Apple Intros iPad Pro With Performance Faster Than 80% Of Mobile PCs


Apple today introduced the iPad Pro – a new iOS tablet, designed for power users. The iPad Pro offers CPU and graphic performance comparable to mobile PCs and a 12.9″ screen – which will allow for more powerful mobile music apps.

“The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made — its A9X chip beats most portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day,” notes Apple senior vice president Philip Schiller. 

We’ve already seen developers commenting on the possibilities of the new iPad for music apps. Audulus developer Taylor Holliday notes:

Here’s the official intro video for the iPad Pro:

iPad Pro Features:

  • 12.9-inch, 5.6 million pixel display (2,732 x 2,048 pixels)
  • 64-bit A9X CPU is 80% faster than the previous generation and, according to Apple is faster than 80% of portable PCs sold in the last year, 22x original iPad
  • Graphics performance 360x original iPad, faster than 90% of portable PCs sold in the last year
  • Four speakers
  • 6.99mm thick, 1.57 lbs
  • 8-megapixel iSight camera
  • Touch ID in the home button
  • 10 hour battery life

Note that, while the iPad Pro offers CPU and graphics performance comparable to mobile PCs, RAM and storage space are smaller – comparable to other tablets, which are optimized for battery life.

Apple also introduced two accessories for the iPad Pro:

  • Apple Pencil for iPad Pro, – a precision input device available. The touch subsystem of the Multi-Touch display in iPad Pro has been redesigned to work with Apple Pencil to reduce latency and deliver ‘incredible accuracy’ for activities like fine art illustration and detailed 3D design. Advanced sensors in Apple Pencil measure both pressure and tilt.
  • Apple’s new Smart Keyboard is a full-sized keyboard that attaches to iPad Pro’s Smart Connector port, eliminating the need for a separate battery, on/off switch or Bluetooth pairing.


The iPad Pro is expected to be available in November, with this pricing:

  • $799 for a 32GB WiFi model.
  • $949 for a 128GB WiFi model
  • $1079 for the LTE 128GB model

82 thoughts on “Apple Intros iPad Pro With Performance Faster Than 80% Of Mobile PCs

  1. Oh jesus, Im pretty much am guaranteed to buy one of these… once they go down in price at least. Even the newest ipad Air seems to get gunked up pretty easily if I’m running auria stems along with iMPC pro and Launchpad for a live show. This thing sounds like a beast if it can multi task like this it might end up being the perfect live device (especially since the set-up I described can all be controlled externally, so I usually just hook up the ipad to a USB hub and place it under the booth.) No more goddamn laptops.

    1. Apple stuff doesn’t go down in price until its been replaced by a new model. That means waiting another year for gen 2, and then you’ll probably want the new one. With Apple stuff you just have to pay the price and get on with it.

  2. Apples answer to the Microsoft surface pro which to me is a much better machine with full windows 10 and USB ports! iPads are great cheap internet browsers, but I prefer to be able to run all of my music software and VSTs and plug in my USB keyboards etc on an i7 surface pro..

      1. This. I have a touch screen monitor and its pretty frustrating, not to mention there arent as many samplers/groovebox vsts that are meant to respond well to a touch screen. Everyone hates on the ipad for obvious reasons, but it still has all the best, cheapest apps as far as electronic music is concerned.

    1. The Surface is an interesting solution, but it’s a compromised solution, because none of the apps that you’d want to use with it are designed for multi-touch.

      If you don’t care and just want a touch-screen PC, it’s a great solution.

      But the Surface has never really taken off, because most people can see that using a multi-touch screen with apps designed for a mouse and keyboard is a kludge.

      1. It’s a bit of a pickle, The Windows might not be quite as much multitouch centric OS, but if you want Photo Shop, or profesional Daw in a tablet computer, iPad “Pro” starts to sound like a regular iPad.

        I wanted a tablet computer and now I am waiting to hear about Surface Pro 4. Especially when the price of the 32mb model with the stylus is $900!!!!! Even the Surface PRO 3 is more powerful, certainly more Pro and much more computer for the money. MS might not even need to release a new tablet this year as the competition is so far behind.

      2. Surface has normal file system, while iPad Pro doesn’t – on iPad Pro you have to make separate copies of your large media files for each app thus making it worlds most inefficient data storage system ever…. in all other aspects, of course, iPad Pro seems brilliant.

