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Apple introduces 9.7-inch iPad Pro: Smaller, but better

Apple today, introduced a smaller 9.7-inch sibling to the iPad Pro, alongside the new 4-inch iPhone SE. The “ultimate PC replacement” packs PC-beating specs, and for the first time, will come in Rose Gold and 256GB options. Prices start from US$599, with availability on 24 March 2016.

In his keynote, Phil Schiller, senior VP of worldwide marketing at Apple, revealed in his keynote that over 200 million 9.7-inch iPads have been sold globally. This reflects the popularity and acceptance of the size.

Following the success of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple is targeting the 9.7-inch version at potential upgraders, as well as Windows users. Over 600 million PCs are over five years old, by the way.

With amazing hardware, brilliant accessories like the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, iOS 9.3 and the unmatched ecosystem of 1 million iPad apps, the iPad Pro appears to be a compelling buy, especially if productivity is what you’re looking for.

Design and build

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is everything its bigger sibling is – solidly-built, sleek and considerably lightweight. It tips the scales at 444g (Wi-Fi + LTE version), and measures 6.1mm in thickness.

It’s an easier size to handle compared to the unwieldy 12.9-inch variant. It’s got the same brilliant four-speaker set-up, Home/Touch ID sensor, Smart Connector and Lightning connector. There’s a 3.5mm heaphone jack as well as dual microphones.

In the display department, it’s the best display Apple has ever built. The screen supports 2048×1536 resolution (compared to 2732×2048 on the 12.9-inch) and features the same variable refresh rate technology.

It’s 40% less reflective, 25% brighter, with 25% greater colour saturation as compared to the iPad Air 2. It has the lowest reflectivity on any tablet, making it the perfect display for professional work.

For the first time on any iPad, it features a True Tone Display – Apple’s display technology that makes use of two new four-channel ambient light sensors. True Tone helps to adjust the white balance of the screen based on ambient light.

Hardware

Under the hood, the third-generation 64-bit Apple A9X that’s coupled with the M9 coprocessor. The A9X’s 3 billion transistors give it PC-beating prowess, with energy efficiency to boot. It’s 12-core GPU makes it more powerful than an Xbox360!

Camera

There are people out there who like taking photos with their tablets. Apple realizes this, and has equipped the new iPad with a 12MP f/2.2 iSight camera with Focus Pixels and True Tone Flash. It supports 4K video capture, 63MP panoramas and Live Photos. It has a Hybrid IR filter, backside illumination (BSI) and Auto Image Stabilisation.

On the front it gets a 5MP FaceTime HD camera.

Both cameras completely blow the bigger iPad Pro’s setup out of the water. This is the best shooters so far on any iPad.

The built-in 27.5Wh battery delivers up to 10 hours of battery life.

Accessories

With the new iPad Pro size, Apple also introduced new accessories including the Smart Keyboard, USB Camera Adapter and SD Card Reader. The Apple Pencil works with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, as well.

iOS 9.3

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is powered by the latest iOS 9.3, bringing with it new features like Night Shift and more.

Pricing and availability

iPad Pro 9.7-inch is available in four colours – Silver, Space Gray, Gold and for the first time Rose Gold.

Pricing is as follows:

  • 32GB Wi-Fi – US$599/MYR2,420
  • 128GB Wi-Fi – US$749/MYR3,026
  • 256GB Wi-Fi – US$899/MYR3,632
  • 32GB LTE + Wi-Fi – US$729/MYR2,945
  • 128GB LTE + Wi-Fi – US$879/MYR3,551
  • 256GB LTE + Wi-Fi – US$1,029/MYR4,157

Orders start 24 March 2016 with availability officially from 31 March 2016.

The rest of the iPad line-up includes:

  • iPad mini 4 – from US$269
  • iPad Air 2 – from US$399

Official iPad Pro product video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_pMx7IjYKE

 

By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of Vernonchan.com. A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.