Apple updates MacBook Air, Mac Mini and launches new iPad Pro, all with more goodness

; Date: March 18, 2020

Tags: Apple »»»» MacBook Air »»»» iPad

Today, Apple released some long expected updates to the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro. The MacBook Air received the long-awaited new Magic Keyboard which promises to fix the deep badness that is the Butterfly keyboard, while also getting performance and storage boosts. For the Mac Mini, you have to read carefully to even know it was updated, the newer model has performance and storage boosts. The new iPad Pro gets a long list of new features, from trackpad support to improved cameras to pro audio support and to a LIDAR sensor.
Source: Apple

MacBook Air improvements

The primary new feature is the new keyboard. Apple owners have suffered through several years of an abysmal keyboard that broke and easily filled up with dust. Apple claims the new Magic Keyboard fixes all that.

Their press release doesn't discuss this feature in much depth, interestingly. But, would Apple ever admit to having done something wrong? The press release talks about 1mm of key travel for good typing comfort - without acknowledging how aghast Apple users were over the previous keyboard. (Me? I have a 2012 MacBook Pro built before the horrid keyboard, and therefore I don't have direct experience of the keyboard, but have read plenty of complaints about it)

The new machine also features an interestingly powerful CPU - quad core is not what you'd expect in a MacBook Air, but there it is, and neither would you expect 3.8GHz CPU. Those are features you'd expect in a MacBook Pro. Possibly this CPU is a pricey option?

Since it is available for order on Apple's website today --

Model Configuration Discussion
The $999 base model 1.1GHz Dual-Core Core i3 Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz 256GB Storage Pre-configured model
$1299 model 1.1GHz Quad-Core Core i5 Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz 512GB Storage Pre-configured model
$200 add-on option 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory NOTE: 16GB of memory should cost $100 or less
$150 add-on option 1.2GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
$200 add-on option 1TB SSD NOTE: A 1TB M.2 SSD should cost closer to $100
$600 add-on option 2TB SSD NOTE: A 2TB M.2 SSD should cost closer to $200 but I see that the SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS 2TB Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V7S2T0B/AM goes for $488 currently, so Apple's price might not be so outrageous
$1,649 configuration 1.2GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory 512GB SSD storage Build-to-order option
$2,249 configuration 1.2GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory 2TB SSD storage Build-to-order option

The bottom line of these price figures is that, as expected, the feature Apple is glowing about so verbosely, requires spending the money to get the upgrade.

The most likely purchasing choice is to start with the $1299 model, leave the SSD as is, and bump the memory and CPU. That configuration costs $1,649, which is still pricey but not that bad.

Mac Mini improvements

For a long-time Mac Mini fan such as myself - the latest Mac Mini is underwhelming. The Intel NUC I currently own is a much better Mac Mini than anything Apple has ever built. And, it is sad that Apple couldn't bring themselves to make a bigger presentation of the update than to sheepishly tack it onto the end of the MacBook Air announcement.

In any case - Apple announced the Mac Mini has double the storage it previously had. That's a welcome improvement, I'm sure.

Model Configuration
$799 base 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor 8GB memory 256GB Storage
$1099 base 3.0GHz 6-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz 8GB memory 512GB Storage
$200 option 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
$200 option 16GB 2666MHz DDR4
$600 option 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
$1000 option 64GB 2666MHz DDR4
$200 add-on option 1TB SSD
$600 add-on option 2TB SSD
$100 option 10 Gigabit Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ‑45 connector)
$1299 configuration 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz) 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 Intel UHD Graphics 630 512GB SSD storage Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
$2299 configuration 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz) 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 Intel UHD Graphics 630 512GB SSD storage Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
$2999 configuration 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz) 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 Intel UHD Graphics 630 2TB SSD storage 10 Gigabit Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ‑45 connector)

Fully maxed out this looks to be quite a potent machine. Considering that one use case for the Mac Mini is back-end computations like code compilation or video rendering, there is a strong need for high compute performance. The fully maxed configuration is $2999 for:

But if you're careful with the configurator - the $1299 model has a much cheaper path to reach the same machine. Instead of paying Apple's eye-popping prices for memory, and skipping the 2TB SSD, we can save $1700 and do the memory upgrade ourselves. To get a sense of the upgradeability of the current model Mac Mini, see Apple's big upgrade to the Mac Mini still isn't what it should be

The new iPad Pro

The range of improvements in the new iPad Pro indicates where Apple is focusing its energy. It's not in the Mac Mini, nor in the MacBook Air, both of which received simple upgrades. Instead Apple's energy is focused on mobile devices like this new iPad Pro.

