It has been over 6 months since the iPad Pro - a beautiful, powerful device that is ridiculously large and expensive for the average user. Being a fan of the 9.7” form factor, I’ve craved for iPad Pro features in a smaller package. Luckily, Apple did just that — literally.
The 9.7” iPad Pro is a miniature version of the original 12.9" iPad Pro that debuted last September. Design wise, it stays exactly like a 9.7” iPad Air 2: 6.1 mm thin and weighing under 1 pound. However, you must have noticed in the above picture the camera protrusion just like in the iPhones, thanks to it borrowing the iPhone 6S's camera.
Of course the 9.7” iPad Pro is a ‘Pro’ device all because of its internals. Both the 9.7” and 12.9” iPad Pro’s rock the A9X chipset with the M9 co-processor. This makes the Pro an absolute beast - you can edit parallel streams of 4K video, multitask with multiple windows open, render 3D objects in AutoCAD 360, build websites and edit high quality pictures on Photoshop Fix all on the go. The 9.7” iPad Pro should last about 10 hours on a single charge.
The display on the 9.7” iPad Pro is not just best in class, but better than its own 12.9” counterpart. The new iPad Pro has a 2048x1536 Oxide TFT display with variable refresh rate, and features the least reflectivity and highest brightness of any tablet - 40% less reflective and 25% brighter than the iPad Air 2. It also has a wide colour gamut - Digital cinema spec (DCI 3) - which allows for 25% more saturated colours. But there is more: the 9.7” iPad Pro has a “True Tone display” that uses 4-channel ambient light sensors to match the light in its environment. For example, you are sitting in a tinge of warm yellow sunlight, the iPad Pro screen turns slightly yellow to match the surrounding. Apple says it is the best, most advanced display they’ve every built for an iPad.
The 9.7” iPad Pro borrows the 12 MP camera from the iPhone 6S. That means you can capture 4K video right on your iPad, although I don’t see who ‘needs’ it. The new Pro also has 4 speakers for surround audio. It supports iPad Pro accessories like the Smart Connector keyboard and Apple Pencil. This might make the 9.7” iPad far more compelling than the iPad Air 2 for some people.
Apple made a strong statement that this is the iPad that will replace PCs. After successfully selling the 12.9” iPad Pro and receiving positive reviews from professional users, Apple promises that the iPad Pro will deliver an experience of a powerful computer, perhaps even better than a PC experience. How many customers will be lured by this? We will have to wait and look at numbers.
The 9.7” iPad Pro is quiet literally a smaller version of its 12.9” counterpart. It is priced competitively, starting at $599 for the 32GB model. The 128 GB model costs $749 and a new 256 GB configuration costs $899. The 12.9” iPad Pro also gets a 256 GB model, priced at $1,099. All above prices are for WiFi only models. The 9.7” iPad Pro is not replacing the iPad Air 2, which will continue to retail at a starting price of $399.
The 9.7” iPad Pro will begin pre-orders on 24th March, and will start shipping on 31st March in select countries.
What is your favourite feature of the 9.7” iPad Pro? Answer the poll below!