Apple's new tablet has finally hit stores. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple's biggest iPad yet, has a lot riding on its coattails. It's no secret that Apple has seen sales of the iPad diminish in the last few years within a bigger tablet industry slump, and Cupertino is obviously hoping the iPad Pro will pull its numbers up.
Apple CEO Tim Cook himself has bullishly predicted that the arrival of the iPad Pro will sound the death knell for the PC. While some may disagree that Apple's new tablet will kill the personal computer, which of course includes the Mac, the iPad Pro does have a slew of amazing features that a certain group of users, specifically mobile workers and creatives on the go, will definitely find useful enough perhaps to chuck their laptops.
Bigger But Lighter
Would it surprise you to know that despite it being the biggest iPad to date, the iPad Pro is still lighter and thinner than the original iPad launched in 2010? With a height of 305.7 mm and a width of 220.6 mm, the iPad Pro is obviously bigger than any of the earlier iPads. In fact, its display takes up 78 percent more surface area than the 9.7-inch iPad. Yet with its 6.9 mm profile, it's just around as thin as the newest iPhones, making it a viable, lightweight, portable mobile computing solution.
Jony Ive promised that the iPad Pro will have the most advanced display among all of Apple's products, and it's true. The 12.9-inch Retina display features 2,732 x 2,048 pixels in resolution, with all those 5.6 million pixels translating to an admittedly modest 265 ppi pixel density. However, that's still more pixels than can be found on the new Retina MacBooks.
Support for multitasking isn't exclusive to the iPad Pro, since all Apple devices running on iOS 9 also have these features. But the humongous screen on the iPad Pro gives Apple's Split View, Picture in Picture and Slide Over so much more room to work on, allowing users to be more productive while doing multiple tasks on a larger screen real estate.
Pressure-Sensitive Apple Pencil
Apple says the Apple Pencil, the company's very first stylus, is more than a stylus. It comes packed with sensors that can sense how hard and at what angle users press the tip to the screen, a feature that reinforces Apple's claim on the market for creatives. For instance, when drawing on the iPad Pro, pressing down hard will create deeper, darker lines, while a gentler press will create a lighter stroke. Users who want an Apple Pencil will have to shell out an extra $99, on top of the $799 they need to pay for the entry-level iPad Pro 32 GB Wi-Fi-only model.
The Smart Keyboard is a smart, foldable keyboard that can connect to the iPad Pro via a new connection technology Apple calls Smart Connector. It's similar to the keyboard covers in the Surface line of two-in-ones, but this one gets rid of the need to have Bluetooth. The Smart Keyboard is available for an additional $169.
Most electronics makers, unless they're making speakers, overlook the audio quality altogether. Not Apple on the iPad Pro. To match the huge screen, Apple fitted the tablet with four front-facing speakers to deliver better sound overall. These speakers are also equipped with smarts, allowing them to balance the sound on the left and right when the tablet goes from landscape to portrait mode and vice versa.
Under the hood, the iPad Pro is powered by Apple's newest chip, the 64-bit A9X, which it says provides performance like a desktop and delivers nearly double the amount of power in the A8X running on the iPad Air 2. This is paired with 4 GB of RAM, but the storage options, 32 GB and 128 GB are still too dismal to deliver PCs to their grave.