8 things you need to know about the Apple iPad Pro

We take a look at Apple's new bumper-sized tablet

"If you see a stylus, they blew it," said Steve Jobs in 2010.

Guess what's gone and happened five years later? Yup. Apple's launched the iPad Pro, a huge 12.9in tablet that's best utilised with a Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil - a stylus by any other name.

Finally, Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 has some serious competition. But should you go out and buy an iPad Pro? Here's everything you need to know about this work-friendly tablet.

1. It's got a huge touchscreen

Although Apple has frequently touted its iPad Airs as offering a performance that's comparable to a laptop, was anyone really buying that spiel? The iPad Air 2 is best for 'Netflix and chill'. The iPad Pro, meanwhile, is made for business-related shenanigans.

Its 12.9-inch Retina display is big enough to multitask across apps using the new split-screen features of iOS 9. With a 2732 x 2048 resolution, that adds up to an ample 265 ppi - meaning your pictures and video should look impecable. This is handy, given that one of the tablet's best uses seems to be for editing media.

Of course, it's also good for word processing, slideshows and all your usual Office apps as well. Hence Microsoft's appearance onstage at the Pro's grand unveiling.

2. It's meant to be used with a stylus

"Who wants a stylus?" said Steve Jobs in 2007. "...Nobody wants a stylus."

That was when Apple first launched the iPhone with its 3.5-inch screen. Given the iPad Pro has a screen that's three times this size, the Apple Pencil's exisitence makes sense. Even if its US$99 asking price is mind-boggling.

This pressure-sensitive stylus works in conjunction with the iPad Pro to improve the way you interact with the tablet. When you're using the Apple Pencil, the Pro will scan its display more often to detect any strokes you make. Press softly on the screen and you'll draw thin lines, press down hard and you'll draw fat ones. Designer-types, you're going to want one of these.

Recharging the stylus is easy too: you just plug it into the iPad Pro's lightning connector.

3. It has a distinctly Surface-like keyboard

Of course to use a tablet as big as the iPad Pro - let’s just reiterate that THIS HAS A 12.9-INCH SCREEN - you’ll be needing a proper keyboard. And it turns out that keyboard should look very, very similar to that of the Microsoft Surface Pro.

The Apple Smart Keyboard clips on to the iPad Pro magnetically in much the same way as the Mag-safe connector works on a MacBook, which should make the hook-up nice and stable.

The keyboard itself is a full-size affair that’s covered in fabric and uses the same ‘butterfly-key’ tech that found its way into the Apple MacBook. All of which is very nice, but we should point out that it will set you back a fairly whopping US$169. Which isn’t quite so nice.

4. It's faster than a laptop

Inside the iPad Pro there’s a 3rd-gen, 64-bit A9X chip. According to Apple it has twice the memory bandwidth of the A8X chip found inside the iPad Air 2, twice the graphics performance and twice the storage performance speed. Apple also says it will be 22 times faster than the first iPad. Because, obviously, you’re still using a first-gen iPad.

Apple’s biggest claim for its performance is that it’s faster than 80% of portable PCs sold in the past year. It’s hard to verify that claim either way, given that the phrase “portable PC” is somewhat vague, but we can at least assume that it’ll be pretty snappy in action. No word on how much RAM is inside it though.