The back-side camera now supports ultra-wide-angle pictures, has dual cameras, and has 12 megapixel resolution. This greatly increases the picture-and-video-taking capabilities of the iPad Pro. Couple that with the ability to interface with studio-quality microphones, and the iPad Pro can now be used for pro-quality video production.

Often pro video production involves building a "rig" of a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, mounted in a bracket, that has a bunch of accessories added on, like microphones, lights, and an HDMI display. With the iPad Pro the camera and big display are available in one unit, simplifying the video-taking "rig" by eliminating the need for an add-on big screen.

Another example is the LIDAR scanner. This is the same sort of technology as is used in self-driving cars, where it is used to measure distances to other vehicles, and to get a better sense of what's happening on the road around the car. Adding such a scanner to an iPad opens the door to a range of new application types related to measuring physical spaces.

Finally, Apple wants us to start thinking of the iPad as a kind of laptop. With iPadOS they improved our capabilities of using USB keyboards and mice, and attaching disks over USB.

With iPadOS 13.4, Apple is adding support for trackpads. In part this is because of the Magic Keyboard product for the iPad Pro. But a footnote says the trackpad support works in a long list of iPad's, not just the iPad Pro.

Then there is a whole range of productivity applications, including Pages, Numbers and Keynote, that can make good use of a proper keyboard and trackpad.

I would love to have a regular desktop computer keyboard that had a good quality trackpad. But Apple isn't supplying such a keyboard, and instead is only supplying it for the iPad Pro. Sigh.

Price Configuration
$799 11 inch w/ 128GB storage
$899 11 inch w/ 256GB storage
$1099 11 inch w/ 512GB storage
$1299 11 inch w/ 1TB storage
$150 add-on Cellular support
$999 12.9 inch w/ 128GB storage
$1099 12.9 inch w/ 256GB storage
$1299 12.9 inch w/ 512GB storage
$1499 12.9 inch w/ 1TB storage
$299 add-on Magic Keyboard for 11 inch new iPad Pro
$349 add-on Magic Keyboard for 12.9 inch new iPad Pro
$179 add-on Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro 11‑inch
$199 add-on Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro 12.9‑inch
$129 add-on Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
$1327 laptop replacement configuration 11 inch iPad Pro w/ 256GB storage, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil
$1527 laptop replacement configuration 11 inch iPad Pro w/ 512GB storage, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil
$1577 laptop replacement configuration 12.9 inch iPad Pro w/ 256GB storage, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil
$1777 laptop replacement configuration 12.9 inch iPad Pro w/ 512GB storage, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil

If we take Apple at its word - to consider the iPad Pro a laptop replacement - the pricing for these configuration is eye-popping. Of course Apple wants us to pay those eye-popping prices because the more money we give Apple the happier Apple becomes? At those kind of prices, I'd rather buy the new MacBook Air rather than a decked-out iPad Pro. The only problem with that theory is the lack of a touch-screen MacBook of any kind, which I think is a huge failing on Apple's part. Cough--Cough--Microsoft Surface--Cough--Cough

Given that iOS devices now have excellent support for external storage, I do not understand the need for huge storage capacity inside the iPad. Apple wants a $500 premium for 1TB of storage, and we can see in retail channels that 1TB M.2 SSD's cost close to $100. Why is Apple charging such a high premium? And why should we pay Apple's prices for storage, when it is now so easy to use a portable external M.2 SSD drive with an iPad?

On the other hand - if an iPad really were to be used for shooting video, then 1TB of internal storage is an excellent choice.


