Imagining the next Gen iPad Pro (11.3" and 13.5)

Mad Mac Maniac

macrumors 601
Original poster
There has been a lot of discussion on here for what is the ideal iPad size: 7.9, 9.7, 10.5, 12.9 or something else. So I decided to perform a little thought experiment. What IS the ideal iPad size? Now I know this is largely personal preference, but Apple clearly has to make at least a choice or 2 on what they think is best. So what might Apple do? Here the process that I have gone through.

Starting with the current 10.5", how can it be improved? Clearly the way to maximize both screen size and portability is to minimize the bezels by eliminating the home button (a la iPhone). I know this would be a controversial thing around here, but you have to imagine this is the direction. What happens to iPhone almost always follows to iPad. And here is my refutation to the objections. Home button removal: if iPhone finds a way around it surely the iPad can too, plus there already isn't much need for it in iOS 11 with the swipe up for multitasking and 4 finger outward pinch to return to home screen. Bezel minimization: Almost certainly most controversial around here, but I posit that I rarely hold on to the bezels anyway (either propped up with the keyboard or I'm mostly holding on from the back/side) plus Apple is always making improvements to avoid accidental edge detection. This is surely a fixable issue.

For the purpose of this experiment, I decided to maintain the same bezel (.24") that's on the sides of the 10.5 iPad. It's a good middle ground and clearly Apple has already decided that it is enough (and I figure reducing the bezel even more isn't gonna make much practical screen difference).

So now that I've made my case for removal of home button and minimizing the bezels (it's ok if you think you wouldn't like it, but hopefully you at least agree it's plausible that Apple would do it), the decision becomes does the iPad shrink or does the screen grow? and by how much? I would strongly argue against shrinking iPad size, simply because it would decrease the size of the keyboard. From what I've heard (I have the 9.7 pro), the increase of the ASK to the 10.5 is very nice. I've always felt my 9.7 is fine but slightly cramped. That being said, if the iPad screen (top to bottom) were to grow all the way to the current size, while maintaining .24" bezels and the same aspect ratio, the footprint would increase significantly side to side (nearly an inch or about 14% wider). I would be afraid increasing the size (and thusly weight), would have a significant negative effect on portability. For that reason, I propose maintaining the exact same iPad footprint, changing the aspect ratio, and increasing the screen size to .24" bezel all around.

This would result in a screen size of ~11.26" and an aspect ratio about halfway between the current iPad 4:3 and the (visually odd) 16:10 of many other tablets. This would allow 1) iPad footprint to remain the same size 2) maintaining same size keyboard 3) maximize screen size 4) reduce top/bottom bars during videos

I don't think Apple would abandon the 12.9" iPad, so I performed the same experiment on it. For slightly different reasons, I project Apple might do the same exact thing with it. So maintaining the same footprint but expanding the screen top to bottom to create .46" bezels (the current bezel size on the 12.9 iPad's sides), would result in a screen size of 13.55".

One concern I have is app/developer support in the shift of aspect ratio, but 1) I feel like Apple has provided many tools over the years that many apps might already easily shift to support it and 2) Apple cares more about users than what the developers have to do.

One added perk for the 11.3" iPad is that, while in landscape, it would almost certainly be capable of displaying 2 iPad app layouts side by side, instead of how now the 10.5 can only display one app in iPad layout (while the other is iPhone layout).

TL;DR
I'm predicting that Apple might increase iPad screen size, while maintaining the same 10.5/12.9 iPad footprint, by reducing the top/bottom bezels to that of the side bezel size thus changing the aspect ratio. This would result in screen sizes of 11.3" and 13.5".
 
Last edited:

KrisLord

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2008
1,548
1,079
Northumberland, UK
I’ll be honest and say that when I read the title I wasn’t expecting the level of detail in your post, I thought it would be “well they changed to 10.5 so what’s next?” Kind of post.

iPhone rumours suggest only the top end iPhone will have the minimal bezels so I think it’ll be a while before this tech comes to the iPad. The larger screens of iPads mean that even with current bezels they make up a smaller percentage of the total area.

That said when change does come, I think you’re right that the physical size of the 10.5 and 12.9 are where they’ll stay and the screen will simply grow into the top and bottom bezels....

Ideally they’d do the same with an updated mini but I doubt it. I’ve gone from a mini 4 to 10.5 pro but do like the smaller size. I just felt it was never to be updated so time to move on.
 

