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Leaked iPad Pro (2021) renders hint at familiar design with marginally thinner bezels


UPDATE: David Kowalski has now shared CAD-based renders of the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) model in partnership with Pigtou. The updated story continues below.


The iPad Pro (2021) made its debut last March. Past launch timelines show that Apple unveils new Pro-branded tablets around 18 months after the last models, so the next-gen iPad Pro theoretically shouldn’t debut until at least October 2021. 
But rumor has it that Apple is switching things up with its next model lineup. The iPad Pro (2021) could arrive as soon as this March, and a bunch of CAD-based renders now reveal what each model will look like.

The iPad Pro (2021) looks a lot like the iPad Pro (2020)

The leaked 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro CAD files and renders, shared via Pigtou and MySmartPrice, corroborate Apple’s plans to introduce only minimal design changes with its next-generation iPad Pro lineup and instead focus on the internals.
The square-shaped camera bump that debuted on last year’s tablets continues to be included on the rear and houses the same layout of sensors. That means customers can expect a main camera, an ultra-wide shooter, and a LiDAR sensor. Whether the sensors themselves will be upgraded or not remains to be seen. 

Apple’s familiar all-screen design can be seen when the tablets are turned over. This was first introduced on the iPad Pro (2018) series but could receive some improvements this time around in the form of marginally thinner bezels. 

It isn’t instantly noticeable in the renders, but the new 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) is said to be a little smaller than its iPad Pro (2020) counterpart. This can presumably be attributed to the switch over to mini-LED tech on the display.

In terms of numbers, the 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) measures in at 245.7 x 176.6 x 5.9mm, whereas the previous-gen device lands in at 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm. 

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021), on the other hand, stands at 280.6 x 215 x 6.4mm, which is almost identical to the 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm dimensions of last year’s 12.9-inch model. 

Expect Face ID, quad-speakers, and possibly 5G connectivity

Sandwiched between the front and rear panels is the usual quad-speaker system. The aluminum frame is also home to the magnetic Apple Pencil charging area on the side and a USB-C port on the bottom for charging the tablet itself and data transfers. 

A power button sits on top of the tablet but it’s unclear whether Apple has plans to integrate Touch ID into it, as it did with the iPad Air 4. Either way, the presence of Face ID is almost guaranteed. 

Rounding out the external package are Apple’s magnetic pins for the Smart Keyboard. Similar pins can be spotted on the top and bottom of the tablet, near the speakers, but there’s a good chance these are disguised antenna bands that enable 5G mmWave tech.

Apple iPad Pro (2021) announcement date and features

The 2021 iPad Pro series should make its official debut at a pre-recorded Apple event in March, where it could be accompanied by a second-generation AirPods Pro and possibly a third-generation iPhone SE.

Apple’s next-gen iPad Pro tablets are expected to ship with the upcoming A14X Bionic inside, which should offer a massive performance bump over the existing A12Z Bionic chipset.

As standard, the tablets should ship with Wi-Fi connectivity. But if you’re interested, more expensive 5G models with support for both Sub-6GHz and mmWave networks are expected this time around.

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