Apple just announced the new iPad Pro 2018 on stage at its latest launch event in New York.
You can keep up with the full announcement on our live blog at the moment where we’re running you through the new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad announcements.
Below you’ll get the latest news on the new iPad Pro but bear in mind that this is being updated during the launch so it may be subject to change.
Cut to the chase
- What is the new iPad Pro? The next flagship iPad Pro
- When is the iPad Pro launch? Right now in New York
- What will the iPad Pro 3 cost? Likely at least £619/$649/AU$979, we don’t know
iPad Pro 2018 news
Apple says this is the biggest change since the original iPad, and its the closest the company has ever got to making what it wants to from a tablet.
It comes in two sizes with an 11-inch edition and a 12.9-inch version too.
The smaller one has the same size body as the last iPad Pro, but instead of a 10.5-inch display it now features a 11-inch screen. There’s also a new version of the larger tablet with a 12.9-inch display and sports a smaller design making it a little less unwieldy.
That’s one of the thinnest tablets ever with the 12.9-inch version coming in at only 5.9mm.
There’s a liquid retina display that uses True Tone technology and a variety of other features that makes one of the most accurate and responsive displays the company has ever put on a tablet.
There’s no home button on the front of either tablet, and instead it uses Face ID technology to unlock it. It should work in a similar way to how it does on the iPhone X or iPhone XS.
It comes running the latest iOS 12 software, but it’s a little bit different to how it works on your tablet with a variety of features that allow you to use the tablet without a home button.
There’s an A12X Bionic chipset inside the tablet that’s built with a 7nm technology, and Apple claims it’s a big improvement in terms of energy and power. The single core performance is up 35% over the last iPad.
Apple’s own 7-core GPU is inside too that makes the graphics performance a thousand times faster than the tablets that have gone before it.
We don’t currently know how big the battery is, the company just said it features “all day battery life”.
Note: Bear with us, everything below this part is new as it’s currently being announced on stage.
iPad Pro 2018 release date and price
This is no surprise, as we expected the tablet range was coming soon, not least because an Apple tablet has seemingly passed through the EEC (Eurasian Economic Commission), which is something we’d expect to happen not too long before launch.
We don’t yet know when you’ll actually be able to buy the slates, but whenever the iPad Pro 3 tablets do come out, they’ll surely have a high price. The iPad Pro 10.5 starts at £619/$649/AU$979, so with Apple seemingly being done with 9.7-inch Pro models that’s probably the minimum you’ll pay.
iPad Pro 2018 design
- Tiny bezels
- No home button or headphone port
- Apple’s slimmest slate
One of the most recent iPad Pro 2018 leaks comes from a source who’s been right about Apple stuff before and claims that the upcoming slate will be just 5.9mm thick and won’t have a headphone port.
We’ve also now seen renders supposedly showing the design of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 3, and you can see them below.
Details include slim bezels and no home button or fingerprint scanner, so Face ID is sure to be included. But the bezels are still big enough that there’s no need for a notch.
It looks to still have a metal back, four speaker grilles and a single-lens rear camera, but some other things have changed – the Smart Connector has moved to the bottom of the back (when held in portrait), there’s seemingly no 3.5mm headphone port (as rumored above), and there’s an unidentified button on the right edge.
The source adds that apparently the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) comes in at 280.6 x 215 x 5.85mm (or 7.77mm including the rear camera bump), making it smaller than the iPad Pro 12.9 (2017). That thickness is also roughly in line with the rumor above, so this could be one slim slate.
We’ve heard those dimensions again from another source too, which adds that the iPad Pro 10.5 (2018) will be 247.64 x 178.52mm, which would make that slate smaller than its predecessor as well.
Another leaked render has also emerged, this time showing the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) in a UAG case, as you can see below.
The details – including slim bezels and Face ID sensors – match up with the renders above. However, the fact that it’s in a case suggests the slate could be coming soon, as a case-maker probably wouldn’t make a case or a render until close to launch.
iPad Pro 2018 display leaks
- 12.9 and 10.5-inch models
- 10.5-inch version could be replaced with 11-inch model
While the iPhone range is now firmly in notch territory, the iPad Pro 2018 might not have one, based on the renders above and another leak, which adds that the screen will be edge-to-edge.
Then again, it’s still possible that Apple may give the iPad Pro 3 a notch, especially as iOS 12 moves the status bar clock to the left edge, leaving empty space in the middle where a notch would go.
If Apple goes with an all-screen display design, it could allow the new iPads to either increase in screen size or stay the same size and shrink the body. That’d be a big deal for the sometimes cumbersome 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and based on the information we’ve heard so far shrinking the body of the 12.9-inch model is what Apple has chosen to do.
For the smaller 10.5-inch iPad though it could mean a slight increase in size as we’ve seen a report claiming it will have an 11-inch display.
However, as Apple has just introduced a new size with the 10.5-inch model we’re not convinced that the size would be changing already. We also fully expect the iPad Pro 3 to have a True Tone display with a 120Hz refresh rate, just like its predecessor.
iPad Pro 2018 camera and battery
- A TrueDepth front-facing camera
- Better bokeh effects
We wouldn’t expect much change to the camera. Apple has stuck the same 12MP and 7MP rear and front snappers as the iPhone 8 has on its latest slates, which is serious overkill for a tablet, so should serve the Pro range well for at least another year.
That said, if it has Face ID as rumored then it will presumably have a TrueDepth front-facing camera, more like the iPhone XS. That’s still 7MP but with extra depth-sensing skills, making it good for Portrait Mode.
