Apple’s iPad Pro team has been consistently pitching us curveballs. The internal layout of the 9.7″ Pro was strikingly similar to the standard iPad—while the 12.9″ Pro had a completely new internal layout. (Can we take a second to ask why there are so many iPad sizes? Like really, we’re up to four now.) But it looks like Apple has moved from iPad Pro experimentation to standardization. An open-faced 10.5″ iPad Pro is essentially a scaled-down, streamlined version of its 12.9″ predecessor.
Whether this is a good thing remains to be seen. One move we’re particularly happy with is the retention of the 12.9″ Pro’s danger-free display cable placement. No improvement on the battery front, though: it’s pinned under the logic board, firmly adhered in place, and doesn’t inherit the 12.9″ iPad Pro’s handy removal tabs. Maybe after standardization comes logic.
We’re giving Apple a little pat on the back for using Phillips screws to secure the display cable bracket. (A friendly turn, after the iPhone 7’s notorious tri-point screws in the same location).
In our Wi-Fi model, Apple left mysterious plastic blocks where antennas might live in an LTE model. We’re speculating that they add support to the display assembly, as opposed to the usual empty space seen in earlier iPads.
This iPad gets a 30.8 Wh battery—a slight downsize from the 38.8 Wh battery found in the 12.9″ Pro, but an upgrade from the 27.91 Wh battery in the 9.7″.
iPad Pro 10.5” earned itself a repairability score of 2 out of 10 on our scale.