Apple sold 44.2 million iPad last year, making it the most popular computer in the world, Tim Cook announced during a media show in New York Tuesday.
Then he introduced a new version of the machine, the new iPad Pro. It has thinner bezels, no home buttons, an Apple Pencil that attaches magnetically and Face ID, the same system that iPhone users use to log into their device and to authenticate for websites or buy products with Apple Pay.
”It’s going to push what you can do on iPad, or any computer even further,” Cook said.
With smaller bezels, the 10.5 inch version is now 11 inches of screen in the same size body. The 12.9 inch version is much smaller than the old model and is about the same size as a standard piece of paper. The new model takes up 25 percent less volume than the older model.
The 12X bionic chip is faster than the screaming fast one in the new iPhones. Apple claims the iPad Pros are now faster than 92 percent of portable computers on the market.
The units can be enabled with up to 1 terabyte of storage and the USB-C charging and connectivity connector is an about time feature. No more lightning cable. You can charge your iPhone with the iPad now with a dongle. Yes, that’s nice. You can also connect to a monitor. And since most folks with newer computers and phones have USB-C, you won’t have to hunt long to find a charging cable when you leave yours at home.
Battery life, Apple says, is all day.
The new Apple Pencil automatically pairs and starts charging when docked with the unit. You can switch between modes on the pencil by tapping it.
Apple showed an NBA video game, NBA 2K mobile, that rivals what you would get on Xbox or PlayStation. Abode showed off a full version of Photoshop that will run on the unit. It had previously been announced, but seeing it action, using the Apple Pencil, was impressive. You won’t need a computer to really make precise changes when this launches in the App Store next year.
But you’re wondering, how much?
The 11 inch starts at $799 and goes to $1,549 for the 1TB version. The 12.9 inch starts at $999 and goes to $1,749. LTE models will be $150 more. You can order today for release on Nov. 7.
The keyboards are $199 for the 12.9 inch model and $179 for the 11-inch.
Our takeaway: With the larger screen in a smaller body, we want the big iPad. And with these updates, the Pro is really becoming the computer for most of us. Having the pencil attach to the unit magnetically is a smart move, too. With the best iPhones ever (and the XR that’s going to sell like hot cakes), Apple is going to have a banner holiday season with the phones and these pros.
The con? Like the iPhone X, Apple is taking the tablet into the pricing strastosphere. The 12.9 inch Pro with 256 gigs of storage, which is probably the sweet spot is $1,149 of $1,299 with cellular. And that’s before you buy the $199 keyboard or the new $129 pencil.
Apple really believes this can replace the laptop. Well equipped it costs as much as the Apple pro laptops. So it had better.