iPad Pro 9.7 to 10.5: worth the upgrade ?

anthony13

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Original poster
Jul 1, 2012
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i really love my iPad Pro 9.7 (with brydge keyboard) but the screen size has always been the one glaring limitation for me. The 12 inch iPad is really too big for my needs but the 9.7 has felt small too me. Has anyone made this switch? Is it silly too even contemplate?
 
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aakshey

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2016
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It is night and day. Will outlast the 9.7 by at least 2-3 yrs, maybe more.

Double the RAM. That alone is worth the premium even if you had none of the other features.

Way faster CPU

Much bigger and better display

Way more future proof due to the above

Better battery life

More storage

And there’s probably more.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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i really love my iPad Pro 9.7 (with brydge keyboard) but the screen size has always been the one glaring limitation for me. The 12 inch iPad is really too big for my needs but the 9.7 has felt small too me. Has anyone made this switch? Is it silly too even contemplate?
What I would suggest doing if you haven't already, is go test the 10.5 iPad and see if the new display size appeals to you. Most whi have made the upgrade from the 9.7 to the 10.5, have said that the 10.5 is the perfect size for the upgraded display.

Also, The 120 HZ Promotion display is very crisp and responsive. Not to mention all the other features that are included.
 

GDF

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2010
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I have had the 9.7 Pro from the start and upgraded briefly to the 10.5, which I ended up returning. While I did think it offered a lot of new benefits that are listed above, I did not think it was worth the upgrade, considering the big loss you take when selling the 9.7. If I had an endless supply of money, then I would upgrade, but the 9.7 still is just fine.

The only things I really noticed with the 10.5 was the promotion and the larger screen. Maybe that will change with iOS11. 9.7 also seems slightly easier to travel with.

i really love my iPad Pro 9.7 (with brydge keyboard) but the screen size has always been the one glaring limitation for me. The 12 inch iPad is really too big for my needs but the 9.7 has felt small too me. Has anyone made this switch? Is it silly too even contemplate?
 

desmond2046

macrumors regular
Jun 2, 2015
192
372
Columbus, OH, United States
I upgraded from 9.7" iPad Pro to 10.5" recently. Totally worth it!

1. I work in academia and read scientific papers all the time. After cropping the edges, the text on 10.5" iPad is the same size as on a printed paper. I don't need to zoom in anymore. Same for magazines. They just look better.
2. I use notability app a lot. It feels a lot better writing on a bigger surface. 20% does make a difference here.
3. Although the speakers on the 9.7" sound great, the ones on 10.5" sound amazing. They actually sound better than all my bluetooth speakers.
4. I use Lightroom for editing RAW photos on the go. You can definitely feel the difference in processing power. More importantly, the 10.5" supports USB 3.0 SD card reader. The import was painfully slow on 9.7" but OK on 10.5" now.
 

alecgold

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2007
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I upgraded from 9.7" iPad Pro to 10.5" recently. Totally worth it!

1. I work in academia and read scientific papers all the time. After cropping the edges, the text on 10.5" iPad is the same size as on a printed paper. I don't need to zoom in anymore. Same for magazines. They just look better.
2. I use notability app a lot. It feels a lot better writing on a bigger surface. 20% does make a difference here.
3. Although the speakers on the 9.7" sound great, the ones on 10.5" sound amazing. They actually sound better than all my bluetooth speakers.
4. I use Lightroom for editing RAW photos on the go. You can definitely feel the difference in processing power. More importantly, the 10.5" supports USB 3.0 SD card reader. The import was painfully slow on 9.7" but OK on 10.5" now.
Nothing to add, other than that I absolutely agree.
 

spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Aug 1, 2010
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I tried to convince myself for a week that I was not going to upgrade from 9.7 to 10.5, but I eventually did and I am so glad. It is going to way out last the 9.7" because of the 4 GB of RAM and the bigger chassis makes for better typing, whether it's on-screen or with the Smart Keyboard. And the screen size increase doesn't sound like much on paper, but there is definitely a difference.
 

nostodnayr

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2011
100
62
Mie Prefecture, Japan
The screen is stunning. And I don’t just mean ProMotion. The colours are so much more vibrant. I immediately noticed how black is much more black. And it’s a tiny detail, but that dead screen border between the bezel and the lit pixels is gone. It’s the first time I really felt how the screen is directly under the glass (despite being that way for a while on iPhone).
 

BigAppleNYC123

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2017
211
153
The two big things the 10.5 brings is three-app multi tasking and promotion. If you need those, upgrade. The screen size is 18% bigger or so, while the footprint grew about 8%. For me, the screen size upgrade is too small to achieve productivity, and I prefer the smaller screen for bed and couch usage where the device is a foot away from my eyes. You may use your device differently.

iPad 12.9 will show you two iPad minis in horizontal mode, while 10.5 is showing you 18% more than 9.7... it’s more but I doubt it is a fundamentally different experience with two apps open.

there are a few reasons to keep your 9.7 over 10.5 Pro.

