Tumours have been swirling that Apple was gearing up to launch a brand new version of the iPad Pro, this time with a trackpad to further blue the lines between tablet and laptop. Well, it turns out the leaks are true as this new iteration of the classic iPad has been unveiled and is available to order right now.
The dream of every tablet is to replace a laptop. It’s what we imagine their parents tell their wee baby tablets as they’re growing up, psyching them up for a future where they usurp the dominant device of the working population. So far, most of those dreams have circled the drain in failure but Apple’s new iPad Pro is looking to make its parents proud. Unveiled last night, the new iPad Pro has a host of new additions and features that should make for one incredibly impressive piece of hardware.
While visually identical to the previous iPad Pro, this new model has an upgraded processor and a new camera built into the device. Yet while those are nice to have, what’s most impressive about this new iPad are the external additions to the device. The keyboard you can get with the Pro takes the device to a whole new level as it allows the tablet to be suspended at a comfortable viewing angle while also offering a built-in trackpad.
“The click-anywhere trackpad opens up a whole new way to work in iPadOS. It allows control of the new cursor in iPadOS, which is perfect for tasks like editing a spreadsheet, selecting text, or simply doing everything right from the trackpad. And you can navigate fluidly with familiar Multi‑Touch gestures, like swiping to go home and switching between spaces,” notes Apple on the Pro’s official website.
The “Magic Keyboard” as it’s been branded looks like a tremendous addition to the iPad Pro. With backlit, scissor-switch keys, USB-C passthrough charging and “smooth angle adjustment”, the keyboard essentially transform the iPad into a full on computer. Which is a good thing too because you’ll be paying the price of a small computer just to own one of these bad boys. For $299 for the 11-inch Pro and $349 for the 12.9-inch model, the Magic Keyboard is certainly doing it’s best to justify such an enormous price tag.
As for the iPad itself, Apple is marketing this version as the thing that kills the laptop. With a A12Z Bionic Chip, eight cores in the GPU and an estimated ten hours of battery life, the branding team has made it very clear that this Pro is “more powerful than most Windows PC laptops”. Wow, really throwing the gauntlet down on that one, huh?
Even more interesting is that the iPad Pro will feature support for WiFi 6, the next big advancement in wireless Internet, before the MacBook line of machines. Expected to improve speeds, connectivity and range, WiFi 6 is very new technology and the fact that iPads will be able to use it before MacBooks is surprising in and of itself.
As can be expected, there are a range of different version that you can pick up depending on what you want out of the device and how much you’re willing to spend. With a variable 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage, expect to be paying $799 for the entry level 11-inch model and $949 for the most basic 12.9-inch model. Of course, if you want to go all in with the most powerful version, Magic Keyboard included, you’ll be looking at a whopping $1,998 or roughly R35,000. Ouch.