For the past several years, circulating rumors suggested Apple was working on a larger, more powerful iPad designed for business users. That mythical iPad finally came to fruition when Apple unveiled the iPad Pro at its September press event. Below, we break down the features and describe in detail the different aspects of Apple’s latest tablet.
When it comes to design, the iPad Pro looks very similar to the existing iPad Air 2, just bigger. Weighing in at 1.57 pounds and measuring a mere 6.9mm at it thickest point, the iPad Pro is lightweight yet strong thanks to its aluminum unibody design. Apple pays attention to even the smallest details, so it is not surprising to learn that the iPad Pro also features four speakers — two at each end — that allow you to have the best sound experience no matter how you are holding the device. Similar to the iPad Air 2, the new iPad Pro will be available in Space Gray, Gold and Silver color options.
The iPad Pro is Apple’s first mobile device to feature the A9X chipset, which nearly doubles the CPU performance and graphics performance of the iPad Air 2. Its 64‑bit desktop-class architecture ensures you’ll be able to complete any task with ease. Also bundled into the A9X is the M9 motion co-processors and a new storage controller that provides even faster read/write speeds than some desktop computers claims Apple. Because Apple designed the A9X itself, the chipset also is efficient balancing performance and power consumption, providing the iPad Pro with an astounding 10 hours of battery life.
The iPad Pro features a 12.9-inch Retina display with improved multitouch technology that supports both finger and pen input. The bigger screen has 5.6 million pixels and provides 78 percent more display area than the existing iPad Air 2. Besides being eye-catching, the iPad Pro display also offers several smaller, but significant features such as a variable refresh rate that improves energy efficiency, a timing controller that can handle the complexity of the high resolution screen and more.
The iPad Pro matches the iPad Air 2 in the camera department with an 8-megapixel rear iSight camera and a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera. The FaceTime camera offers video calling over WiFi or cellular and 720p HD video recording. The iSight camera is a bit more robust with autofocus, HDR photos and support for 1080p HD recording.
Wireless and Connectivity
Similar to the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4, the iPad Pro will be available in WiFi and WiFi + Cellular configurations. Both models support Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11a/ b/ g/ n/ ac dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) WiFi with MIMO
technology. The cellular model is unlocked and ships with the universal Apple SIM. It provides connectivity to 20 LTE bands globally at speeds up to 150Mbps.
The iPad Pro is still an iPad and not branded as a Mac, which means the tablet runs iOS 9. It includes the same built-in apps as the iPad Air 2 running iOS 9 and all the new features of Apple’s latest mobile operating system. these features include a re-designed app switcher, a smarter and more intelligent Siri, Proactive, a new Notes app, upgrades to Apple Pay, low power mode, and more.
You can learn more about the major features in iOS 9 by reading the articles below:
- The 10 best iOS 9 features
- New keyboard features in iOS 9
- Improved Notes app
- Improved battery life and all-new low power mode
- Improved Apple Pay
- Improved Security with six-digit passcodes
Similar to competing desktop-replacing tablets like the Microsoft Surface series, the iPad Pro support and optional Smart Keyboard. The new Smart Keyboard is bundles a three-layer design into it 3.2mm thick frame. On the outside is a durable polyurethane layer that’ll stand up well to daily use. On the inside is a water and stain-resistant microfiber fabric that provides a natural feel to the keyboard when you are typing. It also allows you fold the keyboard over the screen without damaging the glass surface.
Embedded between the polyurethane and fabric layer is a unique conductive material that allows for a two way exchange of power and data. There are no cumbersome wires to plug in, no wireless connections to configure, no power switches to turn off and even no need to charge the keyboard. You just attach it and start typing.
The keyboard is sold separately and is not required to use the tablet. It is helpful, though, if you are going to use the iPad Pro as a true desktop replacement.
Apple designed the iPad Pro’s new multi-touch display with the Apple Pencil in mind. The display detects the Apple Pencil immediately and can scan the pencil’s input at a rate 240 times per second, which is twice the rate it can detect a finger. This ensures this is little latency between when you draw and when the line appears on the screen. It also has pressure sensors and tilt sensors that allow users to vary line thickness and add shading merely by changing the how they place the Pencil on the iPad Pro screen. The Apple Pencil charges via a lightning connector that provides maximum flexibility. Users can charge the Pencil fully for 12 hours or use or in emergencies, plug the stylus into the iPad for 15 seconds and get 30 minutes of usage.
According to the the official specifications sheet, the iPad Pro has a built-in 38.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that provides up to 10 hours of WiFi web browsing, video playback or music listening. The cellular model offers up to 9 hours of normal usage.
Storage and colors
Apple will be offering the new iPad Pro WiFi in two storage variants: 32GB and 128GB, while the WiFi+Cellular model will only be available in a 128GB configuration. The iPad Pro also is available in three color options: Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.
Pricing and availability
Pricing for the iPad Pro WiFi starts at $799 for the 32GB model and climbs to $949 for the 128GB version. The sole 128GB WiFi + Cellular model is available for $1079. These prices include only the tablet and not the optional Smart Keyboard and Apple pencil, which will cost $169 and $99, respectively. The iPad Pro will be available online and in retail stores starting in November with a rumored launch date of November 11th.
What do you think about the new iPad Pro? Are you planning to purchase one? Drop in a comment below and let us know!