Apple has refreshed its high-end iPad Pro line-up with devices powered by its latest M2 chip, this time offering a new Apple Pencil hover experience, ProRes video capture, as well as superfast Wi-Fi 6E connectivity.
Available in both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models as its predecessor, the next generation iPad Pro use Apple’s newest M2 chip, used to power their current slate of MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro machines. Announced as part of a wave of iPad announcement this evening, the new machines will be available from October 26.
Powered by an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, the chip is 40 percent more powerful than the previous M1 chip, which Apple says makes it equipped to handle machine learning tasks. While the hardware upgrades are incremental in nature, the biggest feature impacting users is the new Apple Pencil hover feature, available on the new iPad Pro and upcoming iPadOS 16 operating system, which is available from 24 October and comes pre-installed in the new iPad Pro.
While devices from both ranges of iPad Pro share similar hardware, one notable difference is that only the larger 12.9-inch (2732 x 2048 pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch) iPad will offer the sharper Liquid Retina XDR Display with mini-LED backlighting, while the 11-inch model (2388 x 1668-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch) has a non-backlighting display.
Regardless, both screens allow the second generation Apple Pencil to interact with the iPad Pro’s screen in a new manner, as the Pencil can be detected up to 12 mm above the display, allowing users to see a preview of their mark before they make it.
Rather than making a rough estimate of where the Pencil’s tip will land, this added precision lets artists and illustrators sketch and make notes with greater precision. The ability to detect the Pencil means that with the Scribble app, text fields will automatically expand when the Pencil is detected near the screen. Apple says that third-party apps can also take advantage of this new feature to enable entirely new marking and drawing experiences.
In the rear, the new machines offer Apple’s Pro camera system – a 12MP Wide and 10MP Ultra Wide camera – capable of 2X optical zoom out and up to 5x digital zoom, and a True Tone flash. The devices are capable of 4K video recording at 24 frames per second (fps), 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps (Wide), and 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps.
The new iPad Pro models come equipped with the latest Wi-Fi 6E chip, for industry leading Wi-Fi speeds and connections that make the device twice as fast as previous models. The updated Wi-Fi + Cellular models with 5G also support more 5G networks globally.
The new iPad Pro is available for pre-orders from today, and go on sale in stores from Wednesday, October 26. Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch devices come in silver and space grey finishes, and in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities.
Prices for the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at S$1,249 for the Wi-Fi model and S$1,479 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, while the price for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at S$1,699 for the Wi-Fi model, and S$1,929 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
As with the Airpod Pro (2nd Generation), owners can get their new iPad Pro engraved with a mix of emoji, names, initials, and numbers for free, via the online store or through the Apple Store app.