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Apple

With the new iPad Pro, Apple is hoping to change the narrative around the iPad as much as the economics. Its big economic move was really the introduction of a cheaper base-model iPad earlier this year. The iPad Pro in general, and this model in particular, is Apple's effort to show that tablets are good for more than just watching movies, playing games and doing light e-mail and Web browsing. It is Apple's best iPad, not its best-selling one.

Our take: The new iPad Pro adds a bunch of nice improvements to the iPad, including faster scrolling, improved brightness and a faster processor. But the biggest improvement is fitting a larger 10.5-inch screen into the same size case. (There's also a 12.9-inch version, which I didn't review, but in a brief hands-on it felt big for anything I'd want to do on a tablet.)

As for helping take the new iPad into new echelons of productivity, that will largely have to wait for iOS 11, which is due out this fall. The free software update has some great new multitasking and drag-and-drop editing features that could make the iPad Pro a much more credible alternative to a laptop for some.

Who it's good for: Anyone in the market for a new iPad who is willing to pay top dollar for a top-notch tablet. It makes far better use of its size, filling more of its frame with screen.

Who it's not: The new iPad probably won't fully replace a laptop (at least not until iOS 11 arrives) and may be more tablet than a lot of people need if their main goal is to watch some videos and browse the Web.

Pro tip: If you have one of Apple's USB-C laptop chargers (or don't mind buying one) you can use a USB-C to lightning cable and charge the iPad Pro extra fast.

The practicalities: The 10.5-inch model starts at $649 and a 12.9-inch version starts at $799. Cellular capability costs an extra $130 with 256GB and 512GB versions also available. All models are available now for pre-order and start shipping this week.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.