With its recently dropped iPhones, Apple signaled an aesthetic point of no return. Notches aside, its phones are all screen and all-immersive, and now, with today’s follow-up product announcement, that aesthetic has made its way to the new iPad Pro.
Make that two new iPad Pros, both with pleasingly, unilaterally thin bezels that frame huge screen displays. One measures in at 11” and the other at 12.9”. Let’s do a quick rundown of the changes from previous models.
What’s the Current iPad Lineup?
Let’s start by getting reacquainted with the full iPad line. These five models make up the current lineup on Apple’s website.
- iPad: AKA the iPad 6, iPad 2018, or iPad 9.7-inch. Yeesh. There’s some debate regarding what to call it… Its screen measures 9.7”.
- iPad Mini 4: Thankfully Apple didn’t ditch the numbering scheme for the Mini line. Measures 7.9”.
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro: this iPad Pro retains the older aesthetic, with a front home button and thick top and bottom bezels.
- 11-inch iPad Pro: new this year. Top to bottom screen.
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro: new this year. Top to bottom screen.
Go Big and Go, Home Button
The new iPads are all screen, and in a nice improvement over their little iPhone brethren, they don’t even have notches. So whether or not you like the chunky black vision magnets on the iPhones, there’s no such distraction here.
To make room for the added screen space, something had to give, and lo and behold, the home button has been put to rest. In its place, the new front TrueDepth Camera with Face ID has taken over unlocking duties.
Messing with screen size means Apple can mess with overall dimensions, too. The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is a full inch shorter than previous 12.9-inch models, coming in at 11.04” L compared to 12.04” L.
The 11-inch iPad Pro, with a screen size never before featured in the Pro line, is roughly the same size as the 10.5 inch iPad Pro introduced in 2017 and still being made today. The new one comes in at 9.75” L versus 9.87” L on the 10.5-inch iPad.
Say Bye to the Lightning Port and Headphone Jack
Seeing the home button go is bittersweet, if not totally unexpected. It’s more of a surprise to see Apple choose to feature a standard USB-C charging port on the bottom of both new iPads in place of its proprietary Lighting port. The reasons? Consider faster charging and data transfer, streaming 5K video to external monitors, and being able to charge other Apple devices from the iPad. So, good reasons.
While one common component gets substituted (for something better), another gets lost completely. That’s right, the iPhone people have come for the iPad’s headphone jack, too. The only physical port on the new iPad Pro is the USB-C port.
There were some improvements made to the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio, but our curiosity was most piqued by the physical changes to the iPads themselves, and how they might affect repairability.
The battery life is reported to be the same as the 10-5-inch iPad Pro, so there’s no big change there. The presence of Face ID in place of a Touch ID-enabled home button raises some eyebrows regarding repairability and compatibility with aftermarket parts.
However, more than anything, the larger screens have us wondering if more shattered screens and spiderwebbing corners will be brought in for repair. It’s certainly something to keep an eye on (and without those distracting notches, thank goodness).