iPad Pro 2 latest rumours – release date, UK price, features and specifications

iPad Pro 2 latest rumours – release date, UK price, features and specifications

Three iPads are expected in 2017, including two new iPad Pros. Read the latest rumours on the 2017 iPad Pro 2 specs, price and UK launch date.

We round up the latest news and rumours on the iPad Pro 2


The word on the street is that Apple will unveil three new iPads in 2017: an entry-level 9.7in iPad that will replace the iPad Air 2, and two iPad Pros with screen sizes of 10.5- and 12.9in. Here we round up all the rumours about what to expect from the second-generation iPad Pro, including its UK release date, price and specs. See: Best new tablets coming 2017.

Here’s a summary of what to expect from the iPad Pro 2:

  • New 12.9in tablet
  • Thinner and lighter
  • Water resistant
  • TrueTone screen (like 9.7in iPad Pro)
  • Compatible with second-generation Apple Pencil
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Upgraded cameras
  • A10X processor

Latest update: Japanese site Mac Otakara reports that a source has said Apple is indeed launching new iPads – including the 12.9in Pro 2 – in March. And a new iPhone SE (if only with increased storage) and new iPhone 7 models (if only new colour options) will also be launched at the special event. DigiTimes, quoting sources in the supply chain, says the iPad Pro 2, and the new 10.5in tablet, won’t go on sale until May because of manufacturing delays.

Other slightly older rumours claim the trio of new iPads for 2017 probably won’t be announced until the second half of the year. If that is true, they’ll probably share stage time with the new iPhones. One reason for the delays is said to be poor yields of the new 10nm processors. Read more.

When is the iPad Pro 2 release date?

Expected launch date: March 2017 OR September 2017

The original iPad Pro, reviewed, launched in September 2015 and the 9.7in arrived in March 2016. We suspected an iPad Pro 2 reveal (and maybe a new iPad mini or an iPad Air 3) in September 2016, but it didn’t happen. 

Some rumours say the new generation of processors are proving harder to manufacture than expected, and low yields will cause the iPads to be delayed until the second half of the year. The current A9X chip – which is used by both iPad Pro models – is based on the 16nm FinFET process. This is the same used by the latest generation of graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. In order to produce a chip with significantly faster performance without high power consumption, Apple is having to move to a 10nm process. Rumours say that very poor yields of the new chips mean that the vast quantities Apple needs to launch new iPads are simply not going to be available until later in the year. Update: DigiTimes has reported that the delays aren’t so bad and that the new iPads will go on sale in May, following their March launch.

If this is incorrect and the delays are significant, Apple may choose to combine the launch of the iPads with the new iPhones (which could also use 10nm processors) and hold an event at it’s usual time in September. However, this is speculation at this point and we’ll have to wait and see.

A new piece of information that indicates Apple is working on a new iPad Pro is the below patent for a new Smart Keyboard. It shows new features such as search and share buttons – via Patently Apple.

iPad Pro 2 smart keyboard

iPad Pro 2 smart keyboard

What are the rumoured features?

A new concept video shows what the iPad Pro 2 might look like with a 10.5in screen and features from the iPhone 7 Plus such as the dual-camera. 

Well-known industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted there will be three new iPads launching in 2017. He says there will be a new 12.9in iPad Pro – the iPad Pro 2 – and also a new model with a 10.5in screen, no bezels and no home button on the front, which should appeal to, well, everyone. The new tablets (as you’d expect) will have a faster processor, probably called the A10X. Recently he slightly revised his predictions, specifically to say that delays in manufacturing the new CPUs could mean we won’t see any new iPads until the second half of the year.

The report also talks about “revolutionary” changes to the iPad range in 2018, which some are taking to mean radical changes such as a flexible AMOLED display. The latest from Barclays Research analysts, as reported by MacRumours, is that the middle-size iPad will have a 10.9in screen, not 10.5. Many seem to suggest the larger display will fit in a chassis no bigger than the current 9.7in iPad.

Another rumour about the Pad Pro 2 says Apple is working on adding better support into iOS for the Apple Pencil, the optional stylus which works with only select apps on the iPad Pro models. Apple might add the enhanced support when it launches the new iPads in 2017 as an update to iOS 10. However, it may wait and introduce them in iOS 11. The improvements are unclear, but it could be possible to use the Pencil to annotate in many more stock apps including Mail, Messages, Safari and others. The Pencil should work with the upcoming 10.5in iPad Pro and this would leave only the iPad mini with no stylus support. 

