Following on the heel’s of last fall’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple has introduced a version of this high-end tablet with a 9.7-inch screen.
Many of the features of the original Pro were carried over to this one, including the Apple A9X 64-bit processor. However, the iPad Pro 9.7 has 2GB of RAM, half as much as the larger version.
Four speakers are included in both versions, but the newer 9.7-inch one boasts better cameras: a 12-megapixel primary and an 5MP front camera, up from the 8MP and 1.2MP in last fall’s model.
The 9.7-inch screen has 2048 x 1536 resolution, giving it 264ppi. This is the same size, resolution, and pixel density as the older iPad Air 2. For comparison, the 12.9-inch model has a 2732 x 2048, 264ppi display. Apple’s newest tablet includes a feature called True Tone, in which screen colors are adjusted to match ambient light.
The new model debuts running iOS 9.3; an upgrade for other recent iPad models is already available. It includes improvements to the Notes and iBooks applications, better support for external keyboards, as well as Night Shift, which reduces the amount of blue that’s displayed on the screen later in the day.
Apple is significantly bumping up the storage capacity of the Pro models by offering, for the first time, a version with 256GB of built-in storage. This includes both the 9.7- and 12.9-inch versions.
Pricing for the iPad Pro 9.7
The smaller version starts at $599 for a WiFi-only version with 32GB of storage, and go up to $899 for one with 256GB. Adding 4G LTE Advanced will increase the cost by $130.
The new 256GB version of the iPad Pro 12.9 is $1099.
Other iPad Options
In tandem with the release of a new Pro model, the price for the base model iPad Air 2, with 16GB of storage, has dropped to $399. The original iPad Air has been discontinued, but Apple is keeping the iPad mini 4 ($399) and the iPad mini 2 ($269) in its product lineup.