New iPad Pro 2024 design upgrade just leaked

iPad Pro 2022
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

When it comes to Apple products, we typically see the less expensive models inherit features from the pricier ones with each new generation. But rumors increasingly suggest the upcoming 2024 iPad Pro will buck this trend by embracing a design change first introduced on the more affordable iPad 10 — a landscape-oriented camera on the front of the tablet.

That's according to noted Apple leaker Instant Digital, who recently shared evidence on the Chinese social media platform Weibo that adds credence to this well-circulated rumor. As first spotted by MacRumors, Instant Digital's post, which includes an image of what the new iPad could look like, suggests Apple plans to move the entire TrueDepth camera array to the right side of the device. Meanwhile, the microphone will remain on top but newly centered. 

The potential design change initially came to light back in January after the iPadOS 17.4 beta code hinted that the iPad Pro’s Face ID sensors were being relocated from the top of the device when held in portrait, and to the top when held in landscape. "During ‌Face ID‌ setup, ‌iPad‌ needs to be in landscape with the camera at the top of the screen," the code read. Earlier this month, Instant Digital claimed we can expect to see this same redesign on the iPad Air 6 as well.

Since Face ID debuted on the iPad Pro in 2018, it's been positioned on the short side of the display to conform with the portrait-orientation-first design iPads have sported from the beginning. But that approach hasn't kept pace with how tablet usage has evolved over time. Now it's more common to see folks using tablets horizontally as their go-to device for streaming or making video calls. Other devices on our best tablets list have shifted their cameras to reflect this. The 10th-generation iPad, launched in 2022, was the first iPad model to pack a selfie camera on its side, but it's something no other Apple tablet has incorporated since. 

While it's not Apple's usual M.O. to bring features on its standard models to its high-end ones, it is a promising development. In his iPad 10 review, our global editor-in-chief, Mark Spoonauer, said moving the camera to the long edge marks a “welcome shift” that “makes for more natural video calls in landscape mode, especially when your iPad is docked in the Magic Keyboard Folio.”

The iPad family could have a big 2024 after 2023 came and went with no new models — the first such year since Apple debuted its tablet line in 2010. Both the new ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌ models are expected to launch within the coming weeks.

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.