After giving the new 10.5” iPad Pro a complete teardown, iFixit found the device much more logically arranged and repairable than previous models. Display cables are arranged in the center of the iPad—away from the edges where prying tools could snip them while opening the device — and Phillips screws now hold down the display cable bracket instead of the special tri-point screws found in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. That’s not to say Apple intends the device to be friendly for home repair jobs, since there’s still plenty of plastic shielding that has to be melted and glue that has to be pried apart to access components like speakers and batteries, but once they’re accessed the speakers come out intact and cleanly for those willing to take the plunge.
For users more interested in how the design impacts performance than how easy it is to repair, the teardown offered a few tidbits. The microphone hole has been relocated from beside the rear-facing camera to an area near the selfie camera, probably based on the assumption that people are more likely to be using the device for FaceTime than recording video. While not quite as good as the 38.8 Wh battery found in the 12.9” model, the new device does get an upgrade from the similarly sized 9.7” model’s 27.91 Wh battery, clocking in at 30.8 Wh. And while the 10.5” iPad Pro isn’t the forst Apple tablet with a Retina display, it is the first to feature four connecting cables for its display, enabling it to deliver the 120Hz “blisteringly fast refresh rate for this many pixels.” The original 12.9” iPad Pro only got two, by comparison. The teardown crew also found that the Smart Connector “is virtually impossible to replace — but incorporates no moving parts and is unlikely to fail.”