It’s been rumoured for a while, but Apple has just announced a refresh to its popular iPad Pro range. The US technology firm says this latest tablet is the most advanced it has ever built, thanks to the super-fast A12Z Bionic chip (a beefier version of the chipset inside the iPhone 11 Pro) under its aluminium body which Apple says makes the iPad Pro “faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops.”
Along with that added oomph, there’s also a new dual-lens rear camera that includes a wide-angle snapper for more flexibility when shooting images. Apple brought ultra-wide cameras to its iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 smartphones last year, so it makes sense to see this fish-eye lens – that will let you squeeze skyscrapers and huge groups of friends into the frame without having to stand half a mile away from your subject – to its best-selling tablet range.
Another very welcome change to the iPad Pro is the upgraded keyboard case, which now comes with backlit keys and a trackpad. This should make the iPad Pro feel much more like a traditional laptop. Apple had previously added support for an external mouse within iPadOS, but this is the first time the tablet has worked with a laptop-style trackpad.
Apple says this latest Magic Keyboard has a “floating design” with smooth angle adjustment which it claims will deliver the best typing experience ever on iPad. It’s worth noting that adding this new case will set you back as much as £349 – the same price as the entry-level 10.2-inch iPad – which is a pretty high price to pay.
And finally, one of the biggest changes to the new iPad Pro is the LiDAR scanner, which is integrated into the rear-camera module. Apple says this technology should enable brand-new capabilities never before possible on any mobile device.
In a nutshell, LiDAR measures the distance to surrounding objects up to five meters away. It’s the same technology used by Tesla to help its vehicles drive themselves. It works indoors and outdoors and operates at nano-second speeds.
By depth-mapping what is directly infront of the tablet, the new iPad Pro should be able to perform Augmented Reality (AR) tasks much better and faster than any previous Apple device.
Amongst other things, the new hardware will improve functions such as the Measure app, making it faster and easier to automatically calculate anyone’s height. Apple has added helpful vertical and edge guides that automatically appear in the viewfinder to let users more quickly and accurately measure objects.
Finally, there’s an update to the Liquid Retina display with both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models now supporting the P3 wide colour standard. The ProMotion technology, which automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120Hz for ultra-smooth scrolling and responsiveness, is still present and correct too. And as you’d expect, Apple continues to include True Tone, which tweaks the warmth of the display to match your surroundings.
Speaking about the update to the iPad line, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said: “The new iPad Pro introduces advanced technologies never before available in mobile computing. Combining the most advanced mobile display with powerful performance, pro cameras, pro audio, the breakthrough LiDAR Scanner and new Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, this is another huge leap forward for iPad. There’s no other device in the world like the new iPad Pro and we think our customers are going to love it.”
And Craig Federighi, Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, added: “We’re making iPad even more capable and versatile by bringing trackpad support to iPadOS.
“We carefully considered the best way to integrate trackpad use into a touch-first environment while retaining everything our customers know and love about iPad. We’re thrilled to bring this new way of interacting with iPad to the millions of people using iPadOS today.”
Prices for the new iPad Pro start from £769 and will begin shipping next week.
Published at Wed, 18 Mar 2020 12:46:00 +0000