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Grow Your Business Technology

Apple's iPad Pro (2017): Best Business Features

Apple's iPad Pro (2017): Best Business Features Credit: Apple

One of the many innovations announced at WWDC 2017 was Apple's updated line of iPad Pros. The new tablets are available for order now and will ship with iOS 10 and receive the updated iOS 11 this fall.

Here's what the new iPad Pro brings to the table for business users.

The new iPad Pro come in two sizes: 10.5 inches and 12.9 inches with the former weighing just 1.03 pounds and the latter starting at 1.49 pounds. That's right, the old 9.7-inch iPad Pro is no more.

Both iPad Pro sizes come with 64GB onboard and can be upgraded to either 256GB or 512GB. Accordingly, the 10.5 inch iPad Pro starts at $649 (and can be upgraded to $949), while the 12.5inch iPad Pro starts at $799 (and can be upgraded to a $1,099 version).

The display on the iPad Pro is brighter and less reflective than past models but features the same pixel density as earlier iPads. The real innovation is the 20 percent larger screen size on the smaller of the two iPad Pros as well as the inclusion of ProMotion, which doubles the display refresh rate and reduces latency when you're using the Apple Pencil. What this means for you is that writing and drawing will feel more natural, and there won't be a lag when you scroll with your finger or use the stylus.

Credit: Apple

All new iPad Pros feature Apple's brand new A10X Fusion chips, which have six cores on the processing side and 12 cores on the graphics side. Apple says the A10X boasts 30 percent faster processing performance and 40 percent faster graphics performance than its predecessors. If these claims are true, the new fleet of iPad Pros offers a significant performance advantage over last year's models.

Some new features of the iPad Pro won't be fully realized until iOS 11 deploys in the fall. With that in mind, you can look forward to a newly designed dock that has a predictive element, which uses machine learning to figure out what you're going to use next as well as a partial screen function so you can easily toggle between different apps and tasks.

Once iOS 11 is live, you'll be able to use drag and drop on your iPad, which makes multiselecting (photos, documents, videos, basically any files) much easier, and there will be a new app called Files, which will support iCloud and other third-party storage providers and make it easier to stay organized on your iPad Pro.

The Apple Pencil is arguably the most popular accessory for iPad users, and there's new functionality baked into every Pro tablet to make writing and drawing with the Apple Pencil for iPad Pro ($99) better.

With the new iPad Pro, you'll be able to carry out inline drawing pretty much anywhere, from emails to scanned documents, which you will be able to scan directly into Notes. iPad Pro will also recognize your handwriting, so you can search it with ease.

There are several new accessories available for the iPad Pro, including a Leather Sleeve with a built-in pencil case ($129), a stand-alone Apple Pencil Case ($29) as well as Smart Covers ($49) and Smart Keyboards ($159) for the new 10.5 inch iPad Pro.

At this WWDC, Apple was clearly trying to appeal to creative professionals, and there's no doubt that the new iPad Pro is an improvement over past versions. Business users who are considering investing in an iPad Pro may want to test the device in stores to make sure it lives up to the hype. It's also advisable to calculate the total cost of the tablet, including any accessories you may need, to make sure it's a sound business purchase.

Assuming you like the performance of the tablet and don't have a problem with Apple's high-priced accessories, the iPad Pro looks like a good buy for business users (especially creative pros).

Mona Bushnell

Mona Bushnell is a New York City-based Staff Writer for Tom’s IT Pro and Business News Daily. She has a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and has previously worked as an IT Technician, a Copywriter, a Software Administrator, a Scheduling Manager and an Editorial Writer. Mona began freelance writing full-time in 2014 and joined the Purch team in 2017.