Most folks may not have been expecting Apple to introduce a brand new iPad Pro on a random Wednesday in March, but that’s precisely what’s happened.
Apple today announced its new iPad Pro, which features a few major upgrades over the previous model. There’s a new A12Z Bionic processer inside the new iPad Pro that Apple says makes it “the highest performance ever in an iPad”. The chip includes an octa-core CPU and octa-core GPU.
Another major new feature of the iPad Pro is actually something you won’t get without an accessory. An update to iPadOS 13.4 on March 24th will add trackpad support to these new iPad Pro models (as well as any other iPad that gets the update), and Apple is launching a new Magic Keyboard accessory with backlit keys and a built-in trackpad.
With a trackpad on your iPad, the cursor appears as a circle that you can use to highlight elements on the screen, text fields, and apps on the home screen and dock. You can scroll through web pages, too, and gestures will enable you to quickly switch between apps, activate the dock, and access features like Control Center and Slide Over.
Apple does note that the Magic Keyboard with trackpad will be supported on the 2018 iPad Pro models as well. Customers can also use a Magic Mouse 2 or Magic Trackpad 2, and third-party mice connected over USB or Bluetooth are supported as well.
Around back is another upgraded feature of the iPad Pro. There’s now a dual camera setup that includes a 12MP main snapper with support for 4K video capture as well as a 10MP ultra wide camera with a 125-degree field of view.
Apple has also added a LiDAR Scanner to its new iPad Pro. This measures distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters (16 feet) away and works indoors and outdoors. With the combination of depth info gathered by this LiDAR Scanner and data from the other two cameras, this new iPad Pro should get a boost to its augmented reality capabilities.
Like the previous generation iPad Pro, the new model is available with an 11-inch 2388×1668 or 12.9-inch 2732×2048 display. Both include a fully-laminated display with anti-reflective coating, ProMotion technology for a faster refresh rate, and True Tone support to help match the white balance of the screen to your ambient lighting.
The new iPad Pro models include quad speakers, USB-C for charging, and support for the Apple Pencil. Apple touts that it’s included five microphones to help you capture better audio, too. There’s a 7MP main camera, Face ID face unlocking, and a battery that’ll last you up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi or 9 hours on cellular.
Speaking of cellular, the new iPad Pro includes eSIM support and Gigabit-class LTE. The full list of LTE bands supported by the new iPad Pro includes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 29, 30, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 48, 66, 71. Support for GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA is packed in there, too.
Apple is now taking orders for the new iPad Pro models online, and they’ll be available in stores starting next week. Pricing starts at $799 for the 11-inch 128GB Wi-Fi model and $949 for the 11-inch 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular version. The 12.9-inch 128GB Wi-Fi model will cost $999, while the 12.9-inch 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular version will set you back $1,149.
Storage options for both of the new iPad Pro models include 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
The Magic Keyboard with trackpad will be released this May. Pricing for that accessory will be $299 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $349 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
T-Mobile hasn’t announced plans to launch these new iPad Pro models yet. It does sell the previous generation iPad Pro, though, so it’s certainly possibly that these new Apple tablets will make their way to T-Mo as well.