The Pencil itself should also receive an update, according to rumours on (not always credible) Weibo, and the Apple Pencil 2 is expected to attach to the iPad’s body using magnets and feature a pocket clip. Mac Observer points out that Apple does not currently hold a patent for a magnetic attachment to the iPad, however.

The rumours also say that the iPad Pro 2 “will include faster display technology that allows for smoother zooming, panning and scrolling”.

What are the rumoured specifications?

When it launched, the original iPad Pro didn’t come in a 256GB storage capacity but Apple add it to the line-up at the same time as the introduction of the iPad Pro 9.7. We expect the iPad Pro 2 to come in the same storage options which are currently available.

The iPad Pro 2 is sure to come in Rose Gold which is now available in most of Apple’s other products including the iPhone and MacBook.

iPad Pro 2 release date, specs, features rumours

iPad Pro 2 release date, specs, features rumours

It’s fairly easy to predict that Apple will bring the specs of the iPad Pro 2 to at least match the 9.7in model. That means adding the True Tone display which automatically adjusts the white balance for a more realistic experience, the 12Mp iSight camera with Live Photos and 4K video recording and the 5Mp front FaceTime HD camera with a Retina Flash.

Those changes would make the iPad Pro 2 level with the current 2016 iPad Pro but it wouldn’t be Apple if there weren’t some features not seen before on an iPad. This could simply come in the form of a new processor but we hope for more since the current A9X is more than dependable.

How much will the iPad Pro 2 cost in the UK?

We expect that Apple will keep prices the same as for the current iPad Pro 12.9: 

  • 32GB: £679; $799
  • 128GB: £799; $949
  • 256GB: £919; $1099

If you’re after Wi-Fi + Cellular prices, the current prices are as follows:

  • 128GB: £899; $1079
  • 256GB: £1019; $1229

It would be nice, though, if the base model came with 64GB rather than 32GB.

This is all speculation on our part, but as rumours emerge we’ll add them here. We are perhaps a little too far away from the launch for anything juicy so check back soon.    

What will the iPad Pro 2 look like?

There have been very few leaks. AppleInsider posted an image which supposedly shows a prototype of the iPad Pro 2. 

In the image, the Settings app is open and reveals the model number of the device – “MH1C2CD/F“. This doesn’t match any existing models of iPad and, although it follows Apple’s numbering covention, it is fairly easy to spoof this information.

It’s also interesting to note that both iPads apparently have only 12GB of storage – this could be due to the prototype status, as Apple may not want to use 128GB of storage for a prototype.

Either way, these iPads are definitely not existing iPad Pro units. However with that being said, it’s not confirmation that these are photos of prototype second-generation iPad Pros, as the images could still have been doctored. Unfortunately, there are no images of the sides or rear of the device so there’s no hint at what hardware the iPad Pro 2 could feature, but we imagine the iPad Pro 2 leaks will become more common as time goes on and we’ll be updating this article regularly.

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Logitech’s pro gaming keyboard could make you a sharper shooter

Logitech has unleashed a new mechanical keyboard aimed at pro gamers that’s been designed in conjunction with eSports veterans (namely the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Cloud9 team).

The G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a ‘tenkeyless’ effort (with no numeric keypad, making it more compact) that boasts Logitech’s own Romer-G switches, which the company claims offer 25% faster actuation than your average mechanical keyboard. They’re not ‘clicky’ switches either, with a nice, quiet action.

Logitech also promises that this keyboard is a durable affair, being reinforced with a steel backplate, and it offers customizable RGB lighting, with keys that can be individually lit over the usual choice of 16.8 million colors.

Showing off

There’s on-board memory too, which you can use to save lighting patterns for showing off when you’re at LAN parties. The cable for the keyboard is detachable, and along with this peripheral’s compact nature, this makes it easy to carry around when you’re headed to the aforementioned LAN shindigs.

Aside from portability, the other benefit of a more compact tenkeyless design is that your mouse and keyboard are closer together, so you’re not reaching out too far to the right (or left, if you’re a southpaw) with your mousing hand.

Logitech’s keyboard is on sale now at selected retail outlets priced at £130 (it’s $130 in the US, which is around AU$170).

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Universal USB-C charging: How the dream is coming true

USB-C ports were supposed to bring universal charging, but the last time PCWorld dove into it, the results were pretty dismal. Google’s second-generation Chromebook Pixel and Apple’s original 12-inch MacBook had no issues working with each others’ chargers, but HP, Dell, and Razer all gave us fits. We might as well have been back in the dark ages when cell phones used proprietary chargers, before someone decided to adopt mini-USB and we never looked back.

