When Apple unveiled the iPhone X (FYI to the Arabic speakers, it’s the number 10 NOT the letter X) in 2017, they saw it as an opportunity to look into the future of how the smartphone will evolve – eschewing the traditional ‘Home’ button for facial recognition and having the display takeover the front area. With the success that followed and the new iPhone XS taking it even further, Apple has brought the same principles by redesigning the iPad Pro with some of the learnings from its smaller sibling.
Goodbye ‘home’ button, hello Face ID
The first thing you see is that the screen takes over the entire front-facing area and there’s no ‘Home’ button as well. Apple has put in a Liquid Retina Display – the same one used in the iPhone XR – stretching as close towards the bezel edges. Getting rid of the ‘Home’ button also means that the display area is now even bigger while having the same physical dimensions as the previous models.
Face ID makes its debut on the iPad Pro for both sizes, as the same front-facing TrueDepth camera is nicely hidden on the top of the iPad Pro. You’ll notice that there is no notch like the iPhone XS and XR, which easily allows it to blend in and yet it’ll work. You’re not restricted to using it portrait, as it’ll also work in landscape regardless of how you hold it.
Other Notable changes
Following in the silicon footsteps of the iPhone XS, the new iPad Pro uses the A12X Bionic that has a 7-core GPU to power this larger Liquid Retina Display. The same octa-core CPU arrangement just like the A12 Bionic in the iPhone XS and XR is already present. With the 12X Bionic, it also pushed the storage option to support up to 1TB.
Given that the iPad Pro redesign includes a newer silicon and the usual larger battery, Apple has also eliminated the standard headphone jack from their previous models. Now there’s only one connecting port on it and it’s been upgraded to USB-C. That alone opens up a host of new opportunities and use cases for the new iPad Pro:
- Connect to a 4K display using a suitable dongle that outputs in HDMI
- Supports charging out on the USB-C port, hence your iPad becomes a big power pack
- Connect other devices to transfer content and charge at the same time
Although I may be pushing it, imagine getting a USB-C to USB-A adapter and plugging it to the iPad Pro. It may or may not work for some devices but the possibilities exist.
In additional to the standard WiFi model, there’s also the cellular model which uses the new eSIM to provide fast LTE connectivity. Just like the recently unveiled new models of the MacBook Air and Mac Mini, the iPad Pro has been made with 100% recycled aluminium.
With this new model, there’s a new version of the Apple Pencil sporting a different look and supports gestures. One downside is that the second generation Apple Pencil can’t work with previous versions of the iPad Pro as it uses wireless tech for pairing and charging (you’ll notice that there’s not even a removable head to connect it to the USB-C port). Hence, the first generation model is not compatible with the new iPad Pro as it has the Lightning port for charging and pairing.
The new iPad Pro is releasing on 7 November in the UAE and will be available in Qatar and Saudi Arabia before the end of 2018.