2018 iPad Pro: everything you need to know

Posted:
in iPad edited October 2018
With an "all screen" design, TrueDepth with Face ID, A12X Bionic processor, next-generation Apple Pencil and more, Apple's newly unveiled iPad Pro is more revolution than evolution. AppleInsider breaks down all the details.

The back of the new 2018 iPad Pro
The back of the new 2018 iPad Pro

Design

The new iPad Pros are completely redesigned, with flat edges around the sides harkening back to older iPhone models like the iPhone SE. Sitting front and center, wrapped in a thin bezel, is the new Liquid Retina display with rounded corners and tap-to-wake functionality.

Apple was able to make the shift to symmetrical bezels thanks to the incorporation of Face ID, facial recognition technology that replaces the Touch ID home button available on all previous iPad Pro models. Unlike iPhone, Face ID on iPad Pro works in both portrait and landscape modes, a key feature addition considering the number of users who operate iPad in landscape orientation.





Instead of cutting out a notch for its TrueDepth camera array, as it does with iPhone XS and XR, Apple embedded the component stack in iPad Pro's top bezel. Its inclusion grants access not only to Face ID, but also Animoji, Memoji and Portrait selfie features.

On the back, iPad Pro gets the same 12-megapixel camera as the iPhone XR, complete with Smart HDR, 4K video recording at 60 frames per second. The only thing it's lacking is optical image stabilization.

Bezel thickness on the 2018 iPad Pro
Bezel thickness on the 2018 iPad Pro


The 2018 iPad Pro comes in 11- and 12.9-inch variants. The smaller model squeezes its 11-inch screen into a chassis roughly the same size as last year's 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Apple was able to increase display real estate by thinning out the bezels, most readily apparent by the elimination of "chin" and "forehead" areas previously used for Touch ID and the front-facing camera.

The 12.9-inch model maintains screen size, but reduces excess chassis material. This is great because last year's 12.9-inch iPad Pro was too big for some users. In fact, both models have 25 percent less volume than last year.

Both iPad Pro models come in at a mere 5.9mm thick not counting the rear camera bump, making them thinner than any iPad or iPhone ever made.

For the first time in an iOS device, Apple opted to incorporate USB-C instead of its proprietary Lightning connector. This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable.

2018 iPad Pro Smart Connector and USB-C
2018 iPad Pro Smart Connector and USB-C


As rumored, the 3.5mm headphone jack is gone. Users have to shell out for a pair of Bluetooth headphones -- like Apple's AirPods -- or buy a $9 audio adapter.

Inside

Powering the new iPad Pro is Apple's latest A12X Bionic system-on-chip, a 7-nanometer beast that builds on the A12 Bionic in iPhone XS and XR. Like its smartphone siblings, iPad Pro's processor gets the new 8-core Neural Engine -- a first for iPad.

More importantly, the A12X packs in a new 8-core processor with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, enough horsepower to run desktop-grade apps on-the-go. An Apple-designed 7-core GPU is said to be twice as powerful as the 12-core GPU in the A10X Fusion.

During a keynote event in New York on Tuesday, Apple said the new chip will deliver a 35 percent improvement in single core speeds and a 90 percent improvement in multi-core scores, making it faster than 92 percent of all portable PC processors.

Even with all of those performance improvements, battery life stays constant. Apple claims up to 10 hours of web surfing over Wi-Fi, watching videos or listening to music, while cellular-equipped models can expect up to 9 hours of surfing the web on mobile data networks.

There's still no official word on how much RAM it'll be packing, but reports on Tuesday claim 4GB for all models save for the 1TB version, which comes with 6GB.

The Wi-Fi has also been improved, now supporting simultaneous dual-band connection, and Bluetooth has been updated to Bluetooth 5, like the rest of Apple's recent devices. With the cellular model comes Gigabit-class LTE, just like the new iPhone XS, with support for up to 29 bands.

