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iPad Pro is official: 12.9-inch screen and Apple Pencil stylus

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iPad Pro is official: 12.9-inch screen and Apple Pencil stylus

Apple has announced the much-rumoured iPad Pro, a big tablet aimed at creative professionals. As speculated, it has a monster 12.9-inch screen, making it the biggest iPad ever made. It also has a stylus accessory called the Apple Pencil.

The 12.9-inch screen has a resolution of 2,732x2,048 pixels, which makes for a total of 5.6 million pixels. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, it's the "most capable and powerful iPad we've ever created." It's also "chock-full of amazing technologies and innovations."

So why 12.9 inches? The screen's width is the same as the height of the iPad Air 2. This allows it to run iPad Air apps with more room side by side.

As you'd imagine, it packs a lot of power too. Inside is the A9X chip, a 64-bit processor that's 1.8 times faster than the A8X it replaces. According to Apple's Phil Schiller, this is "desktop performance".

He also claims graphical performance has improved 360 times over the life of the iPad, and that the Pro is faster than 80 per cent of portable PCs that shipped in the last 12 months.

It has a battery life of 10 hours, and weighs 1.57lbs. It's 6.9mm thin, which is only slightly thicker than the 6.1mm iPad Air 2.

It's the first iPad with four speakers, and it balances left and right depending how you hold it. Apple claims it has three times the volume of the iPad Air 2.

Now, accessories. Despite Steve Jobs famously declaring "No one wants a stylus", the Pro has a stylus called the Apple Pencil. The system scans twice as often than if you were using a finger, detecting position, force and tilt. You can press lightly for a thin stroke, or thicker for a harder, darker stroke. You can also use it with your finger, moving an on-screen ruler and drawing along it.

The Apple Pencil charges from the iPad Pro's Lightning connector.

The other accessory is the Smart Keyboard, a Microsoft Surface Pro-style cover that doubles as a keyboard. It connects to the Pro using a new connector called the Smart Connector, with the software adapting as soon as you connect.

The Pro comes in three colours: silver, gold and space grey. Prices start at $799 for the 32GB model. The Apple Pencil costs $99, and the Smart Keyboard $169. All three go on sale in November.

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