Apple has launched a bid to make iPad a core market by upgrading the latest model to compete with laptops and notebooks.
The iPad has seen fortunes wax and wane in the eight years since the first model was released.
Now, the tablet has come of age with a supercharged performance.
The new iPad Pro is sleeker and slimmer than previous models by around 6 mm and has lost the headphone jack, Lightning port and home button but gained a lot more with edge to edge display and rounded corners.
A USB-C port is added along with support for the new Apple Pencil, and the tablet can connect to external monitors and a keyboard to make the device a powerful workstation.
Performance at a price
But the upgrade comes at a price – the 11 inch screen starts at $799 and the 12.9 inch version comes from $999 and the prices are likely to translate in British pounds.
The iPad lifts performance sharing the latest chipset with the latest iPhones. FaceID comes as standard, while the new chip allows support for full Adobe apps like Illustrator, Photoshop and Lightroom for the first time.
Analysts point out that Apple is blurring the lines between smartphones and notebooks with the new iPad.
The iPad Pro is available for pre-order online and will be in stores from November 7.
New MacBook Air
At the same unveiling event in New York, Apple also unleashed a new MacBook Air – with the long-awaited retina display to sharpen and enhance colours.
Starting from $1,199, the MacBook Air has had the spec upgraded after years of neglect that had prompted some to believe Apple had consigned the laptop to the scrapheap.
“Redesigning MacBook Air started with a stunning Retina display and all-day battery life, and then we added Touch ID and the Apple T2 Security Chip, the latest processors, incredible sound, the third-generation keyboard and Force Touch trackpad, high speed Thunderbolt 3 ports, and of course macOS Mojave in a beautiful, thinner, lighter, all-aluminium design that a whole new generation of MacBook Air customers are going to love,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.