Update: This was our April Fool’s Day joke for 2016. We hope you enjoyed it.
On the company’s 40th anniversary, Apple has quietly introduced a new addition to the iPad Pro family today. Apparently, the philosophy of “an iPhone for everyone” has been expanded to apply to the iPad, as well, as the new 18.4-inch iPad Pro Plus is now available for preorder and should begin shipping April 8, 2016.
A gorgeous screen
The new 18.4-inch iPad Pro Plus has a stunning display, capable of rendering video and still pictures in up to 4K resolution. Like the smaller iPad Pro displays, but even more advanced, it turns advanced tasks into brilliant, immersive experiences. It features the True Tone technology found on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, using four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the lighting in your environment.
Like other iPad Pro devices, the new 18.4-inch tablet has four-speaker audio. No matter what orientation you hold your iPad Pro Plus in, the device automatically adjusts the high frequencies to the topmost speakers, allowing your ears to be just as immersed in your game or movie as your eyes.
Powerful processing capabilities
The “brain” of the iPad Pro Plus is a new A10 chip, with a M10 coprocessor. The tablet can handle tasks that only a desktop computer could handle before, along with things you’d never dream possible even on a Mac or PC. With 8 GB of memory, the iPad Pro Plus should be able to handle just about anything you throw at it. The processor runs quite efficiently, and the 18.4-inch iPad Pro Plus boasts a 5,900 mAh battery that provides the tablet with up to 11 hours of battery life.
What about the cameras?
This new addition to the iPad Pro lineup comes with a 12-megapixel iSight camera capable of capturing 4K video, 240-fps slo-mo videos, as well as Live Photos. Like the smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the larger tablet has True Tone flash, allowing skin tones to look great no matter what the lighting is. The front-facing FaceTime HD camera is a 5-megapixel component, and the tablet supports Retina Flash with True Tone.
The rest of the specs
The 18.4-inch iPad Pro Plus has a Smart Connector, and Apple has also unveiled a new Smart Keyboard to pair with the tablet. Apple Pencil support is included, and the device works with all of the latest innovations in iOS 9.3.1. The device weighs in at a mere 1.75 pounds, and is the thickness of an iPhone 6s. The aluminum unibody allows it to feel quite solid in your hands. Touch ID support is provided, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and LTE support in some models.
But wait … it’s not running iOS 9.3.1?
Even though the 18.4-inch iPad Pro Plus has all of the features of iOS 9.3.1, that’s not the operating system shipping with the tablet. Instead, it boasts a specially-customized version of OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and will allow for installation of software without the sandboxing required by the iOS App Store. This should be a welcome feature for those looking for true laptop replacements in a tablet.
The cost of such an amazing hybrid computer?
The 18.4-inch iPad Pro Plus is priced beginning at $999 for a 128 GB tablet with Wi-Fi. For a full price breakdown, check out the table below.
With the 18.4-inch iPad Pro Plus, Apple has finally done what it should have with the lineup in the first place. Cupertino has designed a tablet that can truly compete with the Microsoft Surface, and even exceed that hybrid tablet’s capabilities. It’s a fully capable tablet that can truly stand in for a laptop computer.