First Look at Apple's new 2018 iPad Pros, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2018
When Apple took the wraps off the redesigned iPad Pro at a special media event Tuesday, the tablets easily stole the show. With beefed up internals and an all-new exterior, the new iPad Pros are a delight to use.

2018 iPad Pros
11-inch iPad Pro (left) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (right)


The iPad Pro is now available in an 11-inch model with the same footprint as the 10.5-inch but with a bigger display, and a 12.9-inch model with a reduced physical size versus the first- and second-generation units.

A new design includes including squared off edges similar to that of the iPhone 4, a relocated Smart Connector, and a beautiful new display. The display was absolutely stunning to us as we handled it, going close to the edges without feeling like the bezel was too small.

Within the bezel, Apple hides the True Depth camera system which is used for taking Portrait mode selfies, using Animoji/Memoji, and of course Face ID. Face ID is implemented well, working at any angle as we rotated the iPad. There is even a nice touch where if you cover the camera on accident and try to unlock the iPad, it alerts you that the camera is being covered.

That means the Home button is gone, and frankly, we won't miss it.






Other improvements to the display include tap to wake -- like on the iPhone -- and rounded corners to match the curvature of the aluminum body.

In other big news, the Lightning port has been replaced by USB-Cm which we are sure going to appreciate. It adds a lot of new functionality, much of which Apple was showing off in the hands-on area. You can connect it to a 5K display, connect it directly to your USB-C camera, and even power your iPhone/Apple Watch from it.

On the 11-inch model, we love that we get a bit of extra screen real estate compared to the 10.5-inch that had the same physical dimensions. It is a nice touch and reminds us of the display on the XR compared to the iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil 2
Apple Pencil 2


Apple has seemingly fixed all the complaints that user had regarding the original Apple Pencil in the second generation of the product now that it has a seamless body, no cap, and charges wirelessly. There is gesture support that works in Apple's Notes app and can be customized in others. In Notes, double tapping the side switches between your drawing instrument and the eraser.

The only downside is that the original Pencil won't work with the new iPads and the new Pencil won't work with the old iPads. But, we liked the new Pencil so much it is probably worth it to upgrade anyway.

The new Apple Pencil is available for $129, an increase from the original $99 price tag.

Smart Keyboard

The Smart Keyboard got improvements beyond just the new size. It now has a full-sized keyboard and for the first time protects the back of the iPad as well as the front.

It cleverly attaches via magnets and takes some effort to remove so it won't get dislodged by accident. It also still supports two different typing angles to adjust for different work environments.

The 11-inch Smart Keyboard retails at $179 while the larger 12.9-inch model comes in at $199.

Order now

All of Apple's new tablets are able to be ordered now. The 12.9-inch model starts at $999 and the 11-inch model comes in at $799.

For the latest product availability and deals across multiple Apple resellers, be sure to check out our 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro Price Guides.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Still waiting for a new iPad Mini! Current one has an A8 with 1GB RAM! Come on Apple, you need to just swap out the SoC and RAM chip cluster! Take nothing, no R&D, no new components! You can even uses small sticks the have a 5 and place then over the 4 box. Cost is very minimal! You have a brand new product!
    MisterKiteriamjh
  • Reply 2 of 34
    Blown away…. absolutely love the 12.9 pro And the new Pencil!!! (They pretty much resolved all the Pencil issus I found ridiculous in the previous version) Upgrading my older 12.9 and old Pencil right away.🕺 And sorry to say.. but Adobe will finally make me take the bait and subscribe Photoshop on new iPad pro Rocks + the AR…… then Adesk Autocad…and whole slew of desktop level apps to come. To me, the iPad that i had been waiting for has finally Arrived !👊👊 ( wish there were more color choices though )
    watto_cobrafirelock
  • Reply 3 of 34
    I wish the video had shown more of  the keyboard.   I ordered my 12.9" as soon as it was available (moving up from the 10.5") and I'm a little concerned the keyboard/folio (which I also ordered) will take up a lot of volume and add additional weight.  Daniel if you have any thoughts on that I would be interested in hearing them.

    Also I see that the ship dates for the 12.9" have already jumped out a couple of weeks...

    I'm hoping a further software update will allow the iPad Pro to act as a true second screen for a MBP - my only disappointment of the day that isn't available yet.

    Otherwise a very classy and interesting presentation by Apple that seemed to hit everyone's "wish lists"


    watto_cobradws-2
  • Reply 4 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,982member
    How does Face ID work when holding the iPad results in blocking the requisite hardware by holding the device with your hands on its tiny bezel?

    Looks like Apple haven’t changed the slick & hard Pencil tip.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    dysamoria said:
    How does Face ID work when holding the iPad results in blocking the requisite hardware by holding the device with your hands on its tiny bezel?

    Looks like Apple haven’t changed the slick & hard Pencil tip.
    Wouldn’t you just not cover the camera with your fingers? 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 6 of 34
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,822member
    dysamoria said:
    How does Face ID work when holding the iPad results in blocking the requisite hardware by holding the device with your hands on its tiny bezel?

    They went over that in the article and the video.... It alerts you that you’re covering the camera.
    dysamoriaStrangeDaysrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 34
    They didn't fix all the complaints with the Apple Pencil. The slippery tip! MAJOR complaint completely ignored. They have known about the tip issue for 3 years! Their solution is for you to buy a screen protector to get a more resistant feel. No third party tips that offer more resistance.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 34
    Kyle_Craft_COKyle_Craft_CO Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    I'm dying to know if I can now tether (lightening-USB-C) my iPhone to my new USB-C iPad to share the internet connection rather than having to personal hotspot via WiFi / Bluetooth
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,982member
    dysamoria said:
    How does Face ID work when holding the iPad results in blocking the requisite hardware by holding the device with your hands on its tiny bezel?

