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Comparing the new 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro versus the older model

The new 11-inch iPad Pro occupies roughly the same footprint as the old 10.5-inch. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro though, is a different story —it is smaller in size than the previous model with the same size screen as before, making Apple's largest tablet even more portable.

2017 and 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pros

2017 and 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pros


Performance gains



This isn't a piece on benchmarking so we won't go too in-depth in that regard, but we did want to see how better the new performed on the common Geekbench 4 tests.




We ran both the CPU benchmark as well as got our Metal computation score. The new model earned 5010 and 18202 single and multi-core on the CPU test whereas the Metal score was 41643. Those compare favorably to the 3984 and 9560 the old got in single and multi-core.

That is roughly a 25-percent single-core gain and almost 50-percent multi-core. The Metal score on last generation was 29737, representing a more than 33-percent improvement.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro benchmarks

2018 12.9-inch iPad pro benchmarks


All of these numbers are impressive considering the last generation was no slouch.

Physical dimensions



2017 and 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pros

2017 and 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pros


Apple says the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro has 25 percent less volume than the old, which is a combination of it being shrunk in every dimension.

Technically, the new model is thinner, but it is almost unnoticeable until side by side. The same goes with the weight —the new model is lighter, but unless you are directly comparing them with one in each hand you probably won't notice it. If your wrist got too tired holding up the previous, it will likely still get tired holding the new one, maybe after just a bit more time.

What we really noticed was the shrunken width and height. These reductions improved the iPad experience as a whole, overall.

I've lugged around the previous 12.9 design around for a couple years now and I immediately noticed a difference when I traded up for the new design. It was more comfortable to hold on the couch, took up less space in my bag, and less area on my desk. As someone who pushes the iPad to its limits and travels with it constantly, I truly appreciated the trim design.

The weight of the combo when paired with the Smart Keyboard Folio is disappointing, though.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro


While the new model weighs a bit less on its own, with the Smart Keyboard Folio attached, it actually weighs more. To put it bluntly, we have opinions on the new Smart Keyboard Folio, but we will save those for our standalone review.

Should you upgrade?



If you have the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro and use it fairly often, the new model is a worthwhile upgrade. Performance and design are substantial improvements. Sell your old model and pick up the new.

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro

2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro


On the other hand, if you've got the last generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the picture is a little fuzzier. Our recommendation is if you consider yourself a power user, take the leap. You won't be sorry. If you instead primarily use your iPad Pro as a consumption device for movies, TV, casual gaming, browsing, and reading emails, then the cost of upgrade is likely too substantial. You are better off waiting a year or so to see what other improvements Apple bakes in —such as a second generation Face ID system or OLED display.

Where to buy



12.9" iPad Pros

  • 12.9" iPad Pro 64GB Silver Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $999.00
    ($80 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 64GB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $999.00
    ($80 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 64GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,149.00
    ($92 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 64GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,149.00
    ($92 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 256GB Silver Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,149.00
    ($92 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 256GB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,149.00
    ($92 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 256GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,299.00
    ($104 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 256GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,299.00
    ($104 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 512GB Silver Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,349.00
    ($108 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 512GB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,349.00
    ($108 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 512GB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,499.00
    ($120 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 512GB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,499.00
    ($120 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 1TB Silver Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,749.00
    ($140 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 1TB Space Gray Wi-Fi Only
    Buy for $1,749.00
    ($140 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 1TB Silver Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,899.00
    ($152 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
  • 12.9" iPad Pro 1TB Space Gray Wi-Fi + Cellular
    Buy for $1,899.00
    ($152 off in tax outside NY & NJ & 0% financing*)
    *Adorama will not collect sales tax on orders shipped outside NY & NJ*. iPad Pro qualifies for no interest when paid in full within 6 months on purchases $500-$999, or no interest when paid in full within 12 months on $1,000+, with the Adorama Credit Card.