Eric5273

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2009
768
501
New Jersey
I suspect that instead of enlarging the screen size, a more useful redesign would be to just make the devices smaller. I think the 10.5 and 12.9 screen sizes are good as is. If the bezel was completely eliminated on the 12.9, I would probably have gotten the 12.9 instead of the 10.5.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I suspect that instead of enlarging the screen size, a more useful redesign would be to just make the devices smaller. I think the 10.5 and 12.9 screen sizes are good as is. If the bezel was completely eliminated on the 12.9, I would probably have gotten the 12.9 instead of the 10.5.
I'm Not entirely sure how much of a redesign Apple can do with the iPad other than making it thinner and lighter (Which is incredibly thin and light). Sure they can Eliminate any buttons, aside from the lightning port. But overall, the iPad will likely always be the design it is now. I could see it going bezeless and perhaps see the display shift to OLED or Micro Led one day.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,212
3,558
Perth, Western Australia
I don't mind the current bezel size. Bezels enable you to hold the device without causing touch input.

I'd be happy with

- less weight
- more battery life
- faster performance
- mouse cursor support
- improved AR support

keep iterating... i don't see any glaring problems with the current design.

IMHO if the 10.5 is not big enough an 11.3 won't be big enough either. And no bezels will result in false touch input. if you draw a lot, bigger is better, go for the 12.9.
 

Mad Mac Maniac

macrumors 601
Original poster
I suspect that instead of enlarging the screen size, a more useful redesign would be to just make the devices smaller. I think the 10.5 and 12.9 screen sizes are good as is. If the bezel was completely eliminated on the 12.9, I would probably have gotten the 12.9 instead of the 10.5.
I could see more a case for shrinking the 12.9, but the 10.5 shouldn't get any smaller because then it's shrinking the keyboard...

IMHO if the 10.5 is not big enough an 11.3 won't be big enough either. And no bezels will result in false touch input. if you draw a lot, bigger is better, go for the 12.9.
The increase would be 0.8" which is the same as from 9.7 to 10.5. Sure it's a relatively small amount but it would make a difference especially if it you could have 2 iPad layouts side-by-side in portrait mode (now only capable in the 12.9). And since the increase is completely in the landscape direction I'm confident it would be able to.
 
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iMacmatician

macrumors 601
Jul 20, 2008
4,249
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One added perk for the 11.3" iPad is that, while in landscape, it would almost certainly be capable of displaying 2 iPad app layouts side by side, instead of how now the 10.5 can only display one app in iPad layout (while the other is iPhone layout).
That size and dimensions probably won't result in this capability, unfortunately.

In the iPad Pro 12.9", the "primary" app in the asymmetric Split View in portrait orientation is 639 points but uses the Compact layout. That gives a lower bound of

2 × ((639 + 1) points) + (10 points [for the divider]) = 1290 points

for the minimum width of an iPad that can display 2 Regular width apps in 50/50 Split View. The actual minimum may be greater, since out of the list of widths in the above link, the narrowest one that gives a Regular width app is 678 points. That width is for the iPad Pro 12.9" which has a long side of 1366 points.

Your predicted 11.3" display has a long side of (9.8" – 2 × 0.24") = 9.32" which, assuming the same point density as the current iPad Pros, results in 9.32" × (132 points per inch) ≈ 1230 points. That's not quite enough for 2 Regular width apps in 50/50 Split View.

What's your prediction on the points per inch for the new sizes? An increased point density can solve this problem, but I don't think that Apple will go significantly higher than 132 points per inch because Apple didn't do so on the iPad Pro 10.5" (even as a Display Zoom option).
 
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rhinosrcool

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
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275
MN
There has been a lot of discussion on here for what is the ideal iPad size: 7.9, 9.7, 10.5, 12.9 or something else. So I decided to perform a little thought experiment. What IS the ideal iPad size? Now I know this is largely personal preference, but Apple clearly has to make at least a choice or 2 on what they think is best. So what might Apple do? Here the process that I have gone through.

So now that I've made my case for removal of home button and minimizing the bezels (it's ok if you think you wouldn't like it, but hopefully you at least agree it's plausible that Apple would do it), the decision becomes does the iPad shrink or does the screen grow? and by how much? I would strongly argue against shrinking iPad size, simply because it would decrease the size of the keyboard. From what I've heard (I have the 9.7 pro), the increase of the ASK to the 10.5 is very nice. I've always felt my 9.7 is fine but slightly cramped. That being said, if the iPad screen (top to bottom) were to grow all the way to the current size, while maintaining .24" bezels and the same aspect ratio, the footprint would increase significantly side to side (nearly an inch or about 14% wider). I would be afraid increasing the size (and thusly weight), would have a significant negative effect on portability. For that reason, I propose maintaining the exact same iPad footprint, changing the aspect ratio, and increasing the screen size to .24" bezel all around.

