The iPad Pro range is the pinnacle of premium tablet hardware, and each new year brings a new generation of the slates with new improvements and upgrades – it’s unlikely 2019 will be an exception, so we’re expecting to see new iPad Pros soon.
Apple is going to have a hard time keeping its premium slates relevant, thanks to Samsung doing its best to provide competition in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, and it’s also a pivotal year for the iPad Pro slates, with the release of iPadOS later in 2019 which looks set to redefine the Apple tablet experience.
There haven't been many leaks or rumors surrounding the new iPad Pro models yet. We’d assume there are two different sized models, like 2018’s iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9, but iPad Pros have seen different sized models in the past, so a change here wouldn’t be unheard of.
Beyond rough guesses, and a few rumors here and there we don’t know much yet at all, which is why we’re speculating with our dream wish-list.
Cut to the chase
What is it? The next generation of Apple's premium iPad Pro tablets
When is it out? Likely announced in October, released in November 2019
How much will it cost? A range of prices depending on size, but all rather pricey
New iPad Pro 2019 release date and price
If you’re eagerly anticipating the new iPad Pro release date, you probably won’t have to wait too long, as in the past Apple has unveiled its new high-end slates at an event in October, before they become available to buy in November.
That means, while you’ll have to wait through the iPhone 11 release and the roll-outs of iOS 13 and iPadOS, you may be able to get your hands on the slates by Christmas. Of course there’s no official confirmation that the tablets will be out, but new iPad Pro registration details filed by Apple itself suggest there will be.
If you know about the iPad Pro devices, you know the price is the most off-putting thing about them, as they’re the definition of high-end premium gadgetery, and we wouldn’t expect that to change with the new iPad Pro models, especially if they have any of the upgrades we’re hoping for.
For context, the current iPad Pro 11 costs $799 / £769 / AU$1,229 for the option with least storage space, which is 64GB, and $1,549 / £1,519 / AU$2,349 for 1TB capacity, and the iPad Pro 12.9 prices range from $999 / £969 / AU$1,529 to $1,899 / £1,869 / AU$2,869 for the same storage.
Then there are the peripherals, which some would argue are an intrinsic part of the iPad Pro experience. The Apple Pencil stylus will set you back $129 / £119 / AU$199, and the Smart Keyboard Folio keyboard and case costs $169 / £169 / AU$299, so if you’re paying a lot of money for the most premium device you can, you can end up dropping $2,197 / £2,157 / AU$3,367.
While the cost of the peripherals will likely stay the same, we msy see the iPad Pro prices themselves creep higher, though we don’t know how high just yet.
What we want to see in the new iPad Pro
As we don't know much about the upcoming iPad Pro series, we've put together a few things we'd like to see.
1. Improved display technology
Previous generations of iPad Pro used LCD screens, as have all iPads in general, so it’s clear Apple are committed to the technology in its slates. However, LCD screens have a few problems, like poorer black reproduction that you don’t get in OLED or AMOLED displays.
Samsung is really stepping up its tablet game, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a Super AMOLED screen with a better resolution than iPad Pros, so if Apple wants to stay competitive it’s going to have to increase its screen quality.
Better screen quality is a particular necessity in the iPad Pro, as many professionals use the device to work – many of which really need the best display tech possible to correctly view color, details, or anything else they’re working on.
2. Longer battery life
The iPad Pro (2018) range comes with decent battery life, but if you’re using your iPad Pro for something strenuous like video editing or gaming the charge can drop quite quickly.
Even if you’re not putting the iPad Pro’s processor through its paces, the giant screen often means the battery will drop quicker than you’d like, so after a day or two of normal use you’ll find the battery pretty low.
With iPad Pros getting more and more like laptops, it’s time for Apple to really boost the battery life of its slates.
3. Quicker charging
Just as the battery capacity could be improved, so could the speed it takes to charge that power pack up.
When you use the iPad Pro charger that comes in the box, it can often take a matter of hours to power the tablet up to full, and that’s just too slow if you’re popping into a coffee shop to charge up or can only plug your slate in for a short while.
Apple sells 30W chargers on its website, so we know the tablets can support the fast charging, and we’d love to see this kind of adapter in the box – alternatively, we’d like to see the base charging speed increased somewhat.
4. Improved Face ID
While Apple’s Face ID systems on the iPad and iPhone were originally touted as market-leading, they’ve become rather overshadowed by facial recognition systems in other smartphones, and now it can feel a lot quicker to turn on an Android device than an iOS one.
In the most recent iPad Pro range, Face ID felt a little unreliable – it wouldn’t always pick up our face, and when it did it could be a little slow to do so. We’d like to see this change, with upgrades to the facial unlocking system, because at the moment it’s quicker to type in a password than try and convince the tablet to recognize you.
5. More RAM
The iPad Pro devices are meant to be premium devices, but it’s hard to argue that case when you look at their RAM – 4GB really isn't’ enough at this point (the 1TB models come with 6GB, but that’s still fairly low).
Many high-end smartphones now come with 8GB RAM, as does the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, and some even come with 12GB. This extra processing power is just as useful for navigating the user interface as it is playing games, rendering video, or arranging your files, so it’s quite a surprise the the iPad Pros have a below-average RAM.
If the RAM was improved in the new iPad Pro range, the tablets would be much more useful for many different business and leisure functions – and the devices would be able to square off against the competitors more.
6. Better Apple Pencil connectivity
If there’s one common complaint with most people who’ve used an Apple Pencil, it’s how it connects to the iPad Pro physically – it connects to the slate with a magnetic bar on the top of the device (when it’s held horizontally), with which it wirelessly charges.
However, if you’ve ever put your iPad Pro in a bag while the iPad Pro is connected (which you very likely will do if you’re taking it to work or a coffee shop), you’ll pull it out again, only to discover the pencil is missing. This is because it doesn’t take much work to accidentally knock the Apple Pencil off, or have it fall off in a bag or while pulling it out the bag.
Samsung has a physical dock in the Galaxy Tab S6 for the S Pen, and if there was something similar in the 2019 iPad Pro range, it’d get rid of those frustrating occasions when you pull the tablet out your bag without its stylus.
7. A 5G iPad Pro
We’ve already heard that Apple is planning to release 5G iPad Pro models that let you use your cell network to connect to the internet when out and about, just like you can do on 4G now with your iPad Pro. This rumor states that’ll be in 2021, but we’d like to see it sooner.
With advances in cloud computing, 5G is going to be an increasingly important part of many different workspaces, so it’ll be important for tablets designed for professionals (like, for example, an iPad Pro) to have the connection.
Imagine being able to game on the go on a massive 12.9-inch tablet, use online processing power to edit a photograph, or download an entire file of documents in seconds so you can work on them straight away – this kind of functionality is why 5G tablets are important.
8. A redesigned Smart Keyboard Folio
Like the Apple Pencil, the Smart Keyboard Folio is a peripheral that sometimes has its problems.
For one, when the Folio is folded, its keys are face-out, so you can sometimes accidentally find yourself pressing them. It’s not backlit either, when a keyboard of its price really could be, and on top of that it can be rather noisy too.
The Apple Pencil had a poorer original version before it became a more useful tool like it is today, so perhaps a redesigned Smart Keyboard will be a powerful tool for productivity too.