Apple made more than a few people happy with the refresh of the MacBook Air yesterday. They then followed that up with the announcement of the new iPad Pro 11″ and iPad Pro 12.9″ tablets. Apple calls these an “all-screen design as the home button has been removed to make way for Face ID.” While the new Liquid Retina displays do take up the majority of the front, there are still bezels. That’s not a bad thing. The bezels allow for Face ID to be integrated without the need for a notch.
Apple claims that the A12X Bionic chip with “next-generation Neural Engine” outperforms most PC laptops. The new iPad Pro also features, for the first time, a USB-C connection doing away with the Lightning Port. The addition of the USB-C port is welcome by many but comes with one caveat. This USB-C port does not support external data storage, as reported by SlashGear. What this means is that you won’t be able to use that USB-C port to transfer files between devices or access file from an external storage device.
Apple tells us that the new iPad Pro doesn’t support external storage over USB-C. That probably won’t be a huge shock to some considering Apple’s efforts with iCloud, but to others, the announcement of that USB-C port probably came with the expectation that iPad Pro would be able to transfer data to external storage devices.
So, if you’re looking for extra capacity, your best bet is either buying a higher capacity iPad Pro or signing up for a larger iCloud subscription. You’ll also, of course, be able to send things like photos and videos to your PC or Mac via iTunes, and if past iPhone and iPad accessories are any indication, we’ll likely see some creative external storage solutions from third-parties as well. Whatever those are, however, they probably won’t be as simple as connecting an external drive to your iPad Pro and moving content back and forth between the two.
Apple and Adobe also demonstrated the new Photoshop CC coming in 2019. The demo was to show just how powerful iPad has become being able to run desktop class apps. Apple also made a small improvement on the Apple Pencil, giving it the ability to magnetically stick to the side of the iPad. Microsoft’s Surface Pro has had this feature for some time now but it’s nice to see Apple follow suit.
“The new iPad Pro is a huge step forward for powerful, creative, mobile computing; it has an all-new thinner design, speeds through projects with the super-fast A12X Bionic chip and unlocks with a glance using Face ID in any orientation — while you’re sitting or standing, with iPad Pro on your desk or lap, with the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “There has never been a mobile device anything like the new iPad Pro; it has a gorgeous edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display that curves into the corners, breakthrough performance that outperforms most laptops, Face ID, support for the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil, advanced new cameras and sensors for the best AR experiences ever in any device, a high-speed USB-C connector, louder speakers, faster wireless and more, all packed into a thinner device that has all-day battery life and is 25 percent smaller in volume.”
Apple touted the displays on both iPad models as well as their crazy thin profile and lightweight. But the main takeaway Apple was trying to push was the power and its A12X Bionic set and Neural Engine. Apple is continuing to try and poise the iPad as a laptop replacement.
Built specifically for iPad Pro, the A12X Bionic is the smartest and most powerful chip in a tablet, making even the most demanding computing tasks like editing photos or creating 3D models faster and more responsive. Built on industry-leading seven-nanometer technology, the powerful eight-core A12X Bionic features four performance cores and four efficiency cores for up to 35 percent faster single-core performance and a new performance controller for simultaneous use of all eight cores for an up to 90 percent boost during multi-threaded tasks.3 A seven-core, Apple-designed GPU delivers up to twice the graphics performance for incredibly rich and immersive AR experiences and console-quality graphics. On iPad Pro, the breakthrough performance and capability lasts all day thanks to great 10-hour battery life.
The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space gray finishes in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB configurations as well as a new 1TB option. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799USD for the Wi-Fi model and $949USD for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999USD for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149USD for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model from apple.com and Apple Store locations, and is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers.