2020 iPad Pro versus the 2018 iPad Pro features compared

Posted:
in iPad edited June 2020
The new 2020 iPad Pro line may not be as flashy an overhaul as its 2018 predecessor, but the fourth version of Apple's pro tablet line does have substantial improvements from the third generation iPad Pro. Let's look at them a bit more closely.

2020 iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard
2020 iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard

The external design

Externally, the new iPad Pro looks remarkably the same. It retains the stunning edge-to-edge Liquid Retina Display that debuted on the previous third-gen design touting impressive specs such as a 120Hz ProMotion display, industry-leading color accuracy, 600 nits of brightness, True Tone, and support for the P3 wide color gamut.





The only visible change you'd notice is the camera module. Instead of a single circular lens protrusion, there is now a rounded square camera bump not dissimilar from the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

iPad Pro's updated camera module
iPad Pro's updated camera module


It houses the same 12MP wide-angle lens and a new 10MP ultra-wide lens which also debuted with the iPhone 11 for capturing 2X more horizontally. The camera module also includes a new LiDAR system for 3D mapping which will play heavily into enhanced AR capabilities.

Internal upgrades

Internally, we see even more changes. Apple has taken the leap to 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 from the iPad Pro (2018) which supported only up to wireless 802.11ac.

Those updated camera modules are also able to now capture video at 24 frames per second in 4K.

iPad Pro A12Z Bionic processor
iPad Pro A12Z Bionic processor


The big news though is the revamped processor. Apple has migrated from the A12X Bionic processor to the new A12Z Bionic processor which should yield even more gains in performance and touts eight cores of graphics power.

Magic Keyboard

Perhaps most enticing regarding the 2020 fourth-gen iPad Pros isn't specific to the device at all. The Magic Keyboard as well as the corresponding software support for Bluetooth trackpads and mice is long-awaited and will support the third-gen iPad Pro as well as the new models.

iPadOS 13.4 will arrive on March 24 for existing devices and will come pre-installed on the new iPad Pros. This software update will now allow you to connect external mice or trackpads via Bluetooth -- including Apple's own Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse. Cursor support inside of iPadOS has also been significantly overhauled to be more intuitive and not just an afterthought.

2020 iPad Pro and Magic Keyoard
2020 iPad Pro and Magic Keyoard


The Magic Keyboard is a new optional accessory that elevates the iPad as a floating display and has an integrated trackpad just below the backlit scissor-mechanism-based keys.

Spec compare

iPad Pro (2018)iPad Pro (2020)
Sizes11" & 12.9"11" & 12.9"
Storage64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
ProcessorA12X BionicA12Z Bionic
Cameras12MP wide lens12MP wide lens, 10MP ultra-wide lens, LiDAR
Video ShootingUp to 4K at 30 or 60 FPSUp to 4K at 24, 30, or 60 FPS
Wi-Fi802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
Magic Keyboard SupportYes Yes

Availability

The new 2020 fourth-gen iPad Pros are available to order now, starting at $799 for the 128GB model all the way up to $1499 for the 1TB 12.9-inch design. They will arrive in customer's hands commencing on March 25th. Expercom is already discounting 2020 iPad Pro pre-orders by up to $85 with units expected to ship in 2-3 weeks at press time. Triple-digit discounts are currently available on many 2018 iPad Pro models in the AppleInsider iPad Price Guide as well.

The Magic Keyboard starts shipping in May for $299 in the 11-inch size and $349 for the 12.9-inch.

2020 11" iPad Pro deals 2020 12.9" iPad Pro deals

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    HyperealityHypereality Posts: 58unconfirmed, member
    I love my gen 3 iPad Pro. 

    The only reason I'd get the refreshed version is if they have sorted out the data transfer speed from the USB-C side.  If this is usable with eg: transferring files from a camera or video recorder it would be a game changer. 

    The magic keyboard with a trackpad will be impossible to resist however. 

    edited March 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    People keep talking about apple releasing an Arm based laptop, and I think they just did.

