One of the worst kept secrets in the tech world is finally out of the bag; Apple has announced the iPad Pro. Speaking at an event with a 7,000-strong crowd in San Francisco, CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the hotly anticipated and long-awaited professional quality tablet is indeed more than just a persistent rumor.

Apple Inc. Unveils iPad Pro: Price, Specs, Features

As had been widely anticipated by analysts, the iPad Pro is significantly larger than existing Apple tablets. Cook proclaimed the release of this device to be the “biggest news in iPad since the iPad.”

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12.9-inch device

Apple has confirmed that the iPad Pro will utilize a 12.9-inch display, as was generally reported before the tablet was confirmed by Apple. It is notable that the width of this new iPad Pro tablet is exactly the same as the height of the iPad Air 2. And Apple was also keen to proclaim the flexibility of this device, stating that its capabilities far exceeded the iPhone range owing to the fact that it “doesn’t have to sit in your pocket,” as stated on stage by Apple’s Phil Schiller.

Pixel quotient and display

It seems that the quality of this display will also be outstanding, as Apple states that the iPad Pro is capable of displaying 5.6 million pixels. To put this figure into perspective, that is more than a 15-inch Macbook Pro with retina.

The iPad Pro will also build on the technology that Apple utilized in its iMac series, and it is exciting to note that this was used in the recent Retina 5K display. Schiller states that the tablet features a variable refresh rate, which enables the manufacturer to slow the display down and enhance the battery life of the unit. This will enable the iPad Pro to deliver a significantly improved ten hours of battery life.

New processor

Another major innovation in the iPad Pro is the utilization of Apple’s new A9X processor. According to on-stage claims, this new processor is 1.8 times faster than the processor utilized in previous iPad iterations. Graphics will also double in terms of performance, suggesting that this will be both an excellent productivity and games device.

Apple Inc. Unveils iPad Pro: Price, Specs, Features

Schiller claimed that the iPad Pro “is faster than 80 percent of the portable PCs that shipped in the last 12 months…and in graphics tasks it’s faster than 90 percent of them”.

Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil

Two major innovations compatible with the iPad Pro were also announced, namely a new Smart Keyboard and the also widely predicted stylus. Apple strongly pushed the capabilities of the keyboard during its unveiling event. The Smart Keyboard is magnetic and carries data, and the unit is covered in a fabric that forms the structure of the keyboard.

Additionally, the Apple Pencil has the ability to deliver similar functionality to the established Samsung S-Pen stylus. According to the presentation, the Apple Pencil will enable users to achieve fine art quality designs, revolutionizing the iPad series.

Price

The iPad Pro will launch at $799 for the 32GB version, $949 for the 128GB unit, with $1,079 required to secure the 128GB version featuring LTE. The Smart Pencil will retail at $99, while the Smart Keyboard costs $169.

Share price responds

Within minutes of the iPad Pro being released, the city had already responded to the news. Apple’s share price gained appreciable ground, initially trading up around 1.5 percent, although this had been wiped out by the end of trading as investors remained sceptical about Apple’s prospects.