APPLE HAS LAUNCHED its new iPad Pro lineup; 11in and 12.9in tablets that offer Face ID and USB-C for the first time.
The former, Apple boasts, is the same size as the now-defunct 10.5in model, while the 12.9in model is "dramatically smaller" than its predecessor. Both models sport Liquid Retina 'near-border' displays and both measure in at just 5.9mm thick; which in the case of the 12.9in model is a 15 per cent reduction in chub.
As expected, the new iPad Pros are the first to ditch the now-ageing physical home button. Instead, Apple has kitted them out with the same TrueDepth camera system found on its latest iPhones, enabling users to unlock their iPad by gawping gormlessly at it.
The lack of a home button also sees the iPad adopting the same gesture controls as the iPhone; you now swipe up from the bottom to return to the home screen and to switch between apps, for example.
They 2018 iPad Pros also the first iDevices to dump Apple's proprietary Lightning port in favour of USB-C. While this makes a whole lot of cables and dongles redundant, it equips the iPad with a bunch of new features; it can now hook up to 5K displays, for example, and can be used to charge your battery-slurping iPhone.
Under the hood of the new tablets, you'll find Apple's new A12X Bionic CPU. Like the A12, it's a 7nm eight-core CPU, and Apple claims it's up to 80 per cent faster than the A11 Bionic chip found in last year's iPad Pros, and speedier than "92 per cent of PCs" on the market.
This new chip comes paired with an Apple-designed, seven-core GPU, which the firm claims offers twice the performance of the previous generation. Apple's Neural engine, which is capable of delivering five trillion operations to the second, also makes its way to the iPad for the first time.
Apple will offer a new Smart Keyboard Folio alongside its new iPads, along with a second-gen Apple Pencil, which can now charge wirelessly by magnetically attaching to the top the tablet.
The iPad Pro will be made available with a choice of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB, or 1TB storage. It'll start shipping on 7 November along with the new MacBook Air and Mac Mini, and can be pre-ordered now with starting prices of £769 and £919 for the 11in and 12.9in models, respectively. µ
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