5 Things To Know About Apple's New iPad Pro

Going Pro

After unveiling redesigns for the MacBook Air and Mac Mini on Tuesday, Apple turned to the iPad Pro—the 2-in-1 tablet that, increasingly, Apple has been promoting as a full PC substitute that deserves consideration right alongside its Macs. Apple's major 2018 refresh to the iPad Pro aims to bring that vision closer to reality with a number of upgrades around productivity and performance. The new iPad Pro is "going to push what you can do on iPad—or any computer—even further," CEO Tim Cook said while unveiling the device at Apple's October event in Brooklyn.

What follows are five key things to know about the new Apple iPad Pro on specs, price and availability.

Display & Face ID

On Tuesday, Apple introduced the iPad Pro with a new display size of 11 inches—taking the place of the existing 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The larger iPad Pro model in the lineup is keeping the same display size, at 12.9 inches, but it's getting a 25-percent lower volume thanks to smaller bezels around the display. Both models will feature slim bezels and rounded corners around the screen, Apple said. The pixels per inch (ppi) is staying the same on the display, at 264 ppi, for both sizes of the iPad Pro.

In another major change, the new iPad Pro switches from fingerprint recognition (Touch ID) to facial recognition (Face ID) for authentication. The home button is also gone on the new iPad Pro, since it's no longer required for fingerprint log-in. As a result, the iPad Pro will now use the types of navigation gestures used on the iPhone X and XS.

Performance, Storage & Battery Life

Performance on the refreshed iPad Pro is getting a major boost with the inclusion of Apple's new A12X Bionic processor. The eight-core chip includes four cores for high-performance tasks and four cores for battery efficiency on less-intensive tasks. The A12X ultimately offers 35-percent faster single-core performance in the new iPad Pro, along with 90-percent faster multi-core performance, according to Apple. A new seven-core GPU will provide 2X faster graphics, as well.

For storage, the new iPad Pro will now be available with up to 1 TB, with other options including 64/256/512 GB of storage. And for battery life, both iPad Pro models will continue offering up to 10 hours on a charge.

Connectors & Portability

The new iPad Pro will include two significant connectivity changes. For the first, the tablet is switching to a USB-C port from a Lightning connector for charging and connecting to other devices. The move aims to make it easier to connect digital cameras, musical instruments and other devices for increased usefulness of the iPad Pro. The second change—which may be less popular—is that Apple has removed the 3.5mm headphone jack on the new versions of the tablet. Apple also retains the Smart Connector for connecting to accessories such as keyboards.

On portability, the 11-inch iPad Pro will keep the same weight as the previous 10.5-inch model, at 1.03 pounds, while getting just a tiny bit thinner at 0.23 of an inch thick, versus 0.24 of an inch previously.

The 12.9-inch model will get more significant improvements on portability—with the weight going down to 1.39 pounds, from 1.49 pounds previously, and down to 0.23 of an inch thick, from 0.27 of an inch thick previously.

Apple Pencil & Smart Keyboard

Apple announced that the digital stylus for the iPad, the Apple Pencil, has been redesigned to attach magnetically to the iPad Pro and to charge wirelessly while attached. The new Apple Pencil will also feature a new touch sensor that lets users interact with apps, such as changing tools. The Smart Keyboard Folio has also been redesigned, with new options including two possible screen angles, for lap and desk use. (The iPad Pro smart keyboard still lacks a touchpad, however.)

Price & Availability

Apple's starting price for the new 11-inch iPad Pro is $799, while the new 12.9-inch model starts at $999. Those prices are for models with 64 GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity only. For models with Wi-Fi + LTE, you'll pay $949 for the 10.5-inch model and $1,149 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

The Smart Keyboard Folio is priced at $179 (for the 11-inch model) and $199 (for the 12.9-inch model). The second-generation Apple Pencil is priced at $129.

Apple's new iPad Pro is available for pre-order today, with shipping on Nov. 7. For colors, it's available in space gray and silver.