Apple shows off iPad Pro, ‘the biggest news in iPad since iPad’

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ipad-pro

The iPad Pro is coming in November, and it’s going to be huge.

Apple gave us our first look at the upcoming supertablet at its special event this morning, which has a 12.9-inch screen. And if that number seems awfully specific, you apparently haven’t figured out how Apple works by now.

The width of the upcoming hardware is the same as the iPad Air 2’s height. And that screen is going to boast a 2732 x 2048 pixels, which means that the hardware will boast a display with 5.6 million pixels. And a new peripheral will let you touch each of them.

iPad Pro’s stylus, which will be called the Apple Pencil, can read position, force, at tilt. And the tablet can tell the difference between the stylus and your finger, so it will read twice as often when the Pencil is in play for increased accuracy. A Jony Ive-narrated demo showed people drawing lines of varying thickness and fine writing in real-time. That video didn’t mention how long the battery on the Pencil will last, but it will charge through a Lightning charger built into the top.

iPad Pro
Here’s your new iPad lineup.

Along with the Pencil, the Pro will also have its own, first-party Smart Keyboard which the tablet will slot into to turn it into a laptop. The Keyboard talks to the iPad through a newly designed, “Smart connector” interface, three circles on the side of the device that carry both power and data.

Speaking of power: Apple says that the iPad Pro will have a 10-hour battery life and will offer “desktop-class performance” with its new A9X processing chip. This processor is 1.9 times faster than the current A8X, and Apple says that it’s got more power than 80 percent of the laptops currently available.

It should come as no surprise that this fancy new hardware is going to cost you; the iPad Pro starts at $799 for a 32GB model, with 128GB versions also available for $949 (Wi-Fi only) and $1,079 for Wi-Fi plus cellular data. The Apple Pencil will cost $99, and the Smart Keyboard will set you back another $169. Buying all three will cost a little more than the starting price of a MacBook Air (the 11-inch model starts at $899), but Apple hopes that the extra functionality and power will convince buyers to take the plunge.