As the excitement grows ahead of Apple’s March 21st event, the team at TechSmart has given us the best
look yet at the upcoming 9.7 inched iPad Pro.
Taking inspiration from Sonny Dickson’s procurement of a leaked iPad case, Keaton Keller has powered
up his 3D Printer to reverse engineer an iPad Pro design which would fit the case. It uses the information
gleaned from the cut-outs and ergonomics of the case, and mixes in what we know about the next
generation tablet from Apple.
Notable in the video are the increased prominence of the speakers thanks to the speaker cut-outs. This
ties in with the use of improved audio components moving down from the 12.9 inch iPad Pro to this
newer 9.7 inch device. It also means increasing the speaker count to four so the new iPad can provide an
audio output at each corner of the tablet.
The smart connector on the long edge is also present, which will allow the third-party keyboard market
to use a physical connection to the tablet as opposed to the use of BlueTooth. Apple will more than likely
have a smart keyboard cover to ship with the new device but expect the peripheral manufacturers to
make good use of this.
There’s also a smaller cut-out under the camera, and the natural assumption is that this will be for an
LED flash. Curiously, a headphone jack cut-out is still present. Apple may be considering the removal of
this port on the presumptively titled iPhone 7, but that courageous move is not happening just yet.
Taken as a whole, the design shows that Apple is still taking its now customary iterative approach to
design, only changing major features when the technology demands it. The front of the iPad is going to
look like pretty much every iPad that has come before it.