By launching the iPad Pro, Apple moves squarely into competition with Microsoft and other PC makers that are concentrating more heavily on hybrid designs that bridge the divide between tablet and laptop. Business customers are the prime market for those kinds of devices, which often carry a big price tag. (The iPad Pro is no exception in that regard — it starts at $800 for the 32-gigabyte WiFi-enabled model and goes up to $1,079 for the WiFi and cellular network-enabled 128GB model.)
Several developers, such as Adobe, FiftyThree and Microsoft, have already showcased the way their apps will work on the iPad Pro for those who want to use it in the office. But that doesn't mean it's all work and no play. Apple's touted other features for less serious business, such as highlighting how well the device's four speakers and high-resolution screen work for watching movies and other video.
The tablet also has some associated accessories — namely a smart keyboard cover and a new stylus called the Pencil. Those are sold separately for $170 and $100, respectively. The keyboard is available in charcoal gray and sports the same underlying architecture as the keyboard on the new MacBook. The Pencil, as Apple demonstrated at its fall event, is designed to work for artists, architects, animators and others who want their digital sketches to be as fast and mutable as their real-life ones.