As clear and consistent as the rumors have been, I think we can take them at face value at this point. New iPad Pros with little to no bezels, Face ID, and no Home Buttons are on the way, and could be here as soon as mid-September. Reports have also been consistent that both current sizes, 10.5″ and 12.9″, will be upgraded.
A few articles have suggested that the 12.9″ iPad Pro’s new design will be focused on slimming Apple’s largest tablet down. I have used a 12.9″ iPad Pro for over three years now, so I am thrilled with this news. I briefly tried and reviewed the 10.5″ Pro last year, and while the thinner and lighter design was appealing, I just wasn’t willing to part with the additional screen real estate and some extra functionality that comes with it. For users like myself, a thinner and lighter iPad that still sports a12.9″ screen sounds perfect.
Rumors of the 10.5″ iPad Pro paint a different picture. Instead of slimming the device further, it sounds like Apple might go the other way with this model. There have been rumors going back to March of this year that Apple would keep this tablet the same size, and use the extra space reclaimed from the bezels to add a larger screen. Going from 10.5″ to 11″ doesn’t sound like a big jump, but you might be surprised how much difference a half inch can make until you see it.
I actually cast doubt on this rumor for a couple of reasons when it initially appeared back in March. First of all, there were some questions about possible translation issues from the original report, which was in Chinese. Secondly, I thought that it just seemed out of character for Apple. They have been all about thinner and lighter over the past five years, sometimes even at the cost of functionality. Changing the screen size of the 10.5 rather than just slimming the device down goes against that grain. However, as subsequent stories from more reliable sources have repeated this smae news, I have to admit that I was probably wrong. Apple zigged when I thought it was a sure thing they would zag.
Since we probably know what these new Pros will look like, which are you more interested in? If you love extra screen size like me, will an extra half inch in a slimmer body be enough to tempt you to downsize? If you preferred the smaller body, will a 12.9″ screen in a smaller, lighter package be enough to make you take a second look? Will you stick with your current preference, happy with a little more screen, or a little less bulk? Or are neither of these likely new Pros enough to get you to pay more than the already available iPad, now that it also has Apple Pencil compatibility?
Whatever side you come down on with the new iPad Pros, or the existing iPad, I would love to know what you think. Let me know which model you prefer on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog, or on our new Instagram account. Wherever you prefer, I would love to hear from you.