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Apple iPad 12.9 (2018) vs iPad Pro 12.9 (2017): Is it worthy to upgrade?

07 November 2018 5

The Cupertino giant holds a dedicated launch event on October 30th to announce a couple of new iPad Pro models alongside Mac Mini and MacBook Air. This year Apple announced iPad Pro in two variants with 11-inches and 12.9-inches display. Apart from bringing yearly upgraded hardware, the new iPad Pro variants bring significant changes in design as well. However, mostly the changes are for the larger 12.9-inches model with ultra-thin bezels at the top and bottom of the display that's why its overall footprint is significantly smaller than the last year's model.

Undoubtedly the iPad Pro 12.9-inch brings all the goodies to attract buyers who are looking for a new premium tablet. All aspect regarding the new iPad Pro is fascinating except the hefty price tag. Today we will put the latest iPad Pro 12.9 against its predecessor to know the real differences and similarities between the two devices. We are hopeful this comparison will certainly help you better decide whether you should go for the latest iPad Pro or stick with the predecessor.

Design

Undoubtedly one of the most striking aspects of the latest iPad Pro 12.9-inches is indeed its new refreshing design. The last year's iPad Pro wasn't much different from the predecessor in terms of looks. On first look, you can't differentiate whether you are holding iPad Pro 2015 or the iPad Pro 2017. However the latest iPad Pro differentiates it significantly from the predecessor in terms of design.

Apple reduced the footprint of the latest iPad Pro 12.9 by trimming the bezels from all edges. It is the first iPad from Apple without physical home button instead it has Face ID as a primary biometric feature. Another good thing is chassis is squared off to give the front-facing side a more pleasant seamless look. So if you have issues regarding the gigantic body of the iPad Pro, you will find the latest version is much slimmer.

For connectivity, the last year model has Lightning port and 3.5mm headphone jack whereas the latest iPad Pro has USB-C port for connectivity and lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, both the iPads lack resistance against water and dust. In terms of durability both the Tabs are on the same level.

On the rear side, both have a single snapper on the top left corner with LED flashlight right below it. The latest iPad Pro 12.9 dimensions are 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm and weigh 633g whereas the predecessor is significantly taller, wider, thicker and heavier at 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm and weighs 677g. Last but not the least the latest iPad Pro also supports Apple Pencil 2nd gen. It connected with the tab magnetically and charges wirelessly from the tab.

Display

As the name suggests the display panel on both the iPad Pro models remain 12.9-inches. The only prominent difference is the latest iPad Pro comes with Liquid Retina LCD display with round corners whereas the last year model has Retina display with square corners. Just for the sake of reminding the latest iPad, Pro has the same display tech like the iPhone XR.

All other aspects remain similar to the predecessor. Both the Tabs screen resolution is 2732 x 2048 pixels and pixels density is 264 pixels-per-inch. Other goodies include P3 Wide color gamut support, True tone display which adjusts colors temp according to the environment and ProMotion tech.

Hardware

Under the hood, the latest model has the advantage of being the new whereas the last year's model has older hardware. The latest model is running on the latest A12X Bionic chipset with the dedicated neural processing unit. The last year's iPad Pro was powered up by the A10X Fusion SoC. The latest SoC outclasses the predecessor in terms of specs but also brings new goodies like support for Facial support.

In terms of storage both are available in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage and lacks support for memory expansion. The latest iPad Pro can also be purchased in the 1TB variant. You can purchase either cellular model or Wi-Fi variant. So if you are looking for a solid performer the last year's iPad Pro is a pretty good option but if you want a beast the latest iPad Pro certainly takes lead here.

Specs iPad Pro 12.9(2018) iPad Pro 12.9(2017)
Display 12.9-inches 12.9-inches
Screen resolution 2732 x 2048 pixels 2732 x 2048 pixels
Chipset A12X Bionic A10X Fusion
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64, 256, 512GB, 1TB 64, 256, 512GB
Rear camera 12MP 12MP
Front camera 7MP 7MP
USB Type-C Lightning port
MicroSD card No No
OS iOS 12 iOS 12 rolled out recently
Bluetooth 5.0 4.2
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes
Touch ID No Yes
Face ID Yes No
Colors Space Gray, Silver Silver, Gold and Space Gray

Camera

The camera is certainly one aspect where Apple didn't bring major changes with the latest iPad Pro. The latest and the predecessor both have a 12MP sensor on the rear with f/1.8 aperture. Not just that many other aspects is same like the predecessor. The first difference is that last year's model has optical image stabilization whereas the latest Tab lacks this feature, however, it brings Smart HDR feature, the camera captures simultaneously and then combine images to provide the best final result.

The major changes in the camera department are mostly for the front-facing cameras. The latest iPad Pro retains 7MP sensor on the front but it brings support for Portrait Lightning, Portrait mode, Memoji, Animoji and also Face ID. On the other hand, the last year's model has a simple 7MP sensor on the front.

Software

As OS both the Tabs are running on the latest iOS 12 but the UI on both the devices isn't fully same. The latest iPad Pro lacks Touch ID support that's why it has gesture support instead of a physical button. Most of the UI aspects on both the devices are same, however, there are few changes as well. For instance, now you will have to use Face ID to authenticate Apple Pay whereas the predecessor model users have to use Touch ID to authenticate Apple Pay payment.

Price

In the price department, the latest iPad Pro is the most expensive Tab from Apple ever. The base Wi-Fi model will be available at $999 (£969 for the UK buyers)whereas the Cellular model will start at $1149 in the US. The 512GB model of Wi-Fi variant will cost you £1319 whereas the cellular model is at £1469. Last but not least if you are looking for the 1TB model you will have to spend £1719 for the WiFi model and £1868 for the cellular model.

As expected Apple is now not offering last year's iPad Pro officially, however it is available from retailers. The Wi-Fi variant can be purchased around $700 whereas the cellular model is around $900.

Conclusion:

Its good to see Apple finally opting the latest design trend by ditching the thick bezels around the display. The device looks sleek and more striking than the predecessor. In the design department, the new iPad Pro is certainly a better option. Both have the same display but the new model has a smaller footprint due to thin bezels. You will get Face ID instead of Touch ID.

The latest iPad Pro front-facing camera brings tons of new features which is available for last year's users. In terms of performance, the new iPad Pro is way ahead than the predecessor and also available in the 1TB model. However all these goodies come at a hefty price tag, you will have to pay more than $200 for the base model of the latest gen. The latest iPad Pro is certainly future proof because of having latest design, top of the line hardware, a new front-facing camera with Face ID.

In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts in the comments section below regarding iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) vs iPad Pro 12.9 (2017). Stay tuned for more comparisons.


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