There’s no news yet on the iPad Pro 3’s battery, but we’ll be sure to update this section as soon as we hear anything.
iPad Pro 2018 OS and power
- An A12 Bionic chipset
- iOS 12
Elsewhere in rumor land, sources in the supply chain are claiming that the new iPad Pro will use a new octa-core A11X Bionic chipset. Though given that the iPhone XS range has now launched with an A12 Bionic chipset this seems unlikely – and actually we’re now believing that it’ll be a more powerful A12X chipset, newer and upgraded just a month after the iPhone launch.
This comes according to 9to5Mac – which is certain that the new engine is coming, with a new GPU for better content creation.
Of course, the iPad Pro 3 is also sure to run iOS 12, which is already available. This brings iPhone-like gesture controls to the iPad, as well as adding Siri Shortcuts, grouped notifications, augmented reality improvements and more.
iPad Pro 3 other features
- Face ID
- Four speakers
You won’t hear Apple officially call its upcoming slate the ‘modern iPad,’ but that name has been found in iOS 11.3 code.
‘Modern iPad’ doesn’t sound very meaningful, but the phrase ‘modern iPhone’ was used ahead of the iPhone X‘s release. The suggestion is that the term could refer to all those fancy new features, like Face ID and an almost bezel-free screen.
Indeed, the idea that the new iPad Pro for 2018 could allow you to unlock your tablet with your face rather than your finger is a rumor we’ve heard more than once.
In fact, a Face ID setup screen has even been found in the iOS 12 beta for iPad. The same beta also contains multiple user support for Face ID – a feature which would be more useful on a tablet than a phone.
We’ve also heard that Face ID on the iPad will use the same image signal processor as the iPhone XS, and that it will work in both portrait and landscape orientations.
The same source claims that the iPad Pro 3 will be able to output 4K HDR videos to an external display using a USB-C port, which has also been rumored for inclusion.
We’ve heard about a USB-C port from several different sources now, so unlikely as it seems it’s possible that this will replace the Lightning port.
Plus, the iPad Pro 2018 could apparently have a new version of the Magnetic Connector for connecting accessories, such as a new version of Apple’s Smart Keyboard.
And a new version of the Apple Pencil will apparently land with the iPad Pro 3, one which can be paired with the tablet by proximity.
Other existing features, such as the quad-speakers and the Smart Connector (all of which are pictured in leaked images) are also likely to return.
What we want to see
Great as the current iPad Pro models are they’re also very expensive, and still lack some key features or trail behind rivals in certain ways. With that in mind here’s a list of the things we most want to see from the iPad Pro 3.
1. Water resistance
Apple has added water resistance to its phones, but so far not its tablets, and while it’s less needed on a tablet since it’s too big to drop in a glass and unlikely to be used in the rain, it could still come in handy.
Drinks still spill and people use tablets when cooking or by the pool, so knowing that the iPad Pro 3 could survive a dunk would be reassuring, especially given how much these things cost.
2. Even better productivity skills
Apple is really pushing the productivity potential of the iPad Pro, yet in most cases it still can’t quite match up to a laptop.
iOS isn’t versatile enough even with iOS 12, and accessories such as the Smart Keyboard tend to be overpriced for what’s ultimately a mediocre experience.
Better, lower priced accessories would help, along with further changes to iOS, bringing it more in line with a desktop operating system. More full, desktop quality software, such as Photoshop, would help too. To some extent that’s out of Apple’s hands, but it could make deals with developers, or just make the platform more appealing to them.
3. A lower price
The iPad Pro is an expensive bit of kit, there’s no getting around that, whichever size or model you pick. Given the amount of tech packed in it’s not necessarily bad value, but it can be hard to justify the outlay, especially when there are cheaper tablets and it’s not a full laptop replacement.
So we’d like to see a price cut for the iPad Pro 2018, or at the very least (and far more likely) the price remaining the same, while the tech and storage capacity improves.
4. A sharp OLED screen
The iPad Pro 2 in both its 10.5 and 12.9-inch sizes has a screen with a pixel density of 265 pixels per inch, which is fairly sharp, and the overall screen quality is high.
But there are sharper screens on tablets, laptops and phones, so we’d like to see Apple raise the resolution, especially as an iPad should be a prime candidate for 4K content.
And as well as a new resolution, we’d like to see a new display technology, namely OLED. Apple has now used this for the iPhone X and iPhone XS, so it’s entirely possible that the iPad Pro 3 could benefit as well.
5. Face ID
Apple debuted Face ID on the iPhone X, letting you simply look at the phone to unlock it. That means no more home button, which in turn allows for a bigger screen in the same size shell. These are all good things, and things we’d like from the iPad Pro 3.
6. Better battery life
The iPad Pro 2 doesn’t have bad battery life, far from it if you’re using it mostly as a media device, but if you plan to use the thing as a full laptop replacement you’ll probably only get 6-7 hours out of it.
That’s still not bad, but an extra couple of hours would really help, so whether through a bigger battery or more efficient components and software, we’d like to see Apple eke extra life out of the iPad Pro 3.
7. A new look
The iPad Pro has a slim, light and stylish design, but it’s more or less the same one Apple’s been using for years, so we’d like a complete overhaul for the iPad Pro 3. Something new and exciting that could tempt those with older models to upgrade.
That could take the form of a glass back, a curvy screen, zero bezels, or something else altogether. But if there’s one thing Apple’s almost always great at it’s design, so we’re sure it’s up to the task.