Today, Apple announced one of its most anticipated (and predicted) new products of 2016: a decidedly smaller iPad Pro. The 9.7-inch tablet is the smaller sibling of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which was released in early November 2015. The 9.7-inch is the same size as the iPad Air 2, which Apple claims is the most popular sized iPad, and it weighs less than a pound. With a super-fast A9X chip and an M9 coprocessor, CEO Tim Cook is calling it “the ultimate PC replacement.”
The Details: The 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in three capacities: 32GB ($599), 128GB ($749) and 256GB ($899). Each of those models are wi-fi only; consumers who want an LTE option may have to cough up $130 more for each. The tablet will be available in four color options: space grey, silver, gold and rose gold. Preorders start on March 24, with delivery beginning March 31.
True Tone Display
The new Pro boasts a 2048 × 1536 screen resolution, which isn’t as crisp as the 12.9-inch Pro’s 2732 × 2048 resolution. However, the smaller Pro does feature TrueTone technology, so the display changes brightness depending on the environment its in. This allows the display to replicate the “paper white” of a notebook, so it’s more natural and comfortable on your eyes. Basically, “my eyes hurt from staring at the screen too long” is no longer an excuse. It also comes with Apple’s new Night Shift app, which shifts colors to the warmer end of the spectrum at night, to reduce blue light.
An Improved Camera
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes has a 12-megapixel iSight rear camera, which is a vast improvement on the 12.9-inch Pro’s 8-megapixel iSight camera. Its also capable of capturing 4K and 240-fps slo-mo videos and uses a dual-tone flash for more vivid pictures in low-light conditions.
Brighter and Less Reflective
Take away the True Tone Display and its light “less than one pound” design and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has many of the same characteristics as its 12.9-inch predecessor. It’s powered by the same A9X processor and has a similar four-speaker setup. But it’s a big improvement on Apple’s 2014-released iPad Air 2, which Apple compared it to regularly during the keynote address. Apple claims that the new pro is the same size, but twice as loud (with four speakers), 25 percent brighter and 40 percent less reflective than the Air 2.
Pencil and Other Apps
The new iPad Pro will come with many of the same compatible add-ons that users have gravitated recently towards: a smaller version of their Smart Keyboard, Apple’s Pencil stylus, and an attachable SD card reader and USB camera adapter. On top of that, the tablet will work with over a million apps.