11in iPad Pro

Price: £769 from fave.co/2PaVUaR

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS - Neil Ben­nett

We were lucky enough to be in­vited to Ap­ple’s iPad Pro 2018 launch in New York, and spent some time try­ing out the de­vices (along with the new Ap­ple Pen­cil) af­ter­wards.

Our hands-on re­view of the new iPad Pros, which fo­cuses on the 11in model, is based on those first im­pres­sions (in sim­ple terms, what is the tablet like to hold and use in real life?) and the specs and head­line

fea­tures an­nounced on the night. We’ll have an in-depth re­view, fea­tur­ing de­tailed bat­tery and speed test­ing and our thoughts next month.


The new iPad Pros are avail­able to buy now. In­stead of giv­ing the sur­viv­ing 2017 Pro model a price cut (the tra­di­tional ap­proach), Ap­ple has made the bold move of pric­ing this year’s mod­els so high that the un­changed older ver­sion now looks (al­most) cheap by com­par­i­son.

iPad Pro 11in (64GB, Wi-Fi): £769 iPad Pro 11in (256GB, Wi-Fi): £919 iPad Pro 11in (512GB, Wi-Fi): £1,119 iPad Pro 11in (1TB, Wi-Fi): £1,519

iPad Pro 11in (64GB, cel­lu­lar): £919 iPad Pro 11in (256GB, cel­lu­lar): £1,069 iPad Pro 11in (512GB, cel­lu­lar): £1,269 iPad Pro 11in (1TB, cel­lu­lar): £1,669

The 12.9in model starts at £969 for the 64GB, Wi-Fi ver­sion, and tops out at £1,669 if you want a ter­abyte of stor­age and cel­lu­lar. Yes, these are costly de­vices. But they are also ex­tremely lovely and high-pow­ered, as we will see.


Ap­ple has re­designed this year’s Pros to match the X se­ries of iPhones. It’s a fairly rad­i­cal change and in­stantly makes the old 10.5in Pro (which is still on sale) look old-fash­ioned.

The Home but­ton has been re­moved, the bezels have been shrunk and the screen has been given curved cor­ners to match the chas­sis. All of these things to­gether mean the front of the iPads are al­most en­tirely screen – and there isn’t even a notch spoil­ing things, be­cause Ap­ple man­aged to find space for the TrueDepth cam­era in the bezel.

The in­ter­est­ing thing here is that Ap­ple has used this all-screen de­sign to achieve two dif­fer­ent things on the two Pro mod­els.

The 11in we’re fo­cus­ing on here, as the name sug­gests, has a larger screen than the equiv­a­lent 10.5in model last year, within a chas­sis of the same size. The 12.9in model, on the other hand, keeps the same screen size but shrinks the chas­sis around it.

The Pro mod­els are thin­ner than ever, both now 5.9mm thick (com­pared to 6.1- and 6.9mm re­spec­tively

last year) and in­cred­i­bly light in the hand. We found them com­fort­able to hold for ex­tended pe­ri­ods; they will be great for sketch­ing and draw­ing on the go.

Look round the back and you’ll no­tice that the rears are now less curved. This more squared-off look re­minds us a lit­tle of the old iPhone 5.

Liq­uid Retina screen

This 11in op­tion is yet an­other new screen size for Ap­ple’s iPad range. There are now five dif­fer­ent op­tions – 7.9-, 9.7-, 10.5-, 11- and 12.9in – and one can only imag­ine the con­fu­sion this will cause in­ex­pe­ri­enced cus­tomers. The new screen is be­ing mar­keted as ‘Liq­uid Retina’ (same as the iPhone XR), and aside from of­fer­ing more screen space (al­ways wel­come) it struck us as bright and bold. The res­o­lu­tion of the new 11in screen is 2,388x1,668, which works out at Ap­ple’s stan­dard 264ppi pixel den­sity for mid-size and above iPads.

Us­ing the iPad Pro

As was the case for iPhone buy­ers last year, those who get the new iPad Pro will have to re-ed­u­cate their fin­gers and learn a new ges­tu­ral lan­guage – sim­ply be­cause there isn’t a Home but­ton any more. (Granted, if you’ve got an X-se­ries iPhone these ges­tures will be fa­mil­iar al­ready.)

