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12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018) vs. 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2017): Apple’s Tablet Loses the Bezels

by Danny Zepeda | October 31, 2018October 31, 2018 7:00 am PST

After months of leaks and anticipation, Apple on Tuesday unveiled its next-generation iPad Pro at an event in New York City. Let’s see exactly how the last two plus-sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro generations differ.

The biggest change made to the new iPad Pro is with the display. Instead of being adorned by chunky bezels at the top and bottom, Apple cut the bezels along with the home button that doubled as the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. To replace it Apple added Face ID.. Overall, the new design looks very sharp.

Saying the display is bigger is an over simplification of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The entire body was slimmed down and is much smaller. Apple also added USB-C, completing a huge change in design for Apple.

On the inside, Apple improved the specs by adding the new A12X Bionic chip. Apple likes to tout the iPad Pro as a computer replacement and its powerful processor is a big reason for its confidence.

Like past the iPad Pro models, the new iPad Pro will feature support for the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, though the latter of which now magnetically attaches to the tablet and wirelessly charges. Another key feature the newer model offers is storage up to 1TB.

Although already yesterday’s news, the iPad Pro (2017) isn’t done just yet. Apple may not be selling it anymore, but given its still impressive specs—True Tone display with 120Hz refresh rate, A10X Fusion chip, 4GB of RAM and Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil support—it’s not exactly dead. If you currently own one, the changes may not be enough to warrant an upgrade.

The bigger question may be if you’re thinking of buying an 12.9-inch iPad Pro, would a discounted iPad Pro (2017) be a better value than the new iPad Pro (2018)?

Check out the spec comparison down below and see what else changed with the new iPad Pro.

Apple - iPad Pro (3rd Generation) Apple - iPad Pro (2nd Generation)
Display Size 12.9-inch, 2048 x 2732 pixel display (265 ppi) 12.9-inch, 2732 x 2048 pixel display (265 ppi)
Resolution X 2048 2732
Resolution Y 2732 2048
Display Type Liquid Retina Display Retina Display LED-backlit widescreen Multi-Touch display
Operating System iOS 12.1 (at launch) iOS 10.3.2 (at launch)
Processor A12X Bionic chip A10X Fusion chip with 64‑bit architecture
RAM N/A N/A
Storage
  • 64GB
  • 256GB
  • 512GB
  • 64GB
  • 256GB
  • 512GB
External Storage No No
Main Camera (Back) 12MP 12MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 7MP 7MP
Networks
  • UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC‑HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) CELLULAR MODELS ONLY
  • Gigabit-class LTE (Models A2013 and A2014: bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 29, 30, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 66, 71) CELLULAR MODELS ONLY
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
  • GSM/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • LTE Advanced: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41
  • UMTS/HSPA/​HSPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 4.2
Battery 36.71-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery Built‐in 41‐watt‐hour rechargeable lithium‑polymer battery
NFC Yes No
Connectivity
  • USB-C
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • Lightning port
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Face ID
  • Gyro
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Gyro
  • Touch ID
GPS
  • Digital compass
  • Assisted GPS CELLULAR MODELS ONLY
  • Galileo CELLULAR MODELS ONLY
  • GLONASS CELLULAR MODELS ONLY
  • QZSS CELLULAR MODELS ONLY
  • Assisted GPS (Cellular models only)
  • Digital compass
  • GLONASS (Cellular models only)
  • iBeacon
Height 11.04 inches (28.04 cm) 12 inches (30.48 cm)
Width 8.46 inches (21.49 cm) 8.68 inches (22.05 cm)
Depth 0.23 inches (5.8 mm) 0.27 inches (6.9 mm)
Weight 631 g (22.26 oz) 677 g (23.88 oz)
Colors Silver, Space Gray Space Gray, Gold, Silver
Supported Audio Formats N/A AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
Supported Video Formats N/A H.264 video up to 4K, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.2 with AAC‑LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio or Dolby Audio up to 1008 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo or multichannel audio, in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG‑4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC‑LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio or Dolby Audio up to 1008 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo or multichannel audio, in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M‑JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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