Apple’s new tablets pack cutting-edge hardware, revamped software

Sprint's new deal will offer the iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9 on June 13

Update: We updated the section on availability to include Sprint availability info. 

Apple took the wraps off the new iPad Pro lineup at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday. The iPad Pro 10.5 and the iPad Pro 12.9 — the company’s latest slates — replace the iPad 9.7 and last year’s iPad Pro 12.9, respectively. They both boast sleek, slim designs, cutting-edge hardware to match, and revamped software with a focus on productivity.

Release date, availability, and pricing

The iPad Pro 10.5 and iPad 12.9 are available now from a variety of online retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Apple’s website.

Here is how they are priced:

  64GB 256GB 512GB
10.5-inch iPad Pro $650 $750 $950
12.9-inch iPad Pro $800 $900 $1,100

Some carriers and retailers are throwing in a few bonuses.

Sprint said that it will offer every iPad Pro 10.5 and iPad Pro 12.9 model on a payment plan, with pricing to be announced at a later date. Starting June 13, new and existing Sprint subscribers can pick up a tablet with an unlimited 4G LTE data plan.

T-Mobile is offering every iPad Pro 10.5 and iPad Pro 12.9 model on a payment plan. Starting this week, new and existing T-Mobile One customers can pick up a tablet with an unlimited 4G LTE data plan for as little as $20 a month (with AutoPay).

  64GB 256GB 512GB
10.5-inch iPad Pro $60 down and $30 a month for 24 months $160 down and $30 a month for 24 months $360 down and $30 a month for 24 months
12.9-inch iPad Pro $210 down and $30 a month for 24 months $310 down and $30 a month for 24 months $510 down and $30 a month for 24 months

Best Buy is throwing in a gift card with every iPad Pro purchase. iPad Pro 10.5 inch orders get a $25 gift card and iPad Pro 12.9 inch pre-orders get a $50 gift card.

We will update this section as carriers and retailers announce pricing.

Specs

Design is the highlight of the new iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9. The tablets’ Retina displays, which have the same physical footprint as the iPad Pro models they’re replacing, feature narrower bezels and Apple’s True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts color temperature based on surrounding lighting conditions. They also boast wider color gamut, as well as  Pro Motion, a new innovation that uses a combination of software and hardware to improve the iPad Pro’s screen refresh rate from 60Hz to 120Hz.

Under the hood of the new iPad Pro 10.5 and 12.9 is Apple’s six-core A10X processor and 12-core GPU, a significant step up from the iPad 9.7’s processor. Apple says it’s 30 percent faster than the A9X, 40 percent faster in graphics, and 500 times faster than the original iPad. Apple says it’s incredibly energy efficient, too — despite all those performance improvements, the new iPad Pro models last an impressive 10 hours on battery.

The new iPad Pros are also notable for the the similarities they share with the outgoing iPad Pro 9.7 and 12.9. They have the same four-speaker technology introduced on last year’s iPad, which adjusts bass and higher frequencies according to the position in which they’re held. And their cameras are the same as the iPhone 7’s, including a 12-megapixel f/1.8 sensor with optical image stabilization on the rear, and a 7-megapixel HD camera on the front.

Apple is also shipping new accessories alongside the new iPad Pros. USB-3 and USB-C adapters will work via a dongle, and there’s a new sleeve for the Apple Pencil.

New software additions — courtesy of iOS 11, the upcoming version of Apple’s mobile operating system — include a full-size on-screen keyboard, called the Flick keyboard, that will support more than 30 languages at launch. A new predictive area in the iOS dock can switch between apps, and a new drag-and-drop feature lets you move images, text, and URLs between panes of split-screen apps by tapping and holding on them.

Those aren’t the only improvements in tow. Infinity Photo, an editing tool, lets you mock up photos in real time. Notes has a built-in document scanner that the Apple Pencil can launch from the iPad Pro’s lock screen. And a new app — Files — provides access to the iPad’s on-device storage. You can search tags across third-party storage providers, and dive into nested folders, recent documents, and even iCloud content.

Finally, Apple has revamped some of the Apple Pencil’s tools. You can mark up any document that prints using AirPrint, and create a PDF — or handwritten email via iOS’s Mail app — on the fly. Even better: Handwriting is searchable across apps.

The new iPad Pro 9.7 and iPad 12.9 ship next week. Both come with double the base storage — 64GB of memory versus 32GB — and start at $650.

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