Apple on Tuesday officially took the wraps off its latest and most advanced iPad Pro models yet, putting to rest a whirlwind of rumors and leaks which have for long alluded to the imminence of these stunningly redesigned, next-generation tablets.
As speculated in a number of previous reports, the new 2018 iPad Pro models have been completely redesigned and re-engineered from the ground-up, and most notably boast a sleek and refined blocky design and form-factor similar to the iPhone 4 and 4s with its rounded corners and an ultra-thin metal band around the outer edges.
Along with their new shapes, sizes and form-factors, Apple’s latest iPad Pro models boast a litany of next-generation components, specifications and technological advancements that handily render them the most powerful and capable creative tools on the planet.
2018 iPad Pro Display, Design & UI
- Apple is offering two new iPad Pro models for 2018, both of which do-away with the company’s iconic Home button and stretch their displays to the near edge.
- The smaller iPad Pro features an 11-inch display, while the larger maintains the same 12.9-inch panel as its predecessor, albeit in a much more condensed footprint which Apple claims is 25 percent smaller than the mid-2017 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
- Both models feature upgraded Liquid Retina Displays (LRD), which Apple introduced on its latest iPhone XR.
- The new iPad Pro models are impressively thin at just 5.9 mm.
- Both models also adopt Apple’s iPhone X gesture-control user interface, which can be navigated via a series of flicks, swipes and taps which are far more intuitive and expedient than a Home button, anyways.
Face ID Comes to iPad
- As expected, in absence of the iconic Home button, Apple has incorporated a TrueDepth camera system with full Face ID functionality within the top-center bezel both its new iPad Pro models.
- Notably, the Face ID camera on iPad Pro is flush with its bezel and LRD display, meaning there is no presence of a notch like we see on iPhone X, XS and XR.
- In addition to advanced facial recognition for unlocking and mobile payments authentication, Face ID on iPad also powers Animoji, Memoji, and more
A12 Bionic & GPU
- Confirming some of the earliest rumors about its 2018 tablet computers, Apple announced that the models are equipped with its latest A12X Bionic system-on-a-chip (SoC).
- Built upon the same 7 nm FiNFET fabrication process as the zippy A12 packed inside iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR, the A12X flaunts an Octa-core (8-core) CPU which Apple says is up to 35 percent faster in single-, and up to 90 percent faster in multi-core performance, in comparison to the previous iPad Pro models.
- The new iPad Pros also boast Apple’s first 7-core GPU, which according to the tech-giant can output 1000 times faster graphics performance, rendering it on-par with Microsoft’s beastly Xbox One S gaming console.
- The A12X Bionic, optimized for advanced augmented reality (AR) apps, also features Apple’s latest and most advanced Neural engine for the very first time.
USB-C & More
- Apple officially switched-out iPad Pro’s former Lightning connectivity port with the industry-standard and blazingly-fast USB-C 3.1 standard, which not only promises much faster data and power transfer speeds, but also video output of up to 5K resolution.
- With USB-C, iPad Pro will not only be able to interface with more devices like musical instruments, digital cameras and other professional hardware, but it’ll even be able to charge an iPhone (or any of these other devices) over USB-C, at the same time.
- As a result of these design and engineering advancements, Apple’s latest iPad Pro models are available with up to 1TB (1,000 GB) of storage capacity, which is up from 512 GB previously.
- The new iPad Pros also feature improved audio playback thanks to a re-designed dual-channel stereo speaker system, in addition to the latest Bluetooth 5.0, Smart HDR-enhanced camera lenses, Gigabit LTE, an 18W charging brick, and, as we expected based on those dramatic eleventh-hour revelations, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack in sight!
Price & Availability
Apple’s new iPad Pro models are available to order starting today, with the first shipments and in-store availability expected to begin next Friday, November 7th.
An 11-inch iPad Pro with 64 GB of storage and Wi-Fi runs just $799, while upgrading to either 256 GB, 512 GB or a whopping 1 TB capacity will bump the price up to $949, $1149, or $1549 respectively.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also available in the same 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB storage capacities, with prices starting at $999 and going up, incrementally, to $1149, $1349 and finally $1749 for the 1 TB slate.
All models are available in either Silver or Space Gray, and adding Cellular LTE connectivity to any of them will bump the price up by an additional $150.