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iPad Pro: 6 features that will make you want one


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The iPad Pro is ready to buy and it's Apple's biggest tablet yet. We've picked out six key features that might convince you to upgrade from an iPad Air 2 or MacBook Air.

Apple's recently announced iPad Pro goes out sale this week. You can pre-order it starting Wednesday, with prices kicking off from £679 for 32GB storage, rising to £899 for a 128GB model with 4G.

Now, if you're wondering why on earth you'd need a big tablet then here we provide some reasons you might be persuaded to cast your eye over the Pro.

WATCH: What's new in iOS 9?

1) That big display

The iPad Pro packs a 12.9-inch screen. To put that into perspective, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro is 12.2in and the new Galaxy View is a much larger 18-inches. The Pro's width matches the height of the iPad Air 2, and that's no accident; the Pro will enable you to run full-sized iPad Air apps.

The move to a larger screen will also allow you to take full advantage of iOS 9's multi-tasking mode, something that Apple says it had in mind for the Pro's larger display.

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2) Most powerful iPad yet

Not surprisingly, that generously sized body needs plenty of power to keep it running. At the centre of Apple's iPad Pro is the A9X, a third-generation 64-bit chip that houses twice the memory bandwidth of the A8X and delivers two times faster storage performance than its predecessor. Apple claims it's almost double the A8X to deliver "desktop"-style performance. So basically, the iPad Pro packs plenty of power.

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3) Touching up your pics

Now this is something you can already do on iPads, but it looks like the Pro takes things a step further. Using the new multi-tasking feature introduced in iOS 9, Adobe has introduced a new Photoshop Fix application that works only with the iPad. It features facial detection, so you can make simple tweaks to photos. If you use Photoshop Sketch, don't worry, that's still supported and it will offer support for the Apple Pencil.

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4) It's packed with speakers

If you've used an iPad or an iPhone for that matter, then you'll know that the speakers are good but not great, With the Pro, Apple is including four speakers, so whichever way you hold it, there should be no issue cupping the sound source with your hands. It should also balance the sound depending on how you hold it. Sounds impressive.

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5) You can use a pencil with it

Well, you can use it with Apple's Pencil (£79/$99), which is a super smart stylus that scans twice as often than touch. It can also detect position, force and tilt. If you press lightly, it will create light strokes. Press harder, and it will create darker strokes. Additionally, it can be used simultaneously with your touch or a ruler. To charge the Pencil, there's a lightning connector built into the stylus so you can plug it straight into a lightning port. There are no details on precise pressure-sensitivity levels, but the Pencil will give the Samsung S Pen a run for its money.

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6) There's a new Smart keyboard case just for the iPad Pro

While a big screen means there plenty of room for a full keyboard, some of us still prefer the feel of a physical keyboard. Thankfully, Apple has this covered as well. The fold-out smart keyboard (£139/$169) features woven keys and uses a new smart connector featured on the Pro to hook the two together magnetically. With iOS 9, you can easily switch from virtual to physical keyboard mode, enabling you to quickly hammer out your docs.

John Shewbrook

September 9, 2015, 9:11 pm

Disappointed that a $169 keyboard cover doesn't even protect the back of the ipad pro. Love the ipad pro itself but I will want a case that covers both the front and back.


September 9, 2015, 10:39 pm

Not a patch on the SP3.


September 10, 2015, 1:34 am

i hoped for a £529 during the year,but at $799 the minimum it can be is £599.lets hope for no Apple 50 pound tax to bump it up to £649.


September 10, 2015, 8:07 am

So, and I might be getting this wrong, the key features to this larger iPad are that it's bigger, it has more speakers and you can use a stylus with it.
I'm underwhelmed.


September 10, 2015, 8:15 am

why's that?


September 10, 2015, 8:27 am

Papple, yawn. For this much many would be better off with a MS Surface Pro.

Matt Geeson

September 10, 2015, 8:44 am

I agree. Surely at this price point the MS Surface Pro 3 is the better option.


September 10, 2015, 8:56 am

To me it is obvious.

