New iPad Pro's, Apple Pencil and Microsoft Office

The new iPad Pro’s announced today by Apple come with an extra cost to use Microsoft Office.

Office Mobile apps for iPad are usually free for everyone.  There are some extras for Office 365 customers but most of the app features are available for all comers.

But the new iPad Pro’s, like their predecessor Pro models have screens over 10.1″ diagonally.  That means you have to pay for Microsoft Office.

Any device with a screen over 10.1″ is considered by Microsoft as a full computer, so an Office 365 plan (Home, Personal, University etc) is needed.

The new iPad Pro models come with a hefty price tag.  The 11″ model start at US$800 and the 12.9″ version from US$1,000.

The top end iPad Pro 12.9″ with 1TB storage and cellular link costs US$1,900!

Add to that the cost of a keyboard, the new Apple Pencil (see below) and a case/cover for the iPad and Pencil.

At those prices another $100 for Office 365 Home probably isn’t going to worry you.

Magical piece of glass that can be anything you need it to be

Apple hype was on full blast today with the iPad Pro described as nothing less than:

“magical piece of glass that can be anything you need it to be.”

Presumably this came a marketing department inspired by the great Douglas Adams who coined the phrase “Your plastic pal who’s fun to be with” to describe robots! </ HHGTTG>  . Douglas was being sarcastic, Apple isn’t.

Apple Pencil upgraded with price hike

Almost unnoticed in today’s announcement is the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation.

The Apple Pencil is very good. It’s the only digital pen/stylus we’ve found to be truly useable.  Peter often uses his to make ‘handwritten’ notes in OneNote or markup Word documents or PDF’s.

The first generation Apple Pencil costs US$99 which was a lot and hard to justify.

The new ‘2nd generation’ Apple Pencil raises that to US$129!

Source: Apple

For another $30 the pencil cap (easily lost) is gone and the Pencil now supports double taps.  2nd Gen Apple Pencil recharges by laying it on an iPad Pro 11″ or 12.9″ model, therefore it’s only compatible with those two devices.

The original Apple Pencil is still available for other iPad Pro’s

Make sure your iPad supports the Apple Pencil. If so, get the right Pencil to suit your iPad.

Give more money to Apple

If you’re new to Office 365, don’t make the mistake of buying Office 365 from Apple.

Apple sells Office 365 through the app store, online and at their physical Apple Stores at full retail price.

Office 365 new or renewal is easily available from other retailers for less than what Apple or Microsoft charge.

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