Since Apple is definitely not holding any large press events anytime soon (no company is, that’s for sure), it instead announced its latest iPad Pro with a simple online press release. The release includes some images and goes over the new features available with the genre-defining tablet.
As expected, the design of the 2020 iPad Pro fits with the designs of the 2019 iPhone 11 series, including that love-it-or-hate-it rear camera module. The camera includes a primary sensor, an ultra-wide secondary sensor, and a LiDAR sensor for help with depth.
While that’s all cool, the big news with the new iPad Pro isn’t really about the tablet at all, but rather an accessory for the tablet. The new Magic Keyboard accessory includes something Apple has fought for years: a trackpad. With this — and a software update to iPad OS 13.4 to support it — the iPad Pro now becomes less of a tablet and more of a laptop, similar to Microsoft’s long-running line of Surface PCs.
While it’s unclear at the moment what Apple’s plan is for this, it’s a distinct possibility that the iPad will now start cannibalizing Apple’s own sales of its popular MacBook laptops even more than it already has. Since MacBooks don’t have touchscreens (it’s unlikely Apple will ever change that), buyers looking for a more modern mobile computing experience can now turn to the iPad Pro without hesitation.
Apple’s press release for the new tablet and its companion keyboard even emphasizes that it is now “faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops” and shows how you can use it to perform functions you normally reserve for laptops, such as video editing and word processing.
The new iPad Pro comes in two screen sizes: 11 inches and 12.9 inches. There are four storage configurations starting at 128GB and going all the way as high as 1TB. There are also Wi-Fi-only and LTE models.
The entry price for a new iPad Pro is $799 for the 11-inch, 128GB, Wi-Fi-only model. That doesn’t include the Magic Keyboard, which costs $299 for the 11-inch model, bringing the lowest price for an “iPad laptop” to $1,100, or about the entry price of a MacBook Pro.
The iPad Pro is available to buy today but the Magic Keyboard won’t hit store shelves until May.