1. Is a full PC with more power
2. Has USB 3
3. Has Monitor interface (Thunderbolt type)
4. Higher resolution
5. Built in stand that is extremely flexible as well
6. Uses full blown software not light water down versions
7. Keyboard does the same as iPad 4 (except apple copied their keyboard)
8. Battery life is pretty much on parr
9. Can split screen and triple split if necessary
10. Can take add an Ethernet connection if necessary (cannot on iPad 4)
11. Has all the same wireless connectivity of course
12. Is also very light
13. Charger has extra USB built into it.
14. Oh and charges to full inside 1 hr!
15. It is far far more cost effective and cheaper
16. Wacom pen and Wacom software baked into the entire PC!
17. Pen also had configurable end click usage currently defaults to OneNote
18. Pen has configurable side buttons plus erasure feature
19. Pen has 2048 pressure sensitivity scales as do all the pro end Wacom pens
20. Does not rely and an App IOS
21. Pen is included with SP series 2/3/4

I am sure I could come up with more but this will do for now.

Hope this helps some.


September 10, 2015, 9:41 am

nope. nothing there. please stop buzzfeed click hunting. no longer 'trust'worthy


September 10, 2015, 10:17 am

The SP3 actually has a much lower resolution (2160x1440 vs 2732x2048). For many of the above points (keyboard, battery life, wireless connectivity, weight) you've just noted that the iPad matches the SP3 for specs. Though battery life in particular depends enormously on what you're doing, so it's impossible to say at this point. The iPad charging time is also unknown. Comparing cost is tricky - which SP3 spec provides an equivalent experience, given the very different OS's?

Not sure what you mean by "Wacom pen and Wacom software baked into the entire PC!". I imagine the iPad's pen will be integrated into iOS 9 too. It's not like all PC apps support a pen, and to get the most out of a touchscreen the app really needs to be built for it. Being able to run pre-Metro PC apps is not necessarily useful, whereas all iOS apps are designed for touchscreens.

Personally, I'd rather use a laptop in any case.


September 10, 2015, 11:05 am

You are right about the spec I realised that after. As for the rest well...

When I mean being baked into is that MSFT designed the touch and screen interface around Wacom technology. Metro Apps are separate to full blown apps as I said it does not rely on apps like IOS. The charging time is a fact and seeing apple left out so many facts I have listed some. As for the costing how is that tricky? The only thing that is the same and cheaper is the MSFT keyboard the top end SP3 is less than the iPad 4 all in so I do not understand your point. How can the spec be even compared? The SP3 is a full blown PC in the size of a tablet - Oh well...I do not understand that either. It has a flash drive, loads with in a few seconds and has more power due to its PC build. Sounds to me you just to do not like the SP3 which is fine but you asked my why so I listed a ton of reasons and yet you are not satisfied so I guess your just a hard person to please.

Further I have Apple equipment I have an iPad2, Air 2, Macbook Pro, Mac Pro (the new power mac - black cylinder shape) as well as MSFT gear etc. So I am just saying the iPad Pro is nothing more than to persuade people to up their expenditure as with anything apple they have to pitch themselves to be more expensive for the same or less. Why did apple not just design a tablet form of a mac then? Easy answer - because its another profit making avenue. It is not full blown, they could of easily turned the iMac air into a tablet form and and called it the Mac Pad or something but it would defeat their revenue drive.

By the way the SP3 is a laptop? What do you mean by use a laptop?


September 10, 2015, 11:54 am

I still don't really get that point. Sure, MS designed their tablet around their stylus vendor (N-Trig, with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity) - and Apple designed their tablet around theirs. What else would they do?

My point about Apple apps / MS Metro apps is that they are designed for (hi-dpi) touchscreens. Older Windows apps are not, and assume the use of a mouse, have small icons etc. So there is little advantage to the capability to run legacy Windows apps.

Going by US prices (UK ones not announced), the iPad Pro goes from $799 - 1079 depending on spec, with the pen $99. The SP3 is $799 - 1799 depending on spec. The pen is included with the SP3, ofc.

The iPad and SP both use flash (no tablets use mechanical hard drives). The SP has more raw horsepower, but it's also running Windows rather than iOS. Apple don't just make an OS X tablet, because then it would need to be more expensive, use more powerful x86 chips, and consume more power. More importantly, OS X apps are designed for mouse / keyboard use, not touch.

