Apple’s new iPad Pro 10.5 has some pretty nifty display technology built into it. Here we take a detailed look at Apple’s ProMotion tech
The iPad Pro is easily the best tablet on the market right now.
Microsoft’s Surface line of hybrids are, generally speaking, more useful but they’re more like traditional laptops with tablet functionality compared to Apple’s iPad, which is a straight-up tablet.
And despite what Apple says, the iPad runs iOS, which is a mobile OS, the same OS as the iPhone, and this is not the same, in any way, shape or form, as macOS or Windows 10 for that matter.
The iPad Pro is pitched as a productivity machine, and you really can do quite a bit on it, but it is NOT a true laptop replacement in my book. Not yet, anyway. Should this bother you? No – not at all. Apple’s iPad ecosystem is superb.
Using a Pro model just gives you best in class performance, the ability to use a keyboard and a stylus, and more room to play with on the display…
Which brings me to the point of this article: the new iPad Pro’s display.
The latest iPad Pro 10.5 features a rather impressive 120Hz refresh rate. Now, I know this might sound a little dull and boring and also a little bit technical, but the net effect of this addition makes a big difference when using the new iPad Pro.
The technology that makes this refresh rate possible is called ProMotion. Apple talked about it at launch, as you can see below:
“The stunning, redesigned Retina display in iPad Pro features ProMotion, a new technology that delivers refresh rates of up to 120Hz for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness, and smoother motion content. With ProMotion, Apple Pencil is even more responsive with an industry-best, 20-millisecond latency for even more fluid and natural drawing. ProMotion also improves display quality and reduces power consumption by automatically adjusting the display refresh rate to match the movement of the content.”
The new iPad Pro’s display is also brighter than any of its predecessor’s, features an anti-glare coating, making it ideal for outside use, and it will also adjust the white balance of the display to suit your surroundings. As I said earlier, pretty nifty stuff.
But it is the 120Hz refresh rate we’re talking about today and, more specifically, why it is so important to overall display performance when viewing media and performing tasks.
From 24Hz To 120Hz: The iPad Pro 10.5 Story…
The iPad Pro’s display is not locked at 120Hz, that’d be stupid and wasteful. ProMotion manages the refresh rate, depending on what you’re doing on the iPad.
For instance: if you’re reading this article on the new iPad Pro, the refresh rate would drop down to around 24Hz, as you don’t need full beans for a simple ol’ web page.
BUT, if you’re watching some fast-paced YouTube videos or content downloaded from iTunes, ProMotion will whack up the refresh rate to 120Hz, meaning the frames refresh 120 per seconds even if the content you’re watching only moves at 60 FPS.
This makes for visibly smoother viewing and overall better quality media experiences. And this applies to games as well as movies and TV Shows and YouTube videos. But that’s not all, as The Mac Observer notes:
“The 120Hz refresh rate also makes a huge difference with the Apple Pencil. It’s sampling at 120 times per second,” said the report, “so the Pencil will appear even smoother than it did before. The delay, or latency, of the Pencil is down to 20ms, according to Apple, which is quite good. With a 120Hz refresh rate, combined with behind-the-scenes predictive technology, the perceived latency can actually drop as low as 8ms. You won’t find an experience any closer to that of paper and pencil than that.”
ProMotion: Smoother Than Kenny G Covered In Butter
This ProMotion technology is a pretty big step forward for iPad. You will feel and notice its presence everywhere, as this is something that has been implemented to improve display performance across the board and on all fronts.
For me, though, the big draw of ProMotion is its effect on the Apple Pencil. The level of detail and finesse you can now get out of this – stupidly expensive – accessory is immense and adds in yet another USP for the iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro 10.5 might look boring with its same-as-always design, but look a little deeper and you will notice some pretty big changes in the areas where they count most.
I haven’t owned an iPad in years, but I am giving serious thought to picking one of these up for keeping up with emails and work on the move and as a replacement laptop for when I am traveling (when I don’t need things like PhotoShop and stuff). Or... I might just get a Surface Pro. I haven't decided yet :/