Review: Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro | iLounge

Review

Review: Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro

A-
Highly Recommended

Company: Apple

Model: (9.7-inch) iPad Pro

MSRP: $599-$1029

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Phil Dzikiy

Pros: Great form factor is easier to hold than larger Pro. Less expensive than larger Pro. Technology represents a step up from iPad Air 2 at same size. A very fast tablet. Great, bright display with True Tone. The best cameras ever seen on iPad. Very good battery life. Includes multi-touch display and Smart Connector in a smaller package. Untethered Hey Siri is an exclusive on iPad. More LTE bands with LTE Advanced in Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Only iPad Pro with 32GB Cellular edition.

Cons: Expensive compared to current iPad Air 2 price, and extra features may not be worth it to a fair number of prospective users. Smaller screen makes for a slightly diminished drawing/typing experience compared to larger Pro. Audio not as good as larger Pro. Just a tad slower than larger Pro. Not compatible with iPad Air 2 cases despite same tablet size.

The 9.7” iPad Pro ended up pretty much exactly where we expected in our battery testing. A 27.91 Whr battery is slightly larger than that found in the iPad Air 2, but definitively smaller than the large 38.8 Whr battery found in the 12.9” iPad Pro. The new Pro is presumably more efficient than the Air, and doesn’t have to power the huge 12.9” screen, so it basically ends up somewhere in between the two other iPads when it comes to battery performance, which is still quite strong. Our tests were done with the display running at 50 percent brightness and 50 percent volume.

In our Wi-Fi browsing test, the new iPad Pro lasted for almost 12 hours, not far off from the larger Pro’s time of 12 hours and 41 minutes. This far outperforms Apple’s own conservative estimate of 10 hours, though as with all these tests, other factors may have an effect on the results.

Our video testing still gave us strong results, though not quite as impressive — the 9.7” iPad Pro ran for 13 hours and 35 minutes, which was close to the results of the first iPad Air, but nearly two hours behind the larger Pro. Again, the 9.7” Pro still easily outperformed Apple’s own 10-hour claim. In our gaming test, the new Pro clocked in at 8 hours and 48 minutes, besting both Air models with ease. Not a surprise, considering the A9X’s greater efficiency in running graphics.

Using the included 10W power adapter and Lightning cable, our Pro recharged in 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is barely longer than an iPad Air 2. In fact, our results between the two tablets were so similar, we’d basically consider them even when it comes to recharging.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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