What to expect from the 2019 iPad Pro refresh

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There's a lot to look forward to.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s massive fall event is right around the corner. It should bring a slew of new devices, possibly including a refreshed iPad Pro. But no matter when the next-gen Apple pro tablet arrives, it’s shaping up to be a nice upgrade over the current model.

Faster chips and significantly improved camera performance are just a couple of the things we have to look forward to. Here’s everything we expect from the 2019 iPad Pro upgrade.

Make way for the matrix in 2019 iPad Pro

One thing we can be sure of from the 2019 iPad Pro is a next-generation A-series processor.

The A13, codenamed “AMX” or “matrix” internally, will run even faster than the A12 Bionic, with more impressive graphics.

It should also be more efficient, thanks to a new manufacturing process. This is likely to be Apple’s first 7-nanometer processor (the A12 is a 10-nanometer chip). That means its tiny transistors will be placed even closer together for better all-round performance.

Ramping up the RAM

It’s possible the 2019 iPad Pro will pack more RAM to accompany that A13 chip.

The 2018 iPad Pro lineup offers 3GB (unless you buy the 1TB model, which comes with 4GB) and it can be limiting in certain situations. We could see 4GB become the standard across the board this year.

The extra gigabyte will allow for smoother multitasking, more active tabs in Safari, and better performance in certain apps — like image editors.

A huge camera upgrade

For the first time in iPad history, this year’s Pro models could deliver exactly the same cameras as the latest iPhone.

The 2019 iPad Pro is expected to carry threejust like the iPhone 11 — which will allow for things like Portrait mode, optical zoom, and ultra-wide-angle photos and videos.

They will also provide better low-light performance, ensuring the new iPad Pro’s camera setup is a huge upgrade over the single lens in current models.

Ample storage as standard

Apple could decide to boost storage in the entry-level iPad Pro this year to make it more of a “pro” machine. There are suggestions that the cheapest models will pack 128GB as standard.

That’s double the 64GB currently offered in entry-level iPad Pro variants. It would be a welcome improvement for those who always opt for the cheapest upgrade.

A familiar form factor

Apple typically recycles a winning design for several years. Since the iPad Pro underwent a huge overhaul just 12 months ago, it seems unlikely the tablet’s design will change drastically this year.

But Apple could make some slight tweaks to the iPad’s aluminum chassis.

It will obviously need to make room for additional camera lenses, and internal reinforcements could be made to eliminate the bending that has plagued some 2018 iPad Pro owners.

Forget about 5G

We’ve all but given up on dreams of 5G connectivity for the iPhone 11. So it seems incredibly unlikely that we will see it in an iPad anytime soon. In fact, recent rumors indicate we will wait at least until 2021.

Launching September 20?

We now know Apple will unveil its next-generation iPhone lineup on September 10. If the company sticks to traditional timelines, iPhone preorders should open September 13.  The iPhone 11 launch would follow on September 20.

That’s the same iPhone 11 launch date that has been leaked by several carriers in recent weeks.

But that doesn’t mean we’ll see the new iPad Pro on that date. In previous years, Apple held another event in October dedicated to new iPads. So we could be waiting a little longer.