Apple's new 2020 iPad Pros bring speed and camera upgrades
Apple just unveiled two brand new iPad Pro models for 2020, with upgrades to key components as well as the rear-facing camera. There's also a new Magic Keyboard cover with trackpad, which will work with the new iPad Pros as well as the 2018 models.
The most significant upgrade is perhaps the camera, now a dual-lens affair with 12-MP wide and 10-MP ultrawide sensors. Apple has also added a LiDAR scanner – similar to those used by self-driving cars, but on a much smaller scale – to help the camera unit measure depth with much greater accuracy. That has a variety of potential use cases, from augmented reality applications to improved photo effects that can be applied in real time. Apple says the new configuration can, for example, be used to measure objects in the physical world much more accurately.
Apple has added some internal upgrades too, as you would expect, with a new A12Z Bionic chip providing faster-than-ever performance, though it's not clear exactly how much faster it is than the A12X Bionic chip in the previous models (the iPhone 11 handsets run an A13 Bionic processor).
There don't seem to be any major upgrades to the display compared with the 2018 iPad Pros, but the new tablets do have better audio capture capabilities: five studio-quality microphones come in the devices. Add in the camera upgrades and it's clear Apple wants to promote the iPad Pros as mobile workstations for professionals.
Apple has also been pushing the iPad as a laptop replacement for some time. That trend continues with the introduction of a new Magic Keyboard attachment, this time with a trackpad on board. Combined with improvements coming in iPadOS 13.4, the tablet experience should be more laptop-like than ever.
The new iPad Pro models are available to order today and ship on March 25, with prices starting at US$799 for the 11-inch version and $999 for the 12-inch version. As usual, Wi-Fi and LTE variants are available.
iPadOS 13.4, with trackpad support, drops on March 24, and you can get the Magic Keyboard from May for $299 (11-inch) and $349 (12.9-inch). Apple says there's an "updated" Smart Keyboard Folio available too, without the trackpad, though it's not immediately clear how it differs from the 2018 version.
"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," Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said in a press statement.
Product page: iPad Pro