Launch season is like this: the hands of the intrepid explorers of iFixit they get tired of opening up the news from Apple (and the competition, too) in search of their inner truth. The new MacBook Air and the new Mac mini have already gone through the avid repair tools; today, it was the turn of the 11-inch iPad Pro – and as a bonus, we also have the Second generation Apple Pencil.
In relation to the tablet, it remains difficult to open (as always), requiring the use of a suction tool and something slightly sharp to break the glue that joins the panel to the housing. Opening the iPad Pro (and disconnecting the two cables from the screen, which are in very inconvenient positions), you are already faced with the device’s speakers. There are four and each of them is composed of one woofer it is a tweeter. Unfortunately, these components are glued to the iPad frame and are very difficult to replace.
Then, a small protector covers the logic board (also) with a lot of glue, making the process of revealing it much more sticky than necessary. On the board, we can see all the components that make the new iPad Pro one of the most powerful machines currently on sale by Apple – mainly the A12X Bionic processor, but also Toshiba’s high performance flash memory and 4GB of RAM (no, that not the 1TB model).
The iPad Pro’s dual battery features six stickers and each has two tabs for you to pull on and release the components. Still, inexplicably, the bottom of the cells is affixed with an extra layer of adhesive – and, then, only using suction tools to remove the components, that is, more work. By the way, the 11 ″ iPad Pro has a 29.45Wh battery, slightly smaller than its 10.5 ″ predecessor (there, the component was 30.8Wh).
The TrueDepth front camera module, responsible for Face ID, is almost identical to that of the X / XR / XS / XS Max iPhones and, fortunately, can be replaced with some ease. Another modular part is the unprecedented USB-C port, which can be changed without moving the logic board – something very interesting for a part of the device that will be used a lot.
On the other hand, the magnetic component that holds, recharges and synchronizes the Apple Pencil is not very friendly to repairs: it had to be basically pulled out of the case, being unusable in the process. Speaking of Apple Pencil, the accessory remains totally inaccessible and could only be opened with an ultrasonic blade that literally cut through the plastic surrounding it to reveal its internal layout, much like that of the previous generation.
An interesting point: as is well known, the new Pencil has a touch-sensitive surface that detects a gesture (the double touch) for changing functions. IFixit found that the entire accessory is covered with a capacitive layer, which not only records touches but can also know exactly where you are touching – that is, we may see Apple giving Pencil new functions and gestures in the near future.
In the end, the firm gave the iPad Pro (and Apple Pencil) a repairability note 3 in 10 possible points, praising the modular USB-C port and the extinction of the Start button – a component very susceptible to failures, if you remember. The criticisms were due to the absurd amount of adhesive joining everything, which makes all repairs more complicated. In other words, nothing new here.
Update Nov 13, 2018 at 19:20
Today, iFixit also posted a video (and, interestingly, just him – no article to follow, at least so far) with the dismantling of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
In general, the internal architecture of the larger model is basically identical to that of its brother described above; we have a small difference in the shape of the speakers and, of course, in the size of the battery, which here has 9,075mAh; again, the component is smaller than the previous generation, when the cells were 10,875mAh.
Overall, the repairability rating of the 12.9 ″ iPad Pro was the same as that of its younger brother, as well as the positives and negatives highlighted by iFixit. It’s okay.