This month Apple unveiled a ton of new stuff at its annual September iPhone event: the new Apple TV, the new iPhones, the new iPad mini 4, and new colours for the Apple Watch. But the biggest (get it?) thing Apple announced was the long-rumored iPad Pro. It’s a massive behemoth of tablet technology with the largest touch screen most of us have ever used. There’s a lot to love about the new iPad Pro. Here’s 10 things you need to know about it.
It’s way bigger, yet still thinner and lighter than the first iPad
The iPad Pro is a beast. It features a 12.9-inch display, which is 78% more surface area than the display in the standard 9.7-inch iPad. Its body also measures 305.7mm (H) x 220.6mm (W), which makes it physically larger by a long shot than any other iPad. It also is just 6.9mm thick and weighs just 713 grams. Given its massive size it may surprise you to learn that it's still thinner and lighter than the first, much smaller, iPad Apple introduced in 2010. That iPad was 13.4mm thick and weighed 730 grams.
It’s got 4GB of RAM
Though Apple has officially remained mum on the subject, developers have discovered via the Xcode developer tool that the new iPad Pro packs a staggering 4GB of RAM. That’s the most RAM Apple has ever packed into an iOS device.
It’s got the fastest CPU Apple has ever designed
Even more impressive than the RAM is the chip inside the new iPad Pro. The A9X chipset is Apple’s third-generation 64-bit chip that is a staggering 22x faster than the first iPad. Apple isn’t shy about advertising how fast this chip is either. On its site it boasts “The A9X, our third-generation chip with 64‑bit desktop‑class architecture, gives iPad Pro the power to easily take on tasks that were once reserved for workstations and PCs. And tasks you’d never consider doing on a PC.”
It is because of the A9X that the iPad Pro will be able to edit up to three streams of 4K video simultaneously–something many laptops would struggle to do.
It does NOT have a 3DTouch display
A big part of the September event was dedicated to Apple showing off the new 3DTouch display on the new iPhone. That’s the display that senses pressure as well as touch. So it may surprise you that the iPad Pro will NOT have the 3DTouch display. Apple didn’t give a reason why, but hey, you need something to upgrade the Pro with next year right?
It’s designed for use with a stylus
We all know Steve Jobs hated the stylus, but the iPad Pro was designed with the stylus in mind. Matter of fact, Apple made an all-new stylus for it: the Apple Pencil. With it the iPad Pro will be capable of artistic creation unrivaled on a touch device. But if Jobs hated the stylus so much, why does the iPad have it? To be fair, times change. Also, when Jobs lamented the stylus he was talking about its use on smartphones of the day–and that was way back in 2007.
The cellular version only comes in one model
We’re all used to the iPad coming in 6 options: three storage sizes and then a Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+Cellular model for each storage option. But with the iPad Pro customers will only have three options max. The iPad Pro will come in a 32GB Wi-Fi model, a 64GB Wi-Fi model, or a 128GB Wi-Fi+Cellular model. That’s right, if you want built-in 3G/4G connectivity you need to get the 128GB model.
It’s got killer speakers
The iPad Pro also has the best speakers of any iPad ever. For starters it’s got four of them, giving the Pro a 61% sound boost over other iPads. But more than that, Apple says the speakers are “intelligent”: “While all four produce bass frequencies, the topmost speakers are dedicated to higher frequencies. They also automatically recognize whether the device is in portrait or landscape view. So you’ll always get vivid, well-balanced sound no matter how you’re holding iPad Pro.”
Microsoft kind of had the right idea
Um, yeah–so turns out Microsoft might have been onto something with their Surface Pro. It seems Apple now agrees people might want a hybrid device. The company has built the iPad Pro with a keyboard in mind. Buying the optional Smart Cover will give you an integrated keyboard that turns your iPad more into a Surface than it’s ever been.
It has a new connection technology
Who wants a new kind of connection technology? No one! I know, but Apple has created yet another connector port. This time it's called the Smart Connector and it allows your Smart Cover keyboard to talk to the iPad Pro. Third party accessory makers can also make devices that attach to this Smart Connector.
You can fit 1.5 iPad Air’s in its display
One cool fact about the iPad Pro is its display is as wide as the iPad Air 2’s is tall. This means if you stand an iPad Air display in portrait mode next to the iPad Pro display in landscape mode the Air’s display will fit into its exact width. Then add about another half an iPad Air display in portrait mode to it and you’ve got the full width of the iPad Pro.