9.7-inch iPad Pro is official – Pro-grade performance, familiar in size

The iPad Pro is one beast of a tablet – with its beautiful screen, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, baked-in multitasking features, and hardware powerful enough to handle 4K video editing, it is a device well worthy of its name. And it is also big – too big, perhaps, for some users to get one, feeling that it's the right iPad for them.

The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro model shakes things up quite a bit. Blending the best of both worlds, it packs the power of a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but comes in the well-known 9.7-inch package size. And it can be yours really, really soon.

Design and display

Weighing under a pound, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is considerably lighter than its 12.9-inch sibling. Yet is no less good-looking, adopting a number of design traits – from the anodized aluminum construction and familiar button placement to the four-speaker sound system and the fingerprint reader embedded in the home key. Unlike the larger model, however, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available in four colors – silver, gray, gold, and rose gold.

On the front of the new iPad Pro we find a 2048×1536-pixel Retina display that's familiar in size, but greatly updated in essence. It is 40% less reflective compared to an iPad Air 2 display, Apple brags – great for using the tablet in broad daylight. And it has what Apple calls True Tone display technology. Simply put, sensors adjust the color temperature of the display to match the temperature of the ambient lighting.

Software and Productivity

Needless to say, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro runs the latest version of iOS. That is iOS 9.3, which has been in beta for weeks and is now ready for rollout. The new software's highlight is called Night Shift and is designed to help you sleep better at night. Magic? Not really. The tablet simply shifts the color temperature of the display. This filters out blue light, which may prevent you from falling asleep easily, according to research. You also get fingerprint-protected notes, picture-in-picture video, and the multitude of multitasking features we know already from previous iOS 9 releases.

But this wouldn't have been a Pro-grade iPad without support for Apple's productivity-oriented accessories. The Apple Pencil – probably the best drawing peripheral made for a tablet – works flawlessly with the 9.7-inch iPad. So does the new Smart Keyboard variant, tailored specifically for the smaller size of the new iPad version. Of course, the accessory seamlessly and magnetically attaches to the slate.  

Processor and Camera

Inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro ticks the Apple A9X, which is Apple's most powerful mobile chip yet. Yup, that's the same piece of silicon powering the larger iPad Pro model. There's no word on how much RAM there's inside, but we do know how much storage is available. There are 32GB on a base 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but 128 and 256GB versions will be also up for grabs. At a steeper price, of course.

And as silly as it may look, people do take photos with their tablets. To meet these needs, Apple has put a 12MP camera on the back of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, along with a True Tone LED flash. You can shoot 4K video, slow-motion videos at up to 240 fps, 63MP panoramas, Live Photos, and still images of great detail, of course. On the front, there's a humble 1.2MP FaceTime camera.

Price and Availability

Apple will start accepting pre-orders for the new iPad Pro on March 24 and will have it in store on March 31. Prices start at $599 for the 32GB model. Variants with 128 and 256GB of storage will cost $749 and $899 respectively. Adding another $130 will get you LTE connectivity.



1. tyrionTheWise unregistered

And that's how you make a tablet. Really looking forward to this.

2. another1

Posts: 157; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

Super powerful. Looks great. I don't see much reason go upgrade from my iPad Air 2 yet. We will see.

3. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Same here. By looking forward I mean for my family member or someone. Especially impressed by the screen and the SD/USB/Ethernet adapter.

4. letosaw

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Hands Down great tablet. The only thing I don't like is protruding camera

9. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

What's the big deal? Sacrifice and in return you will get 2 times better pictures than recessed.

10. another1

Posts: 157; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

What's the big deal? You can't lay your device flat without wobbling. I'm glad he point that out, as that's a deal breaker for me.

13. Unordinary unregistered

Lmao. (im not laughing with you, I'm laughing at you).

19. another1

Posts: 157; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

Thanks for sharing.

16. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

You have a good point. That reminds me off the HTC one M7 I had. Wobbly when laid flat.

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

It wont wobble when you put a case on it. And based on the cheap material used, you must put a case on it. So I dont see how it is a deal breaker...lol

32. MrHate

Posts: 318; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

After I read your first sentence I was like "WTF TechieXP is saying something good about Apple? What happened?" And I rushed to the window to see if the world was still ok. And then I read your second sentence and thought this is the TechieXP I know.

38. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You're funny. I say good things about apple all the time. But what I said isn't specific to them. Samsung had tablets and phones with pretending cameras. So what! Most people put a case on their phone or tablet. The Galaxies are made of cheap materials too. After all Aluminum is the cheapest substance on the planet because it si the most widely available substance on this planet next to water and air. Aluminum is porous which means it soft, it easy to chip and damage and is not very easy to cosmetically fix. If phone makers wanted to use real "premium" metals for phones, Stainless steele would be a better option as it isn't as expensive as some other options like, Titanium or Platinum. Those are more costly because they are rare.

52. ahmedaddeeb

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 19, 2014

Aluminum is the most abundant element on earth, it's not the "cheapest", actually it's far from it lmao. If you ever studied chemistry, you would know that it's very expensive to extract Aluminum compared to your standard metal like iron or chrome, That being due to the fact that it's relatively high in the activity series of metals, so it has to be extracted via electrolysis(which requires massive amounts of other materials and electricity). Not to mention it's a metal, so it's a lot harder to ship and mold/shape than for example poly-carbon material(which is extremely cheaper than aluminum btw). Then there's the fact apple uses an Aluminum alloy which is almost double the cost of standard Aluminum. The reason Aluminum is used in smartphones/tablets, is because it's quite convenient for that specific purpose, it's light, durable, can be anodized easily...etc, not because it's cheap. And if you think using something like platinum in a smartphone/tablet is a good idea, then would you mind telling me what kind of meth you're taking?

47. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 969; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Cheap material fits the iPad perfectly. Oversized iPod Touch, with very limited peripheral compatibility and limited software. No wonder their sales dropped this year. Calling it a "pro" tablet but cripple it with iOS.

45. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

just use a protective cover, it will mostly cover the bump.... now a days who is rocking ipad naked???

11. another1

Posts: 157; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

Also, who the eff takes pictures with an iPad? Should be against the law.

23. Unordinary unregistered

Soccer moms

31. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The people who buy iPad's...who else. I remember when I went to Washington DC for the first time, and I saw someone with a Galaxy Tab trying to hold it up to take a picture. It simply looks so stupid.

29. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Are you going to put a case on it? So the camera will be flush...right?

50. letosaw

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

I've never put a case on any device I owned. It unnecessarily thickens the device and elegancy is lost.

7. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

Unlike every other Oems using S820 and 8890 on thier Pro. How stupid. I will give credit to Apple the bad rotten fruit. When you make a Pro edition of anything, it should make sure it's 2-3 times powerful than its standard S820 8890.

14. tyrionTheWise unregistered

A9x is much faster than 8890 and SD 820. Please don't compare mobile SoC to a tablet one. Samsung and huawei are using core M BTW.

39. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But the A9X is still a mobile SoC. Its the same as the A9, it just has an extra core. What PC device have you ever seen the A9 in? Come on man, its a mobile CPU, just liek its dual core sibling. What exactly does it beat the 8890 and 820 at? Doing less work? How about we dont compare an SoC that runs an iOS device with one that runs an Android device. Because facts show that if you ran today's iOS on the hardware Android uses, iOS woudl really fly. But if you ran Android on Apple's mobile hardware based on its specs, the device would stall and die. But what you said was wrong. The A9x is a mobile SoC. Why woudlnt I compare it to any other mobile SOC? So based on yoru word, I shouldn't compare Samsung Octacore SoC to the A9x because somehow the Octacore SoC isn't a mobile chipset? lol Dude you totally screwed up there. I know what you may have been tryign to say, but what you ended up saying is totally false.

43. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The A9X has the same number of cores as the A9 Its CPU has a higher clock rate Its GPU is twice as big, making it twice as fast It also has twice the memory bandwidth The 820/8890 aren't much behind in terms of CPU (decently worse single core, same/better multi core) But the A9X's GPU is significantly faster

44. tyrionTheWise unregistered

The A9x has a 145 mm^2 area and consumes twice the power of A9. Good luck putting it in a phone.

18. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

Ain't an Apple fan but Apple has a way to get Samsung off guard... Obviously Samsung will start cooking on something to try beat this... Lol

21. tyrionTheWise unregistered

There hasn't been a samsung tablet that can come close to ipad in history. Even the 1.5 year air 2 is unbeaten at this point. Android OEMs should be ashamed. It's about widening the gap, not catching them off guard.

25. jalebi2000

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

There was the Samsung note series of tablets but thats history now

34. KONICHIWA-ANNYONG unregistered

My Galaxy TAb S has had multi window... since day one =D - one of the primary reasons why I got it.

42. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Except the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei are competing in the Windows market ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the last decent premium Android tablet (Xperia Z4 Tablet) is over one year old.

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