When Apple first confirmed the date for today’s event, we scribbled on our calendars “new iOS hardware.” And while the invite didn’t directly confirm we’d be getting new devices today, rumors sure had been insistent – and in the end, they didn’t let us down. Apple announced the iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands, and its first new 9.7-inch iPad in years – one with all the bells and whistles of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple’s new tablet isn’t arriving on its own, though, and supports a number of optional accessories. Let’s take a look at a few of those items that made their debut alongside the new iPad today:
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro does all it can to follow in the footsteps of its 12.9-inch predecessor, and that means supporting hardware like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard case. While the Apple Pencil remains unchanged, Apple’s got a new Smart Keyboard design that’s custom-sized for this new iPad Pro.
Feature-wise, the new Smart Keyboard doesn’t stray from the existing model, and merely shrinks things down to fit the new iPad Pro. Thankfully, that also means a shrinking price tag, and the 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard will sell for just about $150, or $20 less than the 12.9-inch model.
Apple’s also got a new Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter for various iPad models, and the big deals here are USB 3.0 speeds when used with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, as well as the ability to drive power-hungry USB accessories with the use of an external power adapter. That setup lets users go beyond interfacing with digital cameras and opens the door for use with USB hubs, audio interfaces, and Ethernet adapters.
Finally, we’re again talking about power with another of Apple’s new accessories, the Lightning to USB-C cable. When paired with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 29W USB-C power adapter from a MacBook, the cable lets users take advantage of high-speed charging support. You can find this guy available in both one-meter and two-meter lengths.