Apple announced the iPad Pro 11-inch in October, offering a refreshed design and a larger display within a similar-size footprint to the older 10.5-inch iPad Pro model.

The new 11-inch iPad Pro is offered in addition to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro model rather than replacing it, meaning those after one of Apple's high-end tablets have a decision to make.

For those choosing whether to upgrade their 10.5-inch iPad Pro to the 11-inch model or for those choosing which Pro model to buy, here is how the iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Pro 10.5 differ.

Design

  • iPad Pro 11: 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm, 468g
  • iPad Pro 10.5: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm, 469g

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch features a completely new design compared to the iPad Pro 10.5. The bezels surrounding the display have been significantly reduced, with the new model offering a 0.5-inch bigger display within a very similar footprint to the 10.5-inch model. It's actually shorter and slimmer than the older model and only a tiny bit wider.

The Touch ID home button has been replaced on the 11-inch model with Face ID, allowing for that larger screen, and the slim aluminium edges are flat rather than round like the older 10.5-inch model. Those flat edges also allow for the second generation Apple Pencil to magnetically attach and charge wirelessly, while the 10.5-inch model is only compatible with the first generation Apple Pencil.

On the rear, the single camera lens remains in the top left hand corner for both the 11-inch model and the 10.5-inch model and both have four speaker audio. The 11-inch model has USB Type-C for charging in and out however, while the 10.5-inch model features Apple's Lightning connector.

Display

  • iPad Pro 11: 11-inch, Liquid Retina, 2388 x 1688, 264ppi
  • iPad Pro 10.5: 10.5-inch, Retina, 2224 x 1668, 264ppi

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch has an 11-inch display while the iPad Pro 10.5-inch has a 10.5-inch display. No prizes for figuring that out. The latest model uses the Liquid Retina display technology from the iPhone XR however, rounding the corners off, while the 10.5-inch model opts for the standard Retina screen we've seen for a number of years.

The 11-inch model has a 2388 x 1668 pixel resolution, while the 10.5-inch model has a 2224 x 1668 resolution, which puts both their pixel densities at 264ppi. This means they both offer the same amount of pixels per inch and therefore images and text should appear sharp and crisp on both devices.

Both models have fully laminated displays, P3 wide colour gamuts, True Tone technology and ProMotion technology.

Hardware and specifications

  • iPad Pro 11: A12X chip, eSIM, 1TB ready, Bluetooth 5.0
  • iPad Pro 10.5: A10X chip, embedded SIM, 512GB top storage, Bluetooth 4.2

Under the hood, the Apple iPad Pro 11-inch has the A12X Bionic chip with an embedded M12 coprocessor and Neural Engine, while the iPad Pro 10.5-inch has the A10X Fusion chip with embedded M10 coprocessor. Ultimately, the iPad Pro 11-inch should be the more capable of the two.

The two devices have the same battery capabilities but the 11-inch model offers improvements elsewhere. It has eSIM instead of an embedded Apple SIM and it has Bluetooth 5.0 instead of Bluetooth 4.2 like the 10.5-inch model. In terms of the LTE models, the 11-inch iPad Pro has Gigabit-class LTE up to 29 bands compared to LTE advanced up to 25 bands.

Storage capacities are also slightly different between the 11-inch and the 10.5-inch. Both models come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB options, but the 11-inch iPad Pro is available in a 1TB option too.

As previously mentioned, the iPad Pro 11-inch is compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil, while the iPad Pro 10.5-inch is only compatible with the original Apple Pencil.

Cameras

  • iPad Pro 11: 12MP, f/1.8, 7MP front with FaceID
  • iPad Pro 10.5: 12MP, f/1.8, OIS, 7MP front but no FaceID

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Pro 10.5-inch both have a 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.8 aperture, Quad-LED True Tone flash and many of the same features including burst mode, timer mode and exposure control.

The two devices are both capable of 4K video recording and they both offer slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120fps or 720p at 240fps. The iPad Pro 11-inch has Smart HDR for photos, something introduced on the iPhone XS, while the iPad Pro 10.5-inch has optical image stabilisation on board where the 11-inch model doesn't.

It's the front camera that sees the biggest differences between these two iPad Pro models though. Both have a 7-megapixel sensor but the 11-inch iPad Pro's front camera is the TrueDepth camera found on the iPhone XS. This is what allows for FaceID, along with Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting and Animoji and Memoji features.

The iPad Pro 10.5-inch meanwhile, has a FaceTime HD camera but it doesn't support Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, Animoji, Memoji or FaceID.

Software

  • iOS 12

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Pro 10.5-inch both run on iOS 12, meaning you'll get a similar user experience though not identical.

As the iPad Pro 11-inch ditches Touch ID in favour of Face ID, the way it is used is slightly different to the 10.5-inch model. As an example, where you would double tap Touch ID to view open apps and then press the "x" to close them, you would swipe up from the bottom of the iPad Pro 11-inch, pause half way up and slide the app you want to close up.

You'll also get a few extra features on the iPad Pro 11-inch, such as Animoji and Memoji but on the whole, the experience is very familiar to the iPad Pro 10.5.

Price

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch starts at £769 for the Wi-Fi only model, and £919 for the Wi-Fi and Cellular model. These prices increase to £1519 and £1669 for the 1TB model.

The Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch starts at £619 for the Wi-Fi only model and £749 for the Wi-Fi and Cellular model. For the 512GB model, you're looking at £969 and £1099.

Conclusion

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch model offers a great new design, larger display, a very capable new chip and compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil that can attach magnetically and charge wirelessly.

It also offers Face ID, a more advanced front camera and it has USB Type-C for charging in and out, meaning you can charge other devices using your iPad Pro 11.

You pay an extra £150 for all those features though and if you aren't too worried about the latest design and latest hardware, the iPad Pro 10.5 is still an extremely capable tablet.