iPad Pro 10.5“ 2017
Picture:  iPad Pro 10.5“ 2017

Using the 2017 iPad Pro 10.5“ in 2020

So, its 2020 and I need an iPad. And what do I get? A used iPad Pro 10.5 from 2017 with 256GB of storage and WiFi + Cellular for about 500$ (with no keyboard). Here‘s why:

A good piece of sustainable technology

The iPad Pro 10.5“ of 2017 is in my opinion the iPad with the best value if you buy it used. It features the A10X processor which is quite powerful for its age. The Geekbench 5 results show that pretty well.

Single-Core results

Multi-Core results

Metal Results

It still has one of the best Metal scores in all iOS Devices.

My own benchmark device was the iPhone X that I also own because it has an A11 which has a very good usability but may overheat when used pretty well. That’s the advantage of the iPad Pro since its much bigger and can dissipate more heat. And as you can see in the benchmark the iPad Pro’s A10X processor is performing similar to the A11 making it a performance device.

Superb hardware: 256 GB Storage, 4GB RAM, 120 Hz refresh rate, 600 nits, 4 speakers, Power delivery, USB 3.0

The CPU is not the only reason why I chose the iPad Pro 10.5“ from 2017. The hardware is quite powerful.

  • The internal storage can be up to 512 GB large. I chose 256 GB because its the perfect sweep spot with lower costs abend enough storage.
  • The device has 4 GB RAM which is more than some iPhones from 2020. Even the iPad Pro of 2018 had 4 GB RAM. iOS is a very efficient operating system allowing the system to run very smoothly.
  • Probably my favorite feature is the 120 Hz refresh rate of the display making this a really responsive device. It looks just perfect and makes touch and pencil input really direct.
  • The display gets really bright. 600 nits make it usable even in direct sunlight – that’s almost the same what the iPhone X is capable to put out with its OLED display. But the iPad has a much bigger screen.
  • The four speakers of the iPad Pro give it good and loud sound. If its watching a video on YouTube or listening to music – it sounds just better with a symmetric layout of speakers.
  • The iPad Pro 10.5“ can be charged with up to 30 watts by using the Lightning to USB-C cable with compliant chargers. (See here) This is really helpful if you do a lot with your iPad Pro and want to charge it quicker.
  • The iPad Pro supports USB 3.0 over Lightning. If you look into the connector you can actually see that the iPad Pro uses both sides of the Lightning-Connector. This allows the Camera Adapter and SD-Card Adapter to actually use much faster transfer speeds.

These features make the device really a Pro out of all the iPads that are available. The iPad Air of 2019 has the same screen and overall dimensions as the iPad Pro 10.5“ of 2020 but lacks many of those features. It has less RAM (2GB), only 60 Hz refresh rate, only two speakers on the bottom, is only 425 nits bright, etc.

Conclusion

If it is okay for you to get a used device you should seriously consider the iPad Pro 10.5“ of 2017 as your device. It will be the perfect mobile companion for light work to be done and by using the Smart Keyboard you can get some work done.

Another advantage is that iPad OS has matured a lot since 2017. Back then the iPad Pro ran just the same iOS as iPhones did and there have been only a few improvements made to make use of the iPads capabilities. The way how Apple is currently pushing the new iPad Pros of 2020 to be serious laptop replacements we might expect more software implementations that may make even the older 2017 iPad Pro a more capable device.

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