Just a little over a year later, we decided revisit our plug-fest with as many laptop brands as we could get. 

dsc03585 Gordon Mah Ung

The laptops we tested were manufactured by the same makers responsible for selling about 80 percent of the world’s notebook PCs.

The 80 percent

The models you see above are from Acer, Apple, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo, vendors that represent about 80 percent of the laptops sold every year. To this, I added the second-generation Google Chromebook Pixel laptop. Although its numbers sold are small, the Pixel has been the role model for how to do USB-C charging right. Finally, I added a Huawei Nexus 6P smartphone to see if the laptops’ chargers would work with a different species.

Unlike the Dell Skylake version of the XPS 13, which still ships with a proprietary barrel charger despite supporting USB-C charging, all of the laptops you see come from the factory with USB-C chargers. To the pile of bricks, I also added Innergie’s PowerGear 45 USB-C charger, which was used in the original 2015 plugfest. I unfortunately didn’t have the Razer and HP laptops from the original test, as they’d long ago been returned to the manufacturers.

dsc03588 Gordon Mah Ung

We tried this rat’s nest of USB Type C chargers on different brands of laptops to see how interoperable they were.

How we tested

For this test, the laptops were powered on with their screens set to 100-percent brightness. I didn’t put stress on the CPUs, which would increase the load on the charging circuits. 

To measure what the charge rate was on each laptop, I used a Satechi USB Type C Power Meter (available on Amazon.com) and recorded the voltage and amperage each laptop consumed while being charged. I also checked what the OS on each laptop was reporting.

On laptops that had issues, I removed the power meter from the loop and retested without it, to ensure the meter wasn’t introducing an issue in the charging circuit. For the record, this made no difference with any of the laptops.

dsc03586Gordon Mah Ung

We used a Satechi USB Type C Power Meter that shows how much voltage and amperage each laptop is drawing while charging. On problematic chargers and laptops, we removed the power meter to verify it wasn’t an issue.

The Results

I’ve long joked that standards are what the industry uses so manufacturers have a uniform way to do everything differently. In 2015, it certainly felt that way, as only the PC makers were the ones that couldn’t get USB-C right. Here’s the result from that test below. 

How to get Word for free: Use Microsoft Office free

How to get Word for free: Use Microsoft Office free

We show you how to get Word for free on Windows. You can get Microsoft Office, Word & Excel free on your PC, but there are also great free alternatives to Word and Office.

Office doesn’t come pre-installed but you can get it for nothing. Here’s how to get Word, Excel and more free on Windows


It’s a common misconception that Windows comes complete with Microsoft Office for every user. However, there are ways of getting Office, including Word, on Windows 10 for free. See also: How to use Excel

So you’ve got a new PC, laptop or tablet and want Microsoft Office, there are ways of getting it for free (restrictions apply) and we’re going to show you how. Also, there are plenty of free alternative office suites which are compatible with Microsoft’s version.

See also: How to get Office 2016 for less than £10.

How to get Office for free on Windows 10

Microsoft’s current strategy for Office means that you can download its mobile apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free on a wide range of devices including Android and iOS. You can download these apps for iOS, Android and Windows 10 using the links below.

Word for iOS
Excel for iOS
PowerPoint for iOS

Word for Android
Excel for Android
PowerPoint for Android

Word for Windows 10
Excel for Windows 10
PowerPoint for Windows 10

Office Mobile Windows store

Office Mobile Windows store

What you can and can’t do

While these are free for any Windows 10 device, they don’t simply allow you full access to all the functions. If you’re using a PC or laptop you’ll only be able to read documents and will need an Office 365 subscription to create and edit. However, those of you running Windows 10 on a device with a 10.1in screen or smaller (so, many tablets) can use the apps fully including creating and editing.

Being able to view documents isn’t much use so for anyone on a PC, laptop or tablet with a screen bigger than 10.1in then you’ll want to use an alternative to Microsoft Office if you don’t want to pay. An Office 365 Subscription will cost you from £5.99 per month.

Before we look at some alternatives, remember that you can use Office Online if you have a Microsoft account, and that isn’t limited to only PCs or laptops running Windows 10. This is essentially Office but you just use it entirely in your web browser. You can also try Office 2016 for free.

Best free Microsoft Office alternatives

There are various alternatives to Microsoft Office out there that are completely free. Our recommendation is LibreOffice which is a full suite that’s regularly updated and allows you to open and save documents in Microsoft formats. You can download LibreOffice here.

How to get Microsoft Office for free

How to get Microsoft Office for free

Should you happen to dislike Libre Office, you can also check out free alternatives such as WPS Office, Free Office and Google Docs which is now simple a part of Google Drive.

