Crazy-thin iPad Pro models hold up under early bend tests


M4 iPad Pro bend tests
It turns out your super-thin M4 iPad Pro can stand up to some serious bending.
Photo: JerryRigEverything

Three new videos test just how “bend-but-don’t-break” Apple’s new super-thin M4 iPad Pro is, and the answer is “very.” Reviewers came away impressed by how well even the ultra-thin 13-inch M4 iPad Pro performed. And the 11-inch model did well, too.

JerryRigEverything performed bend tests as part of a teardown of the 13-inch M4 iPad Pro. AppleTrack stuck with comparing bends of 11- and 13-inch 2024 iPad Pro models against the 2022 versions. And MobileReviewsEh showed new models held up under massive pressure about as well as older models despite being about 20% thinner.

Early bend-test videos show new M4 iPad Pro models hold up despite their thinness

Testers enthusiastically stressed how well they thought M4 iPad Pro performed in bend tests, even as they pushed the tablets literally to the breaking point.

Their questions about how a 13-inch iPad with a thickness of just 5.1mm could possibly hold up well to bending were answered in more positive ways than expected. Same for the 5.3mm 11-inch model. The 2022 12.9-inch iPad Pro was 6.4mm thick. The 11-incher was 5.9mm thick.

“The answer is that it holds up surprisingly well, like suspicious-black-magic levels of structural integrity going on,” the JerryRigEverything tester said of the 13-inch M4 iPad.

He forcefully bent a 13-inch M4 iPad Pro after measuring a slight bend in it (0.01mm) right after it came out of the box. He noted that the new iPads might end up slightly bent but perfectly functional after months of regular use.

Later in his video, he performed more of a teardown of the iPad, displaying the “central rib,” or cowling, Apple installed over the motherboard to add structural strength to the tablet. It appears to work well, according to all three videos.

So will M4 iPad Pro suffer its own “Bendgate,” a la iPhone 6? It seems unlikely. But when you unbox a new one, lay it glass-down on a table just to check. It’s much easier to see how perfectly even a device is (or not) that way.

AppleTrack bend tests of new and previous iPad Pro

AppleTrack‘s tester, who we remember from brutal drop-test comparisons of iPhone 15 versus iPhone 14 (the older handset won), performed the more-thorough bend tests.

He directly compared bends of new models to the previous generation. He noted how the new models required more force to create a permanent bend in the frame — more apparent when he would lay an iPad facedown on a table — as well as more force to crack the screen glass. Consistently, the newer iPads held up to bending better than the older ones.

Testers noted a weak spot vulnerable to breakage from forceful bending: at the the USB-C connector. The aluminum on either side of it is extremely thin. And under considerable bending force — of the sort your iPad will probably never encounter — the interior of the connector can crack the glass above it.

And by the way, it’s worth noting that the tests aren’t scientific, per se. JerryRigEverything and AppleTrack reviewers only used their hands to bend the tablets in similar ways, with no measurements of exact pressure placement or force applied. Perhaps more precise testing will follow. MobileReviewsEh (from Canada, eh) too a different approach, setting up a bin with gym weights overhead applying up to 95 pounds of force to the center of iPad screens.

Watch the M4 iPad Pro bend-test videos

JerryRigEverything (from 08:30):




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