Apple today announced the new, highly anticipated iPad Pro, putting to bed months of speculation about whether or not the device existed. Aimed predominantly at business and education institutions, the 12.9-inch Apple branded slate now sits alongside the Cupertino company’s 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 7.9-inch fourth-generation iPad mini to form a truly competitive and formidable range of tablets. We’ve got more about the iPad Pro after the break.
The iPad Pro is indeed a beauty in every department, so without wasting anymore time, let’s check out what sets this tablet apart from the rest of its siblings.
Features / Specs
The larger display that comes attached to the iPad Pro is undoubtedly one of its biggest points of appeal. The larger form factor of the latest iPad paves the way for a beautiful 12.9-inch Retina display that serves up a stunning 2732 x 2048 pixel resolution at 264ppi, which means the tablet packs a whopping 5.6 million pixels. In a first ever, the iPad Pro also carries a variable refresh rate feature which kicks in automatically when needed, photo alignment technology, and a custom timing controller.
Quite like the iPad Air 2 on the outside as far as the design language is concerned, but as big as this tablet is, it manages to come in at just 6.9mm thickness, and weighing in about 1.57 pounds.
The device is further enhanced by a slightly tweaked display of the iPad Pro which works perfectly in conjunction with Apple’s own optional pressure sentive stylus called the Apple Pencil, which is sold separately.
It’s highly likely that the the inherent ability to take on a proprietary stylus will adapt and evolve over time, but for now the Apple Pencil will be used in conjunction with the new display to give artists and graphics enthusiasts a whole new way to interact with graphics intensive apps on the iPad. Being pressure sensitive, Pencil has quite a few tricks up its sleeves, such as the ability to shade your drawings by simply tilting it when drawing.
The contraption can be charged by plugging it into the Lightning port of the new iPad Pro. Apple Pencil will be available for $99.
Here’s the Apple Pencil in action on the iPad Pro:
No modern iPad would be complete without a modern, top-of-the-range processor to give it the raw power that it deserves. The iPad Pro features Apple’s latest A9 series, in this case the A9X, which is even more powerful than A9 in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Apple is calling it desktop-class processor. It delivers up to 1.8 times more performance than A8X and double the graphics performance of A8X found in iPad Air 2.
The integration of the A9X, in conjunction with 4GB of RAM (unconfirmed) within the device, provides Apple’s latest iPad offering with enough power to handle that stunning, larger display.
Don’t forget the integrated cameras if you’re an iPad picture taker. There’s an 8-megapixel rear shooter embedded on the back of the device, along with a 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime HD camera within the tablet.
The built-in lithium-ion battery may not be replaceable or interchangeable, but it should do its job perfectly well. Keeping in line with Apple’s other iPads within the tablet range the new Pro variant should serve up to ten hours of up-time under perfect conditions. Plenty of time to keep productivity at a high and fully utilize the power of the iPad Pro and iOS 9.
One of the biggest plus points of Apple’s iPad Pro is that it will ship with iOS 9.1. This version of iOS will not only have support for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, along with other iPad specific features such as Split View, Slide Over and PiP, but will also have iPad Pro exclusive feature which will enable it to run iOS apps in full-view side-by-side, thanks to the very high resolution screen in iPad Pro.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been offered in a nice new Rose Gold color that will appeal to a lot of users, but unfortunately that hasn’t been extended to the iPad Pro. Yet. Apple has decided to stick with the traditional color options that have proven so popular over the last few years. With that in mind, the 12-inch iPad Pro will be available in Space Gray, Gold and Silver options.
Unlike the iPads that came before, the iPad Pro carries an impressive 4 speaker setup, which should guarantee a marked improvement in audio quality when tinkering with multimedia content. The speakers have been placed on the top and bottom of the iPad.
Apart from the Apple Pencil mentioned above which will be sold separately, a new range of improved Smart Covers and Smart Cases will be available for the iPad Pro. There’s also the introduction of a Smart Keyboard designed which can be attached to the iPad Pro using the built-in Smart Connector, which not only powers the keyboard, but receives data as well. The Smart Keyboard will cost you a good $169.
iPad Pro – 32GB Wi-Fi: $799
iPad Pro – 128GB Wi-Fi: $949
iPad Pro – 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1079
We now have official confirmation that the iPad Pro is indeed a reality. But we have to wait a little longer before we can get Apple’s first “Pro” iPad offering. The hardware is currently in mass production and will begin to ship in November in time for the holiday shopping season, but there’s no word on when pre-orders will go live.
Check out the video below for a closer look at the iPad Pro.
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