Thanks to the fact that most products, especially the super popular ones like iPhones and Galaxy smartphones, see a yearly refresh cycle, we get to hear a pretty familiar line every year. It may change in some way or another, but the gist is this: an iterative update compared to last year's model. That's not inherently a bad thing, mind you, but it can certainly get old after hearing it enough.
This year, with the iPad Pro, is no different.
The funny thing here is that the 2020 iPad Pro isn't even a yearly refresh from a model in 2019, and yet we're hearing the same things anyway. Apple launched an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2018, and introduced the 11-inch model alongside that bigger tablet at the same time. And then the company took 2019 off, letting the rumor mill fuel the fire that a newer model would see the light of day in early 2020.
And here we are in early 2020 and the rumors turned out to be true. Apple launched the new 12.9- and 11-inch iPad Pro earlier this month, welcoming a new LiDAR Scanner, a dual-camera setup on the back of the tablet, and . . . not much else. Sure, the A-series processor under the hood has some new branding and an eight-core GPU, but otherwise the 2020 iPad Pro is very familiar when compared to the 2018 model.
Many reviews for the new tablet point out that the LiDAR Scanner is all about the future of augmented reality for Apple, and they're right of course. The iPad Pro is introducing a major new feature element that basically helps to lay the groundwork for Apple's continued push into AR. The question is, of course, whether or not you should buy into hardware that simply stokes the flames of a more promising software future.
Your mileage will vary with that answer.
Apple also introduced the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro. It has a wild, cantilever floating design for the tablet itself, an updated keyboard, USB-C passthrough, and it works with both the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro variants. It's an exciting, albeit expensive, accessory! And many folks are looking forward to its launch in May.
But you don't need the 2020 iPad Pro to take advantage of the new Magic Keyboard. Or even iPadOS 13.4 and its mouse/trackpad support for that matter. If you already have a 2018 iPad Pro, well, you probably are better off just keeping it and not upgrading to the 2020 model.
And yet, I have to ask: Are you going to upgrade? And I mean that both generally speaking and with some specific intent. If you own the 2018 iPad Pro, either size, are you planning on buying the 2020 model? And, if so, why? Or if you have an older iPad will you be making the jump to the 2020 model? Let me know!