We spent only a short while try­ing out the Pro, so it isn’t sur­pris­ing that our mus­cle mem­ory re­mained wed­ded to the old ways; we found our­selves reach­ing in­stinc­tively for the Home but­ton with­out think­ing. But it shouldn’t take much longer than a few days for this to read­just. The new iPads are equipped with Face

ID, which re­places the (Home-but­ton-based) Touch ID fin­ger­print scan­ner. We’re big fans of Face ID on the iPhone XS, which is fast and re­li­able, but there’s one po­ten­tial is­sue here: iPads are big­ger than iPhones. If you’re us­ing the Pro flat on a table, for ex­am­ple, it could be in­con­ve­nient to trig­ger Face ID – you may have to move your­self, rather than lift­ing a lighter iPhone in front of your face.

Ap­ple Pen­cil 2

Ac­ces­sory fans will be pleased to hear that a new Ap­ple Pen­cil (sec­ond gen­er­a­tion) is launch­ing along­side the new iPads. The round shaft of the older Pen­cil has been shaved length­ways, leav­ing a flat edge on one side. This sim­ple change means the sty­lus won’t roll off the desk any more. You can mag­net­i­cally at­tach the new Pen­cil to

the edge of your iPad Pro (see im­age on page 33) and it will au­to­mat­i­cally pair and start charg­ing wire­lessly.

This is all a far cry from the awk­ward setup be­fore, which re­quired your Pen­cil to stick out from your iPad’s Light­ning port while charg­ing – and by com­bin­ing charg­ing with stor­age, it means your sty­lus should usu­ally be pow­ered up, rather than usu­ally need­ing charg­ing, as we tended to find in the past.

You can dou­ble-tap the sec­ond-gen Pen­cil (on the flat edge) to trig­ger app-spe­cific func­tions, but this will ob­vi­ously de­pend on de­vel­oper sup­port. It will no doubt be very handy at times.


There are some se­ri­ous num­bers on the specs sheet, and it’s tempt­ing to get car­ried away – but, of course, we will need to see what these trans­late into in terms of real-world per­for­mance.

A cou­ple of changes are worth high­light­ing, how­ever. The pro­ces­sor has dou­ble-jumped from the A10X in 2017’s Pros to the A12X Bionic this year; that’s a souped-up ver­sion of the iPhone XS’s A12 chip, tasty enough in its own right. Stor­age now goes up to a whop­ping 1TB, and Blue­tooth has been up­graded from 4.2 to the 5.0 edi­tion.

Per­haps the big­gest sur­prise is that the Light­ning port has been done away with: it’s USB-C all the way now, which brings the side ben­e­fit of en­abling you to charge an iPhone from your iPad. It also makes for an easy way to con­nect the iPad Pro to an ex­ter­nal dis­play.


It’s too early to give a proper ver­dict on the 2018 iPad Pro: that will have to wait un­til we drag it kick­ing and scream­ing into our test­ing lab and see what sort of per­for­mance we can coax from those high-power com­po­nents – read our re­view next month. But we were im­me­di­ately struck by the in­no­va­tive de­sign of the new Ap­ple Pen­cil de­sign, which feels like a ma­jor step for­ward for an al­ready ap­peal­ing prod­uct.


• 11in (2,388x1,668; 265ppi) LED-back­lit IPS LCD, ca­pac­i­tive touch­screen

• iOS 12

• Ap­ple A12X Bionic pro­ces­sor

• Octa-core (4x Vor­tex + 4x Tem­pest) CPU

• Ap­ple GPU (7-core graph­ics)


• 64-, 256-, 512GB, 1TB stor­age

• Rear-fac­ing cam­era: 12Mp, f/1.8, 1/3in, PDAF

• Front cam­era: 7Mp, f/2.2, 32mm (stan­dard)

• 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi

• Blue­tooth 5.0



• Face ID

• 3.1, Type-C 1.0 re­versible con­nec­tor; mag­netic con­nec­tor

• Non-re­mov­able 29.37Wh Lithium-poly­mer bat­tery

• 247.6x178.5x5.9mm

• 468g

The new iPad Pro no longer has a Home but­ton

Dou­ble-tap the sec­ond-gen Pen­cil (on the flat edge) to trig­ger app-spe­cific func­tions

The pro­ces­sor has dou­ble-jumped from the A10X in 2017’s Pros to the A12X Bionic this year

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