The iPad Pro isn't just a larger version of Apple's tablet. It's also more powerful, with world-class battery life and accessory support that blows its smaller doppelgangers out of the water.
Why buy: There's no shortage of impressive iPad Pro specs and features that make the tablet a compelling purchase. At 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro is larger than the standard 9.7-inch iPad Air and Microsoft's 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4. That size and the display's 4:3 aspect ratio make the Pro ideal for spreadsheet work and just about anything else the enterprise can throw at it.
Apple claims the device's CPU offers double the performance of the iPad Air 2, and the battery lasted a full 16 hours under strenuous use in our tests, which bested Apple's promise of 10 hours. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the iPad Pro is its new Apple Pencil stylus and Smart Keyboard, which free users up from the sometimes clumsy touchscreen controls.
Price: The device starts at $799 for the 32 GB Wi-Fi-only unit. The 128 GB version costs $150 more, and with cellular connectivity the price comes to $1,079. All models are available in silver, gold and gray.
iPad Pro specs: The iPad Pro measures 12.0 x 8.7 x 0.3 inches and weighs 1.6 pounds. It has a 2732 x 2048 resolution display, resulting in 264 pixels per inch. Shipped with iOS 9.1, the iPad is powered by a 64-bit A9X chipset with M9 motion coprocessor and 4 GB of RAM. The familiar Apple home button is there, along with its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Also on board is the new Smart Connector, a sensor along the side of the device built specifically to connect with the Smart Keyboard and other accessories.
Enterprise pros and cons: A bigger display and more powerful processor will prove beneficial, but the Apple Pencil may surprise dedicated iOS users with its utility. The iPad Pro is also uniquely built to take advantage of iOS 9.1's Split View and Picture in Picture features, thanks to its size and memory capacity.
There are some downsides that one must consider along with the powerful iPad Pro specs. Like all iPads, the Pro lacks a USB input and SD card slot, instead utilizing Apple's proprietary Lightning connector, which makes loading content more of a hassle than on other manufacturers' tablets. It's also pricey, with the Smart Keyboard and Pencil costing an additional $169 and $99, respectively. Finally, there is no 3D Touch, as there is on the new iPhone 6s. That feature, which brings up different quick actions based on the amount of pressure a user puts on the screen, is especially useful and would certainly benefit business-focused tablet apps.
This Apple iPad Pro review originally appeared in the January issue of the Modern Mobility e-zine.
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- CW Buyer's Guide to Apple in the Enterprise –ComputerWeekly.com