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Apple Shrinks the iPad Pro

Apple today rolled out a smaller version of the iPad Pro that, for all intent and purposes, is an upgraded iPad Air with some noteworthy features that the company claims makes it a worthy alternative to Windows PCs. The new iPad Pro was among a number of new offerings Apple launched at an event held in San Francisco including a new upgraded version of its four-inch phone called the iPhone SE that'll have a notably lower price of $399, a new entry level Apple Watch priced at $299 and some new software including a new release of iOS.

The new Apple iPad Pro is the size of its traditional iPad -- 9.7-inches -- packing markedly more punch with an improved display, much better speakers,  support for USB camera connections and SD cards and powered by the company's A9 processor, among other new features.

While the new entry level version of the iPad with Wi-Fi will start with a 32GB drive, it'll also cost $100 more, coming in at $599. A version with 128GB will cost $749 and one with a 256GB SSD is priced at $899. They're due to ship March 31.

Just as the company said last fall when it launched the larger iPad Pro, the company sees its newest tablets as suitable alternatives to PCs.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of marketing, told attendees that there are 600 million Windows PCs that are at least five years old that should consider the iPad Pro. "This is really sad. These people could really benefit from an iPad Pro," Schiller said. "It's the ultimate PC replacement."

Touting the fact that there are one million iOS apps in the Apple Store for the iPad, Schiller said the new iPad Pro with a 2048x1536 resolution display is 40 percent less reflective than the iPad Air 2, 500 nits of brightness and 25 percent higher color saturation. In addition to supporting Apple's new pen, introduced with the larger version, it also will work with what Shiller called a "smart keyboard."

It also comes with four speakers, supporting twice the volume and improved audio fidelity, he said, along with a new 12MB camera and a 5MP Facetime camera.

Another noteworthy feature is its support for video recording at near 4K video (3840x2160) at 30 fps, 1080p HD at 30 or 60 fps, 720p HD at 30 fps or slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps. Other specs can be found here.

Whether or not the new smaller iPad Pro appeals to users of older Windows PCs remains to be seen. The bigger question is will it appeal to those with much older iPads?


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/21/2016 at 3:48 PM


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