Apple made headlines recently when it launched an all new iPad Pro, the “productivity oriented” version of the iPad. The company introduced a 12.9 inch and an 11 inch iPad Pro with not just a complete design overhaul but packed with new functions and features as well. But what makes the new iPad Pros really “Pro” and different from anything we have seen in the past? Well, consider the following:
Design – trimmed bezels, slim frames!
Time and again many have accused Apple of playing safe when it comes to the design of the iPads. This has changed with the new iPad Pros in 2018. Apple has launched a 12.9 inch and an 11 inch iPad Pro — with very loud and clear design changes. First things first, there is no iPad 10.5 inch this year, instead Apple has decided to go with an 11 inch iPad Pro. Although one of the new iPads packs in more display, its overall size is smaller (as is that of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro as well), thanks to the slimmer bezels around the display. With 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm dimensions and 468 grams of weight (Wi-Fi + Cellular) as opposed to 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 and weighing 477 grams (Wi-Fi + Cellular), the new iPad Pro is about 25 per cent less in volume than iPad 10.5 in spite of boasting a larger display. It is not the front that had changed. Apple has reworked the back of the iPad Pro 2018, as well. The company has placed antenna bands on top and base of the new iPad Pro and the camera lens on is slightly bigger as compared to the one on the previous model as well. The frame has become more boxy and flat-sided and there is a special reason for it. Along with the new iPad Pros comes the second generation Apple Pencil which charges wirelessly from the new iPad Pros — the right side of the new iPad Pro carries a magnet which when attached to the flat side of the Apple Pencil, charges the stylus and connects it to the device as well. Oh, and the new iPads are very slim too — the thickness is down from 6.1 mm to an amazing 5.9 mm.
Display – True Tone with a touch of the XR
In the display department, the 12.9 inch iPad Pro comes with a screen resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels while the 11 inches variant comes with 2388 x 1668 screen resolution. Both the devices have 264 pixels per inch density which is same as last year but instead of the basic Retina display, the iPads come with Liquid Retina displays, which we first saw on the iPhone XR, launched earlier this year. And yes, the 2018 iPad also come with True Tone and Pro Motion technology. Let’s keep it simple — brighter and sharper displays and perhaps the best you can get on a tablet today.
Processor – That A12X Bionic
The innards of the new iPad Pros have improved as well. Both the new tablets are powered by Apple’s A12X Bionic chipset bundled with Neural Engine technology. The processor is coupled with embedded M12 coprocessor. This combination is 0.5 times faster than the last iPad Pro in terms of CPU capabilities and 3.7 times faster in terms of graphics. Once again, let’s skip the jargon — these are supposed to match the performance of high end notebooks. We are talking Intel Core i7 here, not even Core i5. These are machines built to handle high end gaming and video editing and not just for the odd read and scribble!
Camera – Pumping up selfies
The primary camera of the new iPad Pros is pretty much the same as the one present on the previous generation iPad Pro — a 12 megapixel primary camera with f/1.8 aperture coupled with a quad-LED flash. But what is missing in the new iPad Pro’s primary camera is optical image stabilisation which was present in the 2017 model. The secondary/selfie camera however has been overhauled — that might not seem apparent as the megapixel number on both the 2017 and 2018 iPad Pros is the same, 7 megapixels. But the 2018 version is much more advanced than its 2017 avatar and comes with a TrueDepth Camera which comes with features like Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, Animoji and Memoji, which have been seen on the selfie snappers of the new iPhones!
USB Type C and no 3.5 mm audio jack
It is difficult for some people to believe but Apple has bailed out on its very own Lightning port and has opted for a USB Type C port instead on the new iPad Pros. This makes the new iPad Pros more open and versatile when it comes to connectivity. They can now be connected directly to cameras and monitors for editing and other professional purposes, provided one has the requisite cable. But the Lightning port was not the only one that Apple said goodbye to — it also eliminated the 3.5 mm audio jack from the new iPad Pro’s frame. Time to say hello to Bluetooth headphones perhaps.
FaceID — Look to unlock
We told you that Apple had trimmed down the bezels around the displays of the 2018 iPad Pros. But what we did not tell you then is that this trimming down of bezels also cut the throat of the good old Home button that used to reside on the chin of the older iPad Pros. And replacing the Home Button is Apple’s famous FaceID authentication. This not only changes the way you unlock the iPad Pro but also the way you navigate through it. The new iPad Pros bring along gestures that we have previously seen on the Apple’s iPhone “X” series for navigation, making the new tablets even closer cousins of the iPhone X series.
New Pencil, new keyboard, but not for everyone!
Apple has also introduced a new Apple Pencil (about which we have written in detail elsewhere). The new stylus gets a better design and more features but is compatible only with the new iPads. Yes, there is a new keyboard as well called the Smart Keyboard Folio and because the connectors on the new iPad Pros are now on the back as opposed to the previous generation iPad Pros, the new keyboard is again exclusive to the new iPad Pros only. Talk about drawing a line in the sand between the old and new!
Price – Phew!
We did not leave the best for last. The iPad Pro lineup has never been light on one’s pocket but the 2018 iPad Pros take their economics to another level altogether. The price of the new iPad Pro 12.9 inch (Wi-Fi only) starts at Rs. 89,900 and goes all the way up to Rs. 1,57,900. The price of the 11 inches (Wi-Fi only) variant starts at Rs. 71,900 and goes all the way up to Rs. 1,39,900.
Moving on to the Wi-Fi + Cellular ones, the 12.9-inches option starts at Rs. 1,03,900 and moves up to Rs. 1,71,900 while the price of the 11 inches one starts at Rs. 85,900 and goes all the way up to Rs. 1,53,900. There are high-end notebooks (Apple itself has the MacBook Pro in that zone) that do not cost as much.
Traveller’s Tip: In case you are not looking for any high-end video editing and gaming on your tablet, we really think the previous generation iPad Pros, or even the new iPad (2018) which comes with Apple Pencil support, should suffice for your needs. That said, if you want a tablet to replace your notebook, then no other tablet is Pro enough for the task.