Apple brings PC-like trackpad to iPad tablets

Apple’s new iPad brings PC-like trackpad capabilities for the first time, as the company seeks to make its tablet even more like a laptop computer

NEW YORK -- Apple’s new iPad brings PC-like trackpad capabilities for the first time, as the company seeks to make its tablet even more like a laptop computer.

Apple says the trackpad will offer more precision than fingers in selecting text and switching between apps.

Older iPads will also be able to get trackpad capabilities with a free software update, but some will require keyboards from third parties. For the iPad Pro, Apple is releasing a “magic keyboard” with a trackpad in May starting at $299. The tablet itself starts at $799, while an Apple Pencil stylus costs another $129, bringing the combined cost closer to that of a Mac laptop.

Apple also announced a new MacBook Air computer with a starting price of about $1,000, down $100.

Apple made no mention of new iPhones in Wednesday’s announcements. There’s been speculation that Apple is due to refresh its older models as lower-cost alternatives to the newer iPhone 11s.