iPad Professional 11in (2018) Assessment: Nonetheless a Nice Selection

The 2018 iPad Professional was arguably the pill’s greatest ever refresh when it launched, with an all-new design and a few new tech. However with a successor now accessible within the type of the 2020 mannequin, is it nonetheless value shopping for this older model? Discover out in our full overview.

Design & Construct: The total works

Till the discharge of the 2018 iPad Professional, Apple’s tablets have caught with an identical design language for the reason that early releases. Nonetheless, in 2018 the iPad obtained its greatest makeover but.

Following within the footsteps of the iPhone, the iPad Professional not has a bodily house button. This creates varied execs and cons.

One cause is to offer a bigger display, so that you get 11in right here in the identical sized system on the older 10.5in Professional mannequin. The bigger 12.9in mannequin stays the identical however the physique is smaller. Lowered bezels imply there isn’t any room for the long-lasting House button.

This implies you may should neglect about Contact ID and get used to Face ID, except you follow old-fashioned safety strategies. You may additionally want to make use of iPhone X-like gestures to navigate since you possibly can’t hit the House button to, effectively, return house.

If you happen to’ve been utilizing a latest iPhone then these adjustments will not really feel notably dramatic and even when you have not, the sensation of alienation will rapidly subside after a number of days of studying the brand new system. We’ll discuss concerning the new gestures and Face ID in additional depth later.

Again to the design and the iPad Professional is solely gorgeous with its new look. The earlier era immediately appears dated as compared, particularly as a result of new show with its rounded corners and the screen-to-body ratio. Bezels aren’t overly small however this truly provides you just a little little bit of room to carry the pill with out touching the display by chance. We would reasonably this than the iPad get a notch.

The aluminium chassis now has a sq. edge, much like previous iPhones just like the 5S. This might sound odd however as a result of the iPad Professional is so skinny at simply 5.9mm it does not appear dated and we fairly prefer it. It is successfully the identical weight because the iPad Professional 10.5 at 468g.

Different design components to concentrate on embody the digicam protruding just a little, the Sensible Connector being moved to the again and a giant change from Lightning to USB-C for the port. There’s additionally a magnetic connector on the aspect which is for the brand new Apple Pencil (extra particulars on that later).

Specs & Options: Energy to the individuals

A spec bump is the naked minimal you’d anticipate from a brand new iPad, so it is no shock that Apple upgraded the internals on the 2018 mannequin. They are not fairly as spectacular because the 2020 model, however ought to be greater than sufficient for most individuals:

Here is an summary:

A12X Bionic processor, Neural Engine, M12 coprocessor
64/256/512GB/1TB of storage
11in (2388×1668 at 264ppi) LED ‘Liquid Retina’ display, True Tone, ProMotion
12Mp rear-facing digicam, f/1,8, flash, 4K video, slow-mo at 240fps
7Mp front-facing digicam, 1080p video, ‘Retina Flash’ characteristic, Portrait Mode, Animoji
4-speaker audio
Face ID facial recognition
802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
USB-C connector, no headphone port
247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm; 468g
What’s Liquid Retina anyway?

Other than the brand new display measurement of 11in, up from 10.5in on its predecessor, there is a new tech on the town which Apple calls Liquid Retina. This was first launched on the iPhone XR and basically means it is LCD and never OLED, not that any iPad has used the latter earlier than.

Apple says it is to permit the display to “observe the curves of the system, whereas a brand new backlight design permits the show to increase into the corners.”

Panel know-how specifics apart, the show is extraordinarily brilliant, crisp (the standard 264ppi density) and vibrant as you’d anticipate. You get options like TrueTone and ProMotion so it is responsive in additional methods than one.


Presumably extra essential than the specs of the display are the methods you may now use it contemplating there isn’t any House button. As we stated earlier, individuals utilizing the iPhone X and later will discover it a breeze, however here is the deal in case you’re new to this period.

Swiping up from the underside of the display will do varied issues relying on how far you swipe. You possibly can return house, summon the Dock or view you are open apps. You may additionally must swipe down from the highest of the display on completely different sides to entry notifications or the Management Centre.

Even when that is new for you, it will not take lengthy to get accustomed and you will get a brief tutorial throughout setup. if you would like just a little extra depth, here is use the iPad Professional 2018.

Face ID

With new gestures additionally comes Face ID for the primary time on an iPad; basically utilizing the front-facing TrueDepth digicam to log in reasonably than your fingerprint. That is simple to arrange however has a number of quirks in use.

