The iPad Pro has long been an impressive device (even if you weren’t so hot on that whole “what’s a computer” bit), but if we’re being frank, it had gotten kind of boring. The past few years brought new features and new peripherals like the Apple Pencil, but on the whole it felt little different from the device Steve Jobs showed us in 2010.

That changes today. Apple’s latest iPad Pro retains the feel of the world’s most popular tablet while refocusing it to cater to modern needs and introducing its most significant design change to date. Regardless of whether we’re talking about its ports, its display, or even its means of input, it’s better situated to be a desktop replacement than ever before.

Face ID removes the annoyances of the home button

I think you could make the case that the home button was a good fit for the iPhone, but it always felt awkward on the iPad. You had to hold that button down whenever you wanted to unlock it, which was annoying in both portrait and landscape mode, particularly for a device that was never resting squarely in your hand. It also wasted precious time.

The new iPad Pro comes only with Face ID, and Apple’s TrueDepth sensors are hidden discretely in the super-thin bezels surrounding the display. (This design also suggests Apple may be able to do away with the so-called notch by the time next year’s iPhones roll back around.) Not only does it look good, but it also works regardless of how you’re holding the display.

2018 ipad pro face idApple

Face ID is great, but I’d hate to face that bill.

It’s worth noting that we were sure this feature would be coming to the iPad in the wake of iOS 12, which replaced the iPad’s traditional home button-focused actions with the swipe gestures from the iPhone X. The controls were now there—we just needed to wait on the technology. And now it’s here.

Its A12X Bionic chip is a powerhouse

We were wondering if the A12 chip we saw in the iPhone XS would be getting a boost for the iPad Pro, and Apple delivered with the A12X Bionic chip. And it’s a beast, boasting seven-nanometer technology along with an eight-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores.

According to Apple, this gives it 35 percent better single-core CPU performance and 90 percent better multicore performance than what we saw in last year’s iPad. For that matter, Apple also claims that the new iPad Pro is also 92 percent faster than all other portable PCs. We can quibble over that percentage a little, but all the same, it’s hard to deny that this is a wonderfully capable device. Which means:

Pro desktop apps on the iPad are at last a reality

We’re not entirely sure why it’s taken such a popular (and essential) design app like Adobe Photoshop so long to come to the iPad, but it seems safe to say that worries about poor performance on a tablet were in play. Those should no longer be a concern, thanks to the power that Apple is packing in the A12X Bionic processor.



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