The company’s new iPad Pro, available in 11 inches ($799) and 12.9 inches ($899), looks similar to its previous models but features a new Liquid Retina display, more powerful processor and a new ultra wide camera. It also packs a LIDAR scanner for camera depth sensing and to support augmented reality.
LIDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, sends out pulses that bounce off objects and return to the sensor, telling it how far away things are. It’s been long used in self-driving car technology and NASA is developing a landing system using LIDAR.
Apple said it is has sold 500 million iPads to date and the product has remained the best selling tablet for 10 years. The new iPads go on sale starting Wednesday and ship next week.
The MacBook Air is also getting an upgrade with what Apple says provides double the performance speeds and storage as its previous model, as well as TouchID and a new Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard was first introduced on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, touting a scissor mechanism rather than its troubled “butterfly” method that broke for many users. The traditional scissor keys are typically more durable.
The MacBook Air, which starts at $999, will ship next week. The new iPad Pro also supports a new Magic Keyboard accessory ($299) with backlit keys and USB-C support. It ships in May.