vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Apple unveils the 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablet

by Mark Tyson on 9 September 2015, 20:06

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacukm

Add to My Vault: x

Apple is seeking to inject a stimulant into its flagging tablet sales with the launch of the iPad Pro, revealed tonight. The new device has a 12.9-inch screen and is as wide as the previous full sized iPad is long. At its heart beats Apple's new A9X processor which boasts 1.8x the computational performance of its predecessor. Moving into 2-in-1 territory the iPad Pro can be bundled with optional productivity enhancing accessories like the Apple Pencil stylus and Smart Keyboard cover.

2-in-1 temptation

Revealing the large screened new iPad, Apple CEO Tim Cook said "iPad is the clearest expression of our future of personal computing". With iPad sales declining for six quarters in a row, Apple looks like it wants to catch hold of the coat-tails of the growing popularity of 2-in-1 devices. In Germany, for example, there were over 120,000 2-in-1s shipped during Q2 2015 and this form factor will represent 15 per cent of the total number of computing devices sold by 2019. An IDC analyst claimed that "2-in-1s are the only product category with a positive outlook over the next four years".

New iPad specs

Apple has chosen the iPad Pro to be the first device to employ its new 64-bit A9X processor. As mentioned in the intro, this is nearly twice as fast as its predecessor. Apple's Phil Schiller claimed the processor is "faster than 80% of the processors of portable PCs that were shipped in the last 12 months". The SoC's GPU has been improved an even greater amount and is now "faster than 90% of the graphics of the portable PCs shipped," according to Schiller. The GPU will certainly be taxed by the large Retina screen with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels (5.6 million pixels).

Despite the extra power under the hood, and the larger screen, the iPad Pro still boasts 10 hours of battery life. The slim device, it's just 6.9mm thick, will be sold in silver, gold and space grey versions. It incorporates four speakers for enhanced stereo sound. The starting price for the iPad Pro is $799, for more than the base level of storage (32GB) and for LTE connectivity it will cost more. For example the 128GB version with Wi-Fi and LTE costs £1,079.

Accessories maketh a 2-in-1

Two important accessories were announced to extend the scope of the iPad Pro. The $99 Pencil is pressure sensitive (we don't know how many levels of sensitivity). It's a 'notable' accessory as Steve Jobs, on the topic of tablet design, once asserted that "If you see a stylus, they blew it".

For productivity many users like a physical keyboard and Apple has made an official keyboard cover for the iPad Pro called the Smart Keyboard cover. This $169 accessory magnetically attaches to a new smart connector port on the side of the iPad Pro.

To make the most of the new larger screen, and the productivity it affords, Apple has introduced split screen multitasking to iOS. Microsoft's famous Office suite was shown off in this mode as were other programs for drawing, CAD, note taking and more. A new app called Adobe Photoshop Fix was shown editing a 50MP image, showing the capabilities of the new Pro tablet.

What are your first impressions of the Apple iPad Pro? Let us know in the comments below.



HEXUS Forums :: 28 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
So this is competing with the larger Surface Pro devices then…

Anyone got a price comparison table ready yet?

The A9X sounds interesting (where's the A9?), it will be fun to see how it compares CPU-wise and GPU-wise with the ULV Skylakes and Atoms used in the Windows 10 devices.
I personally like the iPad Pro, and the Pencil Stylus seems like a decent innovation as I've found most styluses severely lacking. I wonder if it'll be rootable to other tablets/devices or at least other iOS devices…?
I was literally laughing all through the announcement…. they've basically made a surface pro running iOS… that's not exactly a ‘pro’ platform in my opinion but each to their own. I don't want to do my CAD/Graphic work in a limited program with limited ram….
plexabit
I personally like the iPad Pro, and the Pencil Stylus seems like a decent innovation as I've found most styluses severely lacking. I wonder if it'll be rootable to other tablets/devices or at least other iOS devices…?
I honestly can't see the big deal compared to the Samsung S-Pen that's been out for years. I've got one that looks like a pencil, even to having a (working!) eraser at the other end. Remember that the S-Pen is a Wacom design, so it's pressure-sensitive and doesn't even have to touch the screen to be usable, (which can be handy if you're trying to trace something).
LSG501
I was literally laughing all through the announcement…. they've basically made a surface pro running iOS… that's not exactly a ‘pro’ platform in my opinion but each to their own. I don't want to do my CAD/Graphic work in a limited program with limited ram….
I should think Samsung are also having a good laugh - basically “see we told you large screens and styluses made sense”. Can't honestly see who - apart from the “creatives” - would want this when the Surface Pro is cheaper and more flexible. Think I'll go back to my 10" Note tablet that was less than 1/2 the price of this iPad Pro.
“”faster than 80% of the processors of portable PCs that were shipped in the last 12 months“. The SoC's GPU has been improved an even greater amount and is now ”faster than 90% of the graphics of the portable PCs shipped,“” I would like to know what he considers a “Portable PC” because last time I checked an ultra-book is very much going to blow this thing out of the water as far as compute power if it has an i7 and dedicated GPU in it, such as a GTX 960m or 970m.