The new iPad Pro lineup is now officially official, and up for preorder no less. So let’s take a look at some early hands-on quick takes.
the 2018 iPad Pro is a major redesign for Apple, going for an iPhone 5-inspired edge, but rounding the display and adopting minimized bezels all across the sides. There is no physical Home button, instead opting to adopt the TrueDepth camera system introduced with the iPhone X and including Face ID for good measure. The new iPad Pro models also adopt USB-C, rather than Lightning, and Apple is including the A12X Bionic processor to make this one of the most powerful devices out there.
So, what do folks think with a little hands-on time preview time? The general consensus appears to be a positive one, with some suggesting this may be the iPad Pro that can actually replace some people’s laptops. So, let’s dig in:
“The transition to Face ID allowed Apple to make the iPad’s side bezels slimmer than ever before, and the result might be the truest embodiment of a “tablet” yet. This thing is just a giant, beautiful screen.
The 11-inch display is housed in a device similar to the size of the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 12.9-inch model is physically smaller than its predecessor — about the size of a sheet of paper. The screen looks great; it’s the same 264ppi as the previous Retina iPads, and it’s as bright and sharp as ever. The corners are rounded off using the same pixel-masking technique as the iPhone XR — Apple’s actually calling it a “Liquid Retina” display, just like the iPhone XR, but honestly it looks far nicer than the XR.”
“Speaking of important, how about that USB-C? The shift has been rumored for years, but it’s finally here, and it stands to change the way people think about how to use iPads. In the past, if you wanted to hook other devices up to your iPad, you’d have to rely on peripherals and connectors to bridge the gap between Lightning and whatever else your hardware required. Moving to a standard USB-C port makes the new Pro line feel more akin to a proper computer, and Apple has already pitched several ways that professionals have been able to work these iPads into their daily flows. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a great idea of what kind of external devices the Pros will play nice with; Apple has suggested you could connect a camera and save images directly to the iPad, but there’s surely more at play here than we’re currently aware of. (I’ll update this story as I learn more.)”
“What a difference skinnier bezels make. Still, to boil the new iPad Pro down to just a larger proportion of screen to tablet misses much of what makes it special. Apple has always pitched the iPad Pro as a replacement for your notebook: now, for even more people, that might well come true.
It leaves the 2018 iPad Pro looking more purposeful and business-like, but the combination of waif-like thickness and light weight mean the harder edges aren’t uncomfortable in your hand. The new 11-inch model is even easier to hold than before, with much more of the front now turned over to display. I worried the overlap of my fingers around the edges might inadvertently trigger the touchscreen, but it seems not to be a problem.”
“That’s probably a good thing, of course. The tablet-defining line was long overdue do for a rethink. After nearly a decade in existence, it’s time to shake off the cobwebs. And naturally, most of the design upgrades on the new product will ultimately filter down to the rest of the line.
As a starting point, however, Apple took a good, long look at the iPhone for a few insights into to how remove some of that unsightly bezel. Not altogether, of course — after all, the user needs somewhere to put their hands.”