The new iPad Pro has a complete new edge-to-edge design. The Home button is gone. There’s Face ID on the top. Oh, and the Apple Pencil attaches to magnetically to the iPad. Finally. This is the first time Apple has changed the iPad design since Steve Jobs first introduced it. This is the big one. Here’s everything you need to know about the pair of new iPad Pros.
All New Edge-to-Edge Design
Now that the Home button is gone, the iPad screen stretches from edge to edge. And it has rounded corners. It’s thinner and lighter too. It’s just 5.9mm think, that’s a whole millimeter thinner than the previous generation iPad Pro. The 11 inch iPad Pro clocks in at 1.03 pounds while the 12.9 inch is just 1.4 pounds.
The footprint of the 11 inch iPad Pro is the same as the previous 10.5-inch model, but you now get a bigger screen.
What’s amazing is the new size of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro. Apple kept the screen size the same but made the device considerably smaller. There’s 25% reduction in volume overall.
Liquid Retina Display
The iPad Pros still have an LCD display, but a pretty good one. It’s the same display with curved corners that we saw in the iPhone XR. So Apple is calling it at Liquid Retina Display as well. It has the same 264 PPI pixel density and has all the features we saw in the last iPad Pro – ProMotion Display, Wide Color, True Tone, and of course, Apple Pencil compatibility.
Face ID works on the iPad, no matter how you’re holding it. The camera module is mounted on the top of the iPad in the portrait view. But it will work just as fine if you use it in Landscape model. Even if you hold it upside down, Face ID will still work!
Face ID will work for Apple Pay as well. And as a side-effect, you get access to Animoji and Memoji on the iPad Pro.
No Home Button
This means that the iPad joins the ranks of the iPhone XS in being a gesture-only interface system. Instead of the Home button, you’ll find a big Home bar at the bottom of the screen. You can just flick up to go to the Home screen or to unlock the device. Control Center comes from the right edge of the screen now. You can read more about the new gestures in our guide here.
A12X Bionic Chip
The chip inside the new iPad Pros is an absolute beast. It’s an 8-core CPU with 4 high performance and 4 high-efficiency cores. And just like the A12 chip in the iPhone XS, the iPad can run all 8 cores together! That is some serious firepower. In fact, it leads to a 90% performance increase in multi-core.
The Apple-designed 7-core GPU is no slouch either. It offers twice the performance.
New Apple Pencil
The 2nd Generation Apple Pencil is a huge improvement. It’s no longer completely round. It has a flat edge and a matte finish which makes it really easy to hold. It’s smaller too. Plus it attaches to the iPad magnetically and starts charging automatically and wirelessly. No awkward Apple Pencil hanging from the bottom of the iPad anymore!
Plus, it has a touch sensitive area on the flat edge. Apps can define shortcuts for this gesture. For example, you can double tap on the side of the Apple Pencil to quickly switch to the eraser mode when you’re in the Notes app. In the upcoming photoshop app, it can be used to zoom in and out.
The new Apple Pencil costs $129.
New Smart Keyboard Folio
The Smart Keyboard has been updated for the new iPad as well. It still attaches magnetically and works the same way. And you can now put it on two different angles.
There’s a neat new trick as well. Just double press the Spacebar to automatically do the Face ID scan and unlock the iPad.
Smart Keyboard Folio for the 11-inch model is $179 while the 12.9-inch model will set you back by $199.
If you don’t want the keyboard, you can buy just the Smart Folio which will cover both the front and the back of the iPad Pro.
The unthinkable has happened. The iPad has lost its trusty Lightning port, replaced by a USB-C port. It’s not a Thunderbolt port, mind you. It’s USB-C 3.1 Gen with 10-gigabit transfer support. You can connect it with accessories like a camera, flash drives and more. And when you connect something that’s supported, the relevant app will open automatically.
And thanks to USB-C, your iPad can now be attached to a real screen. And the screen will work as an extension of the iPad, not just as a mirror. So you can be editing a clip on the iPad and see a big preview of it on the screen. The iPad can support even a 5K display!
1TB Storage Option
Here’s a serious pro option: 1TB storage tier for the new iPad Pros. Yes, it’s crazy expensive and most people don’t need it. But if you’re going to do serious work like editing Photoshop files and editing videos, you might just appreciate the extra storage space. And that’s not it — the 1TB iPad Pro variants come with 6GB RAM compared to 4GB RAM on other models. Perhaps that’s another reason for many to spend the additional moolah on an iPad Pro with 1TB storage.
No Headphone Jack
Apple quietly removed the headphone jack from the new iPad Pros. That’s a sad thing given the iPads are a pro machine. Now, if you want to listen to the audio you’re editing, you’ll need a wireless setup or a dongle. And because this is USB-C port, your Lightning to headphone adapter won’t work!
The iPad Pros previously came with a 12W Adapter in the box. Now Apple has upped the ante with an 18W charger in the box. Does this mean we’re ready for a 10W charger for the next iPhone?
Will You Be Buying One?
The 11 inch iPad Pro starts at $799 while the 12.9 inch iPad Pro is now $999. That’s for the base 64GB version. You can pre-order the iPad Pro now and it will be available on November 7.
Will you be buying one? If so, which configurations and which accessories? Share with us in the comments below.