- 9.7 has the most common iPad resolution, so you get the best 3rd party app experience
- smaller foot print makes it more portable
- bezels make vertical typing easier (Apple arguably shrunk the wrong bezels)
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Aug 1, 2010
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The two big things the 10.5 brings is three-app multi tasking and promotion. If you need those, upgrade. The screen size is 18% bigger or so, while the footprint grew about 8%. For me, the screen size upgrade is too small to achieve productivity, and I prefer the smaller screen for bed and couch usage where the device is a foot away from my eyes. You may use your device differently.

iPad 12.9 will show you two iPad minis in horizontal mode, while 10.5 is showing you 18% more than 9.7... it’s more but I doubt it is a fundamentally different experience with two apps open.

there are a few reasons to keep your 9.7 over 10.5 Pro.

- 9.7 has the most common iPad resolution, so you get the best 3rd party app experience
- smaller foot print makes it more portable
- bezels make vertical typing easier (Apple arguably shrunk the wrong bezels)
The multitasking is not functionally different, but I can't believe you don't think an almost 20% bigger screen is not a big difference. Also, the way they reduced the bezels allowed for an on-screen keyboard and smart keyboard that are closer to "full sized".

I can totally understand people not wanting to upgrade from 9.7" to 10.5", but saying the differences are minimal is kind of delusional.
 

BigAppleNYC123

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Jun 6, 2017
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The multitasking is not functionally different, but I can't believe you don't think an almost 20% bigger screen is not a big difference. Also, the way they reduced the bezels allowed for an on-screen keyboard and smart keyboard that are closer to "full sized".

I can totally understand people not wanting to upgrade from 9.7" to 10.5", but saying the differences are minimal is kind of delusional.
They made the device 8% bigger and gave it an 18% bigger screen... those numbers are not overwhelmingly impressive to me. You obviously feel differently.

In vertical mode, I like how side bezels keep the keys closer to the middle of the screen. When an iPad Pro comes along that picks up OLED and or facial recognition, the change will be greater than 9.7 to 10.5.
 

anthony13

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Original poster
Jul 1, 2012
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This is all helpful thank you. I use my iPad as a laptop and a canvas. 75 percent of the time it's docked in my brydge air keyboard. So the increased physical size shouldn't be a deal breaker to me. The size of the screen may be a big benefit as someone above mentioned it's now the size of a paper and I write a lot of papers on mine as well. The pro motion thing is pretty impressive although this really is about RAM and screen real estate for me.

The response time on the pencil is pretty big for me and I didn't really even realize it till I tried it at the store. The iPad Pro 9.7 will probably start its hand me down path in my family as I think I'm getting a 10.5 tomorrow. Thanks for all the great input.
 
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Mackinjosh

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Aug 21, 2014
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It is night and day. Will outlast the 9.7 by at least 2-3 yrs, maybe more.

Double the RAM. That alone is worth the premium even if you had none of the other features.

Way faster CPU

Much bigger and better display

Way more future proof due to the above

Better battery life

More storage

And there’s probably more.
People say this every year. And next year's iteration will have something cool that this one doesn't and it will be stated that it will outlast the current model by 2-3 years.
 

BigAppleNYC123

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2017
211
153
This is all helpful thank you. I use my iPad as a laptop and a canvas. 75 percent of the time it's docked in my brydge air keyboard. So the increased physical size shouldn't be a deal breaker to me. The size of the screen may be a big benefit as someone above mentioned it's now the size of a paper and I write a lot of papers on mine as well. The pro motion thing is pretty impressive although this really is about RAM and screen real estate for me.

The response time on the pencil is pretty big for me and I didn't really even realize it till I tried it at the store. The iPad Pro 9.7 will probably start its hand me down path in my family as I think I'm getting a 10.5 tomorrow. Thanks for all the great input.
Always interesting to see what sells other people on a device. Enjoy
 

Booji

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2011
650
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Tokyo
I just got my 10.5 yesterday. After spending a few hours on it, and going back to the 9.7, the difference is quite stunning. The extra size is much more dramatic than the numbers much suggest. It really is the much more functional size with with being inside a very similar form factor. The Promotion screen will spoil you forever once you use it - really so fluid and smooth - you can really notice it when you switch back to the 9.7. Also, the huge bezels on the 9.7 make it seem like something out of the 90's.

It's really very fast and the combination of all the changes, while seem relatively small in isolation, make for a significantly upgraded experience.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I just got my 10.5 yesterday. After spending a few hours on it, and going back to the 9.7, the difference is quite stunning. The extra size is much more dramatic than the numbers much suggest. It really is the much more functional size with with being inside a very similar form factor. The Promotion screen will spoil you forever once you use it - really so fluid and smooth - you can really notice it when you switch back to the 9.7. Also, the huge bezels on the 9.7 make it seem like something out of the 90's.

It's really very fast and the combination of all the changes, while seem relatively small in isolation, make for a significantly upgraded experience.
I agree the reduced bezels really provided the 10.5 iPad a facelift it needed. With the reduction of the bezels by 40%, I think the device looks more like a larger Canvas, even though The display Sounds like a small Upgrade, but the reduced bezels made a huge impact.
 
