iPad Pro: the latest iteration of hybrid notebooks aimed at professionals
If we’d start by simply listing the specifications of the new iPad Pro you might just say “hey, isn’t that a notebook?“. A cover that works also like a hardware keyboard, 12,9″ Retina Display that houses even more pixels than a 15″ Retina MacBook Pro, 4 audio speakers that adapt to the device’s orientation to provide the best sound possible, a CPU that’s desktop class, same goes for the GPU, El Capitan-like multitasking, up to 128GB flash. Only the 3D Touch screen may hint you that we’re speaking about a tablet.
An iPad for professionals
While the iPad Air has not been updated, the new iPad Pro isn’t meant for the everyday user, and probably not even ideal to be carried around unless it can replace your notebook. The 12,9″ display is that big, about the size of a 13″ MacBook Pro Retina’s clamshell, just thicker to house all the horsepower and light enough to be held with one hand.
Also for the first time ever, Apple came up with its own keyboard that folds with the cover and a stylus named Apple Pencil specifically made for the iPad Pro that’s sensible to different kind of pressures and inclinations to further enhance tasks like creative drawing. Multitasking allows side-by-side applications seamlessly, and the wide display fits a fully sized keyboard just like laptop ones.
Performance for professionals
What may be even more shocking though are the performance. The iPad Pro has a CPU that’s faster than 80% of the laptop PCs sold in the last year, and a console-class GPU that’s faster than 90% of the same laptop PCs. That’s without doubt excessive for someone who’d just want to browse the web and edit some documents on the go. The Metal API also adds another perk in games performance, even though it’s not much of a deal breaker if we consider how fully fledged computers can blast through triple A titles and that OS X is about to get it as well.
4K video editing, postprocessing and CAD applications are literally a blast and don’t bat an eye even under heavy stress.
To put it in perspective, the iPad Pro is thinner and larger than the original iPad launched in 2010, but it weights just about the same. Over those five years the CPU performance has been improved by x22 times, while the GPU performance is a blasting x360 times. That means you are going to need six hundred and seventy first generation iPads to have as much GPU power as one iPad Pro. If the 2010 iPad was 13 millimeters thick, if you were to stockpile them, you’d build a 4,68 meters tall tower!
Power efficient and intelligent
With a bigger display that has just 5.6 million pixels (about half a million more than a 15″ Retina MacBook Pro) and these kind of performance you’re going to need something more than just a bigger battery inside. The iPad Pro makes use of a custom chip that dynamically adjusts the screen frequency and lowers it when needed, leading to the usual all-day 10 hours battery life. The same oxide thin film transistor (oxide TFT) that’s used in the iMac 5K display has been adapted to fit in the iPad Pro, allowing for brighter and more vivid colors on the Retina Display.
Apple Pencil and Keyboard
Now, back to accessories. The iPad Pro touchscreen represents an evolution over the MultiTouch pioneered by the iPhone and it’s now called 3D Touch, as it’s sensible to different kinds of pressures and, in the case of the Pencil, different angles. Also while you’re drawing strokes on the iPad Pro (which has an extremely low latency) your hand is free to make contact with the display without worrying about messing up with the input given by the pencil to the device: quite a lifesaver that’s going to avoid unwanted arm pains. The Pencil also has its own sensors built right into it to better integrate with the iPad Pro. This means that it’s going to need power to recharge. Apple reports that it can last 12 hours with a full charge, and it includes a lightning connector right on top of it that can be inserted in the iPad’s port to recharge. Don’t worry about having to roam with a pen sticking out of your iPad Pro though: a mere 15 seconds can give the pencil another half an hour of life.
The keyboard words just like a Smart Cover, except that this times it has a keyboard built in right into it. This yields to slightly thicker design, but the adoption of Apple’s butterfly mechanics, pioneered in the MacBook, allows better precision and thinner design.
Price and availability
The iPad Pro’s going to be available worldwide this November in gold, silver and space grey in three different configurations: a 32 GB + WiFi model for 799$, a 128 GB + WiFi for 949$ and a 128 GB WiFi + Cellular 128 GB for 1079$. Yes, that’s right, there’s no 16 GB or 64 GB configuration, and if you want to stay connected on the go, you’ll have to go for the higher end model. The 32 GB model is probably just as entry level for die hard fans, but no doubt this device isn’t for casuals.
Se iniziassimo ad elencare una per una le specifiche del nuovo iPad Pro, potreste semplicemente dire “ei, state parlando di un portatile!”. Ha una cover che funziona come una tastiera hardware, Display Retina da 12,9″ che ha ancora più pixel di un MacBook Pro 15″ Retina, 4 speaker audio che si adattano all’orientamento del dispositivo per offrire la migliore esperienza possibile, CPU e GPU a livello desktop, multitasking a tutto schermo del tutto simile a quello di El Capitan, fino a 128GB di memoria flash. L’unico dettaglio che può farvi intuire che sia un tablet è lo schermo 3D Touch.