New MacBook Air has more to love and is now just $999

The Most Popular Mac Now Has Up to 2x Faster Performance, the New Magic Keyboard and Twice the Storage

Cupertino, California — Apple today updated MacBook Air, the world’s most loved notebook, with faster performance, the new Magic Keyboard, twice the storage and a new lower price of $999, and $899 for education.1 The new MacBook Air delivers up to two times faster CPU performance2 and up to 80 percent faster graphics performance,3 letting customers breeze through daily activities and play more games. Now starting with 256GB of storage, MacBook Air allows customers to store even more movies, photos and files. With its brilliant 13-inch Retina display for vivid images and sharp text, Touch ID for easy login and secure online purchases, spacious trackpad, and all-day battery life combined with the power of macOS Catalina, it’s the best MacBook Air ever made.

“From students and consumers buying their first computer to customers looking to upgrade, everyone loves the Mac, and they especially love MacBook Air. Today we’re giving it a huge update, with two times faster performance, the new Magic Keyboard, double the storage, a new lower price of $999 and an even lower price of $899 for education,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing. “With its stunning, thin and light design, brilliant Retina display, all-day battery life and the power and ease-of-use of macOS, MacBook Air is the world’s best consumer notebook.”

Faster Everyday Performance

Offering quad-core processors for the first time, MacBook Air now delivers even more speed across everyday activities, from organizing photos and creating presentations to editing videos. Featuring the latest 10th-generation Intel Core processors up to 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.8GHz, MacBook Air delivers up to two times faster performance when compared to the previous generation. And with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, MacBook Air now delivers up to 80 percent faster graphics performance, so graphics-intensive activities like playing games and editing video are faster than ever.

The new MacBook Air with Intel Iris Graphics makes graphics-intensive activities like editing video faster than ever. -- Source: Apple

New Magic Keyboard

MacBook Air now features the new Magic Keyboard, first introduced on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. A redesigned scissor mechanism delivers 1mm of key travel for a comfortable and stable key feel, while the new inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys makes them easier to find without looking down. MacBook Air features a stunning unibody wedge design made from 100 percent recycled aluminum and comes in three finishes — gold, silver and space gray. The 13-inch Retina display delivers over 4 million pixels and millions of colors, so whether customers are reading an email, enjoying a movie or editing their photos, text is razor sharp and images are more true to life.

MacBook Air now features the new Magic Keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm of key travel for a comfortable and stable key feel. -- Source: Apple

Double the Storage

MacBook Air now starts with 256GB of storage, double that of the previous generation, so customers can store even more movies, photos and files. And for those who need even more storage capacity, MacBook Air offers up to a 2TB SSD, double the previous maximum storage.

Now starting with 256GB of storage, MacBook Air allows customers to store even more movies, photos and files. -- Source: Apple

Built-in Security and Privacy

MacBook Air comes with the Apple T2 Security Chip, Apple’s own custom-designed second-generation silicon, which checks that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with and provides on-the-fly data encryption for everything stored on the SSD. This allows MacBook Air and any Mac with the T2 chip to deliver the most secure boot process and storage of any notebook. The T2 also protects Touch ID information, so whether customers are unlocking their Mac, entering an online password or making online purchases, their information stays safe.

Additional Features

A three-mic array for more clear voice capture for FaceTime calls with friends and family. The industry-best Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and multi-touch navigation.

  • Thunderbolt 3 ports for data transfer, charging and video output in a single connector.
  • Support for up to a 6K external display, a first for MacBook Air.
  • Advanced stereo speakers for immersive, wide stereo sound for activities like watching Apple TV+ content or playing games in Apple Arcade.

MacBook Air features advanced stereo speakers for immersive, wide stereo sound and a three-mic array for more clear voice capture during FaceTime calls. -- Source: Apple

macOS Catalina

Every new MacBook Air comes with macOS Catalina, the latest version of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system. macOS has always been at the core of the Mac experience, and with apps like Safari, Mail, Photos, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, customers have powerful tools to do amazing things. macOS also makes MacBook Air the perfect companion device to iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with built-in Continuity features that allow users to make and receive phone calls without picking up their iPhone; automatically unlock their Mac with Apple Watch; copy and paste images, video and text straight from iPhone or iPad to a nearby Mac; and in macOS Catalina, extend the workspace of their Mac using an iPad and Sidecar. Security features keep users better protected and Voice Control lets users control their Mac entirely with their voice.

