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Apple’s new iPad Pro has trackpad support, lidar, and an 8-core GPU


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Apple’s new iPad Pro has trackpad support, lidar, and an 8-core GPU

Mouse and trackpad support are coming to all iPads on March 24 with iPadOS 13.4.

Apple's 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablets got major updates today. Most notably, Apple added a totally new dual-camera system with a lidar scanner, confirming rumors that the company would bring a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor to the device to improve the accuracy and speed of augmented reality (AR) applications.


Additionally, the iPad Pro has a new system-on-a-chip called the A12Z (not the A13X like previous nomenclature suggested). Among other things, it has an 8-core GPU that promises 2.6x faster graphics performance than the A10X and a more modest improvement over the A12X. Apple says the new iPad Pro has an enhanced thermal design as well.


That new rear-camera array has a 12MP (ƒ/1.8 aperture) wide-angle camera, plus a 10MP (ƒ/2.4) ultra-wide angle camera with a 125-degree field of view. Like the new iPhone 11 models from late last year, the ultra-wide enables a 2x optical out shooting mode. Since there's no telephoto lens, though, it only supports digital zoom. Both the wide and ultra-wide lenses can record 4K video at 60 frames per second.


The camera on the front appears to be the same: 7MP (ƒ/2.2) with the TrueDepth array for Face ID and some other features. The display also appears unchanged.


As with the MacBook Air also announced today, the really interesting news is about the keyboard and inputs. Apple will continue to offer the existing Smart Keyboard Folio for $179, but it is introducing a new peripheral called the Magic Keyboard at a steep $299. The Magic Keyboard will also work with the previous 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.


Pictured above, the Magic Keyboard has a built-in trackpad—again confirming rumors from the lead-up to this launch. Apple will release an operating system update (iPadOS 13.4) on March 24 that adds system-wide support for trackpads and keyboards—not just for this iPad Pro but for the entire current iPad line. And all current iPads will also support the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and third-party pointer peripherals.


The cursor is round, modeled after a human fingertip, and it locks onto UI elements to highlight them for easy clicking when it passes over them. It also turns into a standard text-editing cursor when used on text. The trackpad supports a number of gestures, including swiping between apps, pinch to zoom, swiping up with three fingers to go to the home screen, swipe and hold to enter multitasking, and reaching Slide Over by moving the cursor to the side of the screen.


The keyboard in this peripheral looks like it will be a big improvement over the Smart Keyboard Folio. Rather than the built-in soft keys from that folio, the Magic Keyboard has the same scissor mechanism found in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the newly updated MacBook Air, with individual keys and 1mm of travel.


Apple went with an unusual design for this case, too: when deployed in the typing configuration, the back of the cover actually elevates the iPad above the surface it's set on, and the iPad's angle can be adjusted between 130 and 90 degrees. The Magic Keyboard also comes with a USB-C port for power passthrough.


The new iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 11-inch model and $999 for the 12.9-inch, with 128GB of storage in the base configuration—twice the storage seen before. Apple is taking orders now, and the tablet will ship to buyers next week. The Magic Keyboard is coming in May, however.


Listing image by Apple



Source: Apple’s new iPad Pro has trackpad support, lidar, and an 8-core GPU (Ars Technica)  


(To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)

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