Apple’s Extra-Thin iPad Pro is Less Bendable Than You Think

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YouTuber Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything has subjected the new iPad Pro M4 to a bend test, and it’s considerably more resistant to damage than its very thin design would suggest.

In his latest durability video, Nelson found that the metal spine Apple added to the high-end tablet helped resist bends along the horizontal axis. The creator couldn’t get the 13-inch iPad Pro to snap along that plane, and it continued to function normally.

A vertical bend test still broke the iPad Pro, however. The USB-C port appeared to be a weak point and collapsed relatively quickly. It’s unlikely that you’ll fold the slate this way, but it’s worth noting if you tend to be rough and don’t use a particularly protective case.

Nelson also conducted his usual tests for scratch resistance on the screen and shell. This also provided a chance to look at the iPad Pro’s Tandem OLED (dual-stack) display up close through a microscope, and to open the Pencil Pro.

The bend test findings suggest Apple anticipated the risk of slimming the iPad Pro, which is now 0.2 inches (5.1mm) thick if you get a 13-inch model. This isn’t surprising. Earlier iPads haven’t fared well in these experiments, and iPhone 6 complained of the super-thin smartphone (particularly its larger Plus version) bending in their pocket.

In practice, this bend test suggests the iPad Pro should have little trouble surviving everyday use with reasonable care. It also represents a minor technical achievement. Apple managed to fit its latest processor and other cutting-edge components into a thinner chassis while improving durability.