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rkuo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2010
593
192
This is all helpful thank you. I use my iPad as a laptop and a canvas. 75 percent of the time it's docked in my brydge air keyboard. So the increased physical size shouldn't be a deal breaker to me. The size of the screen may be a big benefit as someone above mentioned it's now the size of a paper and I write a lot of papers on mine as well. The pro motion thing is pretty impressive although this really is about RAM and screen real estate for me.

The response time on the pencil is pretty big for me and I didn't really even realize it till I tried it at the store. The iPad Pro 9.7 will probably start its hand me down path in my family as I think I'm getting a 10.5 tomorrow. Thanks for all the great input.
Let’s get serious here ... 20% is not a big difference and anyone who tells you differently is fooling themselves. The issue is compounded by most websites and apps using a mobile layout when multitasking on the 10.5 as opposed to the 12.9” which generally lays out side by side apps in full iPad mode. Where the extra size really can make a big difference is keyboard comfort ... but that will depend on your personal preferences.

Also, if you have a current model that is performing perfectly fine, you shouldn’t buy a new one based on the idea that it will last longer like some of the others here are saying. Upgrading when you aren’t going to see a benefit immediately totally defeats the purpose of making your technology last.
 

anthony13

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Original poster
Jul 1, 2012
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Let’s get serious here ... 20% is not a big difference and anyone who tells you differently is fooling themselves. The issue is compounded by most websites and apps using a mobile layout when multitasking on the 10.5 as opposed to the 12.9” which generally lays out side by side apps in full iPad mode. Where the extra size really can make a big difference is keyboard comfort ... but that will depend on your personal preferences.

Also, if you have a current model that is performing perfectly fine, you shouldn’t buy a new one based on the idea that it will last longer like some of the others here are saying. Upgrading when you aren’t going to see a benefit immediately totally defeats the purpose of making your technology last.
I agree that future proofing isn't smart, but I think the main difference in opinion even in this thread is wether 20% is noticeable. I think it is after using it. And the RAM is noticeable. Not having to close other apps all the time is nice.
 
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zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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The upgrade is tempting - but I'm intending to hold off. The 9.7" is still a fully functional device, and due to the poor re-sale values, the cost of upgrading an iPad yearly is extremely high. I can easily afford it, but it makes more sense to hold off for another year or two until my current iPad is better suited to family/kid duty, to replace our aging iPad 4 which still has another year or two left.

I've upgraded yearly a number of times with the iPad. The best upgrade was going from the 4 to the original Air IMO. That was when the form factor of the device finally hit the sweet spot. The second-best was to the 9.7" Pro because of the addition of the keyboard and Pencil - accessories I'd been waiting for since the original iPad release.
 
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DougFNJ

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Jan 22, 2008
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I think this upgrade was comparable to the upgrade from iPad 4 to Air 2 regarding specs. Much better processor, more RAM, better screen, and future proofed. The 10.5 looks like what Apple truly had in mind for a smaller pro model. I think the 9.7 pro was answering requests for a smaller iPad that you could use the keyboard and pencil on. This is the final version that should hold nicely for a good 2 years.

I did the upgrade, the size of the screen, promotion, and the color that really pops are significant. Add in the 4 gigs of RAM and the processor that keeps up, and that's why I was sold. All the reviews testing the beta show how well it keeps up with the background multitasking and the processor doesn't break a sweat. I think that's where a lot of decisions will be made when iOS 11 officially releases.
 
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rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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I think this upgrade was comparable to the upgrade from iPad 4 to Air 2 regarding specs. Much better processor, more RAM, better screen, and future proofed. The 10.5 looks like what Apple truly had in mind for a smaller pro model. I think the 9.7 pro was answering requests for a smaller iPad that you could use the keyboard and pencil on. This is the final version that should hold nicely for a good 2 years.
Nah. More like Air to Air 2 (so pretty much one generation which is exactly what this is). The CPU and GPU jump from 4 to Air 2 was more like Air to Pro 9.7. Air to Air 2 was also when we got 2GB RAM, the fully laminated display and improved anti-reflectivity.
 

rkuo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2010
593
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Nah. More like Air to Air 2 (so pretty much one generation which is exactly what this is). The CPU and GPU jump from 4 to Air 2 was more like Air to Pro 9.7. Air to Air 2 was also when we got 2GB RAM, the fully laminated display and improved anti-reflectivity.
Yes ... the difference now is we've reached the point where the improvements matter less and less to the overall experience.

4GB of RAM is currently irrelevant as most multi tasking does not require that much RAM yet ... and, if we are being honest, I doubt most users know how to multitask with iOS anyway.

Web browsing is already plenty fast on the iPad Pro 9.7.

ProMotion is nice for scrolling but most people would need to compare side by side to know that it was there. You wouldn't know it was there if you didn't go looking for it.

The 10.5 is a great iPad, don't get me wrong. If anyone hasn't upgraded in a while and wants to step up to this, it's definitely going to be a future proof upgrade cycle. I just think the case is very hard to make for trading into this from the 9.7.