The new Apple iPad Pro says goodbye to Lightning and headphone ports

Apple’s latest Keynote event was held last night in Brooklyn, New York and perhaps the grandstand announcement was the new iPad Pro 11.

The 11-inch version of Apple’s flagship tablet range has overgone a major overhaul and the the big headline is that the Cupertino firm has done away with the headphone and Lightning ports in favour of a USB-C connection.

Of course it wouldn’t be a new iOS product without a new chipset and the latest one is a doozy. According to Apple, the A12X Bionic is “the smartest, most powerful chip we’ve ever made. It has the Neural Engine, which runs five trillion operations per second and enables advanced machine learning.” Yep, that sounds impressive alright.

The chassis has been given a refresh and doesn’t look too dissimilar to the flat edges from the old iPhone 4/5/SE days. Another big change to the appearance is the screen is much bigger meaning a smaller bezel and as such, Apple has done away with the home button-but-not-an-actual-button thing. The screen itself is the new Liquid Retina display. According to Apple, the True-to-life colour and ProMotion technology make everything “look gorgeous and feel responsive.”

So what does this mean for us musos, producers and songwriters? Well, a quick look at the Apple website and the sales pitch seems to be very heavy on graphical arts and photography, so they’re obviously thinking that those guys need all the love. However, a faster, more intelligent chipset can only be a good thing with regards to multitasking.

What we can surmise from this latest launch is that it looks like USB-C is where it's at for Apple from now on and who was using the headphone port on an iPad Pro anyway, surely you were all rocking audio interfaces?!

All joking aside, it’ll be a little annoying that the headphone port has gone for some, but as everything is going the way of USB-C, it can only be seen as a step in the right direction as it looks as though the whole world is getting onboard with the same interface. 

The new iPad Pro 11 is available to pre-order now, and the release date is set for 7 November 2018. For prices and more details on the all the lovely new accessories, check out the Apple website. You can also head on over to our sister site Techradar for its first review.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

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