Apple's new iPad Pro has been announced. It'll come in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes based around the also-new A12Z Bionic chipset. It has an eight-core graphics processor and better cooling. The battery life still remains around the 10 hour mark.
Not much has changed in terms of the main design and it has the same sharply-cut edges with curved corners and smaller bezels from the 2018 iPad Pro.
There are new cameras with an ultra-wide 12MP lens, more microphones for better-quality audio recording, and a LiDAR scanner that should see them excel at augmented reality tasks and experiences.
The new iPad Pro is available to order now and will be available in stores starting next week.
Apple is the latest company to utilise LIDAR - which stands for Light Detection and Ranging - in its product line. Here it's primarily for use in Augmented Reality (AR) applications using Apple's ARKit standard.
iPads are also getting full trackpad support (yes, even older ones that can run iPadOS 13.4) and there's a new keyboard accessory as well. The Magic Keyboard integrates a trackpad especially for iPad and essentially turns your iPad into a lightweight MacBook. The Magic Keyboard also supports USB-C passthrough charging and is backlit, too.
- iPads are getting trackpad support with iPadOS 13.4
- Apple's new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro will help fulfil your working from home dreams
All the previous iPad Pro 2020 rumours
Apple revealed a new iPad Air and iPad mini 5 in 2019, and it looks like we're going to get an iPad Pro refresh over the coming weeks. We're expecting Apple to announce some sort of update in late March, although it could be via press release or virtually due to the coronavirus.
Reports suggest the next generation of iPad Pros will take a leaf out of iPhone 11 Pro's book, especially in the camera department. Here's everything we have heard so far, as well as what we expect.
- Early 2020, probably March
We're expecting to see the new iPad Pros before the end of March - as in 2018 and 2019, Apple often does some kind of iPad refresh early in the year. At the moment no official date has been set. Last year we got the new iPad Air as well as the latest-generation iPad mini.
- iPad Pro 11: Around 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm, 468g
- iPad Pro 12.9: Around 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm, 631g
Apple redesigned the iPad Pro lineup in late 2018 and we aren't expecting huge changes to the 2020 models.
In fact, the design is rumoured to remain largely the same, meaning super-slim bezels, USB Type-C for charging and data plus the ability to attach the Apple Pencil (second-generation) magnetically to the side and charge it wirelessly.
- iPad Pro 11: 11-inch, Liquid Retina, 2388 x 1668, 264ppi
- iPad Pro 12.9: 12.9-inch, Liquid Retina, 2732 x 2048, 264ppi
With the design of the new iPad Pro models expected to stay the same, we're expecting the same display sizes as the 2018 iPad Pro models too.
If this is the case, the 2019 iPad Pros should come in an 11-inch model and a 12.9-inch model. Both devices are expected to offer True Tone technology, ProMotion technology and a fully laminated display with an anti-reflective coating.
There is some speculation about the displays being upgraded to Micro-LED panels, though it's highly possible that Apple will stick with Liquid Retina IPS displays.
- iPad Pros: Triple rear camera, TrueDepth front camera
The rear camera specifications are expected to see an upgrade in the new iPad Pro models. According to rumours, a triple rear camera will arrive on the 2019 iPad Pro devices, mimicking the iPhone 11 Pro models.
The iPhone Pro rear cameras are able to shoot ultra-wide photos and videos, whilst also offering improved low light images thanks to Night Mode. It is expected that the iPad Pros will also offer the same capabilities and features.
There has also been talk about a 3D sensor system that will be a more advanced version of Face ID with the ability to allow users to create three-dimensional reconstructions of rooms, objects and people. Details on this are sketchy, but it could be that the device will have a Time-of-Flight camera - which uses infrared light to determine depth information.
Hardware and specs
- A13X processor, multiple storage options, Apple Pencil compatibility, stereo speakers
The next-generation iPad Pro models are expected to come with Apple's newest processor - expected to be the A13 - though for the iPad Pro models, we're expecting the A13X. Some rumours are suggesting it could be called the A14X instead, though.
