Apple’s productivity-focused iPad Pro makes grab for enterprise market
With claims such as ‘faster than 80% of portable PCs’, Cupertino likely has hopes of business buyers
Apple is confident its jumbo iPad Pro is "faster than 80% of portable PCs", and the US tech giant is positioning the product firmly in the productivity-computing domain.
Launching the iPad Pro along with the iPad mini 4, Apple gave considerably more stage time to the 12.9-inch bruiser, which comes with a Retina display of 5.6m pixels, the most ever in an iOS device, according to Apple.
The 64-bit A9X chip with M9 motion coprocessor, is where the iPad Pro gets its PC-rivalling performance from. That performance and the usability of the tablet as means to get busy-work done, will be the fulcrum on which success will lie. As tablet sales continue to stagnate and PC sales show signs of normalisation, Apple will need to appeal to those considering a productivity future with Windows 10.
But consumer fixtures still reside in the iPad Pro. The main, rear-facing iSight camera is 8MP and comes with a ƒ/2.4 aperture; a five-element lens; Hybrid IR ﬁlter; autofocus and backside illumination. It also has improved face detection, exposure control and panoramic mode, up to 43MP.
The secondary, front-facing FaceTime camera is 1.2MP with a ƒ/2.2 aperture; 720p HD video recording; backside illumination; auto HDR photos and videos; and improved face detection.
In another appeal to the consumer segment, Apple has taken pains to design a unibody chassis of anodised aluminium, designed to make the mega-tablet ‘easy to hold'.
The tablet also comes with a new four-speaker audio design.
Continues on next page>>
The lithium-polymer battery allows "up to 10 hours of surﬁng the Web on Wi‑Fi, watching video, or listening to music", according to Apple. Preparing spreadsheets or documents will be less of a drain, so the Pro could be ticking the longevity box in appealing to the office crowd.
The iPad Pro comes with its own stylus, called the ‘Pencil', for sketching and note-taking. Also sold separately is Apple's Smart Keyboard, which plugs into the iPad Pro's Smart Connector port, so users will not need to charge it or connect it to Bluetooth. This will also serve as a draw for those unwilling to compromise on productivity.
The super-slab comes in three variants: 32GB with Wi-Fi; 128GB with Wi-Fi; and 128GB with 4G connectivity. The iPad Pro, like the iPhone 6S range, runs iOS 9, with improved Siri functionality, delivered through a system called Proactive. For example, if you are watching a video and she hears you saying ‘What did he/she say?' Siri will rewind for 15 seconds.
Judging by US prices the Pro will likely cost between AED3,000 and AED4,000 when it is released in the UAE. Exact release dates and prices are not yet available, but Cupertino said Apple Stores would be stocking the tablet in November.