iPad Pro teardown reveals easy battery replacement, but reduced battery life

Apple chose not to make the Pro's battery bigger to enhance its audio experience.

The iPad Pro is just a really big iPad, at least from the outside. The intrepid folks at iFixit got their hands on the device, which went on sale on Wednesday, and immediately tore it apart to see if the Pro’s internals match up with previous iPads, or if the new tablet was rebuilt from scratch.

There are a few key difference, the team found, most notably in battery. The Pro devotes far more room to its new four-speaker audio system than the iPad Air 2 allotted to its speakers, which means space that could’ve been used for a bigger battery—and perhaps longer battery life—is instead used for better speakers.

And those speakers are impressive, the team notes in its teardown:

“The speakers are nice, but what makes them really sing are the fancy back volume chambers, machined directly into the unibody enclosure.”

That means sound is amplified up to three times more than previous iPads.

The Pro’s 10307 mAh battery isn’t too shabby, though—at 38.8 Wh, it’s 40 percent more powerful than the iPad Air 2’s 27.62 Wh battery, and slightly better than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 battery. And Apple has finally added adhesive pull tabs underneath the Pro’s battery—similar to the ones in iPhones—for easy battery removal. That doesn’t mean the Pro is simple to repair by any means. iFixit notes that the LCD and front panel glass are fused together, so cracking open the tablet is a precarious exercise. Add the tons of adhesive Apple used to glue everything in place, and you’ll be lucky if you can remove any of the Pro’s parts, minus the battery. The tablet scored a 3/10 on iFixit's repairability scale (so, not good).

iFixit also compared the Pro’s specs to Microsoft’s rival tablet, the Surface Pro 4. The Pro has a larger display, at 12.9 inches to the Surface Pro 4’s 12.3 inches, but it’s lighter and thinner: 1.57 pounds to 1.73 pounds, and 6.9mm to 8.45mm for the iPad Pro compared to the Surface Pro 4.

Head on over to iFixit to see the step-by-step process of taking apart the iPad Pro.

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Caitlin McGarry

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