Apple confirms new 11in and 12.9in iPad Pros with upgraded speakers

From New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, Apple has today put the rumours to bed by officially announcing its all-new iPad Pro, complete with upgraded internal speakers.

According to Apple, the new iPad Pro, which was revealed alongside a new MacBook Air and Mac mini, sees the biggest change to the line-up since the original iPad Pro.

Apple has brought the two screen sizes of iPad Pro closer together, with a new-look 12.9in model accompanied by a 11in version (up from 10.5in).

The latter manages to be the same physical size as the original 10.5in iPad Pro, while the 12.9in looks to be a fair bit smaller than its predecessor, with 25 per cent less volume. Both have slimmed down to a 5.9mm thickness.

The edge-to-edge, top-to-bottom Liquid Retina LCD display borrows technology from the iPhone XR with Wide Colour support, True Tone and ProMotion picture technology.

"Performance and productivity combine in the best tablet money can buy" is what we said of the iPad Pro 10.5in model launched last year. And with one-upping specs, as you’d expect for a successor, the new version looks to be even more of a productivity powerhouse and creative whizz.

For one, it’s faster. Much faster, if the numbers are anything to go by.

Apple claims the new A12X Bionic chip delivers a single core and multi-core performance that is 35 per cent and 95 per cent faster than its predecessor, respectively.

It also sees a custom Apple graphics chip used in iPad for the first time, promising 1000x faster graphics performance.

As suspected, the new iPad introduces a USB-C charging port to the iOS family for the first time - leaving the iPad 9.7, iPad Mini 4 and iPhones to use Apple's Lightning connection. That ensures the iPad shares connectivity with Apple's most recent laptops and other monitors and accessories. The icing on the cake: with charging out compatibility, you can charge your iPhone from the new iPad Pros too...

The Home button and fingerprint scanner have been removed in favour of Face ID for unlocking the screen. As with iPhone X, accessing controls and sliders can be opened by swiping from different corners and edges of the screen.

Intriguingly, Apple’s built-in four-speaker system (which we’ve lauded the best in a tablet) is now smaller but supposedly goes louder and wider thanks to a new woofer/tweeter configuration.

The camera still has a 12MP sensor and can record 4K at 60fps, but Apple has improved the True Tone flash.

We also have an updated Apple Pencil (£119) that magnetically attaches to the top of the Pro, where it can pair and charge both wirelessly and automatically. Thanks to a new sensor, users can now tap the pencil twice to switch modes - for example, between the current tool and eraser when using the Notes app.

There's also a newly-designed Smart Keyboard Folio - £179 for the 11in iPad Pro, £199 for the 12.9in model.

The iPad Pros are available in 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options, with prices starting at £769 for the 11in and £969 for the 12.9in. Last year’s 10.5in remains in Apple's current iPad line-up.

The new Apple iPad Pros are available to buy now and go on sale 7th November.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.