Apple blurs the lines between iPad and MacBook with the iPad Pro 2020, a tablet with trackpad support and one that is as powerful as a Windows laptop
Undoubtedly one of the biggest releases of this week, Apple has finally unveiled the fourth-generation iPad Pro series. As we have already covered, the new iPad Pros feature LiDAR, questionable battery life claims and a Magic Keyboard that includes a dedicated trackpad.
Externally, little has changed about the new iPad Pro series. Apple continues to offer 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, which both look remarkably like their third-generation predecessors. The rear of the new iPad Pros bears the greatest visual change, with Apple including a new dual-camera array. The housing not only incorporates a 12 MP standard sensor, a 10 MP ultra-wide and an LED flash, but also LiDAR as we have covered separately.
The new 11-inch model starts at US$799 for 128 GB of storage, with prices rising to US$1,299 for the 1 TB model. Meanwhile, the 12.9-inch model costs US$200 more than its 11-inch sibling across the board, with prices starting at US$999 and rising to US$1,499. Apple is charging an additional US$150 for LTE connectivity for both models and all storage options, too.
Another change for the fourth-generation iPad Pro is the A12Z Bionic SoC. The chipset includes an eight-core processor, a neural engine and an eight-core A12Z Bionic GPU. While its name suggests that it will not be a huge leap from the A12X Bionic in the third-generation iPad Pros, Apple is hailing the A12Z Bionic as making the new models "faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops". Naturally, we shall assess that claim when we put the new iPad Pros through their paces.
Elsewhere, Apple has included "studio-quality" microphones, Gigabit LTE and up to ten hours of battery life. One of the other big stars of today's announcement is the Magic Keyboard, a US$299 accessory for the 11-inch model and a US$349 accessory for the 12.9-inch model. The Magic Keyboard is compatible with previous iPad Pros and is the first keyboard accessory to include a dedicated trackpad. The Magic Keyboard connects magnetically to the iPad Pro and includes cantilevered hinges that can open up to 130°. USB Type-C charging is on board too.
The fourth-generation iPad Pro series is available to order now. By contrast, the Magic Keyboard will be available to purchase from May.