Mobile Technology

Apple's first 2-in-1 tablet, the iPad Pro, launches this week

Apple's first 2-in-1 tablet, t...
The huge iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch display
The huge iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch display
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The Apple Pencil lets you tilt its tip to shade, like you'd do with a real pencil
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The Apple Pencil lets you tilt its tip to shade, like you'd do with a real pencil
The huge iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch display
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The huge iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch display
The three color options for the iPad Pro (left to right): space gray, gold and silver
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The three color options for the iPad Pro (left to right): space gray, gold and silver
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Apple didn't give the iPad Pro announcement its own standalone event, instead cramming it into its jam-packed September iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus/Apple TV/iOS 9/El Capitan/iPad mini 4/iPad Pro press event. That means we've been waiting almost two months for the 2-in-1 to launch; that wait ends on Wednesday.

Apple fired out a press release today officially announcing that iPad Pro orders begin on Wednesday, November 11, with in-store availability at both Apple Stores and third-party retailers coming later in the week.

The oversized (12.9-inch) tablet has an optional keyboard accessory that can transform the iPad Pro into a laptop-ish kind of device, similar to what Microsoft has been doing with Surfaces for three years. Apple's marketing so far, though, frames the tablet as more of an artists' tool than a 2-in-1. Quotes from execs at Adobe, FiftyThree (makers of popular sketching app Paper) and others try to set up the iPad Pro as less of a Surface rival and more of a digital pad and pencil.

That's thanks to the Apple Pencil, the company's first stylus since the old Newton Messagepad PDAs. More than the crude, plastic pointy-things on those devices (which launched during Steve Jobs' decade-long exile from the company), Apple is hyping up the Apple Pencil's virtually imperceptible lag, pressure sensitivity and ability to sense tilt, opening the door to creating shading effects just like on a real pencil – by angling the tip.

The Apple Pencil lets you tilt its tip to shade, like you'd do with a real pencil
The Apple Pencil lets you tilt its tip to shade, like you'd do with a real pencil

The iPad Pro is the only iPad to get updated with Apple's 9th-generation chips, running a variant of the A9 SoC found in the latest iPhones (here it's called the A9X). The huge display has the same 4:3 aspect ratio as previous iPads, with the same pixel density (264 PPI) as the iPad Air family.

As much as Apple would prefer we avoid branding the iPad Pro as a Surface clone, the whole tablet with snap-on keyboard and stylus thing makes the comparison nearly impossible to avoid. There is one huge difference though: the iPad Pro's iOS 9 software is still a mobile operating system, limiting the tablet's ability to fully replace a laptop. The fact that its keyboard lacks a trackpad or mouse control of any kind doesn't exactly help out in that department either.

Microsoft's latest Surfaces are some of our favorite devices we reviewed this year, and run Windows 10 – a full desktop operating system.

The three color options for the iPad Pro (left to right): space gray, gold and silver
The three color options for the iPad Pro (left to right): space gray, gold and silver

The iPad Pro starts at US$799 for the tablet only. The (likely essential) Smart Keyboard adds another $169 onto that, with the artist-focused Apple Pencil ringing up for $99. You can check out the full list of launch countries in the press release below.

