iPad Pro 2018 and Apple Pencil 2.0 unveiled: New features and specs to excite the creative community

Apple launch the latest version of the iPad Pro with Liquid Retina display and 1TB storage, and a new version of the Apple Pencil that charges wirelessly on your tablet.

Today live from New York saw the Apple Special Event, and Digital Arts was there to hear the exclusive announcement of a new range of products from the company most definitely catered to the creative community.

The announcement of a new iPad Pro was expected, but there were also changes to the Apple Pencil which will please creators, along with the launch of the new Mac Mini that can be used anywhere and everywhere on the go.

We breakdown below the announcements at the event, and keep an eye on Digital Arts for a forthcoming hands-on with these latest additions to the Apple lineup as we try out the new tech in the Big Apple.

iPad Pro 2018

The iPad has been in our minds recently with products like Photoshop for the iPad already being announced at this year's Adobe MAX, but it's nice to finally see the full capabilities of that app partnered with the tablet it was designed for - the new iPad Pro, complete for the first time with Liquid Retina display and some astonishing storage capabilities.

As expected, the new tablet takes inspiration from the new iPhone to come unlocked using Face ID or with a simple 'wake up' tap taking you straight to Notes as using the new Apple Pencil - a tool which now attaches magnetically to the iPad for wireless charging (more on that cool function later).

Screen sizes come in options of 11-inch and 12.9-inch displays, with the usual storage offers now rounded off by a new 1TB option (you read correctly).

Face ID meanwhile works in any orientation — while you’re sitting or standing, with the iPad Pro on your desk or lap, making it ideal for creators on the go. 

The Liquid Retina display we mentioned also curves into the corners with a narrow border design, while the device itself comes in at 5.9mm thin for both size options, and weighing the same at one pound.

Other interesting features include the vanishing of the home button - everything now can be achieved with swipes, including the route to the Split Screen mode that our review of last year's model praised.

Last but not least, we now have USB-C, which means you can charge your iPhone while connected to the tablet.

Under the hood of the iPad Pro 2018

The iPad Pro's A12X Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine manages to make the tablet faster than 92% of PC laptops - and the CPU as a whole is now 90% faster. 

The Pro's display also features the usual suspects of wide colour support, True Tone and ProMotion technology that automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120Hz for ultra-smooth scrolling and a more reflexive responsiveness.

Note that this new IPad Pro also features Gigabit-class LTE internet capabilities.

Pricing for the iPad Pro 2018

The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are available to buy now in the UK and US in silver and space grey finishes in 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB configurations.

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at £769/$799 for the Wi-Fi model and £919/$949 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at £969/$999 for the Wi-Fi model and £1,119/$1,149 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model from https://www.apple.com/

All of these models start shipping November 7 2018.

Apple Pencil 2.0

This second generation of the Apple Pencil magnetically attaches to iPad Pro and wirelessly charges at the same time.

A new touch sensor built onto the Apple Pencil 2.0 meanwhile detects taps, and users can select the right tool or brush they need with a simple double tap on it while using apps like Notes.

Speaking of double taps, you'll want to know that when Photoshop for the iPad is released in 2019, that the Pencil can zoom right in and out of your pictorial work with two taps of the tool. We saw this on display at the Apple event and it looked rather fabulous indeed.

Pricing for the Apple Pencil 2.0

The second generation Apple Pencil for the new iPad Pro is available in the UK and US for £119/$129 from https://www.apple.com/apple-pencil/

Like everything announced today, shipping starts on November 7.

Mac Mini 2018

The new Mac Mini takes a home device and makes it relevant to creatives – turning it into a screen-less iMac that you might consider rather than Apple’s all-in-one if you already own high-end displays.

The 2018 Mac Mini features 8th-gen Intel Core chips up to a 3.2GHz Core i7. It supports up to 64GB RAM and 2TB flash storage, though there’s only built-in Intel graphics. On the back there are three Thunderbolt 3 ports – so you could add an eGPU such as the Blackmagic eGPU – as well as two USB ports and Ethernet (gigabit or 10GB depending on the configuration).

Apple says that the new Mac Mini is 5x faster than its predecessor, with 60% faster graphics. That’s powerful enough for a lot of pro-level creative apps, which is why Apple used Photoshop and Maya benchmarks to demonstrate its power. The company also showed how the Mac Mini is designed to be used at events, powering live animated graphics at art jams.

Pricing for the Mac Mini 2018

In the UK and US, the Mac Mini is available for order today and is shipping on Nov 7. Pricing starts at £799/$799 from https://www.apple.com/mac-mini/

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