Apple has announced a new iPad Pro that is clearly aimed at the laptop market, with a slew of powerful new features.
The new iPad Pro is powered by the A12Z Bionic chip and an eight-core GPU, allowing the tablet to outperform most PC laptops on the market today, according to Apple. Given that the 2018 iPad Pro was touted as being faster than 92% of notebooks on the market at that time, Apple’s claim about the new model is probably pretty accurate.
The camera on the new model is equally impressive. The iPad Pro includes a 12MP Wide camera, as well as a 10MP Ultra Wide camera. There are also “studio-quality mics and a breakthrough LiDAR Scanner that delivers cutting-edge depth-sensing capabilities, opening up more pro workflows and supporting pro photo and video apps. The LiDAR Scanner, along with pro cameras, motion sensors, pro performance, pro audio, the stunning Liquid Retina display and powerful apps, extends the lead of iPad Pro as the world’s best device for augmented reality (AR).”
The feature that will catch most users’ attention is full trackpad support. iPadOS 13.4 brings trackpad support to the iPad, and the feature particularly shines when paired with the upcoming Magic Keyboard. The new keyboard is designed to offer a laptop-style experience, suspending the iPad magnetically and giving 130 degrees of viewing angle—far better than the older Smart Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard also features pass-through USB-C charging, leaving the USB-C port on the iPad free for peripherals.
“The new iPad Pro introduces advanced technologies never before available in mobile computing,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Combining the most advanced mobile display with powerful performance, pro cameras, pro audio, the breakthrough LiDAR Scanner and new Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, this is another huge leap forward for iPad. There’s no other device in the world like the new iPad Pro and we think our customers are going to love it.”
“We’re making iPad even more capable and versatile by bringing trackpad support to iPadOS,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We carefully considered the best way to integrate trackpad use into a touch-first environment while retaining everything our customers know and love about iPad. We’re thrilled to bring this new way of interacting with iPad to the millions of people using iPadOS today.”
For years, the iPad has been a beautiful and powerful piece of hardware held back by the OS. Similarly, users have been clamoring for trackpad support to help with more tedious tasks. With today’s announcement, Apple goes a long way toward addressing those issues, making the iPad a much stronger laptop replacement than it has ever been.