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New iPad Pro 2018: Apple unveils thinner iPad Pros powered by octa-core A12X Bionic chip

Alan Martin
30 Oct 2018
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Apple’s October event continues with a refreshed fleet of iPads

“iPad is a magical piece of glass that transforms into anything you want it to be,” said Tim Cook, introducing the iPad segment of Apple’s October event.

That magical piece of glass just got a bit smaller, and quite a lot more powerful. Powered by the new octa-core 7nm A12X Bionic chip, Apple revealed that the new iPads offer 35% faster single-core performance and 90% faster multi-core. To put this progress into perspective, the company says that it offers 1,000x the graphical performance of the original iPad. So probably worth upgrading, if you’re still labouring with the 2010 original.

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For creators, the Apple Pencil also gets a rather nice set of updates. For starters, it now is magnetic and will stick to the side of the iPad Pro when not in use. Better still, when it’s stuck to the side it’ll wirelessly charge to ensure that you’re never stuck without charge. Otherwise, it looks like more of the same, though it does have one more nice feature: tap twice on the side of the pencil and the head will change, depending on the app you’re using at the time.

Design-wise, it’s a solid improvement all-round. It’s now available in 11in and 12.9in sizes – which sounds familiar, but actually involves quite a bit of shrinking due to the thinner bezels. In fact, at just 5.9mm thin, the 12.9in model offers 25% less volume than its predecessor. Handily for a device that can be used for drawing, it’s now nearly exactly the same dimensions of a piece of A4 paper.

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The thinner device means that the home button is gone, and the new iPad Pro adopts the navigation of the iPhone X and Xs. That means no fingerprint reader, and Touch ID is replaced with Face ID, putting all security functions on your face.

Finally, it’s time to say goodbye to the Lightning port: the new iPad Pro is powered by USB Type-C, and it can now be used to recharge iPhones, letting you spread the all-day battery life to your phone.

Both versions of the 2018 iPad Pro will come in four different storage configurations, ranging from 64GB to 1TB, and will start at $799/£769 for the 11in version and $999/£969 for the 12.9in model. Like the new MacBook Air, the new iPad Pros are available to order today, and will be in shops on 7 November 2018.

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