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iPad Pro 10.5in: Apple slims the bezels with its latest MacBook-esque tablet

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You’re probably inundated with all this Apple news. The firm’s annual tech conference is over, and with it, a bunch of shiny new products vying for your time of day. We’re not here to talk about that ludicrous $29 Apple Pencil holder, either – rather the thing it complements. This is Apple’s new 10.5in iPad Pro, and it’s a cheap MacBook alternative.

Looking at the thing, you wouldn’t think too much had changed from its 9.7in counterpart. Its footprint is, understandably, a tad larger, but not as big as you’d expect. Why? Well, Apple has slimmed down those unsightly bezels – by 40% in fact.

It’s nothing like the Galaxy S8’s truly bezel-less approach, but that’s for good reason. It’s a large 0.47kg tablet after all, and you’ll need to save a little bit of bezel to grip the damned thing. Regardless: its display is dominating, and this is Apple’s best-looking tablet to date.

Turn it on and you’ll immediately spot the difference between it and its predecessors. Apple says the 10.5in iPad Pro’s display is 50% brighter than older models, and the difference is blinding. Old iPads were never easy to read in direct sunlight, but this new one should be well suited for summertime reading.

Peer inside, and you’ll find the 10.5in iPad Pro powered by Apple’s new 64-bit A10X Fusion chip. It’s fast enough in its own right – navigating Apple’s menus was as nippy as ever – but there’s something special up Tim Cook’s sleeve this year for the latest chip to take advantage of.

That will be Apple’s new augmented-reality platform, ARKit. Designed specifically with developers in mind, ARKit gives app-makers access to the iPad’s motion sensors and in-built camera, to help create games and industry-level software. It’s a mixed-reality vibe: you can move pre-rendered objects such as a candle or vase in a real-world environment through the camera.

Don’t forget about iOS 11, either. Apple’s latest brings improved multitasking features – particularly the ability to drag and drop frequent apps onto virtual docks on the edge of the screen. You can also move content such as images or text between apps, and a new program called Files allows you to grab multiple files at once and move them about as one group. It’s all very efficient.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5in: Early verdict

Apple is really gunning for professionals with its latest 10.5in iPad Pro. Sitting between those other 9.7in and 12.9in iPad Pros, this freshly tweaked model is set to be Apple’s own MacBook alternative in tablet form. The future is still the tablet, the firm says, and with iOS 11’s impressive new efficiency features, I’m starting to agree with them.

The 10.5in iPad Pro launches in the UK on 12 June, starting at £619. Expect my full review soon.

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