After years of speculation, Apple has finally done it: They’ve unleashed the iPad Pro, essentially a MacBook with the keyboard sheared off. Here’s everything you need to know.
First of all, it’s huge: 12.9 inches, in fact. Why? Apple sees this as the replacement for your laptop. They’ve emphasized the huge screen gives you real estate to type up documents and edit photos, allowing for a full-sized software keyboard. Apple is also claiming that it’s faster than 80% of all “portable PCs” shipped in the last twelve months… which is a gutsy claim.
It’s heavy, relatively speaking, at 1.57 pounds: The original iPad, that porker, was 1.54. And amazingly, Apple has crammed all this into a body that’s just shy of 7mm thick. And yes, you can buy a keyboard cover to go with it; it also has the Apple Pencil as an accessory, which is pressure sensitive and can detect tilt. In fact, the screen is allegedly so good, you can use a straight edge on it and it will only detect the Apple Pencil. You can even charge your Pencil by socketing into your iPad, something I am never, ever, ever going to not giggle at.
If you were wondering, it has a ten-hour battery. Although this is Apple, so I’d wait for some performance stats from independent sources.
The main question, of course, is where Apple sees this particular product fitting into your life. It sure sounds a lot like the MacBook Air, a product with a rabid fandom, and seems aimed squarely at getting all the photo editors and other creative types who cling to Apple’s laptops to finally work on an iPad. They even showed off software like AutoCAD, Adobe, and Microsoft Office: Microsoft, in particular, has clearly either spent a lot of time with the iPad Pro or just saw this coming, as it was showing off creating graphical objects in PowerPoint from rough sketches. They also showed off anatomy apps that would potentially allow doctors to show you just how you’ve been hurt, which, ow, no, ow.
So, how much will this cost? As usual, pricing is tiered: $799 for the 32GB model, $949 for 128GB, and $1,079 for 128GB and LTE. Also the Apple Pencil will run $99, and that keyboard cover will cost you $169. Oh, come on, Apple. Couldn’t you make the Apple Pencil $69, for the sake of Twitter humorists everywhere?