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Apple announces new iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard with trackpad

2020 iPad Pro
2020 iPad Pro (Image credit: Apple)

2020 iPad Pro

Source: Apple (Image credit: Source: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The new iPad Pro arrives on March 25.
  • Prices start at $799.
  • It's available in silver and space gray finishes only.

Apple has announced two new next-gen iPad Pro models (opens in new tab). Both the second-generation 11-inch iPad Pro and fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro launch in silver and space gray finishes and available to order beginning today, March 18, 2020.

In a press release Apple stated:

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced its most advanced iPad Pro. Now with the A12Z Bionic chip, iPad Pro is faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops. The new iPad Pro adds an Ultra Wide camera, studio-quality mics and a breakthrough LiDAR Scanner that delivers cutting-edge depth-sensing capabilities, opening up more pro workflows and supporting pro photo and video apps. The LiDAR Scanner, along with pro cameras, motion sensors, pro performance, pro audio, the stunning Liquid Retina display and powerful apps, extends the lead of iPad Pro as the world's best device for augmented reality (AR). The new iPad Pro is available to order starting today on apple.com. With iPadOS 13.4, Apple brings trackpad support to iPad, giving customers an all-new way to interact with their iPad. 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. Multi-Touch gestures on the trackpad make it fast and easy to navigate the entire system without users ever lifting their hand.

The new iPad Pro, which has long been rumored, offers significant improvements over the 2018 models. These include the introduction of an all-new eight-core GPU A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine, and Embedded M12 coprocessor, which Apple claims make the tablet faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops.

The 2020 iPad Pro also offers a LiDAR Scanner, which includes depth-sensing capabilities. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) determines distance by measuring how long it takes light to reach an object and reflect. Apple says NASA is using the same technology for the next Mars landing mission.

The latest iPad Pro also offers a 10MP Ulta Wide camera and studio-quality mics. It ships with an 18W USB-C Power Adapter.

Other features include:

  • An edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with P3 wide color support, and ProMotion technology that automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120 Hz.
  • True Tone, 60 nits of brightness, and an anti-reflective coating.
  • 12MP Wide Camera
  • A12Z Bionic offers advanced tools for 4K video editing, 3D design, and augmented reality.

Launch in May is a companion Magic Keyboard that offers a trackpad for the first time. It includes a USB-C port for passthrough charging and connects to your iPad Pro magnetically.

Both the second-generation 11-inch iPad Pro and fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro come with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The tablets are being offered with Wi and Wi-Fi + Cellular.

Apple has today also announced a new Macbook Air, new Mac Mini, new Apple Watch bands and new iPhone cases.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

6 Comments
  • The processor isn't an A14. It's not even an A13 like last Spring's iPhones. It's an A12?? This is going to be the first generation of iPads I pass on, I think. Sigh. My 2018 iPad Pro which was state of the art last weekend had an A12X. According to AnandTech: "The new SoC received an eight-cluster GPU (vs. a seven-cluster GPU in case of the A12X), tuned performance controllers, and an enhanced thermal architecture, which might mean higher clocks for eight general-purpose CPU cores. We don't have any more specific information on the A12Z, with the most important question whether this is actually a new design, or just a re-binned variant of the A12X." Judging from the name, it's a re-binned variant of the A12X. Apple goes too long between revamping its iPad Pros for this kind of nonsense.
  • So basically it’s a minor speed bump and a VERY marginally better camera. Speaking of marginally better cameras, I REALLY don’t get the 2 wide angle lenses. One is 12MP and the other is 10MP? How about a wide and a telephoto? I don’t just take landscape photos. My iPhone 8 Plus has better cameras than this - 12MP wide and 12MP telephoto. What this all means is that my two 2018 iPad Pros (11” 512GB and 13” 512GB) did not just take a huge hit to their resale value.
  • Naddy, Don't forget the "magical" keyboard. 350.00 for the keyboard? ****, apple got some balls. The surface keyboard is only 149.99. But hey, what am I saying. Apple lemmings will eat that up just to say I have a 350.00 Keyboard. That does nothing more than your windows based keyboard from 7 years ago.
  • I feel like there will be another one in 12 months time with Micro LED that will be a much bigger improvement, this seems just like a slight refresh with a few tweaks, I'm expecting a much more improved one before the years out.
  • The magically expensive keyboard works on my 2018 iPad Pros. So that is no advantage for these new models. But I have no interest in a keyboard anyway, even if it was $50. Besides, I have a $30 Bluetooth keyboard that works fine, should I ever decide to type up The World According To Naddy on my iPad. Which is very unlikely. 😎 And the price will go down. Guaranteed. The HomePod was $350 when it was released too. You can now get them on eBay for $200 new. I’ll definitely be waiting for the next models. These have nothing that interests me.
  • Will it work with a Thunderbolt Display? That's a big frustration with the 2018 model.