Many had anticipated that Apple’s event on the 30th of October will bring about new iPads. Apple had earlier this year introduced a new and cheaper 9.7-inch iPad with support for the Apple Pencil, but as far as the iPad Pro lineup was concerned, Apple had yet to officially announce anything, at least until now.
In terms of design, Apple has made some huge changes to the way the tablet looks. While Apple has evolved the design of the iPad over the years, we reckon that this probably has to be the biggest and most drastic to date. The tablet now features flat edges along its sides which reminds us very much of Apple’s older iPhones, namely the iPhone 5 and 5s, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Apple has kept the display of the new iPad Pros almost the same, where they will be offered in 11-inch or 12.9-inch options. The main difference is that the displays now stretch from edge-to-edge of the tablet, which is a design language that Apple has adopted for its iPhones. This is a big deal when you consider that Apple’s iPads have typically sported pretty huge bezels.
For those wondering about the 10.5-inch display, Apple claims that the use of the edge-to-edge design allowed them to bump that 10.5-inch display up to an 11-inch display. The display will still be LCD instead of OLED in the iPhone Xs, and according to Apple, they are using the same technology found the iPhone XR.
A feature that was exclusive to the iPhone X in 2017 has finally found its way onto the iPad Pro. By introducing Face ID, it has allowed Apple to do away with the home button which used to house the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. However for those who don’t fancy the notch design that Apple uses for its iPhones, the good news is that the iPad Pros don’t have it, thanks to the bezels of the iPad which while slim enough to give the illusion of an edgeless display, are still big enough to house the components.
The iPad Pro, just like most iPads, uses a variant of the A-series chipset that was used for iPhones launched in the same year. With the iPad Pros, they will be powered by Apple’s A12X Bionic octa-core chipset, a variant of the A12 Bionic found in the 2018 iPhones. This is an octa-core chipset that according to Apple, offers a 35% increase in single-core performance and 90% faster multi-core performance compared to last year’s models.
It will also feature an Apple-designed 7-core GPU that offers twice the performance than the previous generation. In fact Apple is boasting that the new iPad Pros are faster than 92% of portable PCs sold in the past 12 months, and has the performance capabilities of the Xbox One X.
Apple has also confirmed that they are dropping the Lightning port in favor of USB-C. Apple claims that the use of USB-C means that the tablet can be connected to external 5K displays, and for the first time ever will support charging out over USB-C. This means that if you have a USB-C to Lightning cable, you will be able to use the iPad Pro to charge your iPhone.
What helps to differentiate the iPad Pro lineup from the regular iPads is support for the Apple Pencil. While many scoffed at Apple’s attempts to reinvent the stylus, especially given Steve Jobs’ disdain for the stylus, the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil combination has been met with very favorable reviews by professionals, many of whom have adopted it and incorporated it into their workflow.
With the new Apple Pencil, Apple has made some changes to the stylus in the form of a slight redesign that gives it a cleaner and more minimalist look. It features a flat side with a built-in magnet that allows it to clip to the side of the iPad Pro, making it easier to bring around while at the same time charging it. The stylus will also now support gestures on its body, meaning that users can tap on the Apple Pencil, which in apps such as Notes will let users switch between writing and erasing.
The iPad Pros will come with iOS 12 installed. This is more or less the same version of iOS 12 that was released for the iOS devices last month. This means that we can look forward to all the new features that was released as part of iOS 12, along with new features such as Group FaceTime that was finally made available in the iOS 12.1 update.
When Apple introduced iOS 11, they brought new multitasking features to the iPad, and now that the iPad Pros have done away with the home button, all those gestures should come in handy when it comes to interacting with the tablet.
Pricing & Availability
The new iPad Pros will be available this Friday where the 11-inch iPad Pro will be priced starting at $799, while the 12-inch iPad Pro will be priced starting at $999. Pre-orders will go live today and will be available on the 7th of November. The new Apple Pencil will be priced at $129.