Apple’s big new iPad Pro will hit Apple’s online store Wednesday. The first retail units will show up in Apple retail stores, at some cellular service carriers, and at Apple Authorized Resellers later this week.
The most defining feature of the iPad Pro is its massive 12.9-inch Retina display that packs in 5.6 million pixels, giving it 78 percent more display area than what you get with the iPad Air 2. Meanwhile, the redesigned display also includes a nifty variable refresh rate — when the content of your iPad Pro’s screen is static, it automatically cuts the refresh rate to 30 times per second, then boosts it back up to 60 per second for action. The result? A more energy-efficient screen.
The battery, by the way, lasts up to 10 hours.
Inside the iPad Pro
The 64-bit Apple A9X chip delivers 1.8 times the performance of the previous generation Apple chip found in the iPad Air 2. The graphics performance — despite the new large screen — produces up to twice the graphics performance of the iPad Air 2.
What can you do with that kind of power? Edit multiple streams of 4K video.
There are two WiFi only models, a 32GB version for $799 and a 128GB version for $949. What about a cellular data capable model? It’s 128GB and goes for $1079.
Colors are silver, gold, or space gray.
As for size, the iPad Pro is 12 x 8.68 inches — and .27 inches thick. It weighs just over 1.5 pounds.
There’s More: A New Smart Keyboard
Because sometimes you need to type on a more tactile and reactive surface than a glass screen, Apple has produced its first keyboard and screen cover combo — the Smart Keyboard. It’s 4 millimeters thick and the surface of the keyboard is created out a seamless fabric that delivers flexible tension to each key. The fabric is also conductive, which means the fabric itself sends data to the iPad Pro, telling it which keys you just pressed. Crazy stuff, really.
Apple says its water resistant, too.
Any downsides? The Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro is $169.
There’s Even More: The New Apple Pencil
For creative artists or engineers — and anyone who just wants more precision that what they can get out of their fingers — Apple produced a new stylus device called the Apple Pencil. It communicates with your iPad Pro, which, when you’re using it, collects twice as many data points relative to your bare fingers, making it super accurate and responsive.
It’s also smart enough to recognize pressure and create thicker lines, or, if you tilt it, create shading effects.
The Apple Pencil has a built-in battery that’s charged with a built-in Lightning connector that you charge with the iPad Pro. A full charge gives you 12 hours of use, but get this, just 15 seconds of charging will deliver 30 minutes of battery life.
The Apple Pencil is $99.