Apple normally holds two major press events in the fall, one primarily for new iPhones and the other to introduce new iPads. Apple broke tradition this year and introduced it all in a jam packed event on September 9, including the long rumored iPad Pro.
The only negative is that the wait for the new iPad Pro has been excruciating. Thankfully, it’s almost over so let’s dig into what we can expect.
Although we don’t have an exact release date from Apple, the International Business Times reports that the iPad Pro is likely to release in the first week of November. This differs from previous reports that predicted the iPad Pro wouldn’t be available until late November. A major factor in this prediction is the discovery that the iPad Pro has passed FCC inspection which is normally the last step before a product is released to the public.
Like with all new Apple products, I expect the iPad Pro to sell out quick. So if you’ve been pulling your hair out waiting for the release I recommend preordering as soon as you can. If you’re near an Apple Store you should probably opt to pick up the device in store to avoid the unpredictability of launch day delivery.
What’s In the Box?
The iPad Pro unboxing experience will be similar to other iPads and will include the iPad Pro, a Lightning to USB cable, and a USB Power Adapter that plugs into the wall. Interestingly you only have three iPad Pro configurations to choose from. You can get a 32GB, 128GB or a 128GB with LTE for $799, $949 or $1,079. Like with the current iPhones which start at a measly 16GB, it seems like Apple is pushing customers towards a 128GB model because let’s be real, if you’re going to drop money on an iPad Pro you aren’t going to be satisfied with just 32GB.
The two major accessories Apple created to compliment the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, are sold separately at $99 and $169 respectively. This is a bit unfortunate because to get the full experience of the iPad Pro you’re going to want these accessories and after buying a 128GB iPad Pro you’re looking at over $1,200 which is just below the base level MacBook Pro which starts at $1,299.
Depending on your needs, the iPad Pro may be the perfect device but you’re certainly going to have pay a pretty penny to get one, which for anyone who follows Apple isn’t a big surprise.
Specs & Features
Let’s run down the major specs and features you need to know about before dropping your hard earned cash on an iPad Pro.
Obviously, the headliner for the iPad Pro is the 12.9″ LED-backlit 2732×2048 resolution Retina display. Simply put, the iPad Pro display is glorious. Apple has spared no expense with this display and has managed to cram even more pixels into it than the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.
The iPad Pro sports the brand new A9X chip which Apple says is more than two times faster that the A8X that is in the iPad Air 2. Bluetooth 4.2 technology comes standard along with upgraded Wi-Fi capabilities. Touch ID is included which is no surprise and Apple claims the 3850mAh battery will last up to 10 hours of regular use.
The new Smart Keyboard mentioned before connects via what Apple calls the Smart Connector. This new connector allows for data transfer and power so it will be interesting to see what creative ideas the third party accessory market comes up with to take advantage of the Smart Connector.
One last hardware feature to mention are the new speakers, as in four, that Apple has built into the iPad Pro. Apple dove into the details of the speakers during the Keynote in September, but the practical result is that the iPad Pro is three times louder than the iPad Air 2. Also, Apple said the speakers rebalance the sound depending on how you’re holding the device which sounds cool but we’ll have to see if that makes any real world difference.
Rumors about the iPad Pro have been floating around for years and it’s almost hard to believe that we may be only weeks away from the release. If you’re in the market for one, my advice is to preorder or you may be waiting for a while to get your hands on one.
This device is the closest Apple has come to making an iPad that can truly replace a MacBook. I’ve read many reviews that claim the iPad Pro is a very niche product, but with the addition of the Smart Keyboard and the simplicity of iOS I wouldn’t be surprised to see the iPad Pro become many consumer’s primary device. What do you think?