      3. “none of the apps that you’d want to use with it are designed for multi-touch”

        This is simply not true. Every “Metro” (aka non-desktop apps) are designed for multi-touch, and on the audio DAW side FL Studio is optimized for multi-touch since version 11.

        “the Surface has never really taken off”

        Again, this is not true. Last year the Surface line made over 800 millions in profit. Sure its not as popular as the iPad, but they did took off, so much that Lenovo HP and Dell are coming up with their own “Surfaces”.

    2. There’s pros and cons yo both devices.

      Basically it’s an industry in its infancy.

      I like apple hardware,
      but I like windows 10 flexibility.
      I like surface docking and usb ports
      But I still need an iPhone for my pocket, social networking and maps.

    3. Just bought a chinese win8/android tablet for 200e to run just windows X-air mixer application and Maschine software (to use Maschine controller and kits in my otherwise hardware setup). Really good value for money. It doesn’t matter what the iPad pro costs because I still cannot use the osx apps I would need to use.

  3. Now if they add a keyboard, trackpad & ports attached with a permanent hinge, more RAM, bigger hard-drive, and non-sand-boxed apps, I’m in!!

    1. The Microsoft Surface: nice hardware, terrible concept, no apps & still a bomb at version 3.

      Apple isn’t playing catch up – its demonstrating that the fundamental concept of the Surface – tacking multi-touch onto Windows – was a kludge that only the Microsoft true believers would want.

      1. “The Microsoft Surface:” “no apps”

        Wait, what? Since when did ‘potentially every PC program ever’ constitute “no apps”? Also, I’ve gotta say, the Surfaces I’ve had a chance to play with work super-duper well, even with a lot of programs that weren’t even designed with touch in mind.

        1. PC Programs aren’t apps. That’s why you won’t find any old win32 app on the Microsoft store. Apps are optimised for touch, programs are not. Simple but important difference and the reason why the surface 3 still bombs.

          1. FL Studio is optimized for touch, does that make it an app or a program?

            If the Surface 3 had really bombed Apple wouldn’t have felt the need to create a product to compete with it.

            (I don’t want to start a flame war. I own 2 iPads and an XPS12 and I love them both. Soundprism and Audiobus are in my top 10 reasons why I think the iPad is great for making music, but I still believe the “no plugins”, “no filesystem” and “only one instance of each app” policy hurts the workflow on the iPad).

      2. Admin: Personal attack deleted.

        Keep comments on topic and constructive.

        Also, using multiple user names – Jertisafuckingidiot, josh, melo – results in the comment system treating your comments as spam.

  4. the bench mark tests for I-devices is pure fantasy, try watching a video, using your DAW, downloading a torrent and running back up software and antivirus as well as countless other processes that a desktop can run on an iPad. If the processors on iPads were half as powerful as they made out they would be sticking half a dozen in a server and not have to worry about spending tens of thousands of pounds a year cooling the room its in.
    I dont hate apple I have a phone, a pad and a mac pro, but their claims are disingenuous to say the least.

    1. Geekbench ranks different CPUs and is pretty widely regarded as a good benchmark. They rate the Surface Pro 3 as only 20% faster than an iPad 2:

      So the iPad Pro, which is nearly twice the speed of the iPad 2, will significantly leapfrog the Surface Pro 3’s CPU performance.

      You wouldn’t want to use an iPad or a Surface Pro for a server, though. They are both designed for low power consumption and would be woefully underpowered next to servers that don’t need to conserve either heat or power.

      1. So where is Photo Shop or Logic Pro? Or even just multi timbral synths!!! All the good ones are mono timbral and eat all the processing power there is. Of course the mobile processors are weaker, than desktop processors.

        The mobile processors iPads are only started to compare with early Core 2 processors no matter what Apples marketing rhetoric or some probably tuned benchmark app says.

        And even even if some mobile apps are quite neat, the Ram doesn’t allow to run several of them simultaneously.

        1. There are already multitimbral iPad synths and virtual instruments – SampleTank, Bismarck, WaveSynth Pro, SoundFont Pro are a few.

          The reason that there aren’t more is the same reason that there aren’t that many hardware multi-timbral synths anymore – multitimbral synths are too confusing for most people!

