Apple has announced the biggest iPad in living memory. The iPad Pro comes in at a whopping 12.9-inches, and has a width equal to the height of the iPad Air. Apple also claims that this gargantuan tablet will have better performance than 80-percent of all portable PCs in the market.
The 12.9-inch display has a 4:3 ratio, with over five million pixels. Giving it a resolution greater than that of a Retina display. Accompanying this is a new graphics processor that Apple is saying is better than 90-percent of mobile computers.
A new A9X processor lies at the heard of the iPad Pro, and while Apple has been characteristically light about details with the chip, the company says that it is 1.8 times faster than the A8X processor in the iPad Air. Incredibly, Apple is also saying that this will provide desktop class performance on a tablet. The tablet also features 10 hour battery life according to Apple, which apparently now counts as all day battery life these days.
Essentially, this is Apple’s answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro; and the company is saying that it has designed iOS 9 with the new iPad Pro in mind. What was really surprising is the fact that Microsoft themselves turned up to demonstrate multitasking with Microsoft Office. It was a very different kind of demonstration from Apple and the iPad which has traditionally been more about lifestyle. Of course, entertainment is not forgotten with the iPad Pro being outfitted with four speakers.
The productivity message from the announcement makes it clear that the iPad Pro is meant for serious work. Especially with the focus on a new suite of Adobe productivity app and highlighting the use of AutoCad 360 on the tablet.
Looking back, it was only a matter of time before Apple pulled something like this off. Simply refreshing the iPad every year is not particularly exciting, and expanding into productivity makes sense in an increasingly mobile minded workforce.
The iPad Pro will retail for $799 for the 32GB WiFi only version, $949 for the 128GB WiFi version, or US$1079 for the 128GB cellular version. It will be available in November in selected countries.