Well, the iPad Pro 2020 rumors can be put to rest. Apple silently released a major new updated iPad Pro–its flagship tablet. The updated iPad Pro is the first upgrade to the product since the Face ID-enabled iPad Pro debuted in 2018.
As with the previous iPad Pro, the 2020 iPad Pro remains available in two sizes, an 11in version, and a 12.9in version. Both models come in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB storage capacities and both support the second-generation Apple Pencil, just like their predecessor. However, the 2020 iPad Pros have an insane amount of new features over their 2018 counterparts.
#1) The A12Z Chip
First up is the new A12Z chipset. As you can tell from its name, the A12Z is based on the A12X found in the 2018 iPad Pro. However, that “Z” signifies this A12 variant packs much more power.
Matter of fact, Apple says “The eight-core GPU in the A12Z Bionic, along with an enhanced thermal architecture and tuned performance controllers, gives iPad Pro the highest performance ever in an iPad.” You can bet it will run circles around the A12X found in the previous iPad Pro.
#2) The Magic Keyboard With Trackpad
Apple also announced a new Magic Keyboard coming to the iPad Pro. Apple has long made keyboards for the iPad, but this Magic Keyboard is something special. That’s because it is the first trackpad-enabled keyboard for the iPad.
Yep, you can soon use a trackpad with your iPad for full mouse support. Here’s how Apple describes the new trackpad support:
“Designed specifically for the touch-first experience on iPad, the cursor appears as a circle that highlights user interface elements, text fields and apps on the Home screen and Dock, giving a clear indication of what users can click on. Fluid gestures on the trackpad make it easy to switch between apps, access the app switcher and activate the Dock, Control Center and apps in Slide Over.”
The only bummer is that the new Magic Keyboard with trackpad won’t ship until May and it will cost $299 for the 11in model and $349 for the 12.9in model. On the plus side, now maybe the iPad Pro can finally replace your laptop.
#3) The LiDAR Sensor
But perhaps the craziest addition to the 2020 iPad Pro is the new LiDAR Scanner. LiDAR is the same technology that allows self-driving cars to know where they are in space. On the iPad Pro, the tech is meant to help boost the capabilities of augmented reality features on iPad. As Apple says:
“The breakthrough LiDAR Scanner enables capabilities never before possible on any mobile device. The LiDAR Scanner measures the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away, works both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds. New depth frameworks in iPadOS combine depth points measured by the LiDAR Scanner, data from both cameras and motion sensors, and is enhanced by computer vision algorithms on the A12Z Bionic for a more detailed understanding of a scene. The tight integration of these elements enables a whole new class of AR experiences on iPad Pro.”
#4) The Ultra-Wide Camera
Another major feature: the iPad Pro is no longer a single-lens device. The 2020 iPad Pro now features a dual-lens camera. The first lens is a 12MP Wide lens while the second is a 10MP Ultra Wide.
And yeah, we know no one buys an iPad Pro to use at their only camera, but the addition of the two-lens system means content creators and people who use iPads in the arts, engineering, construction, and media fields now have a much more powerful camera on their devices.
#5) FIVE Studio-Quality Microphones
Finally, the iPad Pro now features five studio-quality microphones. These five mics make recording audio much cleaner and with less distortion. They allow for studio-quality audio recording–a feature that content creators will adore.
The new iPad Pros are available to order starting today. The 11iniPad Pro starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $949 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The 12.9in iPad Pro starts at $999 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
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Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.