Friday, December 3, 2021

iPad Pro 2018 vs iPad Pro 2017: What’s the Difference?

iPad Pro 2018 vs iPad Pro 2017

As expected, Apple has announced new iPad Pro models at its October event in New York. This means you’re probably wondering what’s new, whether they’re more expensive and if you should upgrade. Well we aim to answer all those questions in this comparison.

Continuing a crazy month of tech launches, Apple’s new line-up consists of two iPad Pro tablets to choose from. This refreshes the models from 2017, and they sit alongside the cheaper iPad 2018.

For a specific look at one of the new models, read our iPad Pro 11in (2018) review.


The new iPad Pros for 2018 start at £769/$799 and £969/$999 and go on sale 7 November.

You can still buy the 10.5in model from 2017 due to its smaller size, but the larger 12.9in size has been discontinued.

You can see the new pricing structure below:

  iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) iPad Pro 12.9 (2017) iPad Pro 11 (2018) iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
64GB £619/$649 £769/$799  £769/$799  £969/$999
256GB £769/$799 £919/$949  £919/$949  £1119/$1149
512GB £969/$999 £1119/$1149  £1119/$1149  £1319/$1349
1TB  £1519/$1549  £1719/$1749

To avoid overcomplicating the table, we’ve stuck to Wi-Fi only models rather than including the cellular options – add £150/$150 for 4G. For more in-depth details on the iPad range, check out our full iPad buying guide.

iPad Pro 2018

Design & Build

Usually, new iPad models don’t come with much of a design change so there’s little to talk about. However, that’s definitely not the case this year.

The iPad Pro 2018 is arguably the most radical redesign the iPad has ever had in its history.

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Taking inspiration from the iPhone XS, the iPad Pro now has an edge-to-edge style which means considerably smaller bezels. Not only does it look dramatically different, it means the long standing Home button is gone.

iPad Pro 2017

No Home button means no Touch ID, as per all the 2018 iPhones, so you’ll need to use Face ID instead. The smaller bezels also mean it will be harder to hold without touching the display.

You’ll also need to get used to a range of new gestures, since there’s no physical button for navigation.

The 2018 design means the smaller iPad Pro has a large screen, while the larger option simply comes in a smaller body – 25 percent less volume, according to Apple. The device is also thinner at just 5.9mm.

It’s also worth pointing out that the the 2018 iPad Pros are just available in Silver and Space Grey so Gold and Rose Gold have been dropped. Apple was also very quiet about getting rid of the headphone jack so you’ll have to use USB-C headphones or Bluetooth.

Specs & Features

The really big news in terms of the specs is that the iPad Pro 2018 uses USB-C instead of Apple’s long standing Lightning connector. 

Apart from needing a new charger and potentially various accessories, it means you can connect the iPad Pro to an external monitor. Reverse charging means you can use the iPad Pro to charge other devices such as your iPhone.

iPad Pro 2018 USB-C

Of course, no Lightning port means you can’t charge the Apple Pencil – but a new version snaps onto the side magnetically and even charges wirelessly.

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The new design brings new displays so you know have to choose between 11- or 12.9in making the two closer in size than previously. The 2018 models also use a Liquid Retina IPS display like the one on the iPhone XR. They’re all 264ppi across the board.

As you might expect, there’s a new processor in the form of the A12X Bionic which is an octa-core chip. Apple claims it’s up to 90 percent faster in multi-core performance. It’s also big news that the iPad Pro 2018 has up to 1TB of storage should you need such a large amount on a tablet.

iPad Pro 2018 sizes

Otherwise things are similar with the same cameras, though the 2018 models lose optical image stabilisation on the rear but gained Portrait mode at the front.

Although battery capacities are a little different, Apple still claims the standard 10 hours of surfing the web via Wi-Fi.

Here’s a full specs table comparing all the iPad Pro models:

  iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) iPad Pro 12.9 (2017) iPad Pro 11 (2018) iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
Display 10.5in Retina, 264ppi 12.9in Retina, 264ppi 11in Liquid Retina, 264ppi 12.9in Liquid Retina, 264ppi
Processor Apple A10X Fusion Apple A10X Fusion A12X Bionic A12X Bionic
RAM 4GB 4GB Unkown Unkown
Storage 64/256/512GB 64/256/512GB 64/256/512GB/1TB 64/256/512GB/1TB
Cameras 12Mp rear, 7Mp front 12Mp rear, 7Mp front 12Mp rear, 7Mp front 12Mp rear, 7Mp front
Operating system iOS 11 iOS 11 iOS 12 iOS 12 
Connectivity Lightning Lightning USB-C USB-C
Biometrics Touch ID Touch ID Face ID Face ID 
Speakers Four Four Four Four
Headphone jack Yes Yes No No
Battery 30.4Wh 41Wh 29.37Wh 36.71Wh
Dimensions 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm
Weight 469g 677g 468g 631g
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The iPad Pro for 2018 is a pretty huge update for the tablet. Now with a radical new design that loses the Home button, bezels and Lightning port.

These new models are more expensive but come with a range of upgrades and changes including the A12X Bionic processor, up to 1TB of storage and Face ID. Whether you want the latter is down to your personal taste and usage.

USB-C is also a major change and could be a nightmare if you’ve invested in Lightning products, even if it does offer things like reverse charging and the ability to connect to a second display.

There’s no doubt the 2018 iPad Pro is better in a number of ways, but there are various controversial moves that some may not like – namely USB-C, the loss of the Home button and headphone jack.

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