At their event in California today, Apple unveiled something we’ve been hearing about for a hell of a long time, the iPad Pro, a brand new iPad that’s bigger and better than anything Apple has ever done before. In fact, Tim Cook said that “this is the biggest biggest news in iPad since the iPad.”
So what the hell is the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro in short, is essentially Apple’s take on the Surface Pro, it’s predominantly a tablet, but it comes with the feel and functionality of a laptop PC.
It’s a massive 12.9-inch slate with the highest resolution on any Apple device, with 5 million pixels. This gives it a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels. In fact, at the event a graphic showed that the height of the display of the iPad Air 2 fit perfectly in the width of the iPad Pro with room on the side for an additional app, this makes the perfect iPad to make use of Apple’s new Dual Screen functionality coming to iOS 9.
Powering the iPad Pro is a brand new chip from Apple, the A9X processor, which Apple says is 1.8 times faster than its predecessor. Graphics have also doubled in terms of performance too with Apple saying that it’s perfect for games and productivity apps, going as far to say that it’s faster than “80 per cent of the portable PCs that shipped in the last 12 months.”
With a big screen comes improved power management, with the screen being the first of its kind to have a variable refresh rate to save energy. It’ll apparently last 10 hours on battery too, with the ability to also edit three streams of 4K video simultaneously.
Apple has even improved the speaker system on the device offering a four-speaker system in all four corners of the device, what’s more the software recognises the way the device is orientated and adjusts the volume in each speaker to suit, that means you can get comfortable without worrying about blocking the speakers.
As I mentioned the Surface Pro previously, this claim is due to the new “Smart Keyboard” that Apple also unveiled for the device. This keyboard cover hybrid doesn’t look too remarkable, but apparently it’s “unlike any keyboard you’ve ever used before.” It’s covered in fabric to make it more comfortable, and three new contacts on the side of the device act as a new “Smart Connector” to attach the keyboard to the iPad Pro. I’m actually unsure why it’s considered smart, as it does things most tablet-connected keyboards do, but I’m sure it’ll become evident once the device releases.
Finally, to add just how versatile the new iPad Pro can be, Apple introduced another accessory to the device that’ll likely have one company blowing steam out of their ears. The Apple Pencil. Yep, Apple have introduced their own stylus that works exclusively with the iPad Pro.
When using the new Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro actually does something really special, it ups the amount of scanning on the surface of the display to improve accuracy, so much so that Apple claims you can draw on a single pixel. The Apple Pencil itself has sensitivity sensors so you can adjust pressure to draw thicker or thinner lines. It also recognises when the pencil is on its side and will allow for more delicate shading on the device.
The Apple Pencil can be charged using the iPad too with its built in lightning connector, so you’ll always be prepared to scribble down ideas or add the final touches to your masterpiece.
As for pricing, well this is where it gets a little collar twitchy. The iPad Pro will set you back $799 for the 32GB model, $949 for the 128GB model, and $1079 with a 128GB model with LTE. As for the Smart Keyboard, that’ll cost you $169 and the Apple Pencil will cost you $99 they’ll all be available this November here in the UK.