Kensington’s StudioDock, the high-end $399.99 desktop hub for the iPad Pro that was released earlier this year, isn’t compatible with the new 12.9-inch model hitting stores today. A representative for Kensington confirmed the news to The Verge, saying it’s because the new iPad Pro is 0.5mm thicker than the 2018 and 2020 models.
The StudioDock uses a rotatable magnetic mounting plate to secure the iPad when it’s plugged in over USB-C, expanding its connectivity with extra USB-A, ethernet, and HDMI ports. Although the only difference between the StudioDock versions for the 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro is the size of that mounting plate, Kensington says it won’t be user-replaceable. Instead, the company plans to release an entirely new SKU to fit the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The new 11-inch iPad Pro should be unaffected, because its dimensions are the same as last year’s model. The 12.9-inch version, however, is slightly thicker because it uses a new, more advanced display with Mini LED technology. Apple itself has warned that its 2020 Magic Keyboard “may not precisely fit” the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro due to this difference in thickness, although we found it worked fine in our review.
No such luck for the StudioDock — you’ll need to buy a whole new one if you want to upgrade your iPad. This wasn’t entirely unforeseeable, and I warned of the possibility when reviewing the StudioDock in March because new iPad Pro models did seem overdue. But the incompatibility is unfortunate for such an expensive product, especially since it was only just released.