Updates coming to Pages, Numbers and Keynote offer a variety of new features aimed at unleashing creativity, improving productivity and enhancing collaboration. A wide selection of gorgeous new templates in Pages and Keynote gives users a head start on creating beautiful documents and, for the first time in iWork, users can add a drop cap to make a paragraph stand out with a large, decorative first letter. Collaboration will also become easier than ever with support for iCloud folder sharing and the ability to edit shared documents while offline.

MacBook Air is the perfect companion device to iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with built-in Continuity features. -- Source: Apple

Apple Services

Customers can also enjoy Apple services right on their MacBook Air, including new Mac versions of the Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV apps, as well as Apple News. Apple Arcade is available through the Mac App Store, bringing 100+ new and exclusive games to Mac customers. And for a limited time, customers who purchase a new MacBook Air can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ on the Apple TV app for free.4

Mac mini Also Updated Today

Whether they are using it as a desktop computer, a music and movie storage hub for the family, or as a code compile server for Xcode, customers love Mac mini. The standard configurations of Mac mini now come with double the storage capacity. The $799 configuration now comes standard with 256GB, while the $1,099 configuration features 512GB of storage, and every Mac mini is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum.

Pricing and Availability

Starting at $999, and $899 for education, the new MacBook Air is available to order starting today on apple.com and in the Apple Store app. MacBook Air will be available in stores starting next week. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at apple.com/mac.

  1. Education pricing is available to current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff and homeschool teachers of all grade levels. For more information, visit: apple.com/us-hed/shop.
  2. Testing conducted by Apple in February 2020 using preproduction 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-based MacBook Air systems with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 16GB of RAM and 2TB SSD, as well as shipping 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-based MacBook Air systems with Intel UHD Graphics 617, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD. Simulation of dynamical systems tested with MATLAB and Simulink R2019b Update 4 and Parallel Computing Toolbox using a vehicle dynamics model. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of MacBook Air.
  3. Testing conducted by Apple in February 2020 using preproduction 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-based MacBook Air systems with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 2TB SSD, as well as shipping 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-based MacBook Air systems with Intel UHD Graphics 617, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD. 3D title render speed tested with Final Cut Pro X 10.4.8 using a 10-second project with Apple ProRes 422 video at 3840x2160 resolution and 30 frames per second. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of MacBook Air.
  4. This special offer is available with the purchase of any Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or iPod touch and good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.

Apple unveils new iPad Pro with breakthrough LiDAR Scanner and brings trackpad support to iPadOS

New Magic Keyboard Designed for iPad Pro Features a Floating Design, Backlit Keyboard and Trackpad, Delivering the Best Typing Experience Ever on iPad

Introducing the most advanced iPad Pro ever and new Magic Keyboard. -- Source: Apple

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced its most advanced iPad Pro. Now with the A12Z Bionic chip, iPad Pro is faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops. The new iPad Pro adds an Ultra Wide camera, studio-quality mics and a breakthrough LiDAR Scanner that delivers cutting-edge depth-sensing capabilities, opening up more pro workflows and supporting pro photo and video apps. The LiDAR Scanner, along with pro cameras, motion sensors, pro performance, pro audio, the stunning Liquid Retina display and powerful apps, extends the lead of iPad Pro as the world’s best device for augmented reality (AR). The new iPad Pro is available to order starting today on apple.com.

With iPadOS 13.4, Apple brings trackpad support to iPad, giving customers an all-new way to interact with their iPad. Rather than copying the experience from macOS, trackpad support has been completely reimagined for iPad. As users move their finger across the trackpad, the pointer elegantly transforms to highlight user interface elements. Multi-Touch gestures on the trackpad make it fast and easy to navigate the entire system without users ever lifting their hand.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro with trackpad delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad. -- Source: Apple

Apple today also introduced the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. With a floating design with smooth angle adjustment, a backlit keyboard and trackpad, the Magic Keyboard delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad. The Magic Keyboard will be available for purchase in May.

“The new iPad Pro introduces advanced technologies never before available in mobile computing,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Combining the most advanced mobile display with powerful performance, pro cameras, pro audio, the breakthrough LiDAR Scanner and new Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, this is another huge leap forward for iPad. There’s no other device in the world like the new iPad Pro and we think our customers are going to love it.”