    Looks like Apple haven’t changed the slick & hard Pencil tip.
    Wouldn’t you just not cover the camera with your fingers? 
    Someone else informed me what the device does (it tells you you’re covering it). I still expect this to not be ideal, but I’m hoping to see people’s commentary about it later when they start using these devices.

    But to respond to you, I have to ask you if you’re able to easily tell when you’re coving the multiple sensors, when they’re almost invisible to the eye? The camera alone isn’t enough, and that’s hard to see, too.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,982member
    mjtomlin said:
    dysamoria said:
    How does Face ID work when holding the iPad results in blocking the requisite hardware by holding the device with your hands on its tiny bezel?

    They went over that in the article and the video.... It alerts you that you’re covering the camera.
    Thank you for that info, I missed it in the article and hadn’t watched the video.

    It doesn’t seem like an ideal design, so I’m eager to hear from people who end up using them. I wont be. I’m too poor to replace my existing iPad Pro, and I’m not keen on how they haven’t replaced that slippery Pencil tip (and it’s infuriating how Apple refuses to fix bugs). Who knows, though, what the future will bring. All I know for sure is that my device will be considered obsolete and all the interesting software will be unavailable on it. :-/
  • Reply 11 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,623member
    Pity the keyboard doesn’t have a trackpad. I just think that would be handy in “laptop” configuration.
    edited October 2018 mwhitedws-2
  • Reply 12 of 34
    So if I buy a new iPad Pro and want to watch a video or listen to music while travelling do I now also have to buy AirPods ? So another £159 on top. Have I missed something glaringly obvious ?
  • Reply 13 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,623member
    hammerd2 said:
    So if I buy a new iPad Pro and want to watch a video or listen to music while travelling do I now also have to buy AirPods ? So another £159 on top. Have I missed something glaringly obvious ?
    Yes. You could use the standard EarPods that come with your iPhone, any number of competitor Bluetooth In ear, on ear or over ear devices, or you could  buy a $9 dongle with a built in DAC permanently attached to your old school earphones..
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 14 of 34
    entropys said:
    hammerd2 said:
    So if I buy a new iPad Pro and want to watch a video or listen to music while travelling do I now also have to buy AirPods ? So another £159 on top. Have I missed something glaringly obvious ?
    Yes. You could use the standard EarPods that come with your iPhone, any number of competitor Bluetooth In ear, on ear or over ear devices, or you could  buy a $9 dongle with a built in DAC permanently attached to your old school earphones..
    Thanks Entropys. It's just I didn't notice any connectors for attaching standard apple supplied iPhone headphones - is there a lightning connector on there also ? I also couldn't see a USB-C to lightning adapter on the Apple site either. 
  • Reply 15 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,623member
    Ahh, good point. 
  • Reply 16 of 34
    hammerd2 said:
    So if I buy a new iPad Pro and want to watch a video or listen to music while travelling do I now also have to buy AirPods ? So another £159 on top. Have I missed something glaringly obvious ?
    Yes, the fact fact you can use:

    - USB-C headphones
    - an adapter
    - existing BT headphones of any price point

    ...so your claim that one must 159 is bunk. 
  • Reply 17 of 34
    I haven't been able to find a lightning to thunderbolt adapter. Maybe you could just suggest one. 
  • Reply 18 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,982member
    hammerd2 said:
    So if I buy a new iPad Pro and want to watch a video or listen to music while travelling do I now also have to buy AirPods ? So another £159 on top. Have I missed something glaringly obvious ?
    Yes, the fact fact you can use:

    - USB-C headphones
    - an adapter
    - existing BT headphones of any price point

    ...so your claim that one must 159 is bunk. 
    But that adapter doesn’t permit charging/powering through that port, right? It’s just Lightning to headphone connector?
  • Reply 19 of 34
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,217member
    Very cool. Now wishing I hadn't gotten an iPad pro & pencil last year. I'm always afraid I'm going to snap the thing off when I plug it into the iPad to charge it.

    They didn't fix the shortcomings of the keyboard though. The Logitech one I got has better keys, a row of function keys, a backlight, and a loop to hold the pencil. Hopefully they come out with a similar version for the new iPad pro.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 34
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,217member

    dysamoria said:
    hammerd2 said:
    So if I buy a new iPad Pro and want to watch a video or listen to music while travelling do I now also have to buy AirPods ? So another £159 on top. Have I missed something glaringly obvious ?
    Yes, the fact fact you can use:

    - USB-C headphones
    - an adapter
    - existing BT headphones of any price point

    ...so your claim that one must 159 is bunk. 
    But that adapter doesn’t permit charging/powering through that port, right? It’s just Lightning to headphone connector?
    No. I don't know if a combined USB C - USB C + 3.5mm dongle exists like it does for the lightning port or not. For the iPad, the battery is such that charging isn't nearly the issue it is on a cell phone. Conversely, none of Apple's stated reasons for getting rid of the headphone jack on the iPhone apply to the iPad, so there is really no reason Apple couldn't have put a 3.5mm jack on the iPad, either, other than to force people away from the industry standard 3.5mm jack.
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