Accessories

A new 18W USB-C power adapter is included, which means you now get a fast charger in the box. Gone are the days of using a 29W or larger MacBook adapter with USB-C to lightning cable.

2018 iPad Pro with new Smart Keyboard Folio
2018 iPad Pro with new Smart Keyboard Folio


Apple also updated Apple Pencil to take advantage of iPad Pro's latest feature set. The accessory now features one flat side that attaches magnetically to the side of the iPad Pro for automatic pairing and wireless charging. And that's not the only thing that attaches magnetically. The iPad Pro features 102 magnets in its chassis, allowing the new Smart Keyboard Folio to snap on to cover both the device's front and back.

The second-generation Apple Pencil also supports gestures. A double tap on the Pencil body performs remote operations like changing software functions. For example, double tapping Pencil in Notes toggles input between the pencil and eraser tools.

2018 iPad Pro with new Apple Pencil
2018 iPad Pro with new Apple Pencil


The new Apple Pencil is only compatible with the 2018 iPad Pros, while the older Pencil is restricted to first- and second-generation iPad Pro iterations. Apple Pencil is now priced at $129 and you can get it engraved for free when ordering online.

Configurations and ordering

The new iPad Pro can be configured with up to 1TB of storage, putting it in laptop territory. The base 11-inch model comes with 64GB of storage for $799 or $949 for the cellular model, while 256GB and 512GB options tack on an extra $150 and $350, respectively. The 12.9-inch model starts at $999 and goes up from there.

For the latest deals and product availability, be sure to visit our 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro Price Guides.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    Shane_HShane_H Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    entropysmazda 3stipoowatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 71
    If the RAM increase is limited to the 1TB model, that's probably the only thing that would qualify as a disappointment to me with these iPad Pros.
    edited October 2018 razorpitthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 71
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,992member
    Stunning product updates, at least on paper. I love my current 12.9” iPad Pro but it is truly unwieldy to use in portrait orientation. The new design looks like it addresses this very nicely and bumps up performance and capacities significantly. The iPad Pro products are definitely in a class by themselves with nothing remotely in sight.

    Microsoft is tethered to its legacy and seems incapable of covering the last mile to deliver a fully touch optimized user experience in a tablet form factor without a mouse dependency.

    Who knows, maybe google will finally slough off the half baked Android tablet user experience to the Android ankle biter minions and do something real with Chrome on a tablet - and in three to five years has a critical mass of tablet optimized apps to make it a worthy alternative. Of course this assumes Apple immediately halts any further refinements and innovations for iPad. Unlikely. 
    williamlondonlolliverchristopher126watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 71
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    External storage is already supported over Lightning on iOS via their respective apps. There is no reason to think that that will change with USB-C.
    chasmlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 71
    I was excited to read that as well. A google search on other publications point out that Apple stated external storage would not work over the usb-c. I'm wondering if it would be the same thing with lightening where Apple means its not baked in but require a half-assed third party app. Apple keeps toting the iPad as a laptop replacement or as powerful as a regular computer yet allows such glaring issues to persist such as file access, storage, transfer, etc.
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    tipoo
  • Reply 6 of 71
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,345administrator
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    Vadim didn't say anything about "plain" USB-C hard drives or Flash Drives. There are devices that are compatible with Files now, and like MacPlusPlus said, other devices are have been usable with vendor-supplied apps.
    chasmlolliverchristopher126watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 71
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,292member
    This looks pretty cool; kind of like when I see a Tesla drive by. But I can't afford, nor do I need it. But if you need the tool, you buy the tool. I am sure Apple will sell lots and lots of these. 

    williamlondonlolliverchristopher126GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 71
    So, if you connect the new iPad Pro to a 4K or 5K monitor, will you get a fullscreen? I've seen shots of still images and video playing at full screen, but would the home screen and other apps be at fullscreen?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 71
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    Someone apparently snuck a USB-C flashdrive in and yeah, apparently the only file types currently recognized are photos and videos, exactly like the camera connection kit.

