Apple iPad Pro vs Apple iPad

Alex Kidman 6 June 2017

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Apple charges a premium for its Pro tablets, but is that a price worth paying?

Apple's only just announced its new range of 10.5 inch iPad Pro tablets, replacing the no-longer-offered 9.7 iPad Pro line. It will still offer the much larger 12.9 inch iPad Pro lines as well, alongside the updated regular "iPad" line it relaunched earlier this year.

So if you're in the market for an Apple tablet, which one should you buy?

Apple iPad Pro vs Apple iPad: Specifications

ModelApple iPad ProApple iPad
Display10.5/12.9in9.7in
Resolution2224x1668 (10.5)/2732x2048 (12.9in)2048x1536
Pixels per inch264ppi264ppi
Weight469/477g (10.5in/LTE)/677/692g (12.9in/LTE)469/478g
Rear camera12MP8MP
Front camera7MP1.2MP
ProcessorApple A10X FusionApple A9
Storage64/256/512GB32/128GB
Battery30.4 watt-hour/41-watt hour (10.5/12.9) up to 10 hour battery life32.4 watt-hour, up to 10 hour battery life
SoftwareiOS 10iOS 10
Pricing$979-$1849$469-$799

Apple iPad Pro vs Apple iPad: Performance

Both the new iPad Pro and the existing iPad currently run on iOS 10, with both firmly in line to see upgrades to iOS 11 when it's made fully available later this year. Back when the new iPad launched, it was competing with the iPad Pro 9.7 inch and its A9X processor, relative to the A9 found in the iPad. By shifting the iPad Pro line to a new A10X Fusion processor, Apple opens up the potential for a much more significant performance gap between the two iPad families, although quite how significant that gap is will remain to be seen until we've had some proper testing time with the new iPad Pro lines.

The reality for iOS apps, however, is that developers are unlikely to target just the iPad Pro family when writing applications. They may run a little more rapidly, and it's possible that we may see a small subset of iPad-Pro only applications hit the app store, but it's not as though the new iPads will suddenly stop working with new apps, even those developed for iOS 11.

The one exception area to that rule, naturally enough, will be the Apple Pencil. Apple Pencil only works with the iPad Pro family, and that means that apps developed with Pencil in mind will need an iPad Pro to be fully functional.

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Apple iPad Pro vs Apple iPad: Storage

The quantity of onboard storage is another area where Apple rather clearly delineates between its iPad families. For the regular iPad, you're looking at either 32GB or 128GB of onboard storage, where the iPad Pro family starts at double that, with 64GB/256GB/512GB storage capacities available. 32GB is on the lower side for the regular iPad, and we'd strongly advise picking up the 128GB regular iPad just to keep your storage options open. Bear in mind that while Apple is relaxing its attitude to file system access with the new Files app, it's still locking down local storage with no current possibility for microSD expansion. Some manufacturers do produce external iPad drives that connect over Lightning or Wi-Fi connections, but they're fiddly at best.

Apple iPad Pro vs Apple iPad: Pricing

Apple made serious cuts to the price of iPad with the new regular iPad, and with pricing now available for the iPad Pro line, it's clear that Apple doesn't want any confusion amongst iPad buyers. You simply can't buy a regular iPad at iPad Pro prices, and vice versa. Here's how the pricing and storage tiers for the entire iPad and iPad Pro families in Australia compares:

AppleiPad/iPad Pro Australian Pricing
iPad 32GB$469
iPad 32GB LTE$669
iPad 128GB$599
iPad 128GB LTE$799
iPad Pro 10.5 64GB$979
iPad Pro 10.5 64GB LTE$1,179
iPad Pro 10.5 256GB$1,129
iPad Pro 10.5 256GB LTE$1,329
iPad Pro 10.5 512GB$1,429
iPad Pro 10.5 512GB LTE$1,629
iPad Pro 12.9 64GB$1,199
iPad Pro 12.9 64GB LTE$1,399
iPad Pro 12.9 256GB$1,349
iPad Pro 12.9 256GB LTE$1,549
iPad Pro 12.9 512GB$1,649
iPad Pro 12.9 512GB LTE$1,849

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