Today, Apple released an update for the iPad Pro. The new 11 and 12.9-inch models are available for pre-order today, and they will be arriving in stores on March 25. These new iPads replace the previous generation from 2018, but is the 2020 version really that much better? In this post, I am going to go over the major differences and try to help you decide if the 2020 iPad Pro is a worthy upgrade or not.
What’s New: iPad Pro 2020
You won’t be surprised to hear that the new iPad is faster than the one before it. This is because of the A12Z Bionic Chip that Apple boldly claims is so fast that most PC laptops can’t keep up with it. Also new is the dual camera setup on the back of the device. It has 12MP Wide and 10MP Ultra Wide cameras, just like the iPhone 11. Tucked into this new, larger camera array is a brighter True Tone flash and a LiDar scanner that will help render AR simulations better than ever before.
The 2020 iPad Pro also has new video capabilities. 4K video recording can be captured at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps with the Wide lens and at 60 fps on the Ultra Wide. There is slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps on the wide lens and 240 fps on the Ultra Wide. You also get more room to store all your media because the base model now comes with 128GB of storage instead of 64GB.
The New Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
However, perhaps the most interesting thing about this new iPad is an accessory that launched alongside it. The new Magic Keyboard for iPad is the next step up from the Smart Keyboard that was available for the 2018 iPad Pro. It includes new, backlit keys, an adjustable floating hinge, USB-C charging and a first for any iPad keyboard – a built-in trackpad.
A trackpad? On an iPad? Many people have been clamoring for cursor support on the iPad for a while now. I have been one of those people. Last year, in iPadOS 13, cursor support was introduced as an accessibility feature to help those who have limited mobility interact with the iPad using a joystick or a mouse. Today, Apple took that one step further.
In iPadOS 13.4, Apple has included a completely new cursor interface for the iPad that was engineered to work seamlessly with the trackpad on the new Magic Keyboard. However, it also works with Bluetooth mice. iPadOS 13.4 will be available on March 24 as a free software update for all iPad Pro models, iPad Air 2 (and later), iPad 5th generation (and later), and iPad mini 4 (and later). Take a look at the video below for a demo of how that works.
Pricing: Is the New iPad Pro Worth It?
It depends. The 2020 iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 11-inch model and $999 for the 12.9-inch model. These are the same price points that the 2018 model sold for, so there is no price increase with the latest version. From this perspective, it looks like you are getting a lot more for your money. It’s an upgraded device, with more features, for the same money.
However, The 2018 iPad Pro is still a great tablet. I use one at work and have absolutely no problems with it. It is fast, reliable, and has a battery that easily lasts all day. It has access to the new cursor support that Apple is introducing with iPadOS 13.4, and if I wanted, I could even use the fancy new Magic Keyboard with the floating hinge, (although the $299 price tag for the 11-inch keyboard, and the $349 price tag for the 12.9-inch keyboard, is somewhat prohibitive for me).
If you work in education, or have a student in college, education pricing is available. The new 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $749 (US) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $899 (US). The second-generation Apple Pencil is available for $119 (US) and the new Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro is available for $159 (US) for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $179 (US) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for college students. The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro will be available for college students at $279 (US) for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $329 (US) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
So, would I like to own the 2020 iPad Pro? Absolutely. It looks amazing, but you know what is also kind of amazing? Apple is selling a refurbished 2018 iPad Pro for $549, and the 12.9-inch version for $699. Not everyone is completely sold on refurbished devices but Apple’s refurbished iPads come with all manuals and accessories, a new battery and outer shell, and the same 1-year warranty as a brand new iPad. They are basically brand new by all other metrics and to me, that is just as compelling as the new iPad Pro.