See also: Best free alternatives to Word

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Logitech Goes Tenkeyless With G Pro Mechanical Keyboard

Logitech first announced the “G Pro” lineup back in August 2016 when it unveiled the G Pro Gaming Mouse. Now, the company has released a keyboard to pair with it, the tenkeyless Logitech G Pro mechanical keyboard.

According to Logitech, everything from the ergonomic shape, to the actuation force needed for clicking, to the overall weight of the mouse was the result of months of collaboration between Logitech’s design team and eSports athletes (professional gamers). However, the pros felt the need for an accompanying keyboard to match their playstyles as well, with the primary request being a tenkeyless model.

The top of the G Pro keyboard has a matte black plastic finish, there’s a glossy finish on the sides, and the bottom has a diagonally-striped pattern. For stability, the bottom has five rubber feet and two kickstands—each with two height levels—to prop the G Pro higher. The keyboard’s Romer-G switches feature surface-mounted LEDs and a through-stem design so that lighting won’t leak from beneath the keys. Finally, the keycaps are shaped traditionally, unlike the G910, whose keycaps many users felt were awkwardly shaped. Also unlike the G910, the G Pro features a traditional keyboard design based on Logitech’s previously released G810 and G610. Fundamentally, the difference is that the G Pro is tenkeyless. 

Logitech found that pro players prefer tenkeyless keyboards because they’re portable and don’t take up too much room on their desks. This is more dramatic a need for some esports athletes than average users, because some pro gamers actually position their keyboards at odd angles; the numpad was simply always in the way.

The G Pro is compact, measuring 14.21 inches across by 6.02 inches, and it weighs 2.16lbs. This more compact form factor, along with the detachable cable, is designed to make the G Pro easy to pack for traveling. It’s ideal for LAN parties and for competing on stage; often these stages can be cramped, as they have to accommodate other players as well as their PCs. The less intrusive your keyboard is, the more room you have for your mouse.

Other than dropping the numpad, Logitech’s main focus with the G Pro keyboard is its Romer-G switches, which are optimized for fast keystroke signal processing (KPM). When you press a key, actuation can be slowed down by debounce–the switch’s metal contacts create a “bounce” before an electrical signal is sent. To circumvent this, the keyboard’s microcontroller (MCU) undergoes a process called “debouncing,” where it waits for a brief period of time to make sure that multiple inputs aren’t detected in a single key press.

Logitech attempted to cut this time frame down as much as possible with its Romer-G switches. According to the company, the reduced window allows more actuations to be performed without bounces.

Theoretically, gamers can benefit from this in competitive games that rely on “tick rates.” For example, according to Logitech, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s 128-tick servers measure inputs in 128-tick intervals, or roughly 7.8 milliseconds. Now imagine that you and an opponent are in a game of CS:GO, and your opponent has a keyboard with a shorter debouncing period; if you simultaneously tap the “A” key to move left, the server should register your opponent moving left at least 7.8ms sooner than you. Logitech claieds that its Romer-G switches and MCU can accomplish this, but other factors such as your internet connection and how fast you can react will determine whether the shorter debouncing period will benefit you.

Aside from that, the G Pro keyboard will also feature the Logitech Gaming Software for RGB backlight customization. LGS has a variety of functions such as native RGB lighting integration for specific games, macro customization for the function keys, per-game control profiles, and on-board memory to store macro and lighting profiles.

The Logitech G Pro Mechanical Keyboard will be available early this month for $129.99.

Logitech G Pro Mechanical Keyboard
Model Type Tenkeyless
Switch Type Romer-G Mechanical Switches
Actuation Force 45g
Actuation Time 5 milliseconds
Lighting 16.8 Million Color RGB Backlight
Additional Ports None
Cable Type Detachable 6ft USB
Key Caps Standard Smooth Black white laser-marked lettering
Software Logitech Gaming Software
Weight (without cable) 2.16lbs
Dimensions 6.02 x 14.21 x 1.34 inches (WxDxH)
Accessories None
Miscellaneous 12 Programmable F Keys
Price $139.99

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AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.3.1 Ready For 'Ghost Recon Wildlands'

AMD released a new Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition update, with day-one compatibility for Ghost Recon Wildlands.

Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.3.1 promises up to a 6% performance improvement on an RX 480 8GB graphics card compared to the previous version (17.2.1). The new software also features a new multi-GPU profile for DirectX 11. However, if you thought you were going to fire up your 3- and 4-way AMD CrossFire setup (because lots of people have that) without any problems, think again. The driver’s patch notes list such a setup under the “Known Issues” section, specifically citing multi-GPU performance issues in Ghost Recon Wildlands that cause flickering or (worst case) cause the game to not launch properly.

