Teardown of iPad Pro reveals revamped component layout

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2015
Repair firm iFixit performed its usual launch day Apple device teardown on the iPad Pro on Wednesday, revealing a reworked internal design dominated by massive batteries and bespoke audio components.




Although Apple provided a fairly comprehensive look at iPad Pro's insides with promotional videos aired at its unveiling in September, iFixit expectedly digs deeper, offering a detailed rundown of the monstrous tablet's design, parts and silicon.

Unseating the huge 12.9-inch Retina display shows off an internal case design illustrating Apple's love of symmetry. Unlike past iPad models, the Pro's logic and subsystem circuit boards sit dead center, flanked by a 38.8 watt-hour battery split into two cells and four self-balancing speakers with accompanying enclosures.

Easily identifiable chips attached to two display circuit boards include two Broadcom BCM15900B0 units, an NXP Semiconductors 8416A1 controller for Touch ID, Parade Technologies DP695 display timing controller and a Texas Instruments TPS65144 thought to be used for LCD biasing.

It appears Apple borrowed iPad Air 2's camera setup for the Pro, with an 8MP rear-facing module joined by a 1.2MP front-facing shooter. Also identical to Air 2 is a space-saving headphone jack with built-in ambient light sensor.

Interestingly, the Pro's four speaker chambers are filled with foam, a feature not shown in Apple's renders. Positioned next to four drivers, these carbon fiber-capped acoustic cavities are specifically designed to resonate sound waves for full, rich sound.

Moving on to the logic board shows a new engineering element for Apple: a screwed-on EMI shield. Beneath the protective barrier lies a neatly configured circuit board hosting Apple's new A9X SoC, 4GB of SK Hynix RAM, 32GB of NAND flash storage from Toshiba, an InvenSense MP67B six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, NXP 65V10 NFC Controller, NXP Semiconductors LPC11U37 ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller, Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 host controller, and a Cirrus Logic 338S1213 audio codec.

Overall, iFixit gives iPad Pro a repairability score of 3 out of 10, citing "gobs" of glue, a fused display and other difficult to service components.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    1) It’s interesting that they used such a long ribbon cable for the Lightning port and 2x speakers. I wonder if that’s as narrow as they can make the logic board, since even making it more narrow would allow for larger batteries and the battery being closer to the center of the device.

    2) I cannot wait for the headphone jack to go away.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    2) I cannot wait for the headphone jack to go away.

    Never happen even more so now that Apple owns Beats. BT headphones for the most part are awful and for anyone that uses their iPad to create music needs the 3.5mm to hook up to an amp. 

     

    If the iPad is going to replace laptops then it better have the ports needed to replace them. 

  • Reply 3 of 40
    atlapple wrote: »
    Never happen even more so now that Apple owns Beats. BT headphones for the most part are awful and for anyone that uses their iPad to create music needs the 3.5mm to hook up to an amp. 

    What can the 3.5mm jack do that mFi can't?
    If the iPad is going to replace laptops then it better have the ports needed to replace them. 

    Why do people keep saying that? The iPad is not going to replace the notebook market.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    An idiotic article in Mac Rumors says that these premium speakers took up space that potentially could be used to increase 50% more battery. So, 50% more battery and no speakers? Pure dumb!
  • Reply 5 of 40
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    1) It’s interesting that they used such a long ribbon cable for the Lightning port and 2x speakers. I wonder if that’s as narrow as they can make the logic board, since even making it more narrow would allow for larger batteries and the battery being closer to the center of the device.

    2) I cannot wait for the headphone jack to go away.
    you may drop 2 speakers to increase 20% battery life, but why? Most people rather have kick-ass sound than another 1.5-2 hrs battery. You got to hear the sound from these speakers...I was at Apple Store early today and I got to tell you that the sound is freaking awesome. That sound worths 20% battery life.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    2) I cannot wait for the headphone jack to go away.

     

    If you can't - don't wait then ;)

    I want it to have the headphone jack. Are you listening audio at all? Always at home?

  • Reply 7 of 40

    Battery schmattery. Let's get one thing straight about the iPad Pro:

     

  • Reply 8 of 40
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    fallenjt wrote: »
    An idiotic article in Mac Rumors says that these premium speakers took up space that potentially could be used to increase 50% more battery. So, 50% more battery and no speakers? Pure dumb!

