Apple’s first major iPad upgrade in years is finally out and, you guessed it, it looks a lot like existing iPads. But under that 12.9-inch display, the company’s new slate is a much more nuanced take on the iPad we’ve all come to love. This is still very much for the consumption of media, but it’s also aimed at real creation—a tool for illustrators and editors and writers. It might not necessarily be a laptop replacement, but it’s the closest Apple has ever come.
The biggest draw about the iPad Pro is its support for the Apple Pencil, which is essentially Apple’s take on the stylus. We didn’t get a chance to use the Pencil during our hands on from early September, but reviews say it’s the most accurate and pleasant stylus experience out of anything on the market. (It better be with such an ostentatious name like Pencil.)
Apple says the Pencil offers “pixel-perfect precision,” with sensitivity for both tilt and pressure, making it a great tool for taking notes and making illustrations. In the right hands, the Pencil will allow artists to create some truly stunning pieces; in a recent Adobe video, Apple’s iPad Pro apparently offered a better experience than a Wacom tablet, which is highly regarded among creative communities.
The display also plays a major part in the Pencil’s accuracy, according to Apple. The iPad Pro’s screen “incorporates all-new technologies to enable unparalleled levels of precision and responsiveness,” the company explains on its website. “The Multi-Touch subsystem was designed to accommodate two types of touch—your finger and Apple Pencil.”
We haven’t spent nearly enough time with the iPad Pro to get a proper feel for just how accurate the Pencil is, but it’s something we’ll test thoroughly over the next several days. Of course, we’ll also be mindful of the iPad Pro’s battery life, performance, and of iOS 9, which offers improved multitasking.
On the surface, all this is is a really large iPad. But digging deeper, is this really Apple’s most exciting tablet yet? We’ll find out soon enough. With a starting price of $799 for the 32GB model, it’s certainly the most expensive iPad we’ve seen; bump up some of the device’s specs and you’re looking to spend $1,079 for the highest end iPad Pro—and that’s without the optional stylus and keyboard.
Check out the unboxing above to see our unboxing of the iPad Pro, and stay tuned for more coverage soon.