    Didn’t they?
    caladanianjony0watto_cobrachasmcornchip
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Meh. Nothing to see here. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 13
    For anyone interested in getting one of these or the new MBA, there are already discounts available from Expercom.  Not sure if AI is an affiliate.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    wlymwlym Posts: 102member
    That's one expensive keyboard! I hear the "F" and "U" keys are free though.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,000member
    Meh. Nothing to see here. 
    Sez you. I'll be upgrading my 10.5".
    williamlondonwatto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 7 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,000member

    wlym said:
    That's one expensive keyboard! I hear the "F" and "U" keys are free though.
    Good thing it's not required, eh!?

    Magic Keyboard for 11" - $299:
    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MXQT2LL/A/magic-keyboard-for-ipad-pro-11‑inch-2nd-generation-us-english

    Smart Folio Keyboard - $179:
    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MXNK2LL/A/smart-keyboard-folio-for-ipad-pro-11‑inch-2nd-generation-us-english

    Smart Keyboard - $159:
    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MX3L2LL/A/smart-keyboard-for-ipad-7th-generation-and-ipad-air-3rd-generation-us-english

    Magic Keybaord - $99:
    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MLA22LL/A/magic-keyboard-us-english

    ...plus the after-market options. Good to have lots of options, eh? Or do you just want to whine about the very-top-tier options?
    edited March 2020 jony0watto_cobraJanNLredgeminipa
  • Reply 8 of 13

    Since I will be migrating from the original 12.9" iPad to the new one, it'll be a huge jump for me. I'll definitely get the new Magic Keyboard.

    I'm just a little concerned because I was expecting an A13X chip in the iPad. The fact that they used an A12 variant could mean that they will release another more powerful iPad a little later this year.

    Conversely, the addition of a LiDAR camera and more RAM suggests that this upgrade will stay for a while. Also, I'd probably not see the difference between the A12Z and the theoretical A13X or A14X for my tasks.

    It's going to be a restless wait till May to get the Keyboard!

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    No white keys magic keyboard?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,563member

    Since I will be migrating from the original 12.9" iPad to the new one, it'll be a huge jump for me. I'll definitely get the new Magic Keyboard.

    I'm just a little concerned because I was expecting an A13X chip in the iPad. The fact that they used an A12 variant could mean that they will release another more powerful iPad a little later this year.

    Conversely, the addition of a LiDAR camera and more RAM suggests that this upgrade will stay for a while. Also, I'd probably not see the difference between the A12Z and the theoretical A13X or A14X for my tasks.

    It's going to be a restless wait till May to get the Keyboard!


    I was expecting a Fall release with the debut of a A14X ... may see this next Spring?

    The current A12X is still more powerful than the A13. I’m guessing the A12Z, not only has more GPU cores and is a die shrink, but is also clocked higher than the A12X - maybe the first to hit 3GHz?
  • Reply 11 of 13
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,467member
    Good thing it's not required, eh!?
    It's odd that the new Magic KB for the 11" iPad Pro is so expensive, but in addition to your excellent list of options I would like to add a couple:

    a. Literally any Bluetooth keyboard -- cost varies
    b. I'm quite happy with my (admittedly plasticky) Logitech K480, which I got for $40.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,000member
    I'd like to know more about the A12Z. Not a lot of info out there yet?
  • Reply 13 of 13
    PShimiPShimi Posts: 38member
    I'd like to know more about the A12Z. Not a lot of info out there yet?
    This just in from wccftech (they reported it 20 hours ago)

    2018 iPad Pro
    Single-core: 1113
    Multi-core: 4608

    2020 iPad Pro
    Single-core: 1117
    Multi-core: 4724

    It's ever so slightly faster. We know it has 6GB standard, and an additional GPU core, so I expect that in the real world it will be an improvement for heavy work loads. It is just not quite the jump we have been waiting for.
    AI already reported earlier about the iPhone 12 A14 SoC being an absolute screamer (as fast /faster than the A12X).
    I can't imagine how fast the A14X will be.
    edited March 2020
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