AMD also fixed a plethora of issues with the latest Crimson ReLive update, including flickering textures in Battlefield 1, various instances of texture and character model flickering in For Honor, stuttering issues in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive when using Radeon Chill, and stuttering in DOTA 2 on some system configurations with Radeon ReLive enabled.

The new driver also alleviated some issues with Radeon WattMan, which previously sometimes lost custom fan curve settings after the system hibernated and had display flickering issues or application hangs on some Radeon R9 380 products when users adjusted the WattMan settings.

You can read about the full list of bug fixes, including the lingering bugs still on the to-do list, and download the newest version of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition at AMD’s website.

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Facebook 'failed to remove sexualised images of children'

Facebook has been criticised for its handling of reports about sexualised images of children on its platform.

The chairman of the Commons media committee, Damian Collins, said he had “grave doubts” about the effectiveness of its content moderation systems.

Mr Collins’ comments come after the BBC reported dozens of photos to Facebook, but more than 80% were not removed.

They included images from groups where men were discussing swapping what appeared to be child abuse material.

When provided with examples of the images, Facebook reported the BBC journalists involved to the police and cancelled plans for an interview.

It subsequently issued a statement: “It is against the law for anyone to distribute images of child exploitation.”

Mr Collins said it was extraordinary that the BBC had been reported to the authorities when it was trying to “help clean up the network”.

On its welcome page, Facebook says it does remove obscene material.

“Nudity or other sexually suggestive content” it states are not allowed on the platform.

It encourages users to report inappropriate content via its “report button”.

The US firm says it has improved this system since an investigation by the BBC last year.

That found “secret” groups were being used by paedophiles to meet and swap images.

Information the BBC provided to the police led to one man being sent to prison for four years.

To test Facebook’s claim, the BBC used the report button to alert the company to 100 images which appeared to break its guidelines. They included:

  • pages explicitly for men with a sexual interest in children
  • images of under-16s in highly sexualised poses, with obscene comments posted beside them
  • groups with names such as “hot xxxx schoolgirls” containing stolen images of real children
  • an image that appeared to be a still from a video of child abuse, with a request below it to share “child pornography”

Of the 100 images only 18 were removed.

According to Facebook’s automated replies, the other 82 did not breach “community standards”. They included the apparent freeze frame.

Facebook’s rules forbid convicted sex offenders from having accounts.

But the BBC found five convicted paedophiles with profiles, and reported them to Facebook via its own system. None of them were taken down.

“I find it very disturbing, I find that content unacceptable,” said Mr Collins in response.

“I think it raises the question of how can users make effective complaints to Facebook about content that is disturbing, shouldn’t be on the site, and have confidence that that will be acted upon.”

The BBC also showed what it had found to the Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England.

“I have been very disturbed by what I have seen, very disappointed that one year on we are still seeing images that are very sexualised, totally in my view unacceptable,” she said.

“The moderation clearly isn’t being effective, I would question whether humans are moderating this, are looking at this, and also I think it is failing to take account of the context of these images.”

The BBC first asked Facebook for an interview about its moderation system in late-2015, and repeated the request following this follow-up investigation.

The social network’s director of policy Simon Milner agreed to be interviewed last week, on condition the BBC provided examples of the material that it had reported, but had not been removed by moderators.

The BBC did so, but was reported to the UK’s National Crime Agency as a consequence.

Mr Collins said this was “extraordinary – because you’re trying to help them clean up their network, from material that shouldn’t be there”.

Facebook later provided a statement.

“We have carefully reviewed the content referred to us and have now removed all items that were illegal or against our standards,” it said.

“This content is no longer on our platform. We take this matter extremely seriously and we continue to improve our reporting and take-down measures.

“It is against the law for anyone to distribute images of child exploitation.

“When the BBC sent us such images we followed our industry’s standard practice and reported them to Ceop [Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre].

“We also reported the child exploitation images that had been shared on our own platform. This matter is now in the hands of the authorities.”

But the BBC’s director of editorial policy, David Jordan, said the move was surprising.

“The fact that Facebook sent images that had been sent to them, that appear on their site, for their response about how Facebook deals with inappropriate images…the fact that they sent those on to the police seemed to me to be extraordinary,” he said.

“One can only assume that the Facebook executives were unwilling or certainly reluctant to engage in an interview or a debate about why these images are available on the Facebook site.”

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