Release date, design and specs
The wait is finally over – Apple has unveiled the first version of its enterprise-focused tablet, the iPad Pro.
Unlike previous iterations of the iPad, the the iPad Pro (starting at $ 799, around £ 599 and AU $ 1199) is designed to enhance productivity, operate as a hybrid laptop and slate, and it’s got enough storage to function as your main computing device.
- Our hands on review of the iPad Pro
This hybrid features a 12.9-inch display with a 2,732 x 2,048 resolution capable of showing 5.6 million pixels. The iPad Pro features an A9X chip, Apple’s third generation 64-bit chip, which is 1.5 times faster than the A8X chip. This speed makes the iPad Pro 80% faster than all portable PCs on the market, and 90% faster at rendering graphics than comparable portable PCs.
It features a battery that can run on a single charge for 10 hours, according to Apple. It weighs 1.57 pounds (712g) and it is available in gold, silver and space grey.
Although the iPad Pro is a stunning device, it does have a lot of competition, like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the more notebook-centric Microsoft Surface Book. There are also several mid-tier competitors, like the Lenovo Ideapad Miix 7000 and the Google Pixel C tablet.
- Looking for a tablet that can serve as a laptop? Or vice versa?
Why the iPad Pro then?
Back in 2013, Apple did something interesting with the launch of its fifth generation iPad (aside from a total hardware revamp): gave it a new name.
The iPad Air alluded to the Cupertino’s company adopting the naming convention of its laptop lines, the MacBook Air and Pro series, for its premiere range of tablets.
Logic would have dictated, then, that if Apple were to release an even more sizable iPad, it would be with a professional bent and named the iPad Pro. So, at Apple’s September event we were proven correct with a newer, bigger iPad.
What is it? A brand new, larger iPad with an enterprise slant
When will it be released? November 2015
What will it cost? From $ 799 (probably around £ 599 and AU $ 1199)
iPad Pro accessories
- Find out what each techradar editor thinks of the iPad Pro.
An optional accessory, the Smart Keyboard, that connects to the tablet via a Smart Connector carries power and data via a magnetic connection. Additionally, the Apple Pencil features Force Touch, which enables the tablet to pick up on pressure, angle, dimension and any other complex data entry positioning. The Apple Pencil will stay charged for an hour, but comes with a Lightning cable that can be charged via the tablet itself.
The iPad Pro features four speakers, one at each corner, all of which are capable of producing three-times the audio of the iPad Air 2.
- Will the iPad Pro be the next blockbuster enterprise device?
In iOS 9, you’ll be able to use Apple Pencil to mark up emails and attachments. The YouMake app will let you create complex designs with exact precision, down to a single pixel.
The iPad Pro works with a larger on-screen keyboard, similar to the one found on Apple’s MacBook notebooks, which features an additional row of smaller keys for symbols in the main view and numbers in a secondary view.
You’ll also be able to work in documents that run side- by-side in Portrait mode, a first for the iPad.
Apple teaming with IBM & Cisco
In order to further its lead in the enterprise space through BYOD, Apple partnered up with IBM to create new business-focused apps for iOS. This includes exclusive apps created by Apple and IBM in tandem ranging from data and analytics to device management and security.
Also joining the Apple team is networking giant Cisco who, last week, announced that it will “optimise business networks running on Cisco Systems so that Apple devices are more useful for enterprises “.
- 5 things business users should expect from Apple’s September event
While this move is currently just to increase the amount of existing iOS devices in the office, is there a better way to grease the wheels for a pro-centric iOS device? Not without spending a ton more cash, that’s for sure.
Sticking with the business slant, a report by AppleInsider claims that the over-sized iPad is set to come with NFC functionality which will be allow merchants to take payments using Apple Pay. That could make it a boon for the legions of retailers that have signed up to Apple’s tap-to-play platform in the countries where it has rolled out.
The competition is already heating up
Samsung beat Apple to the punch in unveiling its 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro tablets during CES 2014. With that, DigiTimes expects Apple “to release its competitor by the end of the third quarter at the earliest.” That was last year and obviously nothing happened since.
The question is: will the iPad Pro help fend off the Galaxy Note Pro and other rumored monster 13-inch tablets? Analyst house KGI reckons the answer is no. As spotted by 9to5Mac, KGI noted that while it’s “confident that the expected 12.9-inch iPad model can create an improved user experience,” it does not expect the device to “contribute meaningfully to shipments momentum anytime soon.”
Coincidentally, Microsoft and Dell announced that they were teaming up to bring the Surface Pro to an enterprise audience, just 24 hours before the Apple event, perhaps to pre-empt the launch of the iPad Pro.
Toshiba also unveiled a prototype of a Windows 10 tablet at IFA, days ago, that seems to be primed to be a potential competitor to the iPad Pro. It is still a prototype but looked almost like the finished product bar the oddly placed stylus.
iPad Pro storage
This is Apple’s chance to differentiate the iPad Pro from the iPad Air even further. Professionals expect lots of space from their computing platform of choice, and while the current 128GB iPad maximum is nice, it might not be enough.
Unfortunately, the iPad Pro will start with 32GB (Wi-Fi only) and can be configured with up to 128GB.
The top spec version of the iPad Pro will cost $ 1079 (around £ 702, AU $ 1536) and comes with 128GB and 4G LTE wireless.