Apples latest event held in Brooklyn, NY, had some of the company’s biggest hardware updates we’ve seen to date. One of those announcements and arguably the biggest hardware change in Apple history was the announcement of the new iPad pro. From the biggest ever display on an iPad to the highly controversial removal of the headphone jack, the all-new iPad Pro got some huge upgrades.
Starting off with the different storage options, nothing has really changed but for the 1TB option if you really find yourself in need of that much storage. The iPad Pro starts at $799/$999 for 64 GB of storage for the 11” and 12.9” models respectively. The 12.9” iPad Pro can go all the way up to $1,899 for the 1TB cellular model. With that kind of price tag, one would expect some serious power under the hood, and Apple really delivered here. The A12X Bionic chip, which is really just a beefed-up version of the A12 found in the XS and XR iPhones, is capable of running 5 trillion operations per second, and is according to Apple, faster than 92 percent of PCs currently being sold. We got to see this power first hand when Adobe showed off their Lightroom CC program running perfectly on the iPad Pro. At this point, one can wonder if we should still call them “apps” instead of full-on “programs.” Of course, Apple never truly releases details clock speeds and RAM, so we will have to wait until a full tear down to see the exact specs of this iPad.
Display/2nd Gen Apple Pencil
With the new “Liquid Retina Display” Apple promises the best screen ever on an iPad. It has the familiar 120 GHz refresh rate as last years model but now has an even larger display area. With a bump from 10.5” to 11” in a slimmer, smaller profile means smaller bezels and more screen real-estate. Both screens have the same 264 ppi with Apples ProMotion and True Tone display technologies. Another adaptation is the similar rounded edges on the display such as found on Apple’s latest iPhone offerings. Point and case being, this is a large, beautiful display that is compatible with last gens Apple Pencil as well as the all-new 2nd Gen Apple Pencil. The difference? This new stylus charges by magnetically attaching to the side of the iPad Pro. This solution is FAR better than the previous generation.
The rear-facing camera is what you’d expect on Apples latest device, a 12 MP rear shooter with Smart HDR, 4k video recording and Portrait mode. On the front is Apple’s TrueDepth camera that houses the same Face ID tech as the iPhone X, XS, and XR. The biggest difference is that now Face ID now works in any orientation you hold your iPad in, so you don’t have to worry about only holding it in portrait mode for it to work. If you have any of these iPhones, then the new iPad Pro will feel very familiar.
USB C/New Interface
The biggest change for power users and regular consumers alike is the adaptation of USB C. Since the iPhone 5, Apple has used the same Lightning port on all their iOS devices to date. With USB C you can now connect to more things, such as a DSLR or even charge your iPhone (with the right cable). USB C has been already adopted by Apple in their MacBook lines ups as well as most major Android phone manufacturers. With this next step for the iPad, we’re looking at carrying fewer adapters and a more unified tech industry as a whole, hands down a good move on Apples part. As for the software side of things, the new iPad Pro runs the same iOS 12 as Apples latest iPhone offerings with the same intuitive, gesture-based navigation system. That’s right if you own the iPhone X, XS or XR you’ll be getting the same, easy to use navigation that you already know and love, now on iPad. This welcomed new software addition is going to make navigation your iPad feel much more natural and fluid.
It’s going to be hard to say what issues we will have with these new iPad Pros until we hold them in our hands but that doesn’t stop people from voicing their opinions and concerns. The biggest complaint I’ve seen is the removal of the headphone jack. The biggest argument made for this is that fact that this machine was demoed to be used for music creation and playback. For most DJs and music creators alike, they prefer a 3.5 mm headphone jack. This is understandable as Bluetooth has latency and is restricted to battery life. However, as someone who has adopted Bluetooth headphones for years, I can honestly say that it’s just better. Fewer cords to have to worry about an AirPods just work flawlessly with all your Apple products. So, if you haven’t made the switch, I would be that most manufacturers are ditching the headphone jack. Also, Face ID being the only unlock solution on the iPad Pro causes an issue with some people. Having an iPhone XS Max as my daily driver, with only Face ID to unlock my iPhone, I can say that you won’t miss having Touch ID. However, if this is a deal breaker, the 10.5” iPad Pro still remains for sale a lower price point.