          1. I know those examples, and that’s why I wrote “All the good ones are mono timbral”. Those examples are VERY rudimentary and light weight mobile apps.

            All the good ones are monotimbral, because the mobile processor is so weak and it doesn’t have enough ram.

            And Surface could rum tens of iterations of really Pro synths simultaneously in a professional DAW, and it is not complicated.

            Please, do not invent stuff! Complexity is not the reason for lack of multi timbrality.

            1. the problem is RAM, not the power of the processor. processor is plenty strong enough to do the job. we’ve been running soft synths on our computers since the late 90s, to say a mobile chip isnt powerful enough to run a multi-timbral synth is silly.

              what he’s really getting at when he says “complexity” doesnt have to do with the synth itself but with the design of the OS. iOS is designed to be as simple as possible, heck, we didnt even get multitasking until the third or fourth version of the OS… Apple designs their interfaces to be as simple as possible and the app design is a reflection of that. programmers are just as limited in what APIs and “design guidelines” you have to follow- or you risk the possibility of arbitrarily having your app removed from their store for violating their rules.

              the problem isnt that the multi-timbral synths are too complex, is that Apple THINKS you’re too stupid to be able to use your machine in such a complicated manner. The entire OS is built around the general idea that you will always only be doing one thing at a time. Split-screen multi-tasking in OS9 might be the start of a change in that regard, but I expect to continue to see Apple hampering it in an effort to get everyone doing things their way, instead of making tools that let people do things whatever way they choose.

              1. The prcocessor intensity varies, and the processor requirements DO have increased since 90’s. The actually silly thing would be stating otherwise.

                Camel Audio and U-He have both stated, that the reason iPad doesn’t have Diva or the actual Alchemy is that it’s processors are not enough.

      2. no “take half a dozen processors” and stick them in a server, not the iPads.

        look at this statement …….faster than 80% of portable PCs sold. if you take 6 of those processors they would easily run at the same speed as HP blade server which is standard. the specs below.

        HP BL460c Gen8 Intel Xeon E5-2667 (2.90GHz/6-core/15MB/130W)

        its pure fantasy figures from apple, they are great company but their desperation to stay ahead has come at the price of integrity.

  5. what is “most mobile pcs”? i3, i5, i7? what gen? are they comparing to people still carting around pre core machines? it seems like a dubious claim.

  6. Now we’re getting to the sweetheart size. I could *almost* run Logic in that space. It would take a bit of window-sliding to manage, but the idea is tempting. Thing is… does the extended warranty still apply if I get looped and sit on it? is it tough enough to shrug THAT off? Will it count the “sits” and void the warranty on incident #10? Just asking.

    The size makes the form factor feel more inviting, but the way I work, it’d just sit in a solid base and be used the same way I use my iMac. Maybe one day it’ll all dovetail and I’ll find the iPad that justifies being used as a portable studio. It wouldn’t bother me at all to transfer practice tracks into the desktop for more serious shaping, but at the moment, those bucks will smell better if spent on Omnisphere.

  7. the larger screen, 4 speakers and stylus input are great. I will probabaly get one 2 years from now,. That price is very steep when you consider that there are hardly any apps out there that even come close to maxing out an Ipad Air 1. I hope in the future Ipad synth developers start offering 96khz for less aliasing because the CPU power is there now.

    Now if only Apple would offer a Macbook with a touchscreen.

  8. The tech is impressive, but like the Surface it’s still in a no mans land for most users. It’s too big to casually carry around like an iPad, and too small/boxed in to replace a laptop. I think there are undoubtedly a few great uses for hardware this size, but it’s a very low percentage of users that will be satisfied with any hardware/OS in this configuration.

  9. I’ve been using Apple hardware for nearly a decade now. Started off with a Powermac Dual G5 and a 1st-gen Macbook Pro. Both were incredible machines for their time. Rock-solid reliable. I could hook up almost any reasonably recent audio interface and get lightning-fast performance. Graphics performance was amazing. Leopard felt like a stable and mature operating system.
    Now I own a late 2014 Macbook Pro, and sure, while it’s more svelte than its 2007 ancestor, it feels less like a ‘Pro’ and more like what a baseline Macbook should be. Paltry connectivity, middling integrated graphics, mediocre CPU performance, and Yosemite is a bug-riddled mess of an OS. Sure, the Retina screen is nice, but nothing supports it. Sure, having two Thunderbolt 2 ports is nice (although already nearing obsolescence), but nothing supports them.

