iPad Pro 2020 targets Surface Pro 7 beatdown with elite laptop-killing feature

Apple is prepping to launch a smart keyboard with touchpad, according to reports

iPad Pro 2020 Surface Pro 7
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is straddling the line between laptop and premium slate with its upcoming iPad Pro 2020, if the rumours are to be believed by finally giving users what they want - a trackpad.

The iPad Pro line hasn't historically included this feature, and by rolling it out, Apple would be edging into Microsoft's. The Surface line of devices offer a halfway point between a full-blown laptop and a tablet, with the Surface Pro 7 (opens in new tab) being the most recent addition to the family.

If Apple follows suit, its the Surface it'll be challenging, rather than the Macbook Air (opens in new tab), which is the company's cheapest laptop.

The report comes from The Information (opens in new tab) which cites a source "familiar with the matter," so we don't know how credible it is. Apparently, Apple is prepping to mass produce the keyboard with its Taiwanese contractor Foxconn, which means we may get a delayed launch, given that the facility has been amongst the many in Asia that have had to shut down production during the coronavirus outbreak.

In its note to investors (opens in new tab) earlier this month, Apple warned that the "worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained," as a result, and other tech companies are facing similar difficulties - we may even see the upcoming PS5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) get a delayed release (opens in new tab).

Apple will almost certainly need to overhaul its existing iPad OS to allow for mouse support. We saw Apple's operating system splintered last year, allowing for the functionality of the iPad to be further refined with features like multitasking - which we may see mirrored on iPhones in iOS 14 (opens in new tab).

Given that the standard iPad line has caught up with the more premium (and expensive) iPad Pro, it makes sense that Apple would want to roll out further features and functionality not present in the cheaper products to differentiate the lines and justify the price tag. With the solid performance of last year's 'budget' iPad (opens in new tab), the tech giant needs to give people a reason to keep forking out for Apple products, and this could be it. 

Source: TechRadar (opens in new tab)

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.