“We’re making iPad even more capable and versatile by bringing trackpad support to iPadOS,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We carefully considered the best way to integrate trackpad use into a touch-first environment while retaining everything our customers know and love about iPad. We’re thrilled to bring this new way of interacting with iPad to the millions of people using iPadOS today.”

Pro Performance with A12Z Bionic Chip

Built for the most demanding tasks, like editing 4K video or designing 3D models, iPad Pro gets another performance boost with the new A12Z Bionic chip. The eight-core GPU in the A12Z Bionic, along with an enhanced thermal architecture and tuned performance controllers, gives iPad Pro the highest performance ever in an iPad. Combined with the eight-core CPU and the powerful Neural Engine, which enables next-generation apps, there’s no other chip that can offer the incredible performance found in the thin and light design of iPad Pro. With great battery life lasting up to 10 hours,1 faster Wi-Fi connectivity2 and gigabit-class LTE that’s 60 percent faster3 with support for more LTE bands than any other tablet, customers can stay productive and creative all day.

The A12Z Bionic chip with the powerful Neural Engine offers incredible performance, enabling next-generation apps. -- Source: Apple

Pro Display

The edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display — in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes — is the world’s most advanced mobile display. Featuring P3 wide color support, it lets customers see photos, videos, apps and games in vivid, true-to-life detail. ProMotion technology automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120 Hz for ultra-smooth scrolling and responsiveness. And no matter where customers take iPad Pro or how they interact with it, True Tone, high brightness and an anti-reflective coating deliver the best viewing experience possible on any mobile device.

The stunning Liquid Retina display with True Tone, high brightness and an anti-reflective coating delivers an incredible viewing experience. -- Source: Apple

Pro Cameras

The Pro camera system on iPad Pro features a 12MP Wide camera for capturing stunning photos and 4K video, and now includes a 10MP Ultra Wide camera that zooms out two times to capture a much wider field of view. Adding a second camera doubles the photo and video possibilities, enabling different perspectives and multi-camera use — a game changer for creative pros.

iPad Pro captures stunning photos and 4K video, and now includes a 10MP Ultra Wide camera. -- Source: Apple

Pro Audio with Studio-Quality Mics

iPad Pro now features five studio-quality microphones for capturing super clean audio and the quietest details, and delivers an immersive sound experience with four-speaker audio that automatically adjusts to any orientation, no matter how it is held. The combination of pro cameras, pro audio and the large display make iPad Pro a versatile mobile studio for creative pros including filmmakers, video professionals, podcasters and other content creators.

Apps like DoubleTake by FiLMiC Pro, available next month, leverage the pro cameras and studio-quality mics to turn iPad Pro into a mobile video production studio.6 -- Source: Apple

Breakthrough LiDAR Scanner

The breakthrough LiDAR Scanner enables capabilities never before possible on any mobile device. The LiDAR Scanner measures the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away, works both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds. New depth frameworks in iPadOS combine depth points measured by the LiDAR Scanner, data from both cameras and motion sensors, and is enhanced by computer vision algorithms on the A12Z Bionic for a more detailed understanding of a scene. The tight integration of these elements enables a whole new class of AR experiences on iPad Pro.

Every existing ARKit app automatically gets instant AR placement, improved motion capture and people occlusion. Using the latest update to ARKit with a new Scene Geometry API, developers can harness the power of the new LiDAR Scanner to unleash scenarios never before possible.

The LiDAR Scanner improves the Measure app, making it faster and easier to automatically calculate someone’s height, while helpful vertical and edge guides automatically appear to let users more quickly and accurately measure objects. The Measure app also now comes with Ruler View for more granular measurements and allows users to save a list of all measurements, complete with screenshots for future use.

The enhancements to ARKit and the depth sensor in the new iPad Pro have allowed the developers behind Complete Anatomy to introduce a new mobility assessment tool, later this year, for physical therapists and their patients by empowering them with quantified information on their progress, tracking their mobility improvements throughout their recovery.6 -- Source: Apple

Trackpad Support Comes to iPadOS

iPadOS 13.4 brings trackpad support to iPad for the first time for a more natural typing experience and added precision for tasks such as writing and selecting text, working with spreadsheets and pro workflows. Designed specifically for the touch-first experience on iPad, the cursor appears as a circle that highlights user interface elements, text fields and apps on the Home screen and Dock, giving a clear indication of what users can click on. Fluid gestures on the trackpad make it easy to switch between apps, access the app switcher and activate the Dock, Control Center and apps in Slide Over.

