Apple has extensively redesigned its Pro lineup for 2018. It is as radical a shake-up as the iPhone X was in 2017.As on the X, the new Pros have smaller bezels, and while these devices aren’t quite all-screen, they are getting pretty close. The displays are also curved at the corners, enabling them to come much closer to the edge. No screen space is taken up by a Home button: that has disappeared entirely, and as we will discuss in a moment, the new tablets now use Face ID instead of Touch ID.
Apple calls the new displays ‘Liquid Retina’, but the pixel density is the same as on the iPad Pro 10.5in from 2017 – and indeed much lower than on the iPad mini 4 (which is designed to be held closer to the face). Don’t expect it to be any sharper.
The company does, however, tell us to expect great things from the screen in other ways: it offers the same pixel masking and antialiasing as on the iPhone XR, and has a new backlight design.
Interestingly, Apple has used this development in different ways for the two models. The smaller, which had a 10.5in screen, now fits a larger (11in) display into the same size of chassis; whereas the larger model keeps its 12.9in screen, but shrinks the body down around it. This means the two sizes are now closer together.
The new iPads are also slightly slimmer: they are both 5.9mm thick, a fractional shaving from the 6.1mm on the 10.5in model (which remains on sale) and a small but noticeable reduction from the old 12.9in model’s 6.9mm. And they are available in only two colours: silver and Space Grey. Do they think gold is too frivolous for the high-powered professionals who can afford these devices? We think not!
There is a new magnetic connector for the new Apple Pencil, which attaches neatly to one edge and charges wirelessly.