    The iPad Pro to my mind feels like the next logical step in Apple’s current ‘Pro’ strategy. Less connectivity, less power, less features that would actually benefit a professional, or even semi-professional user. Apart from maybe that stylus, but that’s surely not the reason anybody’s buying a thousand dollar tablet, is it?

    It’s no longer about catering to professionals. It’s about catering to rich consumers who fancy themselves as professionals.

    1. Yeah. This. Yosemite makes me wonder if apple intentionally released a terrible OS to drive people away from laptops and towards IOS. Thank god it’s only on my office PC and I can happliy do audio stuff on rock-solid mountain lion.

  10. What a cop out. you just know they have the capability to make a touch screen air with an i5 chip, yet they insist on selling you this. Next year they will sell you something with 1 new feature and people will forget this one and ogle over the new one. Meanwhile the surface pro is running an 17 chip WITH USB3

  11. Beware Spyware is embedded in the hardware , to report you’re every post , tweat, and movement , yes the camera phones home too. You have been warned

  12. perfect setup surface pro 3 + ipad pro….the power of full blown daw’s and plugins on surface, and the power of some amazing apps on ios.

  13. Too big to carry round or put in bag. And it runs iOS.

    There’s no point having all that power with so little control.

    The next Surface pro with windows 10 for me.

  14. All the way through that video I keep thinking

    “I don’t wanna hold my monitor!”

    I bet you the first accessories to come out will be desk stands, lap stands, you name it.

    1. that’s why I got excited about pen! 🙂 multi input touch plus pen could be very nice.

      with the keyboard this is close in size to old school PowerBook format. 🙂 I guess they couldn’t call it the powerpad though. 😉

      only thing they need is os9 level apps. I don’t mean ‘pro’ I mean powerful, flexible and unique.

      bring back studio vision, turbosynth and so on, but still they’re close…

      considering this just for sunvox, caustic, nave, tnr-I, jasuto(if only jasuto to could sort the crashing)

  15. without osx or proper apps for music, this is a sad effort to compete with the direction windows are taking. I hope apple gets their act together and start inovvating once more instead of sticking to their anal decisions of the past. Btw they could really work more on their hardware quality. it seems these days everything i own from them besides the ipad( macmini, imac and macbook) have a million problems from their airport cards to the wheel of death..

  16. iOS 9 will enable developers to make their own audio units available to iOS….can’t predict the future, but to me this and ipad pro = big impact for music makers, the true dreamers of dreams

    Plus I’m still waiting to see what loopy masterpiece will be like!

    1. bringabout

      Are your pants on fire?

      Because you’re comparing a $700 desktop cpu to mobile CPUs. If you put that CPU a laptop, your laptop would spontaneously ignite!

      A real comparison to the Apple A8X would be a processor that companies do put in mobile PCs, like the Surface Pro’s Intel Core i3-4020Y, which has a multi-core score of 3569, LOWER than an iPad Air 2:

      1. Apple compared the A9X to the power of current PC Notebooks, not me.

        Even the lowliest current Intel i3 scores around 6000-7000 in Geekbench. Any decent i7 CPU scores around 15000.

        This shows that any 500 dollar chinese notebook is as fast as an Ipad pro and for the same 1000 dollars you can get a notebook which is about 3-4X faster.

        Using the Surface Pro in your argument is an example of classic straw man reasoning.

        1. “Using the Surface Pro in your argument is an example of classic straw man reasoning.”

          No, straw man reasoning is suggesting that it makes sense to compare the processor in an iPad to a $700 desktop processor that would explode if you put it in a tablet.

          Apple said the iPad Pro CPU performance is better than 80% of the mobile PCs sold in the last year. Compare that to the top-selling laptop at Amazon, a Toshiba Satellite:

          It runs a Intel Core i5-5200U, that barely outperforms last year’s iPad 2. The iPad Pro will smoke it and similar inexpensive laptops.

          These are the mobile PCs that most people buy, and iPads already have very comparable CPUs. To suggest otherwise is to deny the facts.

