Apple Announces New iPad Pro and MacBook Air

Jack Turner

Today, Apple has announced two new products to its line up, with an updated iPad Pro and MacBook Air.

The new models bump their predecessors off the Apple Store (or will do, when they all reopen). But, it's unlikely you'll miss the older devices, given the improvements you'll get with the new models, including faster processors and better keyboards.

Both will be available within the week, assuming Apple can navigate the supply lines currently being affected by the global pandemic.

Torn between a Pro and an Air? See our guide – Which MacBook Should I Buy?

The New Apple iPad Pro

The Apple iPad Pro is the most powerful tablet in Apple's arsenal, and it's just been given an upgrade, for both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models.

First up, the processor, which in the previous model was the A12x, has now been replaced with the A12z. Until we have one in our hands we can't say exactly how fast it is, but the previous iPad Pro was certainly no slouch when it came to performance, so we'd expect big things. Apple itself is saying that the new iPad Pro is ‘more powerful than most Windows laptops'.

The laptop comparison is an interesting one, as that certainly seems to be the market that Apple is aiming at here. Alongside the iPad Pro is Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, which as the name suggests, has an actual built-in trackpad, which is a first for Apple in terms of compatibility with its iPad range.

The addition makes the iPad Pro seem much more like a laptop than a tablet. Throw in a mouse, and you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference.

As we're talking Apple, the Magic Keyboard isn't included, and will cost you another $299 for the 11-inch model and $349 for the 12.9-inch. It's worth noting that it's also compatible with the previous Pro model, too.

The other headline feature is its depth-scanning LIDAR camera features. This is a technology that we've seen on phones recently, but has to date eluded the iPad. The technology is especially useful for functions such as augmented reality.

The new iPad Pro models can be ordered now on the Apple website, and will ship from the 25th of March. Prices start at $799 for the 11-inch and $949 for the 12.9-inch, for the base 128GB models.

The Magic Keyboard models aren't expected to ship until May, although there's a real chance these dates could move given the current pandemic.

See our guide to the Best Business Tablets

New Apple MacBook Air

Not to be left out, the MacBook Air has also had a refresh today, with the new model bringing an improved keyboard and better specs.

First, that keyboard. The ire of many an Apple fan, the company has been through the ringer in the past year for its keyboard problems, which included miss presses and general quality faults. Apple even started repair programs in a bid to resolve the issues.

The new MacBook Air has adopted Apple's ‘scissor-switch' keyboard, ditching the ‘butterfly' mechanism that seems to have caused so many problems up to now. Time will tell how much better it is, but the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses the same type, and has so far escaped internet scorn or recall programs…

The Air has also received a performance boost, with a 10th generation Intel Core processors up to i7. Not only that, but Intel Iris Plus Graphics should mean better handling of graphics, with Apple claiming 80% performance.

Users will even get twice the base storage as before, as it starts at 256GB rather than 128GB.

The new MacBook Air replaces the old one, and is a much more attractive prospect. Aside from the fact that it's faster and has an improved keyboard, it's also cheaper, starting at $999, compared to the previous models $1,099 price tag.

It can be ordered now, and will (supposedly) ship from the 23rd of March.

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Jack is the Content Manager for Tech.co. He has been writing about a broad variety of technology subjects for over a decade, both in print and online, including laptops and tablets, gaming, and tech scams. As well as years of experience reviewing the latest tech devices, Jack has also conducted investigative research into a number of tech-related issues, including privacy and fraud.

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