10.5-inch iPad Pro vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Is the Biggest the Best?

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Now that we've reviewed both the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablets, we've had enough time with the pair to give an informed opinion about which is best. While they each pack strong audio, and iOS 11 will give both new multitasking powers, they differ on battery life, portability and price. Even their ProMotion screens, arguably the most important part of any tablet, aren't mirror equivalents.bigger better mf

We’re going to help you figure out which iPad Pro is right for you:

  10.5-inch iPad Pro 12.9-inch iPad Pro
Starting Price/with keyboard and Pencil $649/$917 $799/$1,067
Display (pixels) 10.5 inches (2224 x 1668) 12.9 inches (2732 x 2048)
Display Brightness 477 nits 555 nits
Weight 1.1 pounds 1.5 pounds
Battery Life 13:55 12:09

Design

Depending on your needs, bigger may not be best for you. While the 12.9-inch iPad Pro's larger Smart Keyboard gives your fingers more room to type, the pros end there, as they're equally easy to balance in your lap. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is easier to hold in your hands, making it more friendly on the couch and less unwieldy if you want to use it as a camera.

image 3138271498838376

Weighing 1.1 pounds, the 10.5-inch iPad is the lighter of the two The 12.9-inch model weighs 1.5 pounds.

Winner: While each are easy to take with you, the 10.5-inch iPad is more portable.

Display

The screens on the iPad Pros tie in most ways, but one is stronger than the other. Both feature the same ultrasmooth ProMotion technology for 120-hertz refresh rates, and each produce 122 percent of the sRGB spectrum and scored a nearly perfect 0.2 on the Delta-E test (0 is best).image 3138271498838331

But the 12.9-inch iPad is the brighter slate, emitting up to 555 nits, making it one of the brighter screens we've seen in a tablet or laptop. While the 10.5-inch model's 477-nit rating is nothing to scoff at, it gets outshined.

Since the displays in the 10.5 and 12.9-inch tablets are of the same pixel density (264 pixels per inch) the larger model's 2732 x 2048-pixel panel simply provides you more screen estate than that of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro (2224 x 1668).

Winner: The 12.9-inch iPad is the brightest of them all.

Battery Life

Both iPad Pros beat the 8 hours and 51 minutes tablet average on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness), but one lasts significantly longer than the other. With an epic time of 13:55 , the 10.5-inch iPad Pro bests the 12.9-inch iPad's time of 12:09.image 3138271498838495

This is possibly due to the 12.9-inch iPad's battery having to power a larger display.

Winner: By almost two hours, the 10.5-inch iPad.

Performance

While the 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pros both feature the A10X Fusion Chip and 4GB of RAM, they didn't turn in the same scores during testing. The 12.9-inch tablet edged out the smaller model on both the Geekbench 4 general performance test (9,414 vs 9,233) and on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark (54,198 vs 52,353).

image 3138271498838513

Winner: By a thin margin, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Value

The 12.9 inch iPad Pro costs more than its 10.5-inch baby brother, with a price tag that's $150 higher.

image 3138271498838299What do you get for that price difference? The 23.1 percent price bump gets you a larger display as well as a bigger and therefore more comfy keyboard.

However, Apple makes you pay a little more for the Smart Keyboard for the larger tablet, as the 12.9-inch slate's keyboard is $169 and the 10.5-inch model's accessory is $159. Basically, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is a better laptop replacement.

Winner: The 12.9-inch iPad Pro may be slightly pricier, but the differences are worth it.

  10.5-inch iPad Pro 12.9-inch iPad Pro
Design  
Display  
Battery Life  
Performance  
Value  

Verdict

The 12.9-inch iPad's takes the win with its bigger and brighter display, larger keyboard and slightly-faster performance. The 10.5-inch is stil a great choice, though, as it's the more affordable and longer-lasting of the two. Plus, it’s easier to hold and use for a longer period of time as a tablet.

image 3138271498838201

It all comes down to your priorities, but if you’re going to spend serious money on an iPad Pro, our money is on the 12.9-inch model.

Photo credit: Laptop Mag

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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