Contemplating an iPad is utilized in a really completely different solution to an iPhone, Apple’s engineers have needed to put lots of work into making Face ID practical at a larger distance and in numerous orientations.

It really works effectively lots of the time but it surely’s not as dependable when in comparison with utilizing it on an iPhone. For starters, holding the iPad Professional in panorama mode is prone to end in your hand masking the digicam. You may be advised but it surely’s nonetheless annoying.

Holding the pill in portrait however the wrong way up means you may be prompted to look down on the digicam to make use of Face ID. Sat within the new Sensible Keyboard Folio case we discovered we have been too far-off regardless of sitting round half a meter from the digicam.

You can also’t use it if the iPad is flat on a desk, just like the iPhone but it surely’s extra effort to choose it as much as log in so a passcode is simpler right here.

Apple Pencil 

That is an non-compulsory accent but it surely’s arguably one of many greatest upgrades that involves the iPad Professional.

The ridiculous Lightning connector on the top coated by a cap you most likely misplaced is gone, changed with what seems to be nothing. The brand new Apple Pencil now attaches to the aspect of the iPad Professional with magnets and in addition expenses this fashion, though the tech getting used is undisclosed.

It is an enormous enchancment – we like the brand new matt end and the flat edge not solely helps it match the aspect, however makes it extra ergonomic within the hand. Moreover, there is a new double-tap characteristic so you possibly can change between instruments or varied issues relying on the app you are utilizing (if the developer has enabled it).

Relying in your utilization, you may discover the Apple Pencil an enormous boon. Our solely actual grievance is you could’t use it for the brand new gestures required for navigation, and even to faucet on the icons within the prime corners to open issues just like the Management Centre.

Notice: The unique Apple Pencil doesn’t work with the iPad Professional 2018, and the 2nd-gen is not appropriate with every other iPads.

The storm has handed

If you happen to’ve turn into acquainted to the Lightning port, then it is time to find out about USB-C (model 3.1 gen 2). Though it appeared an unlikely change to make, Apple has made with change, with professionals like photographers in thoughts.

Whereas it means you possibly can join the iPad Professional to numerous units – cameras, screens, keyboards and even musical devices – it does not merely imply it can work with any USB-C system. You possibly can’t for instance, simply plug in a tough drive and anticipate to make use of it like regular. However you possibly can import photographs with an SD card reader.

You can too use the USB-C port for headphones, however there isn’t any adapter within the field to common 3.5mm and non-Apple adapters might not work.

There are a number of USB-C adapters you should buy together with to Thunderbolt 3, USB-A and a digital AV multiport adapter.

A cool characteristic is that you should use the iPad Professional as an influence financial institution with reverse charging. So in case your telephone or different gadget runs out of energy then you possibly can cost them up wherever you might be. It is not restricted to Apple units, both; you may simply want the correct cable.

Sensible Keyboard Folio

The opposite non-compulsory, however semi-necessary, accent is the keyboard case. It is costly however you may want one if you’d like a laptop-like expertise.

This time round it is a full folio case so covers the entrance and the again of the iPad. There’s extra safety then, but it surely provides thickness and weight. If you happen to’re shopping for a high-spec mannequin and can want the keyboard, you then may wish to think about whether or not the MacBook Air is a greater buy.

We discovered the case is sweet high quality and matches, as you’d anticipate, completely. Typing is a surprisingly good expertise, though can take a little bit of getting used to. Our fundamental grievance is just having two viewing angles to select from.

Prime tip: Press and maintain the command key to see what shortcuts can be found at any given second.

The engine room

We would usually discuss core specs earlier in a overview however different adjustments are extra impactful. The headlines listed below are the brand new processor and an non-compulsory 1TB of storage.

With most new Apple merchandise comes with a brand new chip, and the iPad Execs get the A12X Bionic which is dubbed the ‘smartest and strongest chip ever’, naturally. It is an octa-core processor with a seven-core GPU. Apple says it is two occasions quicker than the A10X contained in the 2017 iPad Professional, though it is going to be barely slower than the A12Z on the 2020 Professional. 

The opposite large information is that there at the moment are 4 storage capacities. The bottom at 64GB most likely will not be sufficient for many professionals so you may want to leap to 256GB or 512GB. There’s even a 1TB possibility for the primary time which is lots of storage ought to you’ve got the money to splash.

That top-end storage additionally comes with extra reminiscence – 6GB of RAM as an alternative of 4GB. That is the mannequin we’re testing right here within the following benchmarks.