Storage options are likely to be similar to the current models - 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB - and battery capacities are likely to be improved slightly but still around the 10-hour mark. It wouldn't be too surprising to see the 64GB model replaced with a 128GB model though. MicroSD won't be on board as Apple doesn't offer it in any devices.
Apple Pencil compatibility will no doubt be on the new iPad Pro models though, as it has been since the beginning of the Pro line (second-generation Apple Pencil) and we also expect to see Face ID facial recognition and stereo speakers.
Apple's iPad OS was made available to all iPads from iPad Air 2 and newer in September 2019, and no doubt the new iPad Pros will also launch on the platform when they arrive, probably with a few extra features.
You can read all about the features that come with iPadOS now in more detail in our separate feature, but as a quick summary, these are some of the key features:
- New home screen
- Dark mode
- Sidecar with Catalina
- New multitasking features
- Text-editing gestures
- Safari improvements
- Files app
- Font management
- Reminders and Find My
Apple iPad Pro 2020 rumours: What's happened so far?
Here's everything we have heard so far about the next iPad Pro models.
17 March 2020: Did Apple's own website reveal four new iPad Pro models are coming?
Four new iPad Pro models were reportedly spotted in a Chinese user manual for iPadOS 13 on Apple's website.
19 February 2020: iPad Pro launching in March despite manufacturing slow-down
With coronavirus dominating so many headlines, it would be surprising for Apple to delay its iPad Pro launch for the year, but Apple intents to unveil its next tablets on schedule even if that means limited availability to begin with.
22 January 2020: New smart keyboards could be backlit
As well as new tablets for 2020, it's said Apple is planning to refresh its smart keyboard accessories by adding backlighting beneath the keys.
27 December 2019: iPad Pro 2020 renders imagine what it looks like
Renders were published showing the iPad Pro complete with the triple camera system that graces the back of the iPhone 11 Pro series.
2 December 2019: Could the new iPad Pros have Mini-LED displays
This report - via 9to5Mac - suggested that the displays in the new iPad Pro lineup will switch to Mini-LED and that other products will also go the same way, with the MacBook Pro 16-inch also switching to the upgraded tech during 2020, possibly at the same time as a MacBook Pro 14-inch is launched to replace the current 13-inch.
It was also suggested the new iPad Pros will be based around a beefed-up Apple A14X processor.
12 November 2019: Next Apple iPad Pro expected first half of 2020, with focus on AR
Bloomberg reported the next iPad Pro models are expected in the first half of 2020 and they will come with a new 3D sensor system.
The report said people familiar with the matter have said the system has a new camera module with two sensors and a small hole for the 3D system, letting people create three-dimensional reconstructions of rooms, objects and people. for augmented reality (AR).
4 October 2019: Apple might have a haptic on-screen keyboard in future so you can feel the 'keys'
Could Apple have a tactile touchscreen keyboard on its iPads in future? A patent, discovered by Patently Apple, shows a next-gen haptics tech known as Static Pattern Electrostatic Haptic Electrodes. A variety of voltages could be applied which would make typing on the device feel different.
The site said such efforts could mean that touchscreen keyboards could, in future, potentially emulate the feel of more traditional keyboards - even with concave-feeling 'keys' - so users would be able to find their place on the keyboard without looking down at it.
2 September 2019: Next iPad Pro to offer 3D sensing camera
MacRumours reported that The Elec has claimed Apple is planning to offer 3D sensing camera technology in early next year. The technology is also expected to come to the iPhone in 2020, but based on this report, the iPad Pro models will get it first.
22 August 2019: Next iPad Pro to feature same design but camera and processor upgrades
Bloomberg reported several details surrounding the next iPad models. It claimed the 2019 iPad Pros would feature the same design as their predecessors but with the same upgrades as the 2019 iPhones, including camera and processor.
12 August 2019: Next iPad Pro could feature same triple camera as iPhone XI
Japanese site Macotakara claimed sources within the Chinese supply chain have said the new iPad Pro could have a triple rear camera in a square setup - like the 2019 iPhone Pro models are expected to offer.