Apple announces new iPads, new Surface-like keyboard with “reimagined” mouse support for iPad Pros

Kareem Anderson

Perhaps due to mitigating COVID-19 circumstances, Apple announced its new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Magic Keyboard via press release and YouTube videos.

Available now for online orders, the new iPad Pro comes in $799 – 11-inch or $949 -12-inch price configurations and could ship as soon as March 25, 2020. Then there’s updated MacBook Air that now sports the “Magic Keyboard” from its 16-inch MacBook Pro bigger brother, 10th-gen Intel Ice Lake processors, and starts at 256GB storage configurations. The 2020 MacBook Air’s base price is $999 and customers can order online now and have it shipped as soon as March 23, 2020.

However, the news that’s got everyone buzzing is the new “Magic Keyboard” (yeah, they’re recycling names now), which is a backlit, USB-C charging supported keyboard stand/hybrid that enables mouse support on new and existing iPad Pros, according to Apple.

Users with an 11-inch ($299) or 12.9-inch ($399) iPad Pro model can snag Apple’s exclusive “Magic Keyboard” starting in May.

Since comparing the first Microsoft Surface Pro to a “toaster-fridge”, Apple has arguably danced a fine line around evolving its tablet-only iPad into a full blown workstation PC, without the product coming across as a “toaster-fridge” clone. Credit to Apple and its talented app developers, the company has managed to relatively fend off criticisms of hypocrisy and hubris by producing a modern operating system that only incrementally inched backward toward more traditional feature sets.

However, with the advent of this new “Magic Keyboard,” and unbridled mouse support, it’s going to be harder for the company to not have this new experience be compared to one Microsoft has been championing for the past seven years.

In typical Apple fashion, the company positions the new mouse-laden keyboard accessory as a “reimagined” experience designed specifically for the iPad, when speaking with The Verge.

“Rather than copying the experience from macOS®, trackpad support has been completely reimagined for iPad. As users move their finger across the trackpad, the pointer elegantly transforms to highlight user interface elements.”

At a cursory glance, the new trackpad support appears to be a very run-of-the-mill mouse and pointer experience.