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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Apple announces new, more powerful 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Apple announces new, more powerful 12.9-inch iPad Pro
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NewsPoster
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Sep 9, 2015, 01:50 PM
 
Today Apple brought out the long-rumored iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch version of the market-leading tablet aimed at both consumers and education that features a full-size keyboard that "can do things a smartphone can't do" -- including large split-screen functionality and more powerful processing, featuring a 2732x2048 display pushing 5.6 million pixels, more than are even found in the Retina MacBook Pros. The machine runs an Apple A9X processor, with double the memory bandwidth, and is said to be 1.8 times faster than the A8X processor found in the iPad Air 2.

In addition to the device itself, which features a new quad-speaker system, a new magnetic Smart Connector and the ability to handle up to three 4K video streams in what appears to be a new version of iMovie for iOS, two new rumored accessories were announced -- the magnetic Smart Keyboard for physical keyboard use, and the Apple Pencil, a new drawing stylus that demonstrates a level of sensitivity not previously seen for mainstream tablets before. Demonstrations from Microsoft and Adobe, among others, show much-improved sensitivity for both finger use and Apple Pencil.

Cross-section of new Apple Pencil
Cross-section of new Apple Pencil


The new Smart Keyboard uses an all-new magnetic connector seen on the side of the iPad Pro, meaning the keyboard is used in landscape mode only. When connected, the software keyboard is automatically hidden to allow use the keyboard, which also features a standard array of iPad-exclusive keys, such as a home button and special app keys.

Irene Walsh of D4 Medical showed off both the much more powerful graphics of the iPad and the Apple Pencil by demonstrating live-rendered, 60fps 3D anatomy graphics and marking up demonstrative injuries, surgical approaches, and other graphics that can be sent to patients' own devices. The Apple Pencil will be available in November, and will cost $99 (the Smart Keyboard will ship at the same time for $169).



The new iPad Pro itself will start at $799, and Apple will continue to offer the iPad Air and iPad Air 2 at $399 and $499 respectively, and introduced the iPad mini 4 (which is the functional equivalent of the larger iPad Air 2, with exactly the same capabilities) for $399. The previous iPad mini 2 is also available, at a new lower price of $269.



The iPad Pro was said by Apple to have faster graphics than 90 percent of the portable notebooks shipping today, with SVP Phil Schiller referring at one point to the device's "buttery smoothness" when referring to the graphics, particularly in conjunction with Apple Pencil. CEO Tim Cook pointed out that the new iPad is 22 times faster than the original iPad overall, and 360 times faster than the first iPad in terms of graphics.



The iPad Pro offers two times faster graphics than the previous iPad Air 2, but despite the larger screen is only slightly thicker than the iPad Air 2 (6.9mm versus the iPad Air 2's 6.1mm. The device is of course much heavier than most other iPads, but has a weight comparable to the first iPad (1.57 pounds). The software keyboard in the iPad Pro is large enough to be considered full-size, which should interest people planning on typing on it often with either the on-screen keyboard or a physical keyboard or keyboard case, either provided by Apple or third-party vendors.

iPad Pro on-screen, full-size keyboard
iPad Pro on-screen, full-size keyboard


The iPad Pro will be available in capacities of 32GB and 128GB with Wi-Fi only, with a 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular option. Prices will be $799, $949, and $1,079, respectively.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Sep 9, 2015 at 07:32 PM. )
     
And.reg
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Sep 9, 2015, 02:15 PM
 
I don't get it. The 12" Macbook is a full desktop OS. The larger iPad Pro is limited to the iOS platform and does less.
     
pastusza
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Sep 9, 2015, 02:35 PM
 
Not to mention the stylus and magnetic keyboard are blatant ripoff of the Surface. Now if the iPad Pro could run MacOS....
Andy Pastuszak
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SierraDragon
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Sep 9, 2015, 03:15 PM
 
IMO the new iPad Pro is actually a new category of device, a large-display 1.5 pound high-resolution tablet. _Not_ Surface Pro and not a Macbook, but not a one-handed device either. That is ergonomically new and is interesting as such.
     
MarkTime
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Sep 9, 2015, 04:26 PM
 
The Mac OS X user base is about 80 million. The iOS user base is over 800 million.

Apple isn't wrong about going with iOS. Let's face it, Mac OS X was Apple's chance to re-invent the OS....and they did it again with iOS.

I do not want Mac OS X on my tablet. Read the spec's, the tablet can save energy with a variable display rate - 30hz when the screen is static, 60hz when not. The screen will never be acceptable at 30hz if you have a Mac OS X style mouse cursor ever present.

Apple has made the right choice - but what we need is xCode ported to iOS (or your favorite app)...so that we can eventually stop using Mac OS X.
     
nat
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Sep 9, 2015, 04:31 PM
 
and still no track pad? The very reason I stopped using my iPad. When doing some serious writing it's a joke to have to use fingers for copying/pasting/editing when there is no reason whatsoever that I can't have precision input on the device.
     
MarkTime
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Sep 9, 2015, 04:51 PM
 
rejoice nat, that is precisely what the apple pencil adds - precision input. You have 12.9" of trackpad.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Sep 9, 2015, 04:55 PM
 
I'm not super-thrilled about the MacBook-style keyboard, which is fine. It still has Bluetooth. This is going to do super-well in enterprise, and I've already had a half dozen attorneys ask me if I have an "in" to get them one.

We'll be talking more about our opinions on the device in a post later this evening. Right now, we're focusing on the details.
     
nat
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Sep 9, 2015, 05:18 PM
 
Thanks MartTime but that is exactly what I don't want to do. Stop typing, pick up a stylus, do what I need to do, put down the stylus, start typing again. That's no better than reaching up there with my fingers. Maybe more precise, certainly not any easier.
As I said there is absolutely no reason, not one, to not enable trackpad functionality. It's a stubborness I can't understand.
     
coffeetime
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Sep 9, 2015, 05:29 PM
 
Nice. A designer's and artist's answers to their prayers. I want one.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 10, 2015, 03:20 AM
 
What would the trackpad control? A mouse pointer? iOS does not have such a thing; that's Mac OS.
     
Atheist
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Sep 10, 2015, 08:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by nat View Post
Thanks MartTime but that is exactly what I don't want to do. Stop typing, pick up a stylus, do what I need to do, put down the stylus, start typing again. That's no better than reaching up there with my fingers. Maybe more precise, certainly not any easier.
As I said there is absolutely no reason, not one, to not enable trackpad functionality. It's a stubborness I can't understand.
iOS 9 has a new feature that allows you to use a two-finger swipe gesture over the keyboard giving you trackpad functionality. It was designed specifically for easier cutting and pasting.

     
nat
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Sep 10, 2015, 08:34 AM
 
Atheist: Exactly. I don't want to reach up there. I don't care how much easier they've made it, it's not as easy as a trackpad.
So, apparently touch is all that's necessary. Yet there have always been physical keyboards and now Apple has made one specifically for iPad. I guess touch isn't all that's necessary.
So, apparently, precision input isn't necessary. Except now Apple has mad a "Pencil" for precision input. A physical device.
What is the reasoning for not giving us the option for a mouse or trackpad?
It's an option. They won't give it to us. I do not understand that. At. All. They are intentionally limiting productivity options.
     
nat
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Sep 10, 2015, 08:39 AM
 
Just to be clear, I want a trackpad on a physical keyboard attached to the iPad.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Sep 10, 2015, 10:18 AM
 
I can't speak for Apple, but I think given history the reasoning is if you want a trackpad and not a touchscreen, you get a MacBook. If you want a touchscreen and not a trackpad, you get an iPad.
     
   
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