iPad Pro: Apple supersizes the tablet

iPad Pro: Apple supersizes the tablet

TRAVEL TECH | With the overnight launch of the iPad Pro, Apple is hoping that the next big thing in tablets will be – well, big12.9 inches big, to be precise.

That's only slightly less than the screen size of the 13 inch MacBook Air (which is in fact 13.3 inches measured on the diagonal, as these things are), so we already know the iPad Pro will slip effortlessly into almost any carry-on bag.

The real question is how successful this upsized tablet will be in winning over that real estate, especially if sales of the iPad Pro – which lands in Australia in November, exact date and pricing TBA – can avoid cannibalising sales of its smaller sibling as well as the MacBook Air line.

Apple's carefully-calculated positioning of the iPad Pro is partly against thin and light notebooks, with the tablet thinner (6.9mm) and lighter (713g) than any laptop on the market while boasting a ten-hour battery life.

Optional extras will include a Smart Keyboard cover, which is a full-size 'woven fabric' keypad-case combo strikingly similar to that of the Microsoft Surface...

... and the Apple Pencil, a digital stylus which like the keyboard case will be exclusive (for now) to the iPad Pro.

Squeezed into the iPad Pro's Twiggy-esque profile is Apple's fastest-ever processor, dubbed the A9X, to ensure prompt pixel-pushing onto that large lush Retina display.

So exactly who is in Apple's crosshairs for the sumo slate?

Business travellers and road warriors, of course, to the point where Apple made a rare shout-out to Microsoft by highlighting the Office 365 for iPad suite during last night's San Francisco lovefest of a launch.

Beyond the predictable stables of productivity, entertainment and big-screen gaming on the go come design, illustration, engineering and even medical applications.

Apple is pitching the entry-level iPad Pro at US$799 for the 32GB model (which will probably end up sitting around the A$1299 mark) and $949 for 128GB, both of which are WiFi-only.

4G connectivity will be restricted to the top-line 128GB iPad Pro and its US$1,079 sticker.

Want to option up? The Apple Pencil costs an extra US$99 and the Smart Keyboard cover at US$169.

Are you a likely buyer for the iPad Pro? Would you lean towards an Android or Windows tablet of similar size and features, or is a 10 inch tablet large enough for the traveller?

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

25 comments

  • lotsamiles

    lotsamiles

    7 May, 2015 12:12 pm

    The current size of iPad Air is ideal, any larger and it would be too cumbersome for seat tray-tables.

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    10 Sep, 2015 05:45 pm

    Yes, I see this as more attractive for other applications, it's a bit unwieldy to be properly portable. 

    But for instance, the iPad-as-cash-register concept will probably work a bit better now. 

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  • turbojezz

    turbojezz

    7 May, 2015 12:24 pm

    the surface pro 3 is perfect :)

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  • qfflyer

    qfflyer

    7 May, 2015 12:45 pm

    Mmm it is a compelling product. I think though that a Surface Pro 3 but Apple version would be ideal. 

    I'd love to have a big iPad that could run everything... However then you just get to MacBook Air really... The MBA would be made great with some form of touch screen IMHO.

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  • bob342

    bob342

    8 May, 2015 05:30 pm

    Agreed, I use a Surface Pro 3 all the time when travelling and it's brilliant.  I take one device with me, as opposed to iPad + Laptop etc.

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  • Brett G

    brettg

    8 May, 2015 05:46 pm

    +1 SP3 FTW!

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  • jubbing

    jubbing

    10 Sep, 2015 01:59 pm

    If Microsoft release a thinner Surface Pro 4, I'm sold. This is a sexy device, as anything from Apple usually is, but I want an actual computer capable of installing any program from the internet - not just a large iPad which isn't aimed at that. 

    However if they added OSX onto this thing.. that would be a game changer...

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  • Andie

    Andie

    7 May, 2015 12:52 pm

    Use it with the iPhone 6 Plus and this ticks every box for me. Definite yes for me

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  • gumshoe

    gumshoe

    7 May, 2015 02:05 pm

    Have both iPad and Macbook Air the latter wins as Safari and Mac mail work much better on it, plus USB port very handy.

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  • jonno88

    jonno88

    7 May, 2015 04:02 pm

    It would be fantastic if it ran OSx instead of iOS. That would eliminate the need to carry a laptop.

    iOS is fantastic, but the limitations in the Mail app and other watered down features mean you will almost always need your laptop at one point

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  • paa

    paa

    7 May, 2015 04:16 pm

    A restricted operating system tablet is not a general use busines tool, an is why ipad sales have slumped as this is not attractive to corporate IT departments, so Apple were unable tap this market. The ipad pro you describe would be a dead on arrival product. Take up of surface pro 3 like products will grow dramatically over the next years, and I would expect to see an Apple take on that genre to appear. If not, then the yet to be released surface pro 4 with windows 10 will become the tool of choice for corporates to supply their road warriors.

