We were expecting new iPhones today, and we were even expecting Apple TV announcements, but whether Apple would update its iPad line was more difficult to say. It seems Apple is bucking its own announce-new-iPads-in-October trend, however, because the company just added a 12.9" iPad to its lineup. The so-called iPad Pro is 6.9mm thick and weighs 1.57 lbs—slightly heavier than the 1.54 lbs first-generation iPad. According to Apple, it will have a 10-hour battery life.
Apple confirmed that the iPad Pro's screen has a 2732×2048 resolution, as had been rumored in the weeks leading up to this event, with 5.6 million pixels.Taking the stage at Apple's launch event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Apple's Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller explained the design choice. "Let's start with the display: Why make a bigger one?," he said. "You can touch your documents, touch your books, interact with everything. It does things an iPhone can't do since it doesn't have to be pocketable, does things a notebook can't do because it's holdable."
Schiller noted that the new tablet's internals would also benefit from the refresh as well: the iPad Pro would have a custom timing controller like the 5K Mac, as well as a variable refresh rate for the screen—something new for Apple products. The Pro also runs on an A9X chip with "double the memory bandwidth of the A8X and double the storage performance." In addition, the iPad Pro comes with a stereo, four-speaker audio system, which will balance "from left to right depending on how you're holding the iPad."