Apple brings iPad Pro with LiDAR scanner, MacBook Air

Apple unveils new iPad Pro with LiDAR scanner, upgraded MacBook Air

Cupertino-based technology major Apple pulled the wraps off the new iPad Pro with advanced AR capabilities along with the upgraded MacBook Air.

The new New iPad Pro has been due for more than a year since Apple launched 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2018.  

Going by the features, it is worth the long wait for the iPad Pro (2020). It comes in two sizes-- 11-inch and 12.9-inch-- with edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display and supports  P3 wide colour, which lets users see photos, videos, apps and games in vivid, true-to-life detail. With ProMotion technology, the iPad Pro's screen automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120 Hz for ultra-smooth scrolling and responsiveness. It is powered by the new Apple A12Z Bionic chipset, which is said to several times powerful and efficient than the predecessor. The company also adds the new iPad Pro is powerfull than most laptops in the market.

One of the biggest upgrade is the camera hardware. It boasts daul-camera setup 12MP Wide camera+ 10MP ultra-wide camera and is capable for capturing stunning photos and 4K video, and zoom feature. 

It comes integrated with game-changing LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner,  which will set a new standard for tablets in the industry. The LiDAR scanner comes handy for accurately measuring the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away and Apple says, it works both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds. 

"New depth frameworks in iPadOS combine depth points measured by the LiDAR Scanner, data from both cameras and motion sensors, and is enhanced by computer vision algorithms on the A12Z Bionic for a more detailed understanding of a scene. The tight integration of these elements enables a whole new class of AR experiences on iPad Pro," Apple added.
With this new feature, iPad Pro (2020) owners are assured to get access to top-notch AR games for tablets soon and also e-commerce shopping will get better. For instance, if you are planning to buy a piece of furniture for the living room, you can browse the catalogue on the app and can virtually place the item in the empty space and have the first-hand feel on how it looks and how much space it needs in the room.


The LiDAR feature of the new iPad Pro (Credit: Apple)

Another interesting aspect of the new iPad Pro is that it comes with five studio-quality microphones. The company claims, the tablet will be able to capture super clean audio and the quietest details and deliver an immersive sound experience with four-speaker audio that automatically adjusts to any orientation, no matter how it is held. All the iPad  Pro variants will offer close to 10 hours of battery life.

Apple has also announced to bring new trackpad support with the upcoming iPadOS 13.4 update for the older iPad Pro models and yes, the new models too will have the same out-of-the-box. It promises to offer more natural typing experience and added precision for tasks such as writing and selecting text, working with spreadsheets and pro workflows. Designed specifically for the touch-first experience on iPad, the cursor appears as a circle that highlights user interface elements, text fields and apps on the Home screen and Dock, giving a clear indication of what users can click on. Fluid gestures on the trackpad make it easy to switch between apps, access the app switcher and activate the Dock, Control Center and apps in Slide Over. 

Though there is no official word on the availability of the new iPad Pro series in India, the 11-inch iPad Pro price starts at Rs 71,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 85,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at Rs 89,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 1,03,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

Apple also unveiled the new Magic Keyboard folio case.  It comes with the unique cantilevered hinges, which allow smooth adjustments of the viewing angle up to 130 degrees. The portable and protective design of the Magic Keyboard promises to deliver a full-size keyboard with backlit keys and a scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm travel, delivering the best typing experience ever on iPad.

The Magic Keyboard also features USB-C pass-through charging, keeping the USB-C port on iPad Pro free for accessories including external drives and displays. The click-anywhere trackpad on the Magic Keyboard complements the touch-first design of iPad for easy navigation and precise adjustments, adding even more versatility and productivity to the iPad Pro experience. It costs Rs 27, 900 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and Rs 31, 900 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Yes, it is compatible with older iPad Pro version (2018)  as well.

Apple MacBook Air (2020)
The new MacBook Air sports 13-inch Retina display with  4 million pixels and millions of colours, which promises to offer vivid images, enjoy a movie or editing their photos and razor-sharp text for reading an email.


The new MacBook Air (2020) launched (Credit: Apple)

It borrows the new MacBook Pro's Magic Keyboard. It comes with a redesigned scissor mechanism, which delivers 1mm of key travel for a comfortable and stable key feel, while the new inverted-'T' arrangement for the arrow keys makes them easier to find without looking down. It also comes with Touch ID for easy login and secure online purchases, spacious trackpad, and all-day battery life combined with the power of macOS Catalina.

Under-the-hood, it houses the latest 10th-generation Intel Core processors up to 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.8GHz . The new MacBook Air delivers up to two times faster performance when compared to the previous generation. And with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, MacBook Air now delivers up to 80 percent faster graphics performance, so graphics-intensive activities like playing games and editing video are faster than ever, the company claims.

Also for the first time, Apple is offering 256GB of storage, double that of the previous generation. This will allow customers to store more movies, photos and files. And for those who need even more storage capacity, MacBook Air offers up to a 2TB SSD, double the previous maximum storage. As all MacBook devices, the new device too, offers a full day's battery life.

As far as security is concerned, it comes packed with the proprietary T2 Security Chip (2nd gen), which monitors that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with and provides on-the-fly data encryption for everything stored on the SSD. 

Additional Features you should know about Apple MacBook Air (2020)
A three-mic array for more clear voice capture for FaceTime calls with friends and family.
The industry-best Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and multi-touch navigation.
Thunderbolt 3 ports for data transfer, charging and video output in a single connector.
Support for up to a 6K external display, a first for MacBook Air.
Advanced stereo speakers for immersive, wide stereo sound for activities like watching Apple TV+ content or playing games in Apple Arcade.

In India, the new MacBook Air prices start at Rs 92,990 in India and will be available for purchase soon on authorised retail stores in the country.

Apple also updated its Mac mini PC series. The standard configurations of Mac mini now come with double the storage capacity. The Rs 74, 900 configuration now comes standard with 256GB, while the Rs 104900 configuration features 512GB of storage, and every Mac mini is made from 100 percent recycled aluminium. 

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