Apple Unveils New iPad Pro Models

By Chand Bellur

March 21, 2020 at 7:08 p.m. PDT

  • Apple quietly unveiled two new, powerful iPad Pro models without an event.
  • The new iPad Pro is almost as powerful as a notebook computer.
  • Both 11″ and 12.9″ 2020 iPad Pro models are available on March 25.

iPad Pro Launches Amid Worldwide Pandemic

Everything is different these days. It’s as if we’re living in some post-apocalyptic, binge-worthy TV show, however, the reality is quite unappealing.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nations, states and cities are on lockdown. People are encouraged or mandated to stay at home, except for essential business. Most employees are either working from home or are out of work. There’s never been anything like this.

With the recommendation that all gatherings of over ten people be cancelled, Apple decided against their annual March event. Instead, they nonchalantly released two new, powerful iPad Pro models that bring the tablet more in line with a notebook computer.

Apart from a press release and a few tech sites covering this release, the news media has been fixated on the pandemic. Most people are unaware that Apple even released new products this week.

2020 iPad Pro is Powerful and Capable

The problem with the iPad has always been that it’s really just an overgrown iPhone. With iOS, at best, iPad users could install smartphone apps with slightly better layouts.

The iPad Pro sought to change this perception and offer the media consumption device to professional users. Apple’s tablet was tasked with media creation, and did it well, but it was no MacBook Pro. Although the device has sold fairly well, most professionals still use a Mac. The new 2020 iPad Pro adds an amazing keyboard and trackpad combination, with upcoming support for a cursor in iPadOS 13.4.

There’s a lot of new features in the 2020 iPad Pro update. Here’s a few of the most important tech specs:

  • 2388 x 1668 (11″) and 2732 x 2048 (12.9″) pixel resolution at 264 ppi
  • 600 nits display brightness
  • LiDAR scanner for advanced AR experiences
  • A12Z Bionic processor with Neural Engine and Embedded M12 Coprocessor
  • Camera Wide: 12MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • Camera Ultra Wide: 10MP, ƒ/2.4 aperture
  • Brighter True Tone flash
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps (Wide); 60 fps (Ultra Wide)
  • “studio quality” microphones
  • USB-C charging port

Magic Keyboard and iPadOS 13.4 Cursor Make the New iPad Pro More Like a Mac

For a long time, the iPad has been a bit of a chore to work on. The Apple Pencil made it a delight for graphic designers, however, much of the work had to be finished on a Mac. While this may still be the case, Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for the iPad may attract office workers to the new tablet. If not, it’s an elegant, gorgeous and extravagant accessory.

The Magic Keyboard for the iPad truly deserves the “magic” label. It’s more than a keyboard. The all-in-one unit is a stand, keyboard, trackpad and case. Apple’s elegant design enables users to attach their iPad Pro magnetically to the stand and adjust the screen in virtually any direction. The keyboard, which has gone back to the robust scissor mechanism, is fully functional, with a trackpad at its base.

Apple is adding cursor support in an upcoming version of iPadOS. This makes the iPad Pro far more versatile and easy to use. I could see some business users employing this device, however, they may still be better off with a MacBook Pro. When price and functionality are taken into consideration, this device is still a hard sell for professionals.

Millennials, who grew up with iOS, will probably love the new iPad Pro models. They seem comfortable with more streamlined and limited mobile operating systems. If you’re in your late 20s and Tweet for a living, this device may be for you. Software engineers and audio visual professionals will still fare better with a MacBook Pro.

That’s the point. Ever year, Apple releases a new iPad Pro, claiming that it’s as good as a notebook computer, for a few months. When the new Macs come out, the iPad Pro marketing fades away. Phil Schiller admitted to this practice on 60 Minutes. Many people will opt for the iPad Pro for irrational reasons, however, every revision brings it closer to notebook computer capabilities.

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