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Apple unveils new iPad Pro and MacBook Air: better performance, new cameras, space-age styling

Apple unveils new iPad Pro and MacBook Air: better performance, new cameras, space-age styling
(Image credit: Apple)

The news might be a little doom and gloom these days, but Apple is insisting that the show must go on as it unveiled a new iPad Pro and a new MacBook Air. The current iPad Pro is easily one of the best tablets on the market, while the MacBook Air has always been a fantastic lightweight laptop for users who need performance on the go and can't settle for the static nature of of the best home computers (opens in new tab). So, let’s have a look at what Apple has been cooking up.

First up, the new iPad pro (opens in new tab) which is more powerful and faster than its predecessor thanks to the A12Z Bionic chip. So far, so standard – of course the new model is more powerful. But what else does it have up its sleeves? Well the new iPad Pro will now feature an ultra-wide camera for taking stunning photos, along with studio quality mics and a LIDAR scanner which improves depth-sensing for camera and video recording.

The biggest new addition to the iPad Pro isn’t actually on the tablet itself though – it’s the new attachable Magic keyboard. This nifty attachable keyboard features a space-age floating design, holding the iPad in suspension like it’s levitating. It also features a backlit keyboard and built-in trackpad. We love the design, but we’ll need hands-on time with the keyboard to see how it feels before we can confirm Apple’s claim that this is the “best typing experience ever on iPad.”

MacBook Air 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

The second of the big reveals today was the updated MacBook Air (opens in new tab) which features better performance and the new Magic keyboard. It’s also cheaper than the current model, with prices starting at $999. Apple says that it delivers “up to two times faster CPU performance2 and up to 80 percent faster graphics performance”. Considering they’ve managed to make those kind of improvements while also bringing the cost down, we’re impressed.

In a statement in the press release, Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing said “From students and consumers buying their first computer to customers looking to upgrade, everyone loves the Mac, and they especially love MacBook Air. Today we’re giving it a huge update, with two times faster performance, the new Magic Keyboard, double the storage, a new lower price of $999 and an even lower price of $899 for education.” It looks like Apple has its sights set on the MacBook Air maintaining its reign as one of the best laptops for college (opens in new tab).

Given the current global pandemic and the disruption that the technology industry has suffered as a result, we’re surprised to see Apple drop these new products this way. It had been reported that Apple was facing issues (opens in new tab) with manufacturing iPhones as most of its factories are in China, the worst hit country by the coronavirus outbreak. Even stranger for the tech giant, all of its brick-and-mortar stores are currently closed due to the outbreak over fears of spreading the virus. 

We'll have to see how that affects sales for Apple, but with most of the world stuck indoors self-isolating, maybe this is the perfect time to release a swathe of new Netflix capable devices?

Ian Stokes is the Tech Editor here at Top Ten Reviews. He has extensive experience in tech and games journalism, with work published on IGN, Kotaku UK, Waypoint, GamesRadar, Trusted Reviews, and many more. You'll find him covering everything from smartphones and home computers to 3D printers and headphones. He's also our resident cocktail expert.