Apple is expected to launch two new iPad Pro models later this year, which will bring over a significant redesign, according to previous reports. The new iPads are supposed to get the same Face ID authentication option as the iPhone X, reports claimed, which means the tablets will not have a home button (or Touch ID), and that they’ll have even thinner bezels.
A brand new report out of Asia now says that the new iPad Pros will be even more courageous than that.
Japanese blog Macotakara unearthed more information about the new iPads from suppliers. The 2018 iPad Pro will come in the same sizes you expect, including 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch, but they’ll be smaller than their predecessor.
The new 10.5-inch model measures 247.5 x 178.7 x 6 mm, compared to 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm for the current version — okay, so they’re almost the same size. It’s on the 12.9-inch model that you’ll notice the difference. The new one measures 280 x 215 x 6.4mm while the existing iPad Pro measures 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm.
The iPad Pros will have a “diamond cut” design on both the front and back, the report notes, just like the iPhone SE.
Macotakara also says the tablets will have a front-facing TrueDepth camera that will provide Face ID support, but the feature will only work in portrait mode. That’s apparently the reason why the Smart Connector was moved to the bottom, near the Lightning port, from the side. That’s the connector that lets you use keyboards with the iPad Pro.
That means you’ll have to dock the tablet in portrait mode rather than landscape, which sounds incredibly stupid, especially for the bigger model.
However, other reports did say that Face ID would also work in landscape mode on the tablet.
Of course, when I said courage, I meant something else, although the Smart Connector’s relocation also qualifies. The new iPads will not have 3.5mm headphone jacks, the report notes. That means you’ll have to get yourself Bluetooth-enabled headphones, or just use a dongle. It’s iPhone 7 all over again, but for tablets.
No word on when the new iPad Pros should launch, but a fall release is very plausible.