Doesn’t it feel like yesterday when Tim Cook and the team wrapped up the iPhones launch event? And yet, just after a month and a half, Apple had enough new gadgets to warrant another keynote event. And the star of this show was the new iPad Pro.
Surprise surprise! the rumour was true (when are they not!). The rumour that Apple will launch a new iPad, and that it’ll arrive on the crest of a wave of hyperbole about how wonderful it is. Too dramatic? Not really! The tech giant just launched an all-new iPad Pro-family and let’s just say it’s worthy of the drama! This year’s iPad Pro lineup is nothing like the same, staid upgrades we’re used to seeing.
An updated design language that echoes the 2018 iPhone look, faster processors that all of us expected, captivating graphics are a definite head-turner. But the new iPad lineup is more interesting not for what they’ve gained (which is quite a lot!) but what they’ve lost. Let’s take a moment to say goodbye to our beloved home button, the port for lightning cables and the not-so-surprising departure of 3.5 mm jack. But it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s quite interesting.
Let’s see how!
Design – The Thinning!
Apple seems to be jumping in the anti-bezel war, guns blazing. After the three new all-screen iPhones this year, the company took the same bezel-less route for its latest iPad Pro variants.
The 10.5-inched iPad Pro frame now squeezes an 11-inch display with a quarter million more pixels. The larger iPad Pro retained its 12.9-inch screen, but shrunk the hardware down, making it look leaner and lighter. So, despite packing a bigger display, both the iPad Pro variants retain a similar or smaller footprint to its predecessor.
Both the variants are barely 5.9mm thick (smart move) and are decked with a so-called Liquid Retina Display. (Remember the iPhone XR?) And, if we are to go by Apple’s past products, the new iPads should treat us to vibrant colours and beautiful imagery. And like all of you suspected, True Tone and Night Shift made a return in the current lineup to save us from the squint monster. And since the almost there bezels leaves no room for a home button or a touch ID. Hello, Face ID!
The more surprising development, though, is the embrace of USB-C, which was first seen in the MacBook in 2015. And for the record, it’s a great addition! It not only allows to connect your iPad pro to a wider variety of peripherals but also charge other devices like your iPhone, not to mention that it’s widely compatible with an ever-longer list of accessories. Oh and since Apple bid adieu to the 3.5mm jack as well, it’ll be a good idea not to misplace your AirPods.
Face ID Support: Finally
Both iPad Pros come with Face ID, first featured in iPhone X. But unlike (Thank the lord) the iPhone X, XS, and XR, the new iPad Pro ditched the ugly notch and housed the Face ID components in the top, flat bezel. And just in case you were wondering, the Face ID can also work it’s magic when the device is oriented horizontally. Adding Face ID also means that Animoji and Memoji will soon be making an entrance on the iPad Pros.
In typical Apple fashion, the new iPad pros have a slightly upgraded version of the latest iPhone chip – Apple A12X Bionic. The new System-on-Chip has 8 CPU cores, and 7 GPU cores that Apple says is 1,000 times faster than the first gen iPads. To flaunt the new iPad’s prowess, Apple used Photoshop and an Adobe AR app called Project Aero on the new iPad Pro to create and edit an augmented reality artwork. Regarding software, of course, the latest iPads launched with the newest iOS build: iOS 12. And to make up for the loss of the Home Button, Apple blessed us with an entirely gesture-controllable UI, Split View and Slide Over multitasking. As for the camera, there is a 12-megapixel-rear camera sensor with improved True Tone LED flash that supports 4K video recording at 60fps. These iPad Pros still boast of 10 hours of battery life. Not bad!
Apple Pencil and Other Accessories
The Apple Pencil 2.0 was also introduced at the event. The new digital stylus connects magnetically to the iPad Pro and charges wirelessly. Tap it to change modes and double tap it to switch apps. Since iPads no longer have Lightning connectors, the old Apple Pencils won’t be compatible.
And then there’s the Smart Keyboard folio case, covered in a sort of spill-proof fabric membrane, which now attaches to a smart connector sitting low on the iPad’s back and enhances the experience with two viewing angles. Everything snaps into place magnetically for ease of use and less fiddling around. Thoughtful, yes but I still wouldn’t call it a must-have.
India Prices and Launch
As you can see, the new iPad Pros are not only one of the most powerful portable devices in the world of gadgets, but thanks to some eye-catching design changes it’s one of the best-looking ones as well. It seems like Apple’s play is to take the fight to the notebook world, and its latest iPad lineup is a rather powerful weapon in that fight.
The 11-inch iPad Pro will start at Rs. 71,900 for 64GB of storage, but you can go all the way up to a full terabyte. The 12.9-inch version with the same storage configurations will retail starting at Rs. 89,900. You may begin placing your order from today (in the US and other 40 countries), and they’ll be in stores on November 7. As for India, sadly and expectedly, our Bharat Mahan didn’t make it in the list of the first wave of launch countries. So, the wait ain’t over till ‘later this year’.