At its event, Apple announced a new iPad Pro that looks almost nothing like the tablet we know. With screen bezels slimmed down to a bare minimum, the iPad Pro omits the home button in favor of Face ID security. The display can be either 11 inches or 12.9 inches by diagonal and Apple calls it “Liquid Retina” because its corners are rounded off with a pixel-masking approach. Rad!
There are two particularly important changes for iOS musicians. The first is the 3.5mm headphone jack’s removal, and the second is the introduction of USB C in place of the old Lightng port. The tradeoff is speed and power – the iPad Pro’s USB C port is USB 3.1 bb xgen 2-compatible, supporting up to 10-gigabit transfer speeds and external displays with a resolution as high as 5K. However, individual apps have to support the feature. External storage over USB-C is not allowed as well – so typically Apple! However, the iPad Pro can now charge your iPhone, which is convenient.
To ease new users into USB-C, Apple will offer the following new accessories
- USB-C Charge Cable, 1m, $19
- USB-C to SD Card Reader, $39
- USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter, $9
In terms of hardware, the new iPad Pro is powered by the 7nm 12AX Bionic chip, which has four performance cores and four efficiency cores for 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 in multi-threaded tasks.3 A seven-core, Apple-designed GPU achieves up to twice the graphics performance. Battery life is rated at the standard 10 hours per charge, which is quite acceptable for a machine this powerful.
The new iPad Pro starts at $799 (64GB) for the 11-inch model and $999 for the 12.9-inch size. The top-of-the-range model with 1TB storage and LTE costs $1,899. Availability starts November 7. I think the fast. sleek hardware and standard USB-C connectivity make it a wonderful tablet for musicians and producers, although the price tag does make it a significant investment.