Apple in New York on Tuesday announced the launch of the much-awaited refresh to its iPad Pro range of premium tablets. The new iPad Pro comes in two sizes — 11-inch and 12.9-inch — with upgrades including a sleeker design, thinner bezels, no home button, support for Face ID technology with Animoji/ Memoji, a faster Apple A12X Bionic chip, a USB Type-C port instead of the proprietary Lightning port, and a 7-core Apple graphics chip. Notably, this is the first iOS device to sport the USB Type-C connector port, but it doesn’t have a headphone jack.
Design and Display
In line with all the leaks and rumors, Apple has unveiled the iPad Pro in two sizes – a new 11-inch variant (an upgrade over the previous 10.5-inch one) and the existing 12.9-inch variant.
Just like the iPhone X (or the latest XS or XR), Apple has tried pushing the screen on the iPad Pro to the edges and narrowed the bezels to give users an enhanced and immersive viewing experience. The new iPad Pro variants still feature a Retina display, with the ProMotion technology which adds support for up to 120HZ refresh rate. You will get True Tone support on here as well.
USB-C and peripherals
The iPad Pro has moved from Apple’s proprietary Lightning port to USB-C. Note that it’s not Thunderbolt 3, as on new Macs; it’s USB-C. I didn’t get to test this at the event, but Apple says you can use USB-C to drive an external display, connect directly to a camera, or even to charge your iPhone from your iPad. Performance aside, this is the most consequential change for the power users Apple is trying to woo here. On the not-as-great side, there’s no headphone jack.
Apple Pencil 2
The second-gen Apple Pencil can now be magnetically connected to the edge of the new iPad Pro models, which is also the Apple Pencil will pair and charge. There’s also a new touch sensor built onto Apple Pencil detects taps, allowing you to change brush size and interact with apps.
The Pencil also has some new features. You can double tap the side of it to switch between tools in Apple’s Notes app, and third-party app developers have access to that functionality, too, should they choose to implement it.
Everything we know:
- New models available in 11-inch ($799) and 12.9-inch ($999) sizes, both 5.9mm thick
- New design with rounded corners and no home button
- Support for Face ID (but no notch!)
- A12X Bionic processor with 8 cores, support for Neural Engine
- New Apple Pencil stylus with wireless charging
- Updated Smart Keyboard folio
- Support for USB-C
- Supports output for 5K displays
- Up to 1TB of storage
- No headphone jack
- Four speakers
- New swipe-based user interface and support for split-view
- Available now for preorder, ships Nov. 7
iPad Pro (2018) price
Both the iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants will be sold in 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options. The 11-inch model starts at $799 (roughly Rs. 58,800) in the US, while the 12.9-inch variant gets a starting price of $999 (around Rs. 73,500). In India, the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at Rs. 71,900, while the bigger model will retail starting at Rs. 89,900.
The iPad Pro pre-orders in the US start today (and 40 other countries and regions), on October 30, with availability from November 7. India is not amongst the first wave of launch countries, but instead Apple has said it will launch the tablets in the country “later this year”.