    It's a stupid headline. How does iFixit know if Apple didn't use those speakers that the battery would be 50% larger? The device would have to have speakers somewhere. And 50% more battery means a heavier device. These are all trade-offs Apple considers. And from every review I've read the sound on this device is amazing.
  • Reply 9 of 40



    I took the comment to refer to wireless headphones which I would love

  • Reply 10 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    What can the 3.5mm jack do that mFi can't?

    Why do people keep saying that? The iPad is not going to replace the notebook market.



    The MFi program is fine, however companies would need to sign up and create devices that are compatible for high end audio equipment. To be 100% honest I have never even looked into that because I'm already invested in all the effects boards, tube amps and cables. For me and I would say most a 3.5mm provides a simple direct connection. 

     

    However I have used a lightning to 30 pin adapter to pass audio. 

     

    I have no clue why people keep saying the iPad Pro is going to replace laptops, I'm not sure why Cook even made the comments he did yesterday saying why would anyone by a pc.

     

    "Cook describes the new iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch tablet that can be accessorized with a magnetic keyboard and bluetooth stylus, as, "a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people." "

     

    I'm fairly certain Cook knows Mac sales are increasing while iPad sales are decreasing. His statement seems foolish. 

  • Reply 11 of 40
    fallenjt wrote: »
    you may drop 2 speakers to increase 20% battery life, but why? Most people rather have kick-ass sound than another 1.5-2 hrs battery. You got to hear the sound from these speakers...I was at Apple Store early today and I got to tell you that the sound is freaking awesome. That sound worths 20% battery life.

    :???: Who said anything about removing speakers?

    urahara wrote: »
    I want it to have the headphone jack. Are you listening audio at all? Always at home?

    I do with my iPhone… with headphones… and I want the 3.5mm jack removed. Why would assume that someone that wants some large (for the amount of data it moves) and archaic port removed from a modern device in favour of a modern solution as not listening to audio? :???:
  • Reply 12 of 40
    atlapple wrote: »

    The MFi program is fine, however companies would need to sign up and create devices that are compatible for high end audio equipment. To be 100% honest I have never even looked into that because I'm already invested in all the effects boards, tube amps and cables. For me and I would say most a 3.5mm provides a simple direct connection. 

    However I have used a lightning to 30 pin adapter to pass audio.

    So your argument regarding the 3.5mm audio jack is the same as the same as people that didn't want the ODD removed from Macs: "I have all these apps/games on CD-ROM/DVDs that I need to load into my Mac."
    I have no clue why people keep saying the iPad Pro is going to replace laptops, I'm not sure why Cook even made the comments he did yesterday saying why would anyone by a pc.

    "Cook describes the new iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch tablet that can be accessorized with a magnetic keyboard and bluetooth stylus, as, "a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people." "

    I'm fairly certain Cook knows Mac sales are increasing while iPad sales are decreasing. His statement seems foolish. 

    His comment isn't foolish. "Many, many people" isn't everyone. Why are you only limiting your thinking to a binary worldview? Why can't the "PC" be used by those that need it and the iPad be used by those that need it. His comment, which I thought was very clear since the same situation since 2010 when the original iPad was launched, is that standard "PC" model is both overkill and too complex for the average user. It is not a statement that no one needs a traditional "PC" or that Apple will be discontinuing their Mac notebooks or desktops.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AtlApple View Post

     

    Never happen even more so now that Apple owns Beats. BT headphones for the most part are awful and for anyone that uses their iPad to create music needs the 3.5mm to hook up to an amp. 

     

    If the iPad is going to replace laptops then it better have the ports needed to replace them. 




    Where do people come up with nonsense like this? I use Beats Bluetooth headphones and they sound magnificent. I use Bluetooth audio in my automobile and it is great too.

     

    “ BT headphones for the most part are awful”  Utter nonsense.

     

    “anyone that uses their iPad to create music needs the 3.5mm to hook up to an amp.” Complete baloney and total ignorance of technology.

  • Reply 14 of 40
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AtlApple View Post

     

    Never happen even more so now that Apple owns Beats. BT headphones for the most part are awful and for anyone that uses their iPad to create music needs the 3.5mm to hook up to an amp. 

     

    If the iPad is going to replace laptops then it better have the ports needed to replace them. 