This would result in a screen size of ~11.26" and an aspect ratio about halfway between the current iPad 4:3 and the (visually odd) 16:10 of many other tablets. This would allow 1) iPad footprint to remain the same size 2) maintaining same size keyboard 3) maximize screen size 4) reduce top/bottom bars during videos

One added perk for the 11.3" iPad is that, while in landscape, it would almost certainly be capable of displaying 2 iPad app layouts side by side, instead of how now the 10.5 can only display one app in iPad layout (while the other is iPhone layout).

TL;DR
I'm predicting that Apple might increase iPad screen size, while maintaining the same 10.5/12.9 iPad footprint, by reducing the top/bottom bezels to that of the side bezel size thus changing the aspect ratio. This would result in screen sizes of 11.3" and 13.5".
Yeah, the keyboard size is truely relevant. As much as I like my 10.5, having a larger screen with the same footprint would be nice.
 

canesalato

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,211
958
What I’d like to see:
- less weight,
- horizontal apple logo,
- usb-c port
- no chamfered edges
 

Precursor

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2015
926
871
Istanbul
There is no such thing as “ideal for everyone”
I’d love to have a 12.0” ipp though, not xx.9” or xx.7”
With top & bottom bezels shrunken to match side bezels.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,214
4,171
That size and dimensions probably won't result in this capability, unfortunately.

In the iPad Pro 12.9", the "primary" app in the asymmetric Split View in portrait orientation is 639 points but uses the Compact layout. That gives a lower bound of

2 × ((639 + 1) points) + (10 points [for the divider]) = 1290 points

for the minimum width of an iPad that can display 2 Regular width apps in 50/50 Split View. The actual minimum may be greater, since out of the list of widths in the above link, the narrowest one that gives a Regular width app is 678 points. That width is for the iPad Pro 12.9" which has a long side of 1366 points.

Your predicted 11.3" display has a long side of (9.8" – 2 × 0.24") = 9.32" which, assuming the same point density as the current iPad Pros, results in 9.32" × (132 points per inch) ≈ 1230 points. That's not quite enough for 2 Regular width apps in 50/50 Split View.

What's your prediction on the points per inch for the new sizes? An increased point density can solve this problem, but I don't think that Apple will go significantly higher than 132 points per inch because Apple didn't do so on the iPad Pro 10.5" (even as a Display Zoom option).
The Pro 10.5 in landscape is the same height as the mini in portrait. Switching the Pro 10.5 to 326 ppi instead of 264 ppi already gives it the same resolution as the Pro 12.9.
 
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Mad Mac Maniac

macrumors 601
Original poster
That size and dimensions probably won't result in this capability, unfortunately.

In the iPad Pro 12.9", the "primary" app in the asymmetric Split View in portrait orientation is 639 points but uses the Compact layout. That gives a lower bound of

2 × ((639 + 1) points) + (10 points [for the divider]) = 1290 points

for the minimum width of an iPad that can display 2 Regular width apps in 50/50 Split View. The actual minimum may be greater, since out of the list of widths in the above link, the narrowest one that gives a Regular width app is 678 points. That width is for the iPad Pro 12.9" which has a long side of 1366 points.

Your predicted 11.3" display has a long side of (9.8" – 2 × 0.24") = 9.32" which, assuming the same point density as the current iPad Pros, results in 9.32" × (132 points per inch) ≈ 1230 points. That's not quite enough for 2 Regular width apps in 50/50 Split View.

What's your prediction on the points per inch for the new sizes? An increased point density can solve this problem, but I don't think that Apple will go significantly higher than 132 points per inch because Apple didn't do so on the iPad Pro 10.5" (even as a Display Zoom option).
Thanks for doing that analysis. This is an area that's beyond my expertise so I can't lay out a prediction. These apps would have a different aspect ratio also, so I don't know how that would effect things. I also don't know if that 639 is a hard rule or if Apple can change things. Assuming your math is correct and it is a hard rule, it would appear that in order to get the 1290 points (with the same PPI) the screen would have to be 9.77" across (basically no bezel on the 10.5 iPP size).

The Pro 10.5 in landscape is the same height as the mini in portrait. Switching the Pro 10.5 to 326 ppi instead of 264 ppi already gives it the same resolution as the Pro 12.9.
Yes this would be another solution while maintaining the same size, but of course everything would be a little smaller. I guess Apple could implement a 11.3" screen (as I theorize) and increase to 326 ppi? This would do what you're saying, but increase the size a little bit.
 