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  • Kevin Yeh

    husky_ky

    8 May, 2015 02:39 pm

    I business travel with my Yoga 3 Pro, which is an 13.3" device, and the size is perfectly acceptable. The main thing I've noticed going from my old Thinkpad X201 to this is the huge reduction in weight and thickness, which made taking out and putting back my laptop at the airport security lines a breeze. Even though the XY dimensions are larger than my Thinkpad, it didn't really matter in the end, so I'd say the new iPad Air wouldn't be too big to carry on travels. 

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  • bl812

    bl812

    11 May, 2015 01:21 pm

    get a life and ditch the stupid apple for the samsung galaxy note pro already knows all the things the 'would be 'ipad do plus android which beats crap macs any day! was a fan of apple ipad but since I got my galaxy -will never look back for an inferior product!

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    11 May, 2015 02:14 pm

    Interesting points bl812, but telling other readers to 'get a life' isn't necessary.

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  • riley

    riley

    10 Sep, 2015 02:44 pm

    Pro android people are always trying to convert apple people. Reminds me of the old adage....

    People least assured of their own persuasions are most likely to ridicule others for theirs.

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    10 Sep, 2015 05:47 pm

    I can't see why anybody would be so emotionally attached to their choice of tablet that they'd feel the need to prosletyse it like a religion.

    Buy either, or both, or neither, who the hell cares? 

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  • Shoudy Chen

    Shoudy Chen

    15 Sep, 2015 12:18 am

    To get a life is to live full or more interesting existence. 

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  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    10 Sep, 2015 01:39 pm

    I've tried replacing my laptop (Mac Book Pro) with an iPad and it just doesn't do the Microsoft Office stuff I need to do. Writing proposals with jpeg's in the proposal and then PDFing the material just doesn't do it.

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  • TravelElephant

    TravelElephant

    10 Sep, 2015 09:23 pm

    Looks very appealing. Software chip runs quite fast which is good. Just don't think it will be able to live up to standards? I prefer surface pro and Lenovo yoga, although I haven't used this device yet.

     

    Can't wait for release.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    11 Sep, 2015 07:49 am

    an iPad is not a productivity device. If that is the intention of this new release, then Apple needs to let go and allow the iPad to be a tablet computer. At present the iPad is not a laptop replacement.

    Consequently I fail to see the benefits of an increased size. Who's going to lug around a large device to watch films, read periodical etc?

    I'm purchasing an iPad Air 2. Been holding back to wait for the new iPad release. Thank you Apple for making my decision a lot easier to make :)

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  • Michael T

    tahmic

    11 Sep, 2015 11:15 am

    But there is still the Sony Xperia z4 tablet which is probably better than this 

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  • dkr82

    dkr82

    11 Sep, 2015 01:59 pm

    Extremely underwhelming device..Should've just been called the iPad XL, as there's nothing "Pro" about it at all. What kind of "Pro" is editing 4K video on a device with 32GB of storage (and probably ~22GB remaining after you take the OS into account)??

    No OSX and no I/O ports are the most critical failures. iOS is for consumers and actual professional applications don't exist in the walled garden of the app store and the associated lack of access to a file system for file manipulation/transfers/etc that comes with using iOS. Lack of I/O ports follows on from this. The fact you can sync your iPad pro with iTunes on a Surface Pro speaks volumes about its position as a slave device, not a master device for other devices to be connected to. You can't connect pro video equipment from companies like RED, or even a compact flash card from any "pro" DSLR.

    I use a MacBook Pro at home and Surface Pro 3 travelling and was desperately holding out for a true "Pro" Apple hybrid with an x84-64 platform running OSX. Give it at least 8-12GB of RAM, 128GB min of storage and Intels Skylake Core M fanelss processors. Replace the lightning conenctor with USB 3 Type-C for driving an external display and connecting peripherals and you're actually looking at a device that's usable for working professionals.

    In the end, it's a massively disappointing device for me, and further evidence Apple don't have a clear direction outside the consumer space.

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  • stevew

    stevew

    14 Sep, 2015 02:57 pm

    Well you can't connect a compact flash card to a MacBook Pro either. Both devices require a USB card reader. Get the iPad camera connection kit. It gives you both a conventional USB and SD card port. Connect what you like to the USB port - external keyboard, USB powered hard drive, card reader. I use the card reader and use the compact flash card from my Nikon D800, a pro DSLR if there ever was one. The images import directly into the iPad. The camera's SD Card of course goes straight into the iPad camera connection kit.

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  • dkr82

    dkr82

    17 Sep, 2015 01:00 am

    Oh, you can't directly plug in a CF card to an iPad or MBP?? I'd never noticed...

    I have an old 30 pin CCK for my D700 and my 3rd gen iPad, but didn't know they'd released one for the "lightning" connector. Still, nothing but gravy on top for Apple to flog you an unnecessary adaptor kit for $50 to make their proprietary port actually usable instead of just using USB to let you directly connect card readers or other devices... 

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  • Bizflyer

    Bizflyer

    13 Sep, 2015 07:06 am

    I was at the launch event and it is very nice.

    However it shpould have OS X at least as it should do computer stuff. That aside for the user it is better than a surface pro 3 very thin and light weight in comparison. I have a Macbook Air for work and a 15 inch Pro for personal use and I have to agree for work I can use that with ease and the Pro for anything else I think it is meant to more to Complement the macbook pro than anythin else. 

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