The new Apple iPad Pro 2020 includes technology never seen before on a tablet. This includes 3D-sensing LiDAR capabilities, laptop-besting performance and enhanced camera and audio capabilities. We’ll cover all of this in our upcoming review, however, another standout feature is trackpad and mouse support. You can experience this with the cleverly designed 2020 Magic Keyboard accessory.
Clever cantilever keyboard
The iPad Pro 2020 Magic Keyboard cover may be the biggest iPad productivity upgrade yet, as it includes a trackpad for precise cursor control on the 11 or 12.9” touch screen tablet. It features a cantilevered stand for a viewing angle adjustment of up to 130° (90° is a right angle) and has a USB-C port for charging.
The Magic Keyboard has strong magnets that firmly hold the iPad so it can ‘float’ above the keyboard. Apart from looking great, the design reduces the overall footprint for using in tight spaces like airplane trays and shallow desks.
The additional USB port means that you can charge your iPad while using its internal USB-C port to connect to external hard drives and cameras.
The keyboard has been upgraded to the type you’d find on a laptop. It uses Apple’s latest scissor mechanism, with 1mm of travel, and the keys light up for use at night.
When you’re ready move, the Magic Keyboard detaches and folds around the iPad to prevent scratches.
The new trackpad and mouse support is part of iPadOS 13.4, so it will flow on to other iPad Pro models. Apple confirms that the backlit Magic Keyboard cover is backwards compatible with Gen 3/4 12.9” and Gen 1/2 11” iPad Pros.
On-screen, Apple has created a special circular ‘cursor’, similar to a mouse pointer when using the trackpad. This can adapt to what you’re interacting with, so it will change shape for entering text or selecting buttons.
Gestures are also supported for swiping between desktops or accessing control and multi-function panels. In essence, the gestures are similar to those that you’d use on MacBook trackpads.
iPad Pro 2020 Price and Availability
Towards the end of March
Magic Keyboard in May
Silver and Space Grey
1-year warranty and optional cost Apple Care+
11/12.9” Wi-Fi/LTE base models (128GB) from $1329/1579 and $1649/1899
Magic Keyboard cover 11/12.9” 11/12.9” $499/589
Apple Pencil Gen 2 $219
Smart Keyboard cover 11/12.9” $299/349
iPad trade-in program may apply
GadgetGuy’s take – iPad Pro 2020 has some stand-out features
Is it better than an Android tablet?
The Samsung S6 Wi-Fi/LTE (GadgetGuy article here) costs $1299-1499 and accessories are a lot cheaper. It has a Surface-like kickstand, fast 45W charging and detachable keyboard/magnetic pen. Android has a huge selection of Apps, and the 4096-pressure Pen is excellent for designers. However, the new iPad Pro has hardware and capabilities beyond many Android tablets, such as its Augmented Reality LiDAR sensor, ultra-wide camera, 5 microphones and other capabilities.
Is it better than Windows on Arm?
Samsung has Windows on ARM Galaxy Book2 (GadgetGuy Review here Tablet/3:2 OLED/Pen) and Galaxy BookS (GadgetGuy review here – Clamshell, 16:9 IPS, No Pen). Microsoft has the Surface Pro X (GadgetGuy review here – tablet, 3:2 IPS, Pen). Lenovo and HP have WOA options. These are all excellent devices at around $1699 (Microsoft charges about $500 extra for the Pen and keyboard). It all depends if you are happy to use Windows on ARM, which does have its compromises.
Is it better than a full-fat Windows 10 Surface Pro?
The Surface Pro uses an Intel/AMD x86 64-bit device that is found on Windows laptops and some Macs. The 10” Surface Go ($599/839 plus pen/keyboard) and the 12.5” Surface Pro 7 ($1249-3749 plus Pen/Keyboard $338) offer a Windows computing experience in a portable tablet format, if this is what you’re after. HP, Lenovo and others also offer Surface-like devices too, so there’s a lot of choice.
Care: While this looks like a global model, eSIM IMEI numbers
must be activated in the country of original sale, e.g. Australian stock is
pre-registered to Australian Telcos. Once activated here, the eSIM will then
work overseas. Nano SIM has no pre-registration.