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TechFocus: Issue 2

By Jerry Yu ‘19, Technology Reporter

Apple first introduced the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2015, followed by the 9.7-inch model in March of 2016. Since then, the design of the iPad Pro line remained unchanged, until Apple’s third-generation iPad Pro. Launched in November of 2018, the design overhaul comes in both 12.9-inch and 11-inch sizes, features an all-screen display with minimal bezels, and has no Home button. The new iPads also feature Apple’s TrueDepth camera system and updated FaceID technology, allowing for secure and rapid unlocks from all angles, which was not possible on the recent iPhone Xs line.

The iPad Pro is marketed as a portable powerhorse, and the latest benchmarks of the A12X inside the 2018 models back that claim up. Apple makes many claims about the new device: it has twice the graphics performance of the A10X; it has 90 percent faster multi-core performance than its predecessor; and it performs equally as GPU power of the Xbox One S game console. The Geekbench scores of the systems prove this claim is no joke; single core scores show a more than 30 percent increase from its predecessor and crushes the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 that sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, one of, if not the most, powerful non-apple mobile chip by almost 3 times. When compared to laptops released in the same year, multi-core scores show no compromise against Dell’s XPS 15 2-in-1, and are lighter and thinner than the others.

What does this power translate to? Full-sized desktop apps on a mobile platform! Adobe promised Photoshop CC’s release on iPad Pros by 2019, and Bethesda is releasing a new Skyrim for iPads. (Yes, we will talk about games this time). For the first time, we can hold a tablet in our hands and work on hundreds of layers in Photoshop, instead of one single photo on the current Photoshop mobile build, allowing for more creative freedom since artists can literally edit on the go.

The new iPad pro also has redesigned i/o, including extra smart connectors, and a USB-C to replace Lightning. Now, users can snap the Apple Pencil on the sides of their iPads, and carry them with their devices, allowing more convenience and safety as the old Pencils were quite prone to losing. USB-C ports, on the other hand, can provide enough power for the powerful chips and can allow significantly faster data transfer, and connection to extremely high-resolution displays.

All these changes result in smoother user experiences both for school and entertainment. Starting from $799 for 56GB versions, however, it is not the most economic choice, as despite of having a more powerful chip, its limited disk space proves to be a significant drawback. 56GB is hardly enough for many movies and games, which are worthy challenges for the upgraded CPU and GPU, and the topic for this edition’s special section, GamingFocus. Read it in this issue!

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