— Apple unveiled a new version of the iPad Pro at an event in Brooklyn on Oct. 30, 2018.
— Apple’s new iPads just took a major leap forward
Apple announced two new iPads during a press event in Brooklyn on Tuesday, including a new 11-inch iPad Pro and a 12.9-inch model. They’re both completely redesigned and no longer have Home buttons.
But they’re going to be a tough sell to people who just “need an iPad” and can save a bunch of money with Apple’s regular $329 iPad, which was refreshed just a couple of months ago.
The new models sure look nice, though, and the new Pros represent a major leap forward for the iPad.
Sharp corners replace the more rounded edges of earlier iPads. The display seems just as good as my year-old iPad Pro, but I love that it runs from the top to bottom, which makes it easy to just pick up the iPad without worrying if you’re holding it upside down or not.
According to Apple, “The new iPad Pro is a huge step forward for powerful, creative, mobile computing; it has an all-new thinner design, speeds through projects with the super-fast A12X Bionic chip and unlocks with a glance using Face ID in any orientation — while you’re sitting or standing, with iPad Pro on your desk or lap, with the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “There has never been a mobile device anything like the new iPad Pro; it has a gorgeous edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display that curves into the corners, breakthrough performance that outperforms most laptops, Face ID, support for the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil, advanced new cameras and sensors for the best AR experiences ever in any device, a high-speed USB-C connector, louder speakers, faster wireless and more, all packed into a thinner device that has all-day battery life and is 25 percent smaller in volume.”
I prefer the 11-inch model of the two, which feels about the same as last year’s 10.5-inch model in my hand, but has a nice extra bit of screen to look at. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a noticeably smaller footprint than last year’s model but still feels too big to me. Maybe that just takes some getting used to.
There’s a new iPad Pencil stylus with support for gestures that let you switch between the different digital brush styles. You won’t lose this one as easily as last year, since it clips to the side of the iPad with magnets. It even wirelessly charges when attached to the iPad, an improvement over the silly Lightning plug from last year.
For work, you can attach a keyboard. It felt just like the keyboard Apple launched with last year’s iPad Pro 10.5 but can adjust the screen to two different viewing angles, which is a nice touch.
You’ll pay more for the iPad Pencil and a keyboard, though, which cost $129 and $179, respectively. That’s a lot to swallow considering the 11-inch iPad starts at $799 with 64GB of storage and the 12.9-inch model starts at $999. Most people might want to consider just getting a new MacBook Air, which starts at $1,199.