On Tuesday, Apple made its annual announcement of new products. These included an upgrade to the iPhone, a revamped and improved Apple TV, and some new Apple Watch bands and faces. However, the most interesting announcement was the iPad Pro and frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. The iPad Pro is the newest in the iPad line. It’s sleek, thin (6.9 mm) and light (1.5 lbs) and is 12.9 inches on the diagonal. Basically it’s as wide as an iPad Air is tall and has 5.6 million pixels, more than a 15″ MacBook Pro Retina.
So why build such a large iPad?
Apple says it’s to reach the enterprise market but most would agree it’s to compete with the Microsoft Surface. The iPad Pro has some additional accessories that will make it a direct competitor: a full-size keyboard cover and a fine-point stylus called the Apple Pencil. On paper, here’s how they compare:
|iPad Pro||Microsoft Surface Pro 3|
|Dimensions||12 x 8.6 in.||11.5 x 7.9 in.|
|Screen size||12.9 in.||12 in.|
|Weight||1.57 lb||1.76 lb|
|Memory|| 32 GB
|Price||$799 – 32 GB wifi
$949 – 128 GB wifi
$1,079 – 128 GB wifi & cell
|$799 – 64 GB wifi
$999 – 128 GB wifi
$1,149 – 256 GB wifi
$1,799 – 512 GB wifi
|Operating system||iOS 9||Windows 8.1|
|Camera||8 MP rear, 1.2 MP front||1080p rear, 5 MP front|
|External stylus||Apple Pencil – $99||included|
Apple is marketing the bigger size and speed as offering great benefits to both the creative type and the business type.
For those who love their iPad for drawing or creating then, the bigger iPad offers bigger, crisper images that are easier to work with. Combine this is the precision point of the Apple Pencil and it would appear to be a creator’s dream. The Autocad app supposedly flys on the iPad Pro, allowing you to work in 3D and full resolution with little to no refresh time. Many of the drawing apps will also take advantage of the pressure sensitivity and tip slant provided by the Apple Pencil. For the videographer, the iPad pro offers 4 speakers (one on each corner) that will auto-balance themselves based on the iPad Pro orientation.
The iPad Pro also offers something for the office. Even without the external keyboard the larger surface offers a full-size on-screen keyboard making it easier than ever to touch type. Apple has also formed a partnership with Microsoft to bring Office to the iPad. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will now be fully functional on the iPad Pro and will allow ink annotations.
The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil will be available for purchase in November and I’m excited to see if the product actually is as cool as Apple makes it seem. One thing to keep in mind before you run out a buy yours is, according to several reviews I read, that there are not current plans to create iPad apps specifically for the iPad Pro’s larger screen. As of now you’ll just run all your regular apps they’ll just be bigger. This may change in the future but as of now that is the plan. I’m looking forward to seeing it in action. Once I get my hands on one I’ll let you know what I think.