    C'mon, Apple, if you want me to take this seriously as a computer let me copy a Pages file onto a USB stick and have the files app be able to take it off.


    Shane_HentropysGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 71
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    Someone apparently snuck a USB-C flashdrive in and yeah, apparently the only file types currently recognized are photos and videos, exactly like the camera connection kit.

    C'mon, Apple, if you want me to take this seriously as a computer let me copy a Pages file onto a USB stick and have the files app be able to take it off.

    You share a Pages document to the flash drive’s app instead of Files app. What is the difference?
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 71
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    The video script that I wrote said: "This means you can charge your phone with it and connect it to external devices like cameras or even an external 5K display, which will mirror everything onto that display." 

    Not sure who added the external storage bit.
    lolliverShane_Hwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 71
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,027member
    " An Apple-designed 7-core GPU is said to be twice as powerful as the 12-core GPU in the A10X Fusion. "

    FWIW, Apple merged the number of ALUs in two old cores into one, so the 7 core is worth 14 old cores + architecture improvements. 


    I always hated the word "core" for GPUs, just list the number of shaders/ALUs, Core is an arbitrary grouping of them not comparable across architectures. 
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 71
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member
    Can’t wait until ours get here. Only really annoying thing right now is that unlike past models, there aren’t any cases for this model yet. Apple has a sleeve, and covers, as well as they keyboard cover, but nothing that slips on the back to protect it when you put it down. Checked Amazon, and nothing there either. This has never happened before. I guess the knowledge of what the form would be was too late this year. I was hoping to have a case by the time it arrives on the 7th. Oh well, i’ll Just have to keep checking every day.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 71
    Why is the iPad considered so thin? It’s not..... look at the camera bump, that’s the true thickness of the device. Worse, it doesn’t sit flat without a case. 

    That aside, nice device
  • Reply 15 of 71
    The smaller model squeezes its 11-inch screen into a chassis roughly the same size as last year's 10.5-inch iPad Pro”.

    In fact, both models have 25 percent less volume than last year”.

    Huh?


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 71
    My prediction for March, 2019:

    New iPad
    10.5” Retina display
    TrueDepth with FaceID
    A12 Bionic
    Pencil 2 support
    Price = $499

    You saw it here first. 
  • Reply 17 of 71
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    Vadim didn't say anything about "plain" USB-C hard drives or Flash Drives. There are devices that are compatible with Files now, and like MacPlusPlus said, other devices are have been usable with vendor-supplied apps.
    Help us out here. Other commentators have pointed out the same thing. Could you name one external hard drive that one can connect to an iOS device via Lightning or USB-C cable that allows for transfer of any files both ways? I don’t mean drives with built in WiFi connections as a kludgy work-around. Nor USB/Lightning thumb drives. What drives “compatible with Files now” are out there?
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 71
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member
    seankill said:
    Why is the iPad considered so thin? It’s not..... look at the camera bump, that’s the true thickness of the device. Worse, it doesn’t sit flat without a case. 

    That aside, nice device
    Well, no. That’s not how things are measured. If there is a small portion sticking out, it’s usually measured additionally. So if there are feet on a device, the size is given, and the feet are given too.
    StrangeDayslolliverchristopher126watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 71
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,475member

    hentaiboy said:
    My prediction for March, 2019:

    New iPad
    10.5” Retina display
    TrueDepth with FaceID
    A12 Bionic
    Pencil 2 support
    Price = $499

    You saw it here first. 
    And hopefully not last.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    Shane_H said:
    "This means users can connect an external 5K display, extra storage or even charge their iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable." Define extra storage? I cannot find anything about that on Apples Site. Looks like it can see the same external devices as before, Like cameras, keyboards and such. USB-C Hard drives and Flash drives are not mentioned.
    Vadim didn't say anything about "plain" USB-C hard drives or Flash Drives. There are devices that are compatible with Files now, and like MacPlusPlus said, other devices are have been usable with vendor-supplied apps.
    Is there a list of Files-compatible devices?
    watto_cobra
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