Apple Announces New iPad Pro & Magic Keyboard with Trackpad

The world is a chaotic place right now, and in the midst of it all, Apple announced a new iPad Pro with a 3D scanning camera, a new Magic Keyboard with a trackpad, and an iPadOS update that includes trackpad support. The iPad Pro 2020 is Apple's most advanced tablet to date, featuring 3D scanning camera technology for an improved augmented reality experience, as well as the A12Z Bionic Chip, edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display, dual-camera, and Pro Audio system. The new Magic Keyboard's trackpad will finally go head to head with most Windows PC laptops, with its new cursor for navigating, editing, and gestures. Here's everything you need to know about the new iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, including pre-order and release date, cost, and shipping dates. Let's get started!

Related: Apple Announces Big Changes for WWDC 2020 in Response to COVID-19

iPad Pro 2020 

There are numerous new upgrades and features to get excited about, so let's talk about how the iPad Pro is different from Apple's previous offerings and why it's more like a laptop than ever before.

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Price, Pre-Order Date & Shipping Date

Price: Starts at $799 for 11-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi model and $999 for 12-inch Wi-Fi model.

Release Date: Pre-orders start March 18 and shipping begins the following week.

The New LiDAR Scanner for 3D Augmented Reality Experiences

Ok, first of all, what even is a LiDAR Scanner? This scanner is designed to measure distances, both indoors and out, and transmit these depth points to your iPad's camera and motion sensors. This information is processed through the A12Z Bionic Chip, and it makes augmented reality (AR) experiences more detailed and realistic than ever before. The LiDAR Scanner makes improvements not only to games, but also practical applications like Apple's Measure app, which will offer a new Ruler View with smaller measurements, thanks to this new technology. 

A12Z Bionic Chip

Apple's latest Bionic chip features an eight-core GPU. This, in combination with a Neural Engine, allows users to edit 4K video, design 3D models, and use next-generation apps that have never before been possible on an iPad. This chip is what makes the new iPad Pro more powerful than most Windows PC laptops, bringing Apple ever closer to making the iPad a true laptop replacement. The downside? While this latest iPad supports more LTE bands than any other tablet on the market, it doesn't deliver on the 5G support we hoped for

Edge-to-Edge Liquid Retina Display

Apple's most advanced display is included in both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. LDR works together with True Tone technology to offer high definition, vivid color and detail. ProMotion adjusts the iPad's refresh rate up to 120 Hz, meaning this tablet is highly responsive and offers smooth scrolling. And, with Apple's anti-reflective coating, you won't have to deal with glare as you work or play on your iPad Pro.  

iPad Pro Camera System

Apple sure does love adding multiple cameras to its devices, and the iPad Pro is no exception. The iPad Pro 2020 features both a 12MP Wide camera for both photo and video, and also a 10MP Wide camera with two zoom settings for a field of view. The Pro can film with both cameras at once, so photographers and videographers can capture more perspectives in more ways.

iPad Pro Audio

I was trying to figure out a way to describe the new iPad Pro's sound system, and discovered that I was thinking along the same lines as our friends at Apple; we both decided to call it Pro Audio! Apple's latest tablets feature five, studio-quality mics along with four speakers. These mics and speakers automatically adjust to capture and play sound, no matter what position you hold it in, or if it's oriented to Portrait or Landscape mode.


Magic Keyboard with Trackpad

Possibly more exciting than the new iPad Pro is the trackpad that Apple has added to the new Magic Keyboard with built-in trackpad. Apple says it has reimagined the trackpad to work with an iPad, rather than copying from the Mac trackpad.

Price, Pre-Order Date & Shipping Date

Price: $299 for 11-inch model, $349 for 12.9-inch mode.

Release Date: May 2020.

What's an iPad without some fun accessories? We've already heard about the Apple Pencil in previous Apple announcements, and the second-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. How about a keyboard, though? Apple has already introduced the Smart Keyboard Folio, but now there's a detachable keyboard and trackpad Apple is calling the Magic Keyboard. This new keyboard will work with older iPad Pros as well.

So, what is the Magic Keyboard, and what can it do? The Magic Keyboard is a full-sized, backlit keyboard that allows users to attach their iPad Pro magnetically, then adjust to multiple viewing angles. This keyboard offers USB-C pass-through charging, so the port on the iPad Pro is free for connecting other accessories. The keyboard works with the latest version of iPadOS to facilitate responsive gestures, so you'll have your smoothest iPad workflow ever.

New iPadOS 13.4 Update with Improved Trackpad Support

Release date: March 24

If you've been frustrated with the responsiveness, or lack thereof, of your iPad's trackpad (currently available as an accessibility feature), you'll enjoy iPadOS 13.4 when it's released on March 24. Users will be able to utilize responsive gestures on the trackpad to easily access the app switcher, switch between apps, use Slide Over, and access the Dock and Control Center. Tasks like typing, writing, scrolling, working with spreadsheets, and selecting and editing text will be easier than ever before thanks to a new, circular cursor that highlights clickable areas and features. 

The iPad's new cursor and keypad features are set to be incorporated into several productivity apps, including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote They will allow users to write and edit in these apps more easily than ever before. Folders sharing for iCloud will make document sharing and collaboration easier than ever before; another key step in making the iPad Pro a true laptop replacement. 

New iPad Pro 2020: How Do You Like It?

Let me know if you ordered the new iPad Pro, and if so, which model? How do you like the new features, and is it helping you work more easily from home? 

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.