There’s a 7.9 inch iPad and a 9.7 inch iPad, but say that’s not big enough for you, and you’d prefer a laptop-sized iPad for your big images and all. Fine, because now there’s an iPad Pro.
Whether or not Samsung was too early when it first outed its 12 inch Note Pro, with Microsoft joining later on with its 12 inch Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Apple is now getting in on the 12 inch fun, creating a 12 inch iPad Pro.
“12 inches?” I hear you yell. “Surely, that’s too big. I mean, that’s what 30 centimetres isn’t it?”
It is, and technically when you count up the entirety of the screen size sitting at 12.9 inches, it’s actually a larger 32.76cm, making it one of the biggest currently tablets being put into production.
But hold up, because Apple’s iPad Pro ain’t no ordinary iPad.
For this new incarnation of the iPad, Apple has decided to build a machine made for the enterprise sector, as well as the creative types out there, with a larger display, new ways of throwing in your words, and a super fast processor, among other things.
On the inside, there’s a faster chip there, boosting the performance already found in the iPad Air 2’s A8X with an A9X, which itself is faster than what is inside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, both of which were announced at the same event.
That should be ideal for gaming and actual work, and Apple hints that this will be good for editing 4K video, which is handy since the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus also capture in 4K.
Apple’s iPad Pro cameras do not, however, with the 8 megapixel rear camera on this tablet only good for Full HD and 8 megapixel stills, while the front camera has been taken right out of the previous generation iPhone, with a 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD camera.
The screen is one of Apple’s typical “Retina” displays, packing in a good 5.6 million pixels and sporting the resolution of 2732×2048, retaining that typical 4:3 aspect ratio Apple has gone with for ages and incorporating a variable refresh rate that checks the screen a little more often than a regular touchscreen display, catering to people who plan to be using it often, making it that much more accurate.
For the iPad Pro, using the screen “often” doesn’t just translate to typing using the fairly large keyboard or even playing an odd game here and there. Rather, it has more to do with people who plan to use one of the accessories of the iPad Pro: a stylus.
Just like the Samsung Galaxy Note series of devices and Microsoft’s Surface Pro range of products, Apple is reintroducing the stylus to the world, and it is called Pencil.
According to Apple, this is no ordinary stylus, calling it “a precision input device” that according to the company “makes drawing and sketching feel remarkably fluid and natural”.
How this compares to other third party pens and pencils designed to do the same thing, we can’t say as of yet, sufficed to say that the Apple Pencil has been design to work with the iPad Pro for reduced latency, pressure sensitivity, support for tilt (which we suspect changes the style of the stroke), and even sports a built-in Lightning port so you can charge it from the battery on the iPad Pro itself.
A secondary accessory will also be made available, and again, this one takes a page out of one of Apple’s competitor’s books.
Called the “Smart Keyboard”, this is a full-size keyboard built into a woven fabric that connects directly to the iPad by way of a custom port on the side of the computer, which Apple is calling the “Smart Connector port”.
It’s hard not to compare this to Microsoft’s TypeCover keyboard, because it sounds very, very similar, though Apple is changing a few things, relying on the keyboard for the stand — think the origami design of the iPad Smart Cover cases — while the keyboard is said to rely on a similar design to that of Apple’s MacBook keyboard, which includes the new smaller butterfly mechanism.
“iPad Pro is the most advanced and powerful iPad we have ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple.
“Its beautiful and large 12.9-inch Retina display has 5.6 million pixels and provides an immersive experience for content and apps,” he said.
“The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made — its A9X chip beats most portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day.”
There will, of course, be an option for 4G LTE, but to get that model, you’ll need to be prepared to spend big since it will only arrive in a 128GB option, while the WiFi variant with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac will come in both 32GB and 128GB.
We’re surprised at the 32GB option, and figure 64GB would make more sense, but suspect this will be one of those “be prepared to be up-sold” moments whereby you’re told you can store more on the 128GB version, making it better for long term use.
As for pricing, no word on that yet, but with release in November, you can be sure that we’ll let you know closer to the date.