          1. Apple A8X: 4525
            Intel Core i5-2520M: 5363
            Intel Core i5-4278U: 6116
            Intel Core i7-5557U: 7377
            Intel Core i7-4810MQ: 11350
            Intel Core i7-4910MQ: 14068

            These are all mobile.

            1. You’ve made yet another straw man argument.

              Your dedication to confusing the issue, while ignoring the points that others have made, is impressive!

              1. Look man, Apple made one claim:

                “iPad Pro CPU performance is better than 80% of the mobile PCs sold in the last year”

                While that is surely true, this is a straw man argument itself, since even a current Core i5 mobile CPU is faster than 80% of the mobile PCs sold last year.
                The reason behind this is that “80% faster than last years mobile PC” is not a benchmark. It is a pseudo benchmark that makes a CPU faster in the eyes of Average Joe.
                When you compare one CPU to another CPU you use objective measurements. You can use the above Geekbench scores for example.

                Also, the average PC notebook doesn’t mean average CPU power since the most popular models are always the cheapest hence the slowest ones.

                Also, the implicit meaning of Apple’s statement is that an iPad Pro is as fast as an average PC notebook. Here, this is a straw man argument as well. When it comes to music making applications, ask yourself: Who the hell uses a cheap i3 notebook for creating serious music? No-one.

    1. He was right – nobody wants a stylus to use their phone.

      Photo retouched and illustrators will definitely want an iPad pro & Apple Pencil combo. The got it right for designers and illustrators.

      1. “Photo retouched ” ..? and illustrators .
        have had tools for years from a company called Wacom
        and for the money i would rather buy a Cintiq 13 HD Touch for illustrations

  17. This whole Surface vs iPad Pro discussion is interesting but off base. Yes FL is touch enabled, but the Surface experience is full of compromises as it’s trying to bridge both worlds. For me, the Surface is the best Windows device I’ve ever owned – simple, relatively intuitive – nice update mechanisms – transparent. The downside is that it’s still a little awkward – two different versions of IE – one for touch and one for desktop installed on the same machine is pretty weird. Touch instruments (what few there are) have terrible latency through the touch interface. However StaffPad is THE killer app for the Surface for those who like to write notation – really intuitive and effective. I’m also able to run all the software I need for my company that is not available on iOS or OSX. I’m using a Surface 3, so I appreciate fan-less operation, portability and . Quite frankly as a media consumption device it kind of sucks – compared to my iPad 3 it has a lot of playback issues (very unexpected).

    On the other hand the iOS apps operate extremely well within their own milieu. Streaming, reading, games, music creation are work well. I have to say my favorite news reader is actually the native news reader on Surface – beautifully designed and nicely curated. What is truly killer is the incredible variety of powerful and INEXPENSIVE soft-synths. An iPad matched with the Mux apps or something like the iConnectivity hardware really expands the capabilities of a computer-based DAW. As far as using a full-featured DAW, I personally find that the smaller form factor of existing iPads for DAW activities too cramped. This of course may change with the much larger screen of the iPad Pro and new software to take advantage of it. Using the iPad as a controller for a DAW, though, is a great experience. Having an additional touch control surface that is configurable is really great.

    So for me:
    Surface is great tor native Windows software (including DAWs) and StaffPad! News reader is a big plus.
    iPad is great for media viewing and playback, touch based software synths and control surfaces
    MacBook Logic, and all the other OSX software and interaction with iPad based controllers.

  18. Once the 3D touch from the new iPhone appears on this device, it’ll be a no brainer. Until then it’s a bit of a toss up based on what your priorities are.

  19. The MS Surface shilling on this thread is awful. If half of the people on here claiming to own one of these awkward underpowered turkeys HAD actually bought one, maybe the sales wouldnt be such a joke (M$ crow about some positive revenue in the last few months, while not mentioning the close to $10bn they already flushed down the toilet trying to push it). Reminds me of the hundred of ‘pro Zune’ comments you used to get back in the days of the iPod, and the same with WIndowsPhone, Xbone, etc. I expect the Surface to go the same way pretty soon, and if this new iPad sales can speed up that process then I hope it sells well.

  20. Until they put some kind of finder or file browser in iOS it will never be ‘pro’ Trying to get work off an iPhone or iPad is a nightmare. Free my DATA!

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