Apple launched the iPad Pro earlier today, after months of speculation, at their annual September event and was, as Apple CEO Tim Cook put it, “the biggest news for the iPad since the iPad”. In addition to the iPad Pro, Apple also announced two new accessories to accompany it – a new Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil.
The iPad Pro is the largest iOS device with a 12.9 inch (diagonal) display with a 2732-by-2048 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi) that gives you 5.6 million pixels on that beautiful Retina display. Also present on this display is Apple’s Force Touch or 3D Touch as they are calling it, that was announced on the Apple Watch and Macbook range earlier this year.
Powering the iPad Pro is the latest 3rd generation 64-bit A9X chip accompanied by the M9 motion coprocessor that is capable of doing what a Desktop can do, and then some more. Another first is the inclusion of 4 speakers around the iPad Pro which promises to deliver the best audio that you’ve experienced on an iPad device yet. No mention of the Memory was made during the keynote or on the website though, which leaves one to hope that the iPad Pro will come with at least 3 GB of RAM.
The iSight camera is an 8 Megapixel camera that comes with Apple’s true-tone flash that takes some excellent quality pictures and also lets you take Panoramic pictures upto 43 Megapixels. You can also record HD video at 1080p (30 fps) and in Slo-mo (120 fps) with video image stabilization. The front-facing FaceTime camera can take 1.2 Megapixel photos and record HD videos at 720p. A really neat feature is that the phone display brightens up to act as a flash when taking pictures using the FaceTime camera which makes for really bright pictures in low-light conditions.
New Smart Keyboard
The letters and numbers may be the same, but everything else about the Smart Keyboard is completely new. Its top layer is crafted from a sheet of highly durable custom-woven fabric that’s coated in a water‑ and stain‑resistant finish and is laser ablated to form the shape of each key. Unlike traditional keyboards, there are no gaps between keys which makes it resistant to stains and spilling. The fabric also provides the spring-like tension for each key, eliminating the need for conventional mechanisms and thus, will last a lot longer than your regular keyboard.
The Smart Keyboard has 3 connectors by which it not only allows data transfer to the iPad Pro but also charges itself thanks to the conducive nylon-metal features that it possesses. There’s no need for Bluetooth or cables and at just 4 mm thin, the Smart Keyboard, when folded also becomes a slim, lightweight cover for the iPad Pro.
Designed exclusively for the iPad Pro, Apple also launched the Apple Pencil which is essentially a Samsung-esque stylus that takes full advantage of the 3D touch / Force touch capabilities of the iPad Pro’s display.
In what could only be described as pigs flying or hell freezing over, the Apple event featured for the first time, a Microsoft executive on stage! Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft corporate vice president of Office 365 Client Apps, gave a demo of Office 365 on the new iPad Pro using the Apple Pencil, showcasing the abilities of both products and how they could work well together.
The Apple Pencil also works with regular iPad apps and can be used to update existing attachments or files on the go without too much hassle. It can charge via the lightning port on the iPad Pro and does not require separate cables or batteries.
Pricing and Availability
Expected to be available in November 2015 in the United States, the iPad Pro is priced at $799 for the 32 GB Wi-Fi model and at $949 for the 128 GB Wi-Fi model. For $1079, you get the 128 GB Wi-Fi+Cellular model. The Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil (both do not come with the iPad Pro and are sold separately) will cost you $169 and $99 respectively.
Here’s a look at some of the visuals from product launches, do check us out for more information on the other products that were launched like the Apple Watch with Watch OS 2.0, the Apple TV and the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.