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Apple announces new iPad Pro with trackpad support and LiDAR Scanner

Updated Mar 18th, 2020 8:49AM EDT
iPad Pro 2020 release date
Image: Apple

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  • Apple announced a brand new iPad Pro model via a press release on its website on Wednesday.
  • The 2020 iPad Pro features a faster A12Z Bionic chip, an Ultra Wide rear camera, studio-quality mics, a LiDAR Scanner, and trackpad support.
  • The new iPad Pro is available to order today on and in the Apple Store app, starting at $799 for the 11-inch model and $999 for the 12.9-inch model. 
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Apple was once rumored to be holding a media event this spring to unveil new hardware, but the coronavirus made short work of those plans. There was no way Apple was going to invite hundreds of journalists inside the Steve Jobs Theater in the middle of March, so instead, the company dropped two press releases on Wednesday morning. One was to announce the new MacBook Air, and the other revealed a brand new iPad Pro model.

There are a host of upgrades present on the 2020 iPad Pro, including the new A12Z Bionic chip, which gives the iPad Pro the highest performance in any iPad to date. Apple says the battery lasts up to 10 hours, the Wi-Fi connectivity is faster than ever, and the gigabit-class LTE is 60% faster than before.

Another big change is the Pro camera system, which was the subject of countless leaks over the past few months. At a glance, the camera module on the back of the all-new iPad Pro looks nearly identical to those of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. The camera system features a 12MP Wide camera as well as a 10MP Ultra Wide camera that zooms out twice as much. The 2020 iPad Pro also comes with five studio-quality microphones, and combined with the two cameras, this tablet is clearly geared towards creatives who want an all-in-one experience.

Perhaps the most notable addition is the LiDAR Scanner, which is capable of measuring the distance of objects up to five meters away, can be used both indoors and outdoors, “and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds.” Depth frameworks present in the latest version of iPadOS combine the depth points measured by the scanner and data from the cameras and motion sensors to enable “a whole new class of AR experiences.”

As Apple explains, with the LiDAR Scanner, every ARKit app will automatically be capable of instant AR placement, improved motion capture, and people occlusion. The Measure app will also get a boost, as it will take even less time to accurately calculate someone’s height and measure objects in the environment. Plus, you can use the new Ruler View (screenshot below) for granular measurements made possible by the new sensor.

Image source: Apple

Finally, Apple announced that iPadOS 13.4, which arrives next week, will bring trackpad support to iPad. The cursor will appear as a circle on the screen that highlights clickable elements, gestures make it easy to switch between apps, and Apple says that most third-party apps will work with a trackpad out of the box. Apple also announced a new Magic Keyboard that attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro and has adjustments of the viewing angle up to 130 degrees. It also features backlit keys, 1mm travel, and USB-C pass-through charging.

You can order the new iPad Pro starting today from or the Apple Store app. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $949 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Both models are available in silver and space gray finishes and come in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB configurations.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.