    It will happen especially because Apple owns Beats. It's very simple, Apple switches headphones over to Lightning connectors and higher quality outboard DACs for the Beats Brand enthusiasts who will buy them regardless, and legacy mini-phone connectors will require a very simple inline dongle with a higher quality outboard DAC. No problem whatsoever. One port for everything.

     

    As for ports, well there's only one now on the Retina MacBook. And considering the inherent limitations of iOS anyway, the Lightning connector and WiFi handle most of those needs with no problems. Just add a dongle like you do on the MacBooks.

  • Reply 15 of 40
    BUT WOE IS ME, NO HELLO SIRI INTEGRATION.

    /skyisfalling
  • Reply 16 of 40
    When Cook says why would someone buy a PC he means Windows, not Mac.

    That said my guess is Cook would still rather you buy an iPad Pro than a MacBook because the margin is probably better on the iPad Pro.

    I wondered why they put so much room in for the speakers at first, then I realized that this was largely probably done to allow the device to be lighter. Also my guess is that they've found that people rarely run their iPads to 0. Where as the iPhone still isn't at the point where you can't possibly drain it in a day, good luck doing that with an iPad. And they want you charging it every night so the battery lasts longer.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    The iPad Pro has a Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller on the logic board. I hope someone tests the data throughput from the Lightning connector.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    So your argument regarding the 3.5mm audio jack is the same as the same as people that didn't want the ODD removed from Macs: "I have all these apps/games on CD-ROM/DVDs that I need to load into my Mac."




    His comment isn't foolish. "Many, many people" isn't everyone. Why are you only limiting your thinking to a binary worldview? Why can't the "PC" be used by those that need it and the iPad be used by those that need it. His comment, which I thought was very clear since the same situation since 2010 when the original iPad was launched, is that standard "PC" model is both overkill and too complex for the average user. It is not a statement that no one needs a traditional "PC" or that Apple will be discontinuing their Mac notebooks or desktops.

     

    I believe it's a bit different. The removal of media drives created the opportunity to make devices thinner or add space for a larger battery. I can't think of any major benefit of removing a 3.5mm jack. Speaking only or myself I believe internal speakers are a waste, most of the time the sound is awful. 

     

    I don't even remotely buy into the comment that an iPad can replace a "PC". The hardware specs are not the issue the OS is the issue. Put OS X on that iPad then I buy into that statement. I can't think of any major company that has replaced their personal computers with iPads for the simple reason the iPad will not or can not run full versions of most software. Even software like Keynote, presentations scaling gets screwed up if you try to transfer a presentation from a Mac to an iPad. 

     

    Even college students going to school for high level professions can't use an iPad because the software they need to run won't run on an iPad. The iPad Pro isn't a Pro it's a Plus. There isn't anything special about it, if you added 2GB of ram and a A9X processor to the iPad Air all you have is a bigger display with the Pro. Which is why Apple didn't update the iPad Air 2. 

     

    Right now Best Buy has 150.00 off the 12" Macbook, an extra 50.00 for education. You get a device with double the ram and double the storage and the benefit of being able to run full versions of software and the benefit of OS X over iOS for the same price as an iPad Pro with a keyboard purchase. I would also argue the Macbook is easier to carry around without having to attach a separate keyboard or cover. 

     

    The numbers speak for themselves Mac sales are steadily increases and iPad sales are steadily decreasing. I fully expect that trend to continue. 

  • Reply 19 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

     

    It will happen especially because Apple owns Beats. It's very simple, Apple switches headphones over to Lightning connectors and higher quality outboard DACs for the Beats Brand enthusiasts who will buy them regardless, and legacy mini-phone connectors will require a very simple inline dongle with a higher quality outboard DAC. No problem whatsoever. One port for everything.

     

    As for ports, well there's only one now on the Retina MacBook. And considering the inherent limitations of iOS anyway, the Lightning connector and WiFi handle most of those needs with no problems. Just add a dongle like you do on the MacBooks.




    I know Apple is fond of dongles but that isn't innovation. Removing a 3.5mm jack has no benefit, it doesn't create any real space unlike removing optical drives. Theres no reason to remove it, removing it just for the sake of removing it now that makes no sense. Removing it to replace it with a dongle makes no sense. 

     

    If anything the dongle should be a female 3.5mm to lightning connector. 

  • Reply 20 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post



    BUT WOE IS ME, NO HELLO SIRI INTEGRATION.



    /skyisfalling



    Don't you love it. A Pro model with less features. 

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