Eric5273

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2009
768
501
New Jersey
I'm glad Apple decided against the 326ppi screen for the 10.5. I have one app on my 10.5 which is obviously rendering as if it is on a 12.9, and everything is very tiny, pictures are hard to see, and print is very small. I expect this will be fixed soon when they update the app. But imagine if every website was like that.

On the 12.9, most websites including this one load with about an inch of white space on both the left and right side (when in landscape mode). On the 10.5 the print size is the same but the white space on the left and right is mostly gone. If the screen resolution were the same, then the white space would be the same and everything would be tiny in the middle of the screen. No thanks!
 
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TheRealAlex

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2015
2,133
1,202
Next Gen iPad Pro 2018

#1. Improved 120hz ProMotion Display with Dynamic HDR
#2. 4K HDR OLED 12-bit panel (10.5" Pro is till just an 8-bit panel like TVs from 2012)
#3. No Home Button 3D Taptic Engine 3.0
#4. Larger LG Layered Lithium Polymer battery
#5. A11X 8 Core CPU with HMP
#6. 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
#7. Dual Rear Cameras
#8. Smart Connector 2.0
#9. USB-C with Display Port Out (same port if the Galaxy S8 can do it hey)
#10. No 3.5mm Jack instead Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD and W2 Chip
#11. Touch ID under glass
#12. Apple Pencil 2.0 support

Basically I'm not letting go of my 9.7" Pro until the iPad Pro goes OLED.
 

Aluminum213

macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2012
3,501
3,777
The bezels on the 10.5 are really small considering the screen size

Apple just needs to further reduce the weight as much as possible, the battery is good enough
 

Ryanmrash

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2016
166
136
Next Gen iPad Pro 2018

#1. Improved 120hz ProMotion Display with Dynamic HDR
#2. 4K HDR OLED 12-bit panel (10.5" Pro is till just an 8-bit panel like TVs from 2012)
#3. No Home Button 3D Taptic Engine 3.0
#4. Larger LG Layered Lithium Polymer battery
#5. A11X 8 Core CPU with HMP
#6. 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
#7. Dual Rear Cameras
#8. Smart Connector 2.0
#9. USB-C with Display Port Out (same port if the Galaxy S8 can do it hey)
#10. No 3.5mm Jack instead Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD and W2 Chip
#11. Touch ID under glass
#12. Apple Pencil 2.0 support

Basically I'm not letting go of my 9.7" Pro until the iPad Pro goes OLED.

I have the urge to buy an IPP right now, but with rumors pointing to a redesign and OLED in 2018, I’m inclined to wait. While my real desires for the IPP are more software than hardware, I’d suffer severe buyer’s remorse if Apple dropped an all-new IPP with the tech you listed 9 months from now....

#1 probable
#2 possible
#3 doubtful
#4 possible
#5 probable
#6 possible (less likely)
#7 probable
#8 doubtful (not enough interest)
#9 ????
#10 possible
#11 doubtful (iPhone 8 facial recognition)
#12 possible
 
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scupking

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2010
600
112
Mouse support
Less weight
Longer battery life
A little smaller top and bottom bezels
Fast charge
8gb of ram
 

Royksöpp

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2013
1,095
1,418
Ditch the chamfered edges and bring on that 7000 Series Aluminum. I might be in the minority but I'd rather my iPad feel strong and hefty. In it's current form I find it too fragile and light feeling. It's grown larger but it hasn't grown any stronger.
 

whitedragon101

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2008
1,268
286
I have the urge to buy an IPP right now, but with rumors pointing to a redesign and OLED in 2018, I’m inclined to wait. While my real desires for the IPP are more software than hardware, I’d suffer severe buyer’s remorse if Apple dropped an all-new IPP with the tech you listed 9 months from now....

#1 probable
#2 possible
#3 doubtful
#4 possible
#5 probable
#6 possible (less likely)
#7 probable
#8 doubtful (not enough interest)
#9 ????
#10 possible
#11 doubtful (iPhone 8 facial recognition)
#12 possible
Redesign and OLED rumours ?? Sounds awesome, please post link to the article. I will be in the USA prob Sept next year which hopefully is post iPad Pro release.
 

Vivian125

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2017
325
61
Well for me if there is 11.3" and 13.5" iPad They should make similar design like bezel less like an iPhone X without the Ugly notch and CHANGE THE ASPECT RATIO from 4.3 to 3:2 Because that would be too tall in landscape mode. 4:3 is so 90's like my old grandmother TV's black and white. 3:2 Is the best aspect ratio from the beginning and it still wider and bigger than 16:9
 
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