Largest, most powerful iPad yet offers more computing and graphical performance, and even comes with an Apple Pencil
Apple has announced its largest and most powerful tablet to date with the revealing of the iPad Pro.
The 12.9in tablet has a bigger screen, all-day battery life, and faster hardware than any Apple device to date, and offers ‘desktop-level’ performance.
And it’ll even come with some fancy new accessories, as Apple surprisingly revealed an accompanying keyboard, named the Smart Keyboard, and most interestingly, a stylus for drawing and interacting with the screen, named the Apple Pencil.
“This is the most powerful iPad we’ve ever made – by a long shot,” said Apple’s Phil Schiller, “there has never been a product like the iPad Pro before.”
Available in three finishes, the iPad Pro is just 6.9mm think and weighs only 712g. It will go on sale in November, starting at $799 for the most basic model (coming with 32GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity), raising to $1049 for the top-level device.
Under the hood, Apple has created the A9X chip, its most powerful to date. Apple’s third-generation 64-bit chip has doubled the memory bandwidth and is 1.8 times quicker in CPU performance and offers twice as fast performance than the A8X chip it replaces.
This makes the iPad Pro faster than 80 percent of portable PCs that shipped in the last 12 months in CPU performance, and 90 percent faster in GPU performance.
This powers a 12.9in screen with 2732 x 2742 pixels – a grand total of 5.6m pixels, described by Schiller as “the most advanced display we have ever built” and a perfect device for viewing photos and watching films. As for audio, the iPad Pro sports four separate speakers, and the device will balance the audio output depending on how you hold it.
The iPad Pro will run iOS 9, and takes advantage of many of the new software’s productivity features to offer a work-friendly device.
To show this off, Apple invited its old enemy Microsoft up on stage to show off how well its latest family of Office apps work with the iPad Pro and particularly the Apple Pencil. The screen is now large enough to support a full-size keyboard, which Apple says will make typing a breeze and really shows that the iPad Pro will be a work-focused device to be reckoned with.
The all-new Smart Keyboard connects to the iPad Pro via Apple’s new connectivity solution. Named Smart Connector, it is made up of three magentic dots that transfer power and information to the keyboard.
As for the Apple Pencil, the company says that it can offer ‘hours of use’, and can be recharged using the iPad Pro’s Lightning port.
The Apple Pencil will cost $99 and the Smart Keyboard $169, with both being made available in November.
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