Trackpad support in iPadOS is designed to work great with the apps customers use every day. From smoothly scrolling through web pages in Safari and photo libraries in Photos, to precisely editing text in Notes and quickly viewing and organizing your email in Mail, it’s a joy to use a trackpad with iPad. Most third-party apps work with no change at all, and developers can go even further with new APIs that let them deliver unique experiences in their apps.

Updates coming to Apple’s iWork suite of productivity apps — Pages, Numbers and Keynote — take full advantage of the trackpad and open up a whole new way to work with documents on iPad. Writing and editing text is a breeze in Pages, working with multiple objects in Keynote is easier than ever, and added levels of precision make working with even the largest spreadsheets a snap. Additional new features include gorgeous new templates in Pages and Keynote, giving users a head start on creating beautiful documents and, for the first time in iWork, users can add a drop cap to make a paragraph stand out with a large, decorative first letter. Collaboration will also become easier than ever with support for iCloud folder sharing and the ability to edit shared documents while offline.

iPadOS 13.4 brings trackpad support to iPad for a more natural typing experience. -- Source: Apple

Pro Accessories with Magic Keyboard

Joining the second-generation Apple Pencil4 and an updated Smart Keyboard Folio5 is the new Magic Keyboard. Attaching magnetically to iPad Pro, the Magic Keyboard puts the beautiful Multi-Touch screen on display with its floating design, working equally well on a lap or on a desk. Unique cantilevered hinges allow smooth adjustments of the viewing angle up to 130 degrees. The portable and protective design of the Magic Keyboard delivers a full-size keyboard with backlit keys and a scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm travel, delivering the best typing experience ever on iPad.

The Magic Keyboard features USB-C pass-through charging, keeping the USB-C port on iPad Pro free for accessories including external drives and displays. The click-anywhere trackpad on the Magic Keyboard complements the touch-first design of iPad for easy navigation and precise adjustments, adding even more versatility and productivity to the iPad Pro experience.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro puts the beautiful Multi-Touch screen on display with its floating design. -- Source: Apple

Pricing and Availability

  • The new iPad Pro is available to order starting today on (apple.com) apple.com and in the Apple Store app in 30 countries and regions, including the US. iPad Pro will be available in stores starting next week.
  • The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space gray finishes. A starting configuration of 128GB offers pro customers more room for their apps and content, along with 256GB, 512GB and 1TB configurations.
  • The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 (US) for the Wi-Fi model and $949 (US) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999 (US) for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149 (US) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model from (apple.com) apple.com.
  • Education pricing is available to current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff and homeschool teachers of all grade levels. 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. For more information visit: (apple.com) apple.com/us-hed/shop.
  • iPadOS 13.4 with trackpad support 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.
  • Trackpad support will be available on any iPad running iPadOS 13.4, and work with Apple’s Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2 and the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. Third-party mice connected over Bluetooth or USB are also supported.
  • The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro will be available for purchase in May for $299 (US) for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $349 (US) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.
  • The second-generation Apple Pencil for iPad Pro is available for $129 (US). The new Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro is available in space gray for $179 (US) for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $199 (US) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.
  • Customers in the US can trade in their eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card or credit toward their purchase. If the device isn’t eligible for credit, Apple will recycle it for free.
  • When customers buy online from Apple, they can make their iPad and Apple Pencil (2nd generation) their own with free engraving.
  • Customers get 3 percent Daily Cash when they buy iPad from Apple with Apple Card. Customers can extend their limited warranty with AppleCare+ and get 24/7 priority access to technical support.
  • Every customer who buys iPad from Apple can enjoy free Personal Setup in-store or online, and receive guidance on how to customize their iPad, set up email, find apps from the App Store and more.
  1. Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results may vary.
  2. When compared to the previous iPad Pro.
  3. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks.
  4. The second-generation Apple Pencil sold separately.
  5. Smart Keyboard Folio sold separately.
  6. Apps are available on the App Store. Title availability is subject to change. App features shown are for illustrative purposes only and may not currently be available for each app. Check with the app developer for feature availability. Apple Arcade requires a subscription.

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.