Ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro features new internal structure to improve stiffness and heat dissipation

The new iPad Pro is Apple’s thinnest product ever, with the 13-inch model measuring at just 5.1mm thick (excluding camera bump).

The last time the iPad Pro was redesigned, with the 2018 model, there was a big controversy as people noticed it was relatively easy to bend their iPads, with some arriving bent out of the box. For this ultra-thin redesign, the question of rigidity and durability inevitably has relevance again. But, in an interview with Arun Maini, Apple SVP John Ternus addressed these concerns, noting that the new iPad has a redesigned internal structure meant to improve the device’s stiffness.

The 2024 11-inch iPad Pro measures 5.3mm thick, and the 13-inch model measures just 5.1mm — making it the thinnest Apple product ever. Apple SVP Greg Jozwiak told Maini that the new ultra-thin design comes without compromises, thanks to Apple Silicon and Apple’s hardware engineering smarts.

Ternus revealed the new 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro have a new internal structural layout, in which a new metal cover sits atop the logic board (Ternus describes its as a ‘cowling’) and runs down the middle of the device, forming a central rib.

According to Ternus, this change “tremendously improves the stiffness of the product”. It also contributes to better heat dissipation.

During the keynote, Apple said the iPad Pro has 20% improved thermal performance thanks to the addition of graphite sheets in the main housing and the use of copper in the Apple logo.

We should be able to see these hardware changes for ourselves soon, once the likes of iFixit and others get their hands on the device to tear it down and reveal the new innards. The new iPad Pro is on sale now, with first deliveries expected on May 15.

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