Apple has launched a new iPad Pro for 2020, and with it has blurred the line even further between tablet and laptop, to the point where they’re almost indistinguishable. How? The iPad Pro comes with either an 11-inch or 12.9-inch screen and is designed to work with a new Magic Keyboard accessory, which has a trackpad in front of backlit, full-size keys. It has become as close to a laptop as possible, without actually being called a laptop.
The trackpad is enabled by Apple’s iPadOS 13.4, where the on-screen cursor has been tweaked to work perfectly whether it’s operated by your finger on the touchscreen, or when it’s on the trackpad. For example, the cursor becomes a circle to highlight aspects of what’s on the screen when using touch, while the trackpad is made to switch between apps, use the Dock, or for multitasking. Apple promises most apps will work with the trackpad without any input from the developer; but more features are available to those who do choose to work with the API.
Apple’s new Magic Keyboard attaches to the body of the tablet magnetically, and the hinge lets you adjust the viewing angle by 130 degrees, making the setup suitable for most working environments, including lap or desk. It has a USB Type-C passthrough system to recharge, rather than taking up the tablet’s USB Type-C port. The keys are backlit, have 1mm of travel, and Apple says will deliver the best typing experience on the iPad yet. The second-generation Apple Pencil stylus remains the same, and is compatible with the 2020 iPad Pro models.
Flip the tablet over and there’s a new, iPhone 11-inspired camera array in the top corner. It has a single 12-megapixel sensor and a second, 10-megapixel ultra-wide sensor too. It can also shoot 4K video, and has a series of five microphones to record great audio. Apple’s also pushing ahead with its augmented reality plans, and has added a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor to measure the distance of objects around you using a laser. Any app that uses ARKit will immediately benefit, right down to the Measure app, which will quickly measure height, edges, angles, and more.
All of this is powered by a new octa-core Apple A12Z Bionic chip, matched with a Neural Engine, Wi-Fi, a 4G LTE option, and a battery that lasts for up to 10 hours. The iPad Pro is yours to pre-order today, while the Magic Keyboard will arrive in May. The 11-inch iPad Pro 2020’s price ranges from $800 for the Wi-Fi model to $950 for the 4G LTE version. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is yours for $1,000, or $1,150 for the 4G LTE model. If you want the Magic Keyboard, the version compatible with the 11-inch model is $300, or $350 for the 12.9-inch mode.