Apple sketches out the new iPad Pro

Apple has confirmed all the pre-event expectation for its new iPad Pro range, introducing new 11-inch and 12.9-inch models offering what the company calls a Liquid Retina Display, an A12X Bionic Chip and Face ID.

Smaller and larger

Like the new iPhone X range, the new iPad Pros deliver a much thinner bezel meaning the displays are almost edge-to-edge, which means you get more display in a smaller size.

The new 11-inch iPad Pro packs a bigger display with more pixels in the same footprint as the 10.5-inch model, yet still weighs just one pound. The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro places the largest display of any iPad into a more portable package — a massive 25 percent reduction in volume.

What is the Liquid Retina Display?

With over a million apps designed to take advantage of the large Multi-Touch display, including next-generation apps like Photoshop CC on iPad (coming 2019), “the new iPad Pro will push what users can do on a computer further than ever before,”said Apple.

The edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display has rounded corners that follow the curves of iPad Pro’s unibody enclosure. With precision-milled glass, advanced pixel masking, sub-pixel antialiasing, anti-reflective coating and a new backlight design, the new Liquid Retina display in iPad Pro is Apple’s brightest and most colour accurate, the company said.

Software, in this case what’s called ProMotion technology automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120Hz for scrolling and responsiveness.

What about that fast processor?

The A12X Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine in iPad Pro outperforms 92 percent of all portables sold between June 2017-June 2018, Apple claimed, citing US data from NPD.

The chip is a souped-up version of the 7-nanometer A-series processor used inside the new iPhones.

The eight-core A12X Bionic features four performance cores and four efficiency cores for up to 35 percent faster single-core performance and a new performance controller for simultaneous use of all eight cores for an up to 90 percent boost during multi-threaded tasks.

The company has also introduced its own seven-core, Apple-designed GPU which it claims delivers up to twice the graphics performance.

What about machine learning?

Apple’s next-generation Neural Engine is also inside the machines, this does the advanced machine learning to help optimize what you do,  completing up to 5 trillion operations per second. This enables fast Face ID, faster plane detection for AR apps and other new features that use real-time machine learning. The Neural Engine is designed to deliver improved performance for Core ML tasks, empowering developers to build apps and new iPad workflows that utilise this highly efficient machine learning engine.

Does it know my face?

Yes. You open your iPad Pro by looking at it using Face ID to securely unlock iPad with just a glance. Face ID uses the TrueDepth camera system to accurately map and recognise the face to securely unlock iPad Pro. The TrueDepth Camera on iPad Pro also enables Animoji and Memoji. That means no Home button, and also means.

There is no headphone port

You’ll need to get a dongle to use your old headphones with the new iPads, as they offer a single USB-C connector. You’ll also find Gigabit-class LTE, and up to 1TB of storage to enable powerful new mobile workflows.

What about the move to USB-C?

The new USB-C connector replaces the Lightning connector. You can use it to recharge your iPad, data transfer and to support peripheral devices including cameras, musical instruments, and external displays up to 5K.

How thin are these things?

Apple’s new tablets are just 5.9 mm thin.

What about battery life?

Apple promises a 10-hour battery life, or 13-hours if watching iTunes movies.

Apple Pencil 2 and a new keyboard

The second-generation Apple Pencil magnetically attaches to iPad Pro and wirelessly charges at the same time. A new touch sensor built onto Apple Pencil detects taps, introducing an entirely new way to interact within apps

The new Smart Keyboard Folio protects both the front and back of iPad Pro in a simple, thin and light design encompassing a full-size keyboard that never needs to be charged or paired.

When can I get the new iPad Pros?

The new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio are available to order starting today and in stores starting Wednesday, November 7.

The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space grey finishes in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations as well as a new 1TB option.

What about the price?

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $949 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The top-of-the-range 1TB 12.9-inch model with Wi-Fi and Cellular will cost you $1,899.

The second generation Apple Pencil cost  $129. The new Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro is available in space gray for $179 (US) for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $199 (US) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

What did Apple say about the new iPads?

“The new iPad Pro is a huge step forward for powerful, creative, mobile computing; it has an all-new thinner design, speeds through projects with the super-fast A12X Bionic chip and unlocks with a glance using Face ID in any orientation — while you’re sitting or standing, with iPad Pro on your desk or lap, with the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“There has never been a mobile device anything like the new iPad Pro; it has a gorgeous edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display that curves into the corners, breakthrough performance that outperforms most laptops, Face ID, support for the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil, advanced new cameras and sensors for the best AR experiences ever in any device, a high-speed USB-C connector, louder speakers, faster wireless and more, all packed into a thinner device that has all-day battery life and is 25 percent smaller in volume.”

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Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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