Apple has announced the biggest update to iPad Pro, since the original iPad. The new iPad Pro, available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, features a brand new all-screen design with thin bezels and Liquid Retina displays. At 5.9 mm, these are the thinnest iPads ever made but they still pack a punch thanks to a powerful eight-core A12X Bionic processor and a custom 7-core GPU made by Apple. A second generation Apple Pencil has also been announced which features wireless charging and attaches magnetically to the new iPad Pro. Here’s a quick round-up of all you need to know about Apple’s new computers.
iPad Pro features
Display and body
Apple has gone all-out on the display and I don’t say that in a small way. The Cupertino giant used the same Liquid Retina Display as iPhone XR, and enlarged it for the new tablets. The displays have rounded corners and match the curvature of the aluminum unibody enclosure. The display supports ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate), Wide P3 color gamut, True Tone and 600 nits brightness. The 11-inch display has a resolution of 2388 x 1668 pixels while the 12.9-inch display has a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels. Both screen sizes have a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch. Unfortunately, HDR is not part of this feature list.
As expected, the displays look amazing. The bezels are extremely thin but Apple still managed to put the TrueDepth camera system in them for FaceID. Home button is also gone and replaced by iPhone X like gestures.
This is the first time that a new iPad has a faster processor than a new iPhone. Powered by an 8-core A12X Bionic processor, the new tablets are comparable to the fastest Intel based PCs in the market. The new processor is 35% faster in single-core performance and 90% faster in multi-core performance, when compared to the previous generation A-series processors.
This is also the first time that Apple has designed a custom 7-core GPU, which supports tessellation and multilayer rendering, and lossless memory compression. This results in twice the GPU performance when compared to previous generation iPad Pro’s GPU. The company claims that iPad Pro delivers Xbox One S class graphics performance but that is a tall claim and will have to be proven by the same quality of games.
All this performance and still 10-hour battery life that is expected from an iPad.
FaceID works as expected from an iOS device. The big difference here is that it works in any orientation, whether landscape, portrait or upside down – FaceID just works. It supports all the usual features like device unlock, Animojis, third-party apps and more.
No Home button
The removal of a home button means that users have to use gestures to navigate in the new iPad Pro. These are the same gestures that users know and love from iPhone X. The swipe gestures work great for instantly switching between apps, opening the dock or just going to the home screen.
Goodbye Lightning. iPad Pro now supports USB-C, which means that it can directly connect to compatible accessories, use compatible docks and dongles, output video to external monitors and even charge other devices like an iPhone.
Apple Pencil (Second Generation)
The new Apple Pencil now attaches magnetically to the iPad pro and wirelessly charges from it too. It also supports tap gestures, which can be configured by third-party apps too, allowing users to perform different actions instantly.
A drawback of these upgrades is that the new Apple Pencil is not backwards compatible with older iPad Pros.
- Apple has added woofer and tweeters to the 4 speaker system which allows it to support wide stereo output.
- Cameras support Portrait selfies, SmartHDR, improved True Tone flash and 4K/60fps video capture
- New Smart Keyboard is also available
- Animoji and Memoji support
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Gigabit-class LTE
- eSIM support
- 18-watt charger is included
iPad Pro price and availability
Not so good news here as all the attractive new technology in these beautiful new devices comes at a higher price. Below are the prices a for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, along with their cellular versions and accessories. Both are available in Silver and Space Gray colors.
11-inch iPad Pro
- 64GB: $799
- 256GB: $949
- 512GB: $1,149
- 1TB: $1,549
Wi-Fi + Cellular
- 64GB: $949
- 256GB: $1,099
- 512GB: $1,299
- 1TB: $1,699
12.9-inch iPad Pro
- 64GB: $999
- 256GB: $1,149
- 512GB: $1,349
- 1TB: $1,749
Wi-Fi + Cellular
- 64GB: $1,149
- 256GB: $1,299
- 512GB: $1,499
- 1TB: $1,899
Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
- Price: $129
Smart Keyboard Folio
- 11-inch: $179
- 12.9-inch: $199
The new iPad Pro, second generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio are available for pre-order today while shipping will start on Wednesday, November 7. The older 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s price has been reduced to $649 for 64GB version.