In addition to overhauling its MacBook Air and Mac mini, Apple today also gave its iPad Pro lineup an upgrade that brings the tablet more in line with its iPhone X smartphones.
That includes the addition of Face ID, the demise of the home button, and an edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display. As a result, iPhone X gestures will come to iPad: swipe down from the upper-right for Control Center and swipe up for apps.
Notably, the new iPad Pro embraces USB-C, replacing the Lightning connector for charging. It will support USB 3.1 Gen 2 for high-bandwidth data transfers between cameras and musical instruments and support external displays up to 5K.
A next-gen $129 Apple Pencil will magnetically adhere to the iPad and charge wirelessly. A touch sensor on the stylus will recognize taps, according to Apple.
In terms of size, Apple unveiled a new 11-inch iPad Pro; that’s up from 10.5 inches, but doesn’t add any heft to the tablet’s body; it still weighs just a pound. The 12.9-inch will maintain that display size but come in a “dramatically smaller” body.
Both new iPad Pros are just 5.9mm thick, or 25 percent less volume than their predecessors.
The new iPad Pros run a new A12X Bionic chip with four performance cores and four efficiency cores. That provides “up to 35 percent faster single-core performance and a new performance controller for simultaneous use of all eight cores for an up to 90 percent boost during multi-threaded tasks,” Apple says. The seven-core Apple GPU offers up to twice the graphics performance.
The new tablets should get up to 10 hours of battery life.
The new 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, and the 12.9-inch version will start at $999. Both come in silver or space gray in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB configurations. Apple has also added a new 1TB option, which could set you back as much as $1,899 for the Wi-Fi and cellular 12.9-inch model. Pre-orders for all models begin today and the new iPads arrive on Nov. 7.
Apple is also offering a new Smart Keyboard Folio in space gray for $179 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $199 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. A new Smart Folio will also be on sale in a variety of colors for $79 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $99 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The existing 10.5-inch iPad Pro will remain on sale, beginning at $649.
Rob Marvin contributed to this report.