Next entry-level iPad may have a lighter, thinner design; new iPad Pro won’t see significant design change

It’s officially 2021 and that means we can look forward to even more new devices. And if you’ll be in the market for a new entry-level iPad, some design changes might help cement that future purchase.

According to a report today from Mac Otakara, the upcoming ninth-generation iPad will feature a design that’s noticeably lighter and thinner than the current model. Interestingly, the report indicates the new entry-level iPad will have a design that’s essentially inspired by the third-generation iPad Air, which Apple launched in 2019.

The publication is citing Chinese supply chain sources for the report. It adds that the new entry-level iPad will retain a few features that is currently present on the eighth-generation model. That will include the physical Touch ID sensor in the Home button, and a Lightning port. That’s right, it doesn’t sound like Apple is going to adopt the USB-C port on the entry-level iPad in 2021.

The report says the display size will remain the same at 10.2 inches. However, the company will be shrinking things down significantly. The eighth-generation iPad measures in at 7.5mm thin, and the report indicates the new iPad will go down to 6.3mm. And it will be lighter, too, dropping down to just 460 grams (versus the current model’s 490 grams).

But wait, there’s more

Mac Otakara goes on to add some tidbits about the incoming iPad Pro refresh for 2021. According to the sources, Apple isn’t planning on changing the display size for the iPad Pro lineup, nor will it be making any significant changes to the hardware design. However, Apple will be including a new A-series processor under the hood, which is not surprising in the slightest.

The report doesn’t say anything about the rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display, though. That could suggest that Apple is not planning on releasing that iPad Pro variant this year. Or, it may mean Apple plans on differentiating that model from a more modest refresh for the other iPad Pro models.

Are you planning on upgrading your iPad this year? If so, which model are you leaning towards?