For a good year or so now, it has been suggested that Apple would be coming through with a tablet larger and more powerful than the current flagship 9.7-inch model, and given the introduction of would-be rival products like the Microsoft Surface and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro line, the idea of a 12.9-inch iPad Pro seems even more plausible. Today, new information has emerged about the slate, with a report suggesting that the SoC powering the top-end slab will be a more robust, A8X chip.

The new Apple A8 offers a reasonable performance bump on the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus compared with the iPhone 5s, with early benchmark readings indicating a speed increase of around 15 percent. This is certainly not bad going, particularly given that the A7 – the first 64-bit processor in the mobile industry – really did raise the bar dramatically. However, considering that the iPad Pro is said to pack a 12.9-inch display – one that will likely command a resolution increase on the iPad Air – it’s logical that Apple would be working on a slightly more capable SoC to meet the demands of a tablet featuring a MacBook-sized display.

iPad Pro

Although last iPad upgrade, which saw the iPad mini 2 and iPad Air introduced last October, didn’t include an ‘A7X’ processor – merely the same A7 as found in the iPhone 5s but clocked at 100MHz higher – a 12.9-inch display would almost certainly require something more fit for purpose than the iPhone 6’s A8. As many of you will recall, the A5X and A6X offered superior graphics performance over the X-less variants, and given that this rumored iPad Pro will be built to deliver a top-notch performance on a mammoth display, it makes sense that the iPad Pro should consume every drop of graphics power that an A8X could potentially offer.

iPad-Air

The enigmatic iPad Pro, which, on reflection, could feasibly be given the ‘Plus’ moniker, is expected to arrive sometime during the first half of 2015. A new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will almost certainly be announced next month, though, featuring Touch ID, the A8 processor and a number of other perks and tweaks, and may also be announced alongside OS X Yosemite 10.10 for Mac.

(Source: TechNews [Google Translate])

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