Apple has unveiled the iPad Pro, a large screened productivity-focused version of its popular tablet range.
At a special event in San Francisco this evening (9 September), Apple's Phil Schiller took to the stage before 7,000 assembled press, analysts and employees to announce the 12.9-inch device, declaring "this is the most advanced iPad we've made by a long shot".
Since its launch in 2010, the iPad has helped to define the tablet as a mainstream device, but a recent stall in sales hinted that Apple might need to explore new markets to continue growth.
Recent forays into the workplace have proven profitable for Microsoft with its Surface range, and Apple had been hotly tipped to release an iPad more suited to the workplace, bolstered by partnerships with enterprise players IBM and Cisco.
Alongside the iPad Pro tablet, Apple announced two accessories: the Smart Keyboard, a cloth-covered foldable keyboard with similarities to Microsoft's own Surface Cover keyboard, and the Apple Pencil.
Apple's take on the stylus has smarts to measure angle, orientation and pressure, plus promises to keep the drawing latency low and, well, pencil-like.
Under the screen is Apple's new A9X processor which, it claims, is capable of outperforming most portable PCs in CPU and graphics tasks. Despite its larger screen the iPad Pro sustains a work-day 10-hour battery life, helped in part by a new variable refresh rate that reduces refresh cycles on static areas of the display.
Apple chose to describe the iPad Pro as feeling "reassuringly solid in the hand". With a substantially larger screen and supporting battery its inevitable that the tablet's weight would increase too. Weighing-in at 1.57 pounds (0.7 kilograms) the iPad Pro no lightweight and is marginally heavier than the original iPad launched in 2010.
The iPad Pro will be available from November in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB configurations priced at $799, $949 and $1079 respectively in silver, gold and space grey variations. Apple Pencil is priced at $99 and the Smart Keyboard at $169.
Apple also announced a new iPad Mini 4 priced from $399.