iFixit tears down 11-inch iPad Pro

As is the normal case with a new iPhone or iPad release, iFixit has posted its teardown of the new 11-inch iPad Pro, offering a deeper look inside Apple’s latest higher-end tablet. iFixit identifies the new tablet as model A1980, noting that it looks about the same size as its predecessor, with the slight reduction in size basically unnoticeable due to the new square-off edge design. Opening up the new iPad Pro appeared to be just as challenging as prior models, requiring cutting through a lot of glue, and trying not to break anything with the extra-thin bezels. iFixit discovered that display cables were fortunately away from the edges, but otherwise awkwardly laid out inside.

iFixit tears down 11-inch iPad Pro

With each passing year, Apple seemingly gets closer to realizing its dream of selling a blank slab of glass with its logo on the back.

Inside, iFixit discovered an array of eight speakers — four woofers and four tweeters — and noted that the display is basically a scaled-up version of the Liquid Retina display found in the iPhone XR, although it has the 120 Hz refresh rate of prior iPad Pro models. The Parade DP825 timing controller is identical to the one found on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, while the display also includes a TI TPS65158 and Intersil 24883A D826AB. After prying out the logic board, iFixit also discovered the expected A12X Bionic processor, accompanied by Toshiba flash storage chips, a pair of Micron RAM chips (totally 4 GB), an NXP NFC controller, Apple Wi-Fi Bluetooth module, Broadcom touchscreen controller, and TI power management chip.

Getting to the battery, iFixit discovered a 7812 mAh battery running at 3.77 V, for 29.45 Wh, which is actually a small decrease from the one found in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and significantly lower in capacity than Microsoft’s Surface Pro battery.

The TrueDepth camera system for FaceID was identified as the same basic hardware as that originally found in last year’s iPhone X (and continuing in this year’s iPhone models), but in a form factor more appropriate for the iPad Pro. The rear camera, however, is “shot through with compromise” as it doesn’t improve on prior models and in fact loses optical image stabilization. iFixit also noted that the USB-C connector is completely modular — a refreshing change from the soldered-in Lightning connector on prior iPad models, and something that will be welcome considering the likelihood of wear on the connector. In the end, iFixit gave points to the new iPad Pro for both the modular USB-C port and the lack of a home button, but due to the “gobs of adhesive” used to hold everything together, still assigned a repairability score of only 3 out of 10.