The iPad Pro looks to be a tablet-laptop hybrid with this keyboard cover - a separate purchase, of course

Well, folks, it's finally here – after maybe two years of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally announced the iPad Pro. A 12.9” monster of a tablet, looking to be the ultimate mix between a media consumption device and productivity machine. Looking at it, one can't help but draw parallels between it and Microsoft's attempt at a laptop-tablet hybrid – the Surface Pro 3.

Indeed, the latter comes with its very own stylus and has an optional keyboard cover to boost productivity. Apple has went the same way, though both its stylus, dubbed Apple Pencil, and its Smart Keyboard are optional purchases.

The cover is a full-sized keyboard, water- and stain-resistant and highly durable, with Apple promising a lifetime of use. The buttons under each key employ similar tech to what was used with the newest MacBook and Cupertinians promise even feedback across keys for comfortable use. The Smart Keyboard connects to the iPad Pro via the Smart Connector – 3 dots, present on the side of the tablet, which are used to make contact and transfer data between the slate and the accessory. Additionally, iOS will be able to recognize when the Smart Keyboard is in use and “adapt”. What we saw at the presentation is that the software hides the virtual keyboard to make full use of the 12.9” screen, but seeing as the Smart Keyboard has Control, Option, and Command keys, we wouldn't be surprised if some apps make great use of them.

The keyboard cover for Apple's gargantuan tablet will set you back $169 and will be available in November for the iPad Pro's launch.

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