As anticipated, Apple has just announced an all new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, as 9to5Mac details. While there were not many surprising details revealed that were not previously predicted to be in place with regards to the new products, the overall package still drew plenty of excited cheers from the audience in attendance at today’s Apple event. Unlike the older MacBook Air and Mac mini, the newly replaced iPads were not seen as deficient — they were already at the top of their class.
The new iPad Pro has squared edges and rounded corners, somewhat reminiscent of the iPhone 5. The boxy design is a fan favorite, and many have expressed hope that it would come to the iPad line. That is not the only design change to be found, as the bezels are pushed out much closer to the edges. In a somewhat interesting twist, the home button has been completely removed.
The newest iPad Pro uses the same Liquid Retina display as the iPhone XR. The old 10.5 inch display has been expanded to 11 inches. The 12.9 inch overall design seeks to retain the larger screen size, but shrinks the body. This new iPad Pro model has 25 percent less volume than the old one.
The iPad Pro now comes with Face ID. There is just one Face ID camera, one that works in all four orientations. Some speculated that this camera would only work in two orientations — but a video played on stage at the event showed the technology working in all orientations. There is no word as to whether this feature will come to iPhones with Face ID.
A A-12X bionic chip is “a monster” CPU, using 7nm tech and containing more than 10 billion transistors. With an octa-core CPU, this newest iPad Pro has more cores than the new Mac mini. Single core performance is 35 percent faster than the older model in the portable tech product line, and multi-core performance is 90 percent faster. These CPU numbers indicate that the new iPad Pro will be faster than 92 percent of all CPU units sold in the last 12 months — including PCs with the Intel Core i7. Apple was not clear on what metrics they used to make that determination.
Apple also presented two new accessories for the soon to be released iPads. The first is a new Apple Pencil, with new gesture controls as previously predicted. You can double-tap the pencil to do things like zoom in and out, or to switch drawing tools. Users will have some flexibility in how they choose to set it up.
The Apple Pencil has a single flat edge, but is otherwise cylindrical. It has a strong magnet that adheres to the side of the iPad. In that position, it both pairs and charges. It has no external connector. The second-generation Pencil will run consumers $129.
The Smart Keyboard cover has also been revamped for the new iPads. There is a new connector located along the bottom, for use when the iPad is in a vertical orientation. It is not clear if this new connector offers new capabilities, as Apple didn’t say anything on the subject during their conference. The keyboard starts at $179 for the 11 inch iPad Pro.
The 11 inch iPad Pro starts at $799, while the 12.9 inch iteration starts at $999. They can be configured with more storage and can also be purchased with LTE capability.