Apple Bolsters iPad Pro Features in Bid to Rejuvenate Tablet Sales

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Apple Bolsters iPad Pro Features in Bid to Rejuvenate Tablet Sales

At long last, Apple has unveiled new iPad Pro models with major improvements to features that are important to tablet buyers. The biggest change to the iPad Pro is an increase in screen size on the smaller model, to 10.5 inches from 9.7 inches. Apple also updated the 12.9-inch screen to make it brighter and more vibrant. The computer maker also noted that the iPad Pro’s screen refresh rate will improve the experience of digitally writing on the screen with the Apple Pencil. And, both models will come with a higher-end processor to deliver more robust performance. But it's far from certain whether these features will be enough to reverse the steady decline of iPad sales. Read on to learn more about Apple's new iPads.

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Apple Tinkers With iPad Pro Screens

The big news out of the Worldwide Developers Conference was Apple’s decision to increase the 9.7-inch iPad Pro model's screen size to 10.5-inch. Apple's designers were able to achieve this by shrinking the tablet's borders and bezels to provide a 20 percent increase in usable screen area. The 10.5-inch model is complemented by the 12.9-inch iPad Pro version.

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Apple Improves the Display Performance

Apple also said the 10.5- and 12.9-inch screens both will offer outstanding visual quality. The screens have 600 nits of brightness and an expanded color gamut. They also have just 1.8 percent reflectivity. Together, the features mean the iPad Pro screens will offer extremely high-resolution visuals.

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Screen Refresh Rate Is Improved, Too

The iPad Pro’s screen refresh rate earns a mention for one key reason: Apple Pencil. Apple has boosted the screen’s refresh rate to 120Hz, up from 60Hz in a standard LCD display. The refresh rate reduces latency with Apple Pencil, making it more responsive to user input.

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The iPad Pros Get A10X Fusion Chip

Apple’s iPad Pro units are the first to come with the company’s A10X Fusion chip. According to Apple, the A10X runs on 64-bit architecture and has six cores. It’s the most powerful chip Apple has ever produced, and will allow users to quickly edit 4K video from the slate. It can also render “elaborate” 3D models, according to Apple. Ultimately, Apple said, the A10X is more powerful than “most PC laptop” chips.

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Battery Life Should Be Sufficient

Thanks in part to the new A10X processor, Apple’s iPad Pro will deliver up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, Apple said. However, the company added that battery life will vary by the iPad Pro version customers have and by their use.

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They Are as Thin and Light as Ever

Despite the large screen sizes, iPad Pro models are surprisingly portable. The 10.5-inch model, for instance, weighs just 1 pound and is 6.1mm thick. The 12.9-inch model weighs 1.5 pounds and is 6.9mm thick.

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The Cameras Should Suffice

Apple didn’t spend much time discussing the iPad Pro’s cameras, largely due to their middling features, but they should suffice for most users. The rear-facing camera has a 12-megapixel sensor and supports 4K video recording. A 7-megapixel camera on the front can record video in 1080p. The cameras aren’t groundbreaking, but should get the job done.

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Touch ID Is Available as Usual for Security

Apple has always included Touch ID in the iPad Pro, enabling users to employ their fingerprints to open their devices, secure data and authorize transactions through Apple Pay. Touch ID has quickly become a must-have option for corporate IT to combat data loss, so it makes sense Apple would keep the feature.

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There's a Promise of More to Come

Apple promised the iPad Pro will come with additional software features when iOS 11 is released later this year. At WWDC, Apple noted iPads will get a new app called Files that allows users to manipulate files and folders, as well as a wider Dock that can hold many more apps. Plus, Apple added some multitasking and drag-and-drop features to make it feel more like a PC.

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Pricing and Availability Concerns

Apple’s iPad Pro comes in a variety of options, depending on users’ storage and connectivity wants. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts at $649 for a WiFi-only 64GB model. The same configuration in the 12.9-inch version will cost $799. The highest-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro goes for $1,229. Customers can order now and shipping times will vary depending on the model.

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