Apple unveils new iPad Pro with trackpad support
18 March 2020, 14:24
The company’s tablet moves closer to being a laptop replacement.
Apple has unveiled an updated version of its iPad Pro tablet, with a new keyboard which includes trackpad support for the first time.
The introduction of a trackpad brings an on-screen cursor icon normally used to navigate non-touchscreen devices like laptops to Apple’s tablet and its iPadOS software for the first time.
The trackpad is built into a new Magic Keyboard and cover which also includes a new viewing position where the iPad “floats” above the keyboard.
The updated iPad has also been given an extra ultra-wide camera lens and a LiDAR scanner used in augmented reality.
Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said: “We’re making iPad even more capable and versatile by bringing trackpad support to iPadOS.
“We carefully considered the best way to integrate trackpad use into a touch-first environment while retaining everything our customers know and love about iPad.
“We’re thrilled to bring this new way of interacting with iPad to the millions of people using iPadOS today.”
The addition of the trackpad brings the iPad closer to some of its rivals – most notably Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet-laptop hybrid devices – which feature a laptop-style keyboard with a trackpad but also a detachable screen which can be used as a tablet.
Apple made the announcement alongside that of an update to its MacBook Air, which has been upgraded to include the firm’s latest keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism under the keys, following some issues with the previous design on its laptop range.
The new MacBook Air has also been given a performance and storage boost, and will start at £999 and can be ordered from Monday, Apple said.
Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad product marketing, said: “From students and consumers buying their first computer to customers looking to upgrade, everyone loves the Mac, and they especially love MacBook Air.
“Today we’re giving it a huge update, with two times faster performance, the new Magic Keyboard, double the storage, a new lower price of £999 and an even lower price for education.
“With its stunning, thin and light design, brilliant Retina display, all-day battery life and the power and ease-of-use of macOS, MacBook Air is the world’s best consumer notebook.”
Apple confirmed the new iPad Pro could be ordered from Wednesday, starting at £769.