TRAVEL TECH | With the overnight launch of the iPad Pro, Apple is hoping that the next big thing in tablets will be – well, big. 12.9 inches big, to be precise.
That's only slightly less than the screen size of the 13 inch MacBook Air (which is in fact 13.3 inches measured on the diagonal, as these things are), so we already know the iPad Pro will slip effortlessly into almost any carry-on bag.
The real question is how successful this upsized tablet will be in winning over that real estate, especially if sales of the iPad Pro – which lands in Australia in November, exact date and pricing TBA – can avoid cannibalising sales of its smaller sibling as well as the MacBook Air line.
Apple's carefully-calculated positioning of the iPad Pro is partly against thin and light notebooks, with the tablet thinner (6.9mm) and lighter (713g) than any laptop on the market while boasting a ten-hour battery life.
Optional extras will include a Smart Keyboard cover, which is a full-size 'woven fabric' keypad-case combo strikingly similar to that of the Microsoft Surface...
... and the Apple Pencil, a digital stylus which like the keyboard case will be exclusive (for now) to the iPad Pro.
Squeezed into the iPad Pro's Twiggy-esque profile is Apple's fastest-ever processor, dubbed the A9X, to ensure prompt pixel-pushing onto that large lush Retina display.
So exactly who is in Apple's crosshairs for the sumo slate?
Business travellers and road warriors, of course, to the point where Apple made a rare shout-out to Microsoft by highlighting the Office 365 for iPad suite during last night's San Francisco lovefest of a launch.
Beyond the predictable stables of productivity, entertainment and big-screen gaming on the go come design, illustration, engineering and even medical applications.
Apple is pitching the entry-level iPad Pro at US$799 for the 32GB model (which will probably end up sitting around the A$1299 mark) and $949 for 128GB, both of which are WiFi-only.
4G connectivity will be restricted to the top-line 128GB iPad Pro and its US$1,079 sticker.
Want to option up? The Apple Pencil costs an extra US$99 and the Smart Keyboard cover at US$169.
Are you a likely buyer for the iPad Pro? Would you lean towards an Android or Windows tablet of similar size and features, or is a 10 inch tablet large enough for the traveller?
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