Apple is finally giving the iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini a refresh.
After years of seemingly minor performance boosts, Apple took the wraps off redesigned models of both popular computers, introducing a new iPhone X-inspired iPad Pro that drops the home button and redesigned MacBook Air successor that looks more like the company’s other 2018 laptops than the old Air, which the company hadn’t redesigned in several years.
The new iPad Pro, as expected, does, indeed, feature an edge-to-edge display. The company has dropped the home button and fingerprint sensor in favor of thinner bezels around the edges and facial recognition, similar to what it did on last year’s iPhone X and this year’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.
Thanks to the thinner bezels, screen size has been increased to 11 inches from 10.5 inches on the smaller iPad Pro, while the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s screen real estate remains 12.9 inches, but the actual device becomes more compact, shrinking to roughly the size of a sheet of paper.
Also as expected, the company dropped its proprietary Lightning connector found on iPhones and older iPads in favor of the USB-C standard used by most modern laptops, including Apple’s own line. The move to USB-C, while a bit surprising given Apple’s ecosystem of Lightning accessories, is a welcome move that will finally allow Apple’s tablet to more easily utilize accessories and cables other computers and tablets use without the need for adapters. The new iPads can also actually charge other devices, such as a drained iPhone, assuming you have the proper cable.
A souped-up A12 processor, a variation to the one found in the latest iPhones, powers the tablet. Apple says the device’s 8-core processor can rival PCs sold in the last year running Intel’s powerful Core i7 processor. The company also claims the graphics on the new iPad Pro can rival that of an Xbox One S game console, even bringing out 2K Games to demo an updated version of the popular NBA 2K video game.
Apple also introduced a new Apple Pencil stylus to replace the older model that charged by the Lightning connector. The new stylus magnetically attaches to the iPad to charge, unlike its predecessor, which had to be plugged into the device for a quick charge.
The 11-inch version starts at $799, and the 12.9-inch version starts at $999. They are available for order starting Tuesday and in stores on Nov. 7.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Eli Blumenthal