Apple upsizes iPad, moves closer to becoming a PC
By Keith Liu September 10, 2015
- iPad Pro is the largest tablet by far with 12.9 inch display
- Optional keyboard and stylus accessories in tow
APPLE’S new iPad Pro, announced during its annual September event is officially the largest tablet in the market, with a screen size that exceeds even one of its own Macbook Air notebooks.
During the event, Apple’s Chief Executive Office Tim Cook said, “Today, we have the biggest news in iPad since the iPad."
"This is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing,” he added.
Under the hood, the U.S. technology giant has fitted its latest processor, the A9X, which Apple claims is almost twice as fast as the chip found in the high end iPad Air 2. It goes further, saying it’s faster than 80 percent of laptops shipped in the last half a year.
In terms of battery life, Apple says the iPad Pro will last 10 hours and comes with 4 speakers so no matter how you hold it, the device will pump out some decent sound.
For the first time though, the iPhone maker introduced a portable keyboard case that attaches to the iPad Pro using a proprietary magnetic docking system as well as a new stylus for the device, dubbed the Apple Pencil, which allows for force-sensitive input and targeted at the creative industry.
Some observers say Apple has essentially copied Microsoft’s strategy with the Surface Pro 3, a large screened tablet that also comes with a keyboard case and stylus as extras.
IDC Asia Pacific research manager for Client Devices, Avinash Sundaram (pic, below) agreed.
“Between the keyboard and the stylus, Apple is clearly positioning this against the Microsoft Surface category, which I would argue is chasing after not just the enterprise audience, but also the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)/Prosumer audience,” he told Digital News Asia in an e-mail.
“This is basically Apple’s attempt to put a so-called ‘productivity’ spin to its tablet category.
“Personally I would prefer the Surface over iPad Pro, given the legacy support that the Windows ecosystem provides (think corporate line-of-business applications),” he added.
As such, he believe believes Apple has some catching up to do in this space.
The iPad Pro will be priced between US$799 at the low-end for a Wi-Fi model with 32GB of storage to US$1079 for a 4G (fourth generation networks) model with 128GB of RAM.
The keyboard case, called ‘Smart Keyboard’ costs $169 while the Apple Pencil is priced at US$99.
This brings the price of entry for an average iPad Pro with the keyboard and stylus to the region of at least S$1500 / RM4300 just for the lowest specified model.
This, according to Avinash will be a deterrent for the iPad Pro’s take-up. “At that price point, there are many capable notebooks from the intel/Microsoft ecosystem that provide better performance with comparable battery life”.
However he said the introduction of this model should help “a bit” to lift the sagging sales of tablets worldwide.
The iPad Pro will be available for sale in November, along with its accessories.
For a comparison of some of the large screen tablets available, here is a chart that shows the iPad Pro against rivals like the Windows-based Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Asus Transformer T300 Chi, as well as the Android-based Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (click image below to enlarge).
Will you be purchasing an iPad Pro when it hits the market? Leave your comments below and let us know!