Apple debuts new iPad Pro with LiDAR scanner, trackpad support & hinged cover

Ever since Apple debuted its first iPad Pro a few years ago, the Cupertino-based firm has tried to bill it as a mobile alternative to your PC or notebook. In our view it has not been able to do so, but the latest 2020 model of iPad Pro just might have the necessary specs, features and operating system.

The device was unveiled yesterday to very little fanfare, which is likely down to the current COVID-19 pandemic putting any kind of event or gathering at risk.

As such the new iPad Pro is already available for pre-order Stateside, with it expected to ship on 25th March. There are two differently sized models on offer, 11″ (~R13 917) and 12.9″ (~R16 530), with the 128GB WiFi flavour for each costing $799 and $949 respectively.

No word on local pricing and availability at this stage, but we’ll keep our readers in the loop on that front.

For now let’s run through what the new iPad Pro is sporting. Here the big aspect to highlight is the A12Z Bionic chipset powering the tablet, which features eight cores and the claim from Apple that it is more powerful than most Windows notebooks. Precisely which ones they are referring to is unclear, but Apple certainly has its eye on converting the Windows crowd over to its new iPad Pro.

Other elements to talk about include up to 10 hours of battery life and support for gigabit LTE (no 5G sadly), as well as triple lens camera setup on the rear comprising of a 12MP wide, 10MP ultra-wide and a LiDAR scanner for depth sensing.

We’ve seen smartphone makers opt for a ToF (Time of Flight) lens to handle their depth sensing in recent years, but Apple’s option appears geared towards use in applications which require users to take images.

We also need to mention that iPadOS running on the new Pro also supports keyboards with trackpads, which is a very handy feature indeed, along with a new smart cover which features a fixed hinge to orientate the tablet much like a notebook would. This should make viewing angles and general ergonomics better for users, but we’ll need to test it out ourselves to find out.

Whether the new iPad Pro can indeed win over Windows notebook users remains to be seen, but we’re guessing the price tag and functionality of iPadOS will play a big part here.


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