Technology Test review: iPad Pro 2020, a LiDAR-dare evolution

Test review: iPad Pro 2020, a LiDAR-dare evolution

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On the way to its first customers, the iPad Pro 2020 has already arrived with a few journalists and influencers who have just given their verdict. A verdict that is both enthusiastic and temperate.

TechCrunch Image

As reported The Verge, Wired or Six colors, the innovations brought by this new generation are minor. The Magic Keyboard, this brand new external keyboard which notably includes a trackpad, is undoubtedly the most striking novelty, but besides an exorbitant price, it will not be released before May – and it will be compatible with the iPad Pro 2018 .

In the meantime, the developments are limited to the system on a chip, microphones, camera and Wi-Fi, which the testers forget to mention, while the tablet nevertheless switches to Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). The very powerful SoC A12X is replaced by a very powerful A12Z. The main difference between the two is the GPU, which has an additional core, 8 in total. Also note that all 2020 models have 6 GB of RAM, against 4 GB previously (with the exception of the 1 TB versions which already had 6 GB).

What does this new system on chip change in use? Not much, if anything at all. “I’m not sure that the majority of iPad Pro owners will see any difference in speed, writes Dieter Bohn. This iPad is very, very fast, but it was already the case with my iPad Pro 2018. ”

Image The Verge

Jason Snell wonders if the iPad Pro 2020 has the new U1 chip, this chip integrated into the iPhone 11 used for microlocation, but Apple remains mysterious on the subject. According to another tester who tried AirDrop (the first function to use the new chip), the U1 chip is not present.

Apple has communicated on a new system of microphones, still five in number but arranged differently, and there it is Jason Snell who does not see any difference in recording quality after testing with the old generation.

The most tangible innovation is the new camera on the back. The 12 megapixel wide angle lens is now accompanied by an ultra wide angle 10 MP and especially a LiDAR scanner. This scanner measures distances by calculating how long light takes to reach a given object and return to its source.

It’s used for ? To make augmented reality experiences much more immediate and precise. “It really workssays the journalist from The Verge. Rather than having to scan the scene with your iPad until the cameras can recognize objects, LiDAR measures them directly. The space map is also more reliable. “

That’s great, but apps that really take advantage of this new component are missing (by default, LiDAR just improves depth recognition for existing apps). Dieter Bohn also wonders about the interest of such technology outside of AR decoration, shopping and games apps.

Despite this new photographic paraphernalia, the iPad Pro 2020 still cannot take portrait photos with its rear camera. Another point that could have been improved, but which was not: the location of the TrueDepth camera (responsible for Face ID) at the front.

It is always placed in the shortest border, at the top of the screen when you hold the iPad in portrait orientation. However, while Apple is increasingly promoting the use of an external keyboard, it could have been more convenient to integrate it at the top of the screen when the iPad is in landscape mode.

These little reviews aside, the iPad Pro 2020 was a success, because the iPad Pro 2018 was a success. “If you use an iPad Pro 2018, you can skip this new model”says Jason Snell clearly.

And if you don’t have a 2018 model, the new generation is more advantageous since it has twice as much basic storage (i.e. 128 GB). Enough to make the price pill go a little better: from € 899 for the 11 “and € 1,119 for the 12.9”.

Matthew Panzarino from TechCrunch concludes with a comparison between the iPad Pro 2018/2020 and the MacBook Air in general:

I loved the MacBook Air, and have used several models to the core over the years. But today for no reason would I go back to a laptop considering my work style [qui est très mobile, ndr]. [L’iPad Pro] is just too fast, too reliable and too powerful.

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