New Apple iPad Pro ditches both Lightning port and headphone jack

The newer USB-C standard does double duty on its professionally orientated tablets.

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Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
The Apple iPad Pro now gets a USB-C port for connecting accessories and even charging your phone.

The Apple iPad Pro now has a USB-C port for connecting accessories and even charging your phone.

Apple/Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple unveiled new iPad Pro models at an event in Brooklyn on Tuesday, and nearly everything followed the rumors that we expected: slimmer bezels, Face ID, smaller bodies and much faster processors. But the bigger news may be what's not in the new iPad Pros: 3.5mm headphone jacks and Lightning connectors are gone, replaced by a single USB-C port.  

The iPad's lack of an audio output is part of the explosion in Bluetooth headphones, but it is less convenient for people using wired headphones. John Turnus, Apple's VP of hardware engineering, said onstage that USB-C is compatible with a wide range of accessories, including the company's new $9 USB-C to 3.5mm adaptor.

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Apple included a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adaptor with previous versions of the iPhone , but this year's iPhone XS and XR ask customers to pay extra for one (also $9). According to Apple's iPad Pro specs page, there's no USB-C headphone adapter in the box with the iPad Pro.

On the plus side, the lack of ports means that the 12.9-inch's chassis is now 15 per cent slimmer than the previous version, at 5.9mm thick.

Apple also unveiled an Apple MacBook Air at the event, which added a Touch ID sensor but kept the headphone jack.

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