The reality is that you need to design apps from the ground up to properly support touch, which makes Windows' key asset - it's compatibility with millions of legacy apps - a moot point. MS are trying to shoehorn Windows into tablets for their own reasons. They desperately need backwards compatibility to be an important factor for businesses and consumers, because if it isn't, their tablet (and phones) are simply arriving to the party years late with a huge deficit of touchscreen apps. The jury is definitely still out on whether they can turn things around here.

By laptop, I mean something with the guts in the base, i.e. that will support the screen whilst on your lap typing.


September 10, 2015, 12:56 pm

I guess we will have to beg to differ.


September 10, 2015, 1:42 pm

"Wacom pen baked in" means that the pen doesn't need charging, unlike this Apple Pencil PoS. It uses Wacom's magnetic field technology to do highly accurate sensing of an electricity free pen. It also does 2048 pressure levels, just like a PROFESSIONAL grade Wacom Intuos or Cintiq.

And yes, Windows actually allows the pen to interact with any software, because Pen input is a functionality of Windows itself and naturally extends to other software that implement pen input functionality in general. And for apps that don't, the pens still interact, you just don't get pressure sensitivity, so it's like using a mouse.


September 10, 2015, 1:57 pm

It's a bit of a moot point anyway, seeing as the Surface Pro uses a battery-powered N-Trig stylus, with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity.

iOS has always been a touch OS, so obviously Apple's pen will be compatible with everything as a regular stylus, with added pressure sensitivity for painting apps etc.


September 10, 2015, 5:13 pm

You hypocrite. If this was an Android/Windows device getting the same article you'd be all over it saying "Oh I just *love* this feature...". Just because its Apple you're automatically hating on it.

Simone Ricci

September 11, 2015, 9:32 am

Nope... didn't make me wish to buy one


September 11, 2015, 1:45 pm

It's not a moot point, I wasn't talking about the Surface Pro. The S-Pen has 2048 levels of sensitivity.


September 11, 2015, 1:54 pm

OK... but the discussion was about Surface Pro vs iPad Pro.


September 11, 2015, 2:28 pm

All those features and yet it is still a turd!

Just because it has a full OS built inside it doesn't make it better. You might not know but there is already an app for almost everything available on the app store, including full desktop versions, this will get even better now because of the iPad Pro release!

However, its all easier to run and use, more productive and just all works better in tablet form (obviously this is dependent on the task you are doing, but I'm referring to the majority of tasks that we carry out in our daily lives).

Lastly and most importantly this is meant to be a tablet not a laptop or desktop machine!
If i wanted a proper machine i would buy a Macbook Air not a Surface or iPad Pro!


September 11, 2015, 4:15 pm

So you would pay stupidly more for less that makes sense....mmm...its okay to love all things appleBling. I have apple devices too but I do not let one company own me as I am an intelligent person.


September 11, 2015, 4:39 pm

Who says you are getting more? You? Just because you have a usb slot? All my files are stored on the cloud, so never use those anymore anyway. Depends what your after, to me it doesn't sound like your getting anything more, intact your just getting a horrible OS where as I would be getting a reliable OS that i know would remain efficient right through my products life cycle. Unfortunately, i can not say the same thing about any windows device!


September 11, 2015, 4:43 pm

Wow you really are anti Microsoft. Calm yourself your getting worked up over a piece of hardware there are far more important things in life than this worry about. If you love your appleBling that much then good for you...


September 11, 2015, 4:51 pm

Nah I'm just correcting you thats all ;)

Its not about loving one or the other. I probably won't get either surface or pro. But its important for people to know what they are getting with each, of course they both have positives and negatives just like everything.


September 11, 2015, 4:56 pm

But you have not corrected me. I am fine with my SP3, Macbook Pro, Mac Pro (new type), iPad Air 2, and more....I use them for different purposes but the iPad Pro is a stupid and another apple greed machine. It simply is not value for money when compared to the SP3. Regardless of the OS. It is that simple. Anyway I agree there positives and negatives. For example I connect my SP3 into a Wacom 24 HD Touch graphics tab and works better than using it through my Mac Pro. You could not do that with the iPad Pro whatsoever. Things like that.

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