As Apple confirmed earlier today, the iPad Pro, complete with its powerful new A9X chip, is bound to hit stores later this week, starting on the pricier end at $799. Though Apple would never mention it outright, it’s designed to compete with Microsoft’s chronically successful Surface Pro lineup, which began to find its audience back in 2013.
Starting with Cue, the interview was largely fudged to benefit Apple’s case for the iPad Pro, though one component really stuck out: iPad Pro is for those who “consume” more than they “create.” This goes for reading emails and news, watching videos, and just general Web browsing. When composing more extensive texts, Cue says, users can simply “dock it” with Apple’s new Smart Keyboard in order to generate their own content.
What he neglects to mention, and what CNN’s Brian Stelter fails to ask about, is the price. For the meager 32GB iPad Pro variant, the asking price is $800. If you’re a content creator, however, chances are you’ll need more than that. You can, of course, bump the capacity up to 128GB for a whopping $950. Plus, if you’re reluctant to ditch your physical QWERTY keyboard, you can expect to shell out another $170 on top of that.
What Stelter does claim is that, like many of Apple’s products — including the recently launched Apple TV — you need to get your hands on it to understand the novelty of the device.
“If you want to build the things the are truly innovative and revolutionary,” Cue explains, “you kind of have to go around the corner. You have to think of things that, if you ask people they may not ask you for that, but once you see it, touch it, feel it, it is what they want.”
Interestingly enough, Tim Cook’s interview takes a radically different turn. The Apple CEO focuses on productivity and design–elements of the new tablet that could potentially replace your MacBook, and at that price point it very well should.
“We didn’t really do a stylus,” Cook declares. “We did a Pencil. The traditional stylus is fat, it has really bad latency so you’re sketching here and it’s filling the line in somewhere behind. You can’t sketch with something like that, you need something that mimics the look and feel of the pencil itself or you’re not going to replace it. We’re not trying to replace finger touch, we’re complementing it with the Pencil.”
Cook spoke with Ollie Clarke, a 17-year-old automotive and transport design student, as well as Nikolai Lockertsen, a Norwegian concept artist, to demonstrate his point that, in fact, the Pencil is not your typical stylus. Instead, it seems to be going after Wacom for the spot of go-to design tool.
“The big difference is that the Apple Pencil, combined with the iPad Pro, offers pressure sensitivity,” Lockersten says. “I can be very light or very hard and the pressure sensitivity hasn’t really been there before so this is so cool.”
After some hardened iPad Pro use, Lockstersten actually prefers it to doodling on a PC. That’s because, he explains, “getting a PC ready to go can take up to 10 minutes.” By comparison, the iPad Pro can be unlocked as quickly as your iPhone, in an instant thanks to TouchID.
While the iPad Pro might not replace your desktop any time soon, Apple does provide a compelling case for why content consumers — and artists alike — might be tempted to give up their MacBooks in favor of something a bit more versatile. However, if money is an object, you might want to consider sticking with the year-old, but still good, iPad Air 2.