Battery life

Though specs change, Apple makes the identical normal claims about battery life. That is as much as 10 hours of searching the online, watching movies or listening to music over Wi-Fi. You possibly can take an hour off for utilizing mobile information.

In our Geekbench battery check, the iPad Professional 11in lasted a really respectable 9 hours and 32 minutes. The iPad Professional 12.9 has a big battery so can go round an hour longer. These are each barely behind rivals just like the Floor Go, which in flip is miles off the superb Snapdragon Home windows units that may final greater than 20 hours looping video.

Regardless of the change to USB-C for charging, there’s nothing in the best way of quick charging. The iPad Professional 11 will attain 22% with a 30-minute cost ranging from Zero utilizing the equipped 18W charger. It is going to then take an excellent few hours to achieve 100%.

If you happen to occur to have a MacBook Professional charger, then its 87W adapter will do a greater job. We have examined it with different non-Apple chargers and work, which is helpful if that you must borrow a charger.

One of the best of the remaining

That is the principle components of the iPad Professional 11in reviewed, however there are a number of different components left to speak about earlier than we summarise.

As normal, there is a 12Mp rear digicam which is first rate ought to that you must do pill pictures or AR inside some apps – optical picture stabilisation is gone, although. The entrance 7Mp TrueDepth digicam is not only for Face ID, you should use it for video calls or selfies and it now has Portrait mode in addition to Animoji or Memoji.

Not having a headphone jack is just a little annoying, however with regards to built-in audio there are nonetheless 4 audio system regardless of the iPad Professional being so skinny. A redesign was so as they usually nonetheless sound wonderful, with audio being directed appropriately relying on orientation.

Do you have to want mobile connectivity, the iPad Professional has each a Nano-SIM card slot and an eSIM. The latter means you possibly can merely purchase an information bundle everytime you want it from inside iOS 12 which is a neat concept.

iOS 12 is the very last thing to say and there is not a lot to say – skip again up in case you missed the part on new gestures. Key new options embody Shortcuts and Group FaceTime however learn our full iOS 12 overview for a extra in-depth take a look at the OS.

Premium Worth

The 2018 iPad Professional was the most costly iPad ever when it was launched, and the 2020 mannequin matched it on worth. The system began at £769/$799 for the 11in mannequin we’re reviewing right here.

It is not accessible from Apple, so your greatest wager for selecting one up within the UK is thru John Lewis. Disappointingly, the worth hasn’t dropped a lot, regardless of it now being two years previous. 

What you additionally must think about is the non-compulsory equipment. Usually these would not matter an excessive amount of however with the iPad Professional, you will not get essentially the most out of it with out them. First up is the brand new Apple Pencil (2nd-generation) which is £119/$129 whereas the Sensible Keyboard Folio is £179/$179.

See beneath for a full iPad Professional 2018 worth desk:

iPad Professional 11 (Wi-Fi)
iPad Professional 11 (Wi-Fi + mobile)

If you happen to’re available in the market for an iPad Professional, it is positively value contemplating the 2020 mannequin. 

Apart from Apple, there are many worthwhile opponents in our greatest pill chart, a lot of that are extra reasonably priced .


There isn’t any doubt that the iPad Professional for 2018 is a surprising system in varied methods. It brings lots of change with it that is principally optimistic. We love the design with its svelte form and spectacular screen-to-body ratio making older units look immediately dated. Even in case you’re new to the gesture period with no House button, you may rapidly get used to it.

Specs and efficiency are wonderful throughout the board. Not everybody will just like the change to USB-C, but it surely has some actually helpful advantages together with reverse charging and having the ability to simply connect a monitor.

Nonetheless, for many 64GB of storage most likely is not sufficient and you really want the Apple Pencil and Sensible Keyboard Folio to take advantage of the iPad Professional. There’s additionally the newer iPad Professional 2020 to throw into the combination.

Are you able to justify spending over £1000 on a tool that is two years previous and has been changed? In all probability not.

Apple iPad Professional 11in (2018): Specs

iOS 12
A12X Bionic processor, Neural Engine, M12 coprocessor
64/256/512GB/1TB of storage
11in (2388×1668 at 264ppi) LED ‘Liquid Retina’ display, True Tone, ProMotion
12Mp rear-facing digicam, f/1,8, flash, 4K video, slow-mo at 240fps
7Mp front-facing digicam, 1080p video, ‘Retina Flash’ characteristic, Portrait Mode, Animoji
4-speaker audio
Face ID facial recognition
802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
USB-C connector, no headphone port
247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm

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