Apple iPad Pro – Overview & Hands On!

Apple iPad Pro – Overview & Hands On!

Goldilocks, there’s an iPad sized for you.

What’s the “pro” in iPad Pro? A high-resolution (but at 5.6-megapixel, less than 4K-capable) 12.9-inch screen about the size of a Macbook Air’s with a full-size virtual keyboard and support for the split screen and other features in iOS 9.

With the new A9X third-generation 64-bit chip and twice the memory bandwidth of its predecessor, Apple claims “desktop class performance.” It also supports variable refresh rate screen updating for power saving. Other perks: 10-hour battery life and a four-speaker audio system putting out three times the audio of the iPad Air 2. Its improved graphics hardware and iOS 9 acceleration also speeds up more graphics-intensive apps.

It’s thinner than the iPad Air and lighter than the original iPad. Apple offers a Smart Keyboard accessory just for this device. It attaches via a new technology called the Smart Connector, which carries power and data and connects magnetically.

The rumored stylus exists, and its dubbed the Apple Pencil. It emits signals from two locations to make shaded strokes, and the system scans twice as fast to capture them. It recharges off the Lightning connector, which plugs right into the tablet. Rather than pressure, it tracks tilt and pressure, which one-ups most iPad styluses, Apple claims it’s more precise, and it’s supported by many apps out of the box.

Apple iPad Pro made for tablet power users…

The Pro also runs Microsoft Office apps, in split screen, no less. Adobe demonstrated Adobe Comp; a new app called Adobe Photoshop Fix, formerly Project Rigel, which has facial feature detection built in and which will ship in October; and Photoshop Sketch with specific support for the Pencil.

Other tech specs include an 8MP iSight camera (a bit disappointing for me), FaceTime HD camera, TouchId, and 802.11ac (really fast Wi-Fi).

It will start at $799 for 32GB with Wi-Fi, 128GB for $949 and 128GB with Wi-Fi and cell for $1,079; the Pencil is $99 and the Smart Keyboard is $169. It will start shipping in November.

The iPad Mini 2 drops to $269. A new iPad Mini 4, which packs the Air 2 into the Mini design and runs for $399.

There are some new iCloud storage upgrade plans as well, ranging from 50GB for $0.99 a month, 200GB for $2.99 and 1TB for $9.99 a month, half the cost of before.

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