At the Apple Brooklyn event, on Tuesday (October 30), we got to see some of the Cupertino-based company’s most creative products yet, including the return of the long overdue MacBook Air, which is now even thinner than what we’ve seen before and has a much improved display and better internals.
Apple also introduced a new space-gray Mac Mini, which, again, has been long awaited and is coming with much improved power and iOS.
However, Apple saved the highlight of the Tuesday show for the end; and that was the brand new iPad Pro, being made available in two sizes – an 11-inch version as well as a 12.9-inch variant.
The much thinner bezels on the new iPad Pros made it possible for Apple to give the 11-inch model the same footprint as the previous-generation 10.5-inch iPad, while the new 12.9-inch version of the iPad Pro is smaller than the previous-generation 12.9-inch iPad – thanks again to the shrunken bezels on this one, as well.
Another noticeable feature of the new iPads is the 5.9mm thick chassis, which, to be honest, is unbelievably thin and, therefore, makes you wonder if the battery is going to be compromised as a result of it.
Having said that, the thinness of the chassis does not only make the new iPad Pros very attractive to look at but fairly comfortable to hold, as well – it feels like you’re holding just the display.
It is so thin that the 12-megapixel camera on the rear of the device forms a small bump, which, to be honest, is like a blemish to the otherwise completely flat surface.
While many may even question the inclusion of a camera on a tablet, there are people who still have a use for it, such as scanning documents and the likes.
The LCD panel continues to be of a very high resolution with the same taller aspect ratio we’ve seen in the past.
Out goes the Home button and in comes Face ID; and, yes, it works in, both, portrait and landscape orientations; so, no matter how you hold the tablet it will recognize your face and unlock the device, which is great, as people had apprehensions that it would only work in portrait orientation.
It’s no surprise that the 2018 iPads have been given brand new internals, including a brand new A 12X Bionic chip with an 8-core CPU and a 7-core graphics processing unit, again a 7-nanometer chip and it’s powerful enough to handle all those pixels, not to mention the 120Hz refresh rate.
Internal storage starts at 64GB and goes all the way up to a whopping 1TB.
However, what really is a shocker – and pleasantly so – is the fact that the new iPad Pros are coming with a USB Type C port, making it possible for you to plug in USB C accessories.
You can also charge your device using the USB-C port and even connect an iPhone and charge it with the iPad’s battery over the USB-C; Apple, it seems, has finally seen the benefit of this port in its Pro tablets.
The Apple pencil that came with the earlier iPad had to be charged through the lightning port, which, if you remember, was kind of an unfortunate situation.
However, with no lightning port being made available on the new iPads, that will, obviously, have to change; we’re now going to get a new Apple Pencil 2 that boasts a massive improvement compared to the earlier version.
It has magnets and a flat side that clings to a dedicated spot on the side of the device and wirelessly charges right there.
The touch sensitive area at the bottom of the Apple Pencil 2 supports taps and double taps; for example, you can double tap on the Notes app to switch between the tools and the eraser.
While Apple has also included a new smart keyboard case, what’s conspicuously missing from the new devices is the headphone jack, which wouldn’t make sense to many users as there is always enough space on a tablet to just toss in a headphone jack.
So, it’s not good news for all you DJs and music/video editors out there who rely on a headphone jack on your iPad devices to do your thing.
That said, it’s not going to prove to be a deal breaker in these modern wireless times.
All in all, our first impressions of the new iPad Pro is that it is arguable the best tablet on the planet as of now, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise because the iPad is one of three tablets that are actually still worth buying.
Here’s a quick recap of some of the key features of the new iPad Pro tablets.
- Launched in two sizes – 11 and 12.9 inches
- Replaces the Home button with Face Recognition
- Ultra-thin bezels on both variants
- Apple Pencil 2 gets upgraded to charge wirelessly on the new iPads
- The new Apple Pencil 2 can magnetically attach to the side of the device, where it draws its power from.
- Liquid Retina display ensures sharp colors and crisp content
- Equipped with a new A12X Bionic processor and runs on iOS 12 out of the box
- Headphone jack has been removed
- Storage increased to a maximum of 1 TB
- 12MP camera with f/1.8 aperture
- Comes with a big enough battery to charge your iPhone with
- The 11-inch model starts at $799 (£769, AU$1,229), while the 12.9-inch version starts at $999 (£969, AU$1,529)