Apple hosted its long awaited ‘Special Event’ yesterday and delivered the goods in abundance. The product announcements were of course headlined by new iPhones – a September tradition, and these came in the form of the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus. Also plucked from the tree for this autumn’s Apple line-up was a new iPad aimed at the business user and called the iPad Pro.
Yes, Apple looks to be taking on portable multitasking business machines such as the Microsoft Surface by offering a larger working area and a physical input method for getting the job done. The iPad Pro can be set up on a desk and the keyboard is attached to the tablet with a flip design that doubles as a stand. If you need to be on the move the keyboard is easily unhooked and the slate can be used as just that, using our grubby fingers as your tools.
Surprise number 2 allows iPad Pro users to fully benefit from that generous working area – it’s a stylus, or “Apple Pencil” as it was introduced by SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller (also sold separately – the Pencil, not Phil Schiller). This raised a few laughs from the crowd at the San Francisco auditorium, mainly for the somewhat lazy name but perhaps also from those who remembered late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ dismissive comments regarding styluses from a few years prior. Despite those early remarks the Apple Pencil is now here and is a thing, and promises to be “highly responsive” with “virtually no lag” and does offer a more natural writing and drawing method.
Battery life should last and average of 10 hours between full charges and the iPad Pro will also feature 4K video editing with an 8-megapixel rear facing camera and HD front facing camera for use with FaceTime. No selfies on this one, please. It’s for professionals and grown-ups only. (Full specs list at Apple.com).
The iPad Pro will go on sale in November with the peripherals arriving at the same time. A breakdown of price shows the iPad itself starting at $799 for 32GB model or 129GB model also available for $949 (in choice of Silver, Gold or Space Grey), the Keyboard costing $169 and the Apple Pencil coming in at $99. Put it all together and you’re looking at up to £800 for the full fat iPad Pro experience when it hits the UK.
Will you be buying an iPad Pro with all the extras – or sticking with your Mac Books and Laptops?