Home Top 10 The new iPad Pro is close – here’s what we know

The new iPad Pro is close – here’s what we know

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The new iPad Pro is close – here’s what we know

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OPINION: The rumours surrounding the latest round of iPad releases have been swirling for months now, with each week bringing us closer to that final reveal many have been eagerly awaiting.

While Amazon’s big Spring Deals sale and the US Department of Justice’s claims against Apple have taken up many of the headlines this week, there have been a few more rumours about the upcoming iPad slate trickle through too.

These rumours, which will only be validated if and when Apple does announce the products, have shed new light on a device that has been pegged as ‘coming soon’ for what seems like 18 months now.

2023 was the first year in the iPad’s lifecycle that we didn’t get any hardware revisions. There was no new Pro, new Air, new MIni or even base iPad and it has left the line feeling somewhat stagnant. 2023 was full of interesting Android tablets, notably the OnePlus Pad and Google Pixel Tablet, and while the iPad still reigns supreme as the best tablet on the market, the distance between rivals isn’t as great as it has been.

While it is expected the new iPad Pros will shift to an M3 chipset, come with a slimmer design with a redesigned FaceTime camera module and new screen tech, this week has seen a few more reported features come to light.

Attack the bezels

The first of the recent slew of iPad rumours revolves around the high-end Pro model – Apple’s priciest duo of slates. Apple leaker Instant Digital claimed that the 11-inch version of the new iPad Pro will feature a 7.12 mm-thick screen frame – excluding the metal edge – while the larger 12.9-inch model’s frame will be 7.08mm thick.

According to calculations from MacRumors, these figures would make the new iPad Pro bezels around 10 to 15% skinnier than the ones on previous iPad Pro models released over the past six years.

The front of Apple iPad Pro M2
The front of Apple iPad Pro M2

Thinner bezels have been a theme of recent Apple devices, notably the iPhone 14 Pro, however I am less enthused about having them on larger touchscreen devices like tablets. While they do give a more modern overall look, it can make them hard to grip comfortably without your fingers encroaching on the screen.

Multiple screen options

It’s very much expected that both versions of the 2024 iPad Pro series will switch to an OLED display. This will be a welcome upgrade, especially for the smaller 11-inch model which has always had an LCD IPS.

However, recent rumours, once again from Instant Digital, suggest that Apple will go one step further and offer multiple finishes on the iPad’s display. Jumping on the back of the popular matte screen protector trend, the leaker claims that Apple will offer both glossy and matte versions of the iPad Pro. The report (via MacRumors) also states some blue-light filtering tech might be included with the matte option.

Apple Pro Display XDR side tilt and front view
The ProDisplay XDR have a duo of coating options

Offering displays with two different coatings isn’t new for Apple, as it’s something it offers across its Studio and Pro Display ranges. Typically, the matte option has been the premium offering, minimising glare and reducing reflection.

The benefits would likely be the same on an iPad, but it could also give the tablet a more papery feel when used for sketching and note-taking.

I can see this feature being far more useful than the thinner bezels, especially for those who primarily use the iPad as a creative tool. For those who use it more for watching movies, the glossy panel would likely still be preferable.

The release date still very much up in the air

When these new iPads will be arriving remains a mystery, though all signs point to it being sooner rather than later. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported multiple times that the tablets are coming soon, though he has recently dismissed March 26 as the all-important date.

Apple announced new MacBook Air models with the M3 chipset earlier this month – you can read my MacBook Air 13-inch M3 review here – without a lavish event, and the new iPads could launch similarly.

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