The iPad came out in 2010 and it was a flat screen surrounded by wide bezels with a home button. Thick and very heavy, it was capable of just basic functions and iOS was not optimized for the larger screen. Honestly, even today with iOS 12 soon to be released, the operating system should be further enhanced.
The iPad Pro 10.5″ was released in June 2017. The bezels were drastically reduced, especially the lateral ones, giving it a more modern and agile look. This lead to an increase in the screen estate from 9,7″ of the first iPad Pro. It’s incredibly powerful and the hardware is all there. The fully laminated screen, now with the True Tone feature, is gorgeous. It also Features pro motion for a 120 hz dynamic refresh rate. Four speakers and a simple thin line for the 4g version are among the other little pleasant enhancements.
The device feels right in terms of weight and slimness. It’s a pleasure to hold and the software is optimized enough to filter the involuntary touches out. The edges are taken from the iPhone 5 design, glossy edges with sharp angles define the transition between the screen and the chassis.
The only disgrace in an otherwise great design is the protruding camera module, paired with a flash module that isn’t flushed either but, on the opposite, lays under the surface. The module is also encapsulated in a metal ring; a step backwards from the sophisticated solution of the iPhone 7 where the aluminum itself bends to create the case. Disgusting. There are also too many logos and texts on the back, but they will hopefully will be reduced as they did with the iPhone 8.
These little details leave an enduring sense of a product manufactured without a full effort. Apple innovates slowly, for example the flash took forever to arrive to the iPad. This is also because there are no true competitors in the Android or Windows world, the iPad remains The Tablet.
For these reasons i have skipped so many generations of iPad and I was not totally satisfied with this one. Apple needs to push on both software and hardware innovations. The Apple Pencil made the situation much better enabling the iPad to become a unique device where you can draw and create with a new interaction tool.
Rumors about a bezel-less iPhone X-style iPad are stronger than ever. To be more precise we are not talking about the total absence of bezels but the dimension that Apple thinks it’s reasonable to reach at the current state of technology. The new iPad will not be presented in the upcoming September event in my opinion but further on, probably together with some new Macs. The design of these concepts will allow to either have the same screen in a much more compact device or to increase the screen size keeping the same dimensions. The overall aesthetic impact is superb, a guaranteed wow effect. There’s a chance we won’t have the notch again but we will have all the limitations of the Face ID again and we will be forced to perfectly align it with our faces in a device that is much more difficult to handle than the iPhone. Like I said when I reviewed the iPhone X, the current state of the face id doesn’t allow a smooth experience. The only hope we have is that they come out with a second gen version with improved range. This is unfortunately quite unlikely because of the technological advantage that they have compared to all the other companies. They are in no hurry, especially in the tablet market. In this way the new iPad Pro will be a transition product between the bezel’s world and the true full screen display. The other option would be to introduce the so long dreamed Touch ID under the screen, but the technology is not mature yet (analysts say it will be the main feature of 2019 Android world though) and, by the way, they would have to admit that Face ID is a non-optimal solution.
Back to the 10.5 inches, I think it’s still a very valid device at the condition that you find it at a good discount from the retail price. And if you are nostalgic or a collector, this may be the last device surrounded by bezels.
Do you own an iPad? Are you satisfied with it? Leave a comment below and subscribe for more!