Apple Adds Facial Recognition To Revamped iPad Pro

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Refresh for Macbook and iPad Pro sees higher prices, better processors and screens, and facial recognition

Apple has fettled its Macbook portfolio and its iPad Pro, and revealed updated models in an event in New York on Tuesday.

The product refresh comes after the firm released new iPhones and Apple Watches last month, meaning the firm will have an refreshed product portfolio as it heads into the busy Christmas period.

It has been a busy time for Apple. Earlier this month CEO Tim Cook refuted a Bloomberg report that alleged the Chinese had installed spy chips on numerous hardware platforms from US firms, including Apple.

New iPad Pro

Apple is also locked in a bitter lawsuit with Qualcomm, and it has made one of its most expensive acquisitions in recent years with the purchase of parts of the business of UK-based Dialog Semiconductor.

But this week Apple announced its new iPad Pro, with a much thinner bezel than before. There are two form factors, a model with an 11-inch and 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display.

And Apple has transferred some of its iPhone tech across to the new devices, with the news that Face ID has been added to securely unlock the iPad with just a glance. There are also no more Home buttons.

The new iPad Pro comes with a A12X Bionic chip as well as a new USB-C connector. Sadly, the headphone jack has been removed.

Other additions include gigabit-class LTE, up to 1TB of storage, and a second-generation Apple Pencil which magnetically attaches to iPad Pro and wirelessly charges at the same time.

“The new iPad Pro is a huge step forward for powerful, creative, mobile computing; it has an all-new thinner design, speeds through projects with the super-fast A12X Bionic chip and unlocks with a glance using Face ID in any orientation – while you’re sitting or standing, with iPad Pro on your desk or lap, with the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing.

“There has never been a mobile device anything like the new iPad Pro; it has a gorgeous edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display that curves into the corners, breakthrough performance that outperforms most laptops, Face ID, support for the new Smart Keyboard Folio and new Apple Pencil, advanced new cameras and sensors for the best AR experiences ever in any device, a high-speed USB-C connector, louder speakers, faster wireless and more, all packed into a thinner device that has all-day battery life and is 25 percent smaller in volume,” said Schiller.

The new machines will be in stores starting 7 November, and prices for the 11 inch entry-level device will be £769 (for 64GB) and £969 for the 12.9 inch device, also with 64GB.

The redesigned Apple Pencil is available for £119, and the Smart Keyboard Folio comes in two sizes (for respective iPads) and cost £179 and £199 respectively.

Retina Macbook Air

Apple has also released an updated Macbook Air that offers a 13-inch Retina display, Touch ID, the latest processors and an even more portable design.

The Retina-display Mac also includes an Apple-designed keyboard, a Force Touch trackpad, faster SSDs, wide stereo sound, and the Apple T2 Security Chip and Thunderbolt 3.

“The first MacBook Air revolutionized Mac with its thin wedge-shaped aluminium design,” said Philip Schiller. “Redesigning MacBook Air started with a stunning Retina display and all-day battery life, and then we added Touch ID and the Apple T2 Security Chip, the latest processors, incredible sound, the third-generation keyboard and Force Touch trackpad, high speed Thunderbolt 3 ports, and of course macOS Mojave in a beautiful, thinner, lighter, all-aluminium design that a whole new generation of MacBook Air customers are going to love.”

The new MacBook Air is available in three finishes (gold, space gray and silver) and costs the unit with the eighth-generation dual-core Core i5 processor along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, will cost £1,199.

Apple also updated its smallest desktop computer, the Mac Mini, which was last updated in 2014.

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