Source: Apple

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5 comments
5 comments
JohnRoss
"The oversized (12.9-inch) tablet has an optional keyboard accessory that can transform the iPad Pro into a laptop-ish kind of device, similar to what Microsoft has been doing with Surfaces for three years."
They are NOT even close to being similar. Lets compare the two.
********************************** Operating Systems ********************************** iPad Pro = iOS. A smartphone OS. On top of being a toy OS, iOS locks you into getting all of your apps through Apple, which means you can only have apps that Apple thinks you should be allowed to have. As for full grown programs...not happening.
Surface Pro 4 = Windows 10. This is a full desktop OS, it has all the features you would need. You can use apps from the Windows store or you can install ANY windows program you want to install. Does a programmer or company need to ask Microsoft if it can publish a program for you to use? Nope, YOU decide what programs you want to use. I don't know about you but I do NOT need someone babysitting me and telling me what programs I should have access to.
__________________________ WINNER = SURFACE PRO 4 __________________________
********************************** CPU ********************************** iPad Pro = A9X Chip The A9X is supposed to be pretty powerful, on par with the i5 but not as good as the i7. The A9X is the only choice you have with the iPad Pro.
Surface Pro 4 = You can choose from the m3, i5, or the i7. The A9X is on par with the i5 so you have a choice.
__________________________ WINNER = Tie (leaning towards the Surface pro due to having the ability to choose your CPU) __________________________
********************************** Storage ********************************** iPad Pro = 32 gigs or 128 gigs (but the 128 gigs will cost you $150 extra) BUT be careful choosing, once you have paid for it you are stuck with that choice. Apple does not have a way to expand your storage.
Surface Pro 4 = Where Apple tops out at 128 gigs the Surface Pro 4 starts at 128 gigs and goes up from there. You can get as much as 1 TB of storage in your Surface Pro 4. You can also expand your storage with an external hard drive, so you can add as much as you need, and your not stuck with just having what you started out with.
__________________________ WINNER = SURFACE PRO 4 (By light-years) __________________________
********************************** Price ********************************** iPad Pro = Cheapest model with keyboard and stylus (Apple Pencil) = $1067 Best model with keyboard and stylus (Apple Pencil) = $1347
Surface Pro 4= Cheapest model with keyboard and stylus = 1080 Best model with keyboard and stylus = $2,878.98 But that is for an i7 with 16 gigs of Ram and 1 TB of storage (plus the pen and keyboard) Apple is cheaper by a few dollars in the low end BUT for what your getting I would have to say that with the Surface your getting what you paid for where Apple is far overpriced for what you are getting.
__________________________ WINNER = SURFACE PRO 4 __________________________
Overall Winner = Surface Pro 4. Unless you are very heavily invested in Apples Ecosystem, get a Surface Pro 4 or wait until Apple ups its game (if it ever does)




Padaung
I agree with JohnRoss' comments above.
In addition, Apple are showing the iPad Pro as great for content creators. However, the iPad has no ports or card reader so how do I get content from my camera (stills and video) into the iPad? I know it has wi-fi but that isn't always practical or possible. Also, has Apple ever shot raw stills using a (now standard) 24mp camera or HD video (esp. raw)? You can easily use 32gb whilst shooting, so they are basically forcing customers to buy the 128gb model.
And then you have the issue of removing the edited footage and stills for backup...
To me it seems that unless you shoot your video and stills using the iPad's camera and backup solely using iCloud, your workflow is limited from the outset.
Martin Winlow
JohnRoss - You should have written the article, mate! But... for all the MS' +'s you have still got that pesky virus-thing to worry about. For most people, being able to browse the web without virus issues is a huge +, let alone do all the other 'normal' stuff, banking email etc. That's the one thing about the Apple product that makes it stick out and the only way to do that it to very tightly control the apps. There are Apple benefits, of course. You pays your money and takes your choice... At least we have a choice!
WS - "The oversized (12.9-inch) tablet... " You may think it oversized but for my money, it is what I have been waiting 20 years for - basically a near A4 sized tablet that weighs about the same as a glossy mag (not that kind!) and 1/4" thick. At last, something relatively easy to hold that you can actually get a decent-sized web experience on.
MW
Michaelangelo
I am an Apple user and I have only two PC devices. I love the Apple gear but seems to me I find I am agreeing with JohnRoss on most points. Apple is failing to keep up. It looks like the 'Job's' Magic left when he timed out. Is Apple doomed to go the same way when Jobs was exiled? Looks more like it every year. Personally I will stick with Apple for a while longer but things change. I do not need the most powerful etc. I find the argument 'My Samsung does so much more than your iPhone6' is stupid as they fail to show me and I only really use it for SMS, Mail, internet and calls. Let's see how it pans out but yep, JohnRoss has fielding the obvious as much as I hate to admit it… lol
c w
It is a MYTH that there are no viruses on MacOS.
Furthermore, the device above is iOS. MS could make the same "no viruses" claim about Windows Phone.
(exhale)