The iPad Pro lets you “do things you can’t do with a notebook,” Apple senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller said at the launch event Wednesday in San Francisco. “With a bigger screen iPad, your TV shows and movies are more cinematic. Games we play are more immersive and powerful.”
The iPad Pro, slated to go on sale in November, is priced at $799 with 32 gigabytes of memory; $949 with 128 GB; and $1,079 for a model with both Wi-Fi and built-in cellular connectivity.
The new iPad Pro tablet has a 12.9-inch screen — 33% bigger than the prior generation’s 9.7-inch screen — providing a resolution of 5.6 million pixels. and will be available with the Smart Keyboard attachment (sold separately for $169). The tablet will have 10 hours of battery life and is equipped with four speakers; it weighs in at about 1.5 pounds, about the same as the first iPad launched in 2010.
In addition, the iPad Pro will come with a stylus, dubbed Apple Pencil (sold separately for $99), to let users draw on the tablet and perform other tasks. At the event, Apple brought out Microsoft Office and Adobe Systems execs to show off uses of the Pencil with different applications on the iPad Pro.
The Pencil is “one of the most advanced technologies we have ever created,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said about the accessory.
Famously, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was opposed to the use of a stylus, preferring what he saw as the more natural interaction of using a finger with a touchscreen. “If you see a stylus, they blew it,” he said at the launch of the initial iPad.
For the quarter ended June 27, Apple reported iPad sales of $4.5 billion, down 23% from the year-earlier period. The tech giant last refreshed the line in October 2014 with the lightweight iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, following the launch of the first iPad Air and iPad mini 2 tablets the year before.
Watch Apple’s launch videos for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil: