Alongside its highly anticipated iPhone SE, Apple has unveiled a new iPad this week. Called the iPad Pro, the tablet comes in at 9.7″ and less than one pound in weight.
The device offers improvements to previous iPads in all the expected areas. Its Retina display offers a wide color range, and is 40 percent less reflective than the iPad Air 2. It also has four-channel sensors allowing it to dynamically adjust to lighting conditions. Under the hood, it runs on an A9X chip offering processing power that Apple says is comparable to standard laptops. And it features a four-speaker audio system offering Dolby Digital Plus sound.
But it’s the peripherals that really stand out. A new Smart Keyboard is so lightweight it can be folded into a protective cover, offers, wireless connectivity, and never needs to be charged. With this accessory, Apple seems to be following the lead of Windows with its Surface Pro tablets, which are more or less designed to function as computers, complete with their own peripheral keyboards.
But Apple is going a step further with the Apple Pencil, a long-anticipated peripheral which launched last November, equipped with pressure and tilt sensors to offer a highly intuitive drawing and note-taking capability. In a statement from Apple, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter went so far as to say that “iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are the closest we’ve ever been able to get in the digital world to actually drawing on paper,” while Rapha Head of Design Alex Valdman proclaimed, “For the Rapha design team, iPad Pro will become standard issue.”