Apple Launches New 12.9″ iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard

ipad pro+keyboard

The “little birdies” were right: Apple today unveiled the iPad Pro at its “Hey Siri” media event. The tablet has a 12.9-inch display and features a resolution of 2732 × 2048 (5.6 million pixels), with a width the same as the length of the iPad Air.

ipad pro specs

“iPad Pro is the most advanced and powerful iPad we have ever made. Its beautiful and large 12.9-inch Retina display has 5.6 million pixels and provides an immersive experience for content and apps. The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made — its A9X chip beats most portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The innovative Apple Pencil and new Smart Keyboard enable users to customize their iPad Pro experience to the particular apps they use and the work they do, making iPad Pro ideal for everything from professional productivity to advanced 3D design.”

The iPad Pro incorporates a 64-bit A9X processor, a 1.6-times faster chip than that of the iPad Air 2, with up to twice as fast graphics. Phil Schiller described it as “desktop-class performance”, as the iPad Pro is faster than 80% of the PCs shipped in the past six months, and the graphics are faster than 90% of those PCs.

The new gigantic tablet measures 6.9 mm thick and weighs 1.57 pounds. It incorporates a four-speaker audio system providing a powerful, clear and rich stereo sound, and a refined unibody enclosure of anodized aluminum gives iPad Pro a sturdy feel with a thin and light design that is easy to hold. Despite its huge screen, the iPad Pro has a 10-hour battery life (standard for iPads).

ipad pro multitasking

Apple also introduced two new accessories for the iPad Pro: the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil. The former is a Surface-like physical keyboard for the iPad Pro that connects to the device without Bluetooth through a new connector on the side called the Smart Connector, which carries power and data to the keyboard. It is covered in custom woven fabric and features keys that provide the accuracy, stability and satisfying key feel of standard keyboards, but it can be transformed into a Smart Cover.

The second accessory is the Apple Pencil, which incorporates “highly responsive sensors that can sense the difference between pressure, tilt and stroke. The Apple Pencil works with popular apps like Mail, Notes, Procreate and Office 365 for iPad, offering new levels of creativity and productivity.

The iPad Pro launches in November in three colours: silver, space gray, and gold, at a starting price of $799 (USD) for the 32 GB Wi-Fi-only model, up to $949 for the 128 GB Wi-Fi-only model, and $1,079 for the WiFi+LTE model with the same storage.

The Apple Pencil costs $99 and the Smart Keyboard, $169. They will all be available in November.

Image credit: The Verge

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  • pedped

    “As soon as you have a stylus, you’re dead.” — Steve Jobs

  • KBlazer07

    It’s not a stylus, it’s an Apple pencil 😉

  • Setak

    going against the Surface Pro ???

  • Fireeast

    Today was who can we rip off the most, so the ipad pro is a less useful version of the surface pro and the iphone is a rip off of bb10 (however more elegant). I used apple so much, what happened to the truly groundbreaking technology? The least they could do was give it wireless charging.

  • KIII

    Going against WACOM —–

  • KIII

    Artist/designers/photographers wouldn’t be expected to use there fingers on a device under a “pro” label.
    The world has changed dramatically in all three areas thanks to the original introduction of the iPad but these areas call for a higher level of accuracy and detail today.

  • KIII

    If only you could understand the frustration with Wacom’s flagship product on both PC and Mac environments…we’re talking about hardware and now software F’up. The iPad Pro will be a dream to work with.

  • drew204

    I don’t suppose the apple pencil will work with the air 2?

  • Crosseyedmofo


  • KIII


  • It’s not a requirement to use the device. It’s an optional thing that artists can pull out when they want to work in more detail. I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs was referencing the reliance on a stylus when he made that quote.

  • Not based on how they described the tech behind it in they keynote. It sounds like it probably needs the new high-res display and sensor on the iPad Pro to work.

  • Shameer Mulji

    No. The screen on the iPad Pro has been specifically engineered for the Pencil. Maybe Fall 2016 Apple will release an iPad Air 3 with the same technology, and 3D Touch.