Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch: The best iPad that money can buy

By John Law & Kenny Yeo - 28 Jun 2017
Launch SRP: RM2999


Tablet Perfection

What Apple has done with the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is that they have taken a tablet that is already without any peers, and made it even better. The display is wonderful and its performance is brilliant. And it is quite remarkable how they have managed to fit a bigger display without increasing its size and weight.

And it’s not just hardware either. The iPad has an assailable advantage when it comes to app support as well. There’s countless apps that have been designed to run well on the iPad, something that you cannot say for Android. 

In my view, the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is easily Apple's best tablet ever.

Realistically, the only competition comes from within Apple and for users seeking the best iPad experience that Apple has to offer, there are two options: this 10.5-inch iPad Pro here and the larger 12.9-inch model. The 12.9-inch model is identical in all aspects, but it has a larger screen and a higher price. Personally, I find the larger display superfluous to my needs. It is absolutely fantastic for watching videos, but it is unwieldy and cumbersome to carry around. Your mileage may vary, of course.

This brings us to price. With the “Pro” suffix comes a higher price tag. The 10.5-inch model starts at RM2,999 for the 64GB non-cellular model and goes up to RM4,999 if you want the maximum storage capacity of 512GB and cellular connectivity.

The 12.9-inch model requires greater wallet fortitude with prices beginning RM3,499 for the most basic model with 64GB and zero cellular connectivity and going up to an eye-watering RM5,499 if you want 512GB of storage and cellular connectivity. 

And don’t forget, the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil are optional accessories. The Apple Pencil is an additional RM449, while the Smart Keyboard is RM699 for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and RM749 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. If you opt for a higher-spec model and include the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, you could easily get a MacBook Air or MacBook or a non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro.  

The Smart Keyboard is great and turns the iPad Pro into a capable word processor, but it costs quite a bit.

Also, consider the price of the new iPad (2017), which starts from RM1,549 for the 32GB non-cellular model and goes up to RM2,649 for the 128GB model with cellular connectivity. If you don't need the extreme performance of the new iPad Pro and don't intend to use accessories like the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, the new iPad (2017) is the more practical choice.

There’s no getting around the fact that the new iPad Pro tablets are pricey. Whether the premium that they command is justified depends very much on your usage patterns. If you can see yourself using the iPad Pro as your primary computing device, then yes, go for it. However, for many people the answer will likely be no, because as magnificent as the display is and as powerful as it is, we don't find the iPad Pro to be convincing as a primary device. In fact, we find myself going back to my MacBook Pro and we suspect many other long-time Apple users will too.

iOS 11 will bring lots of improvements to the iPad, chief of which is the new Files app, which works like Finder on the Mac.

However, that may all change when iOS 11 is released later this year. iOS 11 will bring many major updates to iPads and will fundamentally change the way people use iPads for productivity tasks. For example, there will be a customizable dock that can be invoked anywhere, allowing users to quickly launch and switch apps. There will also be Multi-touch Drag and Drop, which allows users to drag text, photos, and files from one app to another, very much like what you can do on a Mac. There will also be a Files app, which is like Finder for iOS, which makes it easier to manage and organize your files and data. We have seen demos of it and we can tell you it’s a big deal. We think that it will improve the iPad user experience and make it an even more capable productivity tool and a better primary device. But we'll reserve my final judgment until iOS 11 drops. 

For now, know that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a pricey but gorgeous and immensely powerful tablet. You know what else is powerful and expensive? A Ferrari.

  • Design 9
  • Features 9.5
  • User-Friendliness 9.5
  • Performance 9
  • Value 7
The Good
Superlative performance
Fabulous display
Thin and light
Big sound for a tablet
Excellent accessories in the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil
The Bad
Super pricey
Accessories are sold separately
Accessories are equally pricey