The rumours surrounding Apple’s 2020 iPad Pro (2020) line were entirely accurate.
The key new features this year are an entirely revamped keyboard that features a trackpad, along with a dual rear camera array that includes a LiDAR scanner for more powerful three-dimensional depth-sensing. The new trackpad-equipped ‘Magic Keyboard Folio’ also unfolds and elevates the iPad Pro to a higher viewing position.
“Rather than copying the experience from macOS, trackpad support has been completely reimagined for iPad. As users move their finger across the trackpad, the pointer elegantly transforms to highlight user interface elements,” says Apple in a recent press release.
Regarding trackpad app support, Apple says that its iWork suite of productivity apps — Pages, Numbers and Keynote — all take “full advantage” of the Smart Keyboard’s trackpad. It’s unclear how widespread third-party app support will be for the new trackpad, but given Apple doesn’t mention popular apps like Adobe’s Photoshop in its press release, apps that work with the input method will likely be limited at launch.
The Magic Keyboard features a hinge that allows the iPad Pro to be adjusted to a viewing angle of up to 130-degrees. Given the new keyboard seems to raise the tablet a few centimetres, it remains unclear how comfortable and balanced it will be to type when the iPad Pro is sitting on your lap. Other keyboard features include backlit keys, USB-C pass-through to allow accessories to be plugged directly into the tablet, and a scissor switch mechanism identical to the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s and MacBook Air (2020)’s keyboard that features 1mm of key travel.
The new iPad Pro also features Apple’s new A12Z processor that includes an 8-core GPU, five “studio-quality” microphones and four speakers that automatically adjust to the tablet’s orientation.
Regarding the camera array, along with the new LiDAR sensor that’s capable of measuring the distance surrounding objects up to five meters away, the tablet also features a 12-megapixel wide camera and a 10-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, along with support for 4K video.
In terms of the LiDAR sensor specifically, Apple outlines in its press release how the sensor allows its Measure app to be more accurate. The technology also improves the iPad Pro’s augmented reality capabilities, including enhancing existing iPad AR-capable apps without requiring any additional work on the development side.
Apple says that both the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are available to order now in ‘Silver’ and ‘Space Gray’ finishes. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,049 CAD for the Wi-Fi model and $1,249 or the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. On the other hand, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,299 (CAD) for the Wi-Fi model and $1,499 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
The New Magic Keyboard is set to be available to purchase in May for $399 and $449 for both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch size respectively. Trackpad support is launching on March 24th alongside iOS 13.4 for all iPad Pro models, the iPad Air 2 and later, the 5th-generation iPad and later and the iPad mini 4 and later. Further, Apple says that third-party mice connected via Bluetooth or USB are also supported.
Apple is also offering customers that purchase the iPad online from the Apple Store the ability to engrave the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil for free as long as it’s purchased at the same time.
Similar to every iPad Pro Apple has released, the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio are sold separately from the tablet.
The 11-inch iPad Pro (2020) with 128GB of storage starts at $1,049, with the 12.9-inch version coming in at $1,299.
MobileSyrup will have more on Apple’s iPad Pro in the coming days.