Apple has announced a new 9.7-inch version of its iPad Pro, essentially upgrading the standard-sized iPad tablet to a “Pro” model, with features matching the 12.9-inch version debuted last fall. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will include the same features as its larger counterpart, including the 64-bit A9X CPU and M9 motion coprocessor, support for the Apple Pencil and a new, smaller-sized version of the Apple Smart Keyboard, while the new screen is both a “Wide color display” and “True Tone Display,” the latter of which will automatically measure the color temperature of ambient light to produce a natural paper-white color under any set of lighting conditions.
The new model will otherwise include the same display specs as the iPad Pro, providing a screen that is said to be 40 percent less reflective and 25 percent brighter than an iPad Air 2, giving it the lowest reflectivity and brightest screen of any tablet currently available, along with 25 percent greater color saturation, and support for iOS 9.3’s new “Night Shift” feature. The 9.7-inch model will also include the same four-speaker “Pro Audio” system as the iPad Pro, along with always-on “Hey Siri” support. The cameras represent a step up from the larger iPad Pro, with 12MP still photos and 4K video, front 5MP FaceTime HD camera with Retina Flash, rear True Tone flash, and support for Live Photos.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available for pre-order Mar. 24 with retail availability expected on Mar. 31, and will come in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB options, starting at $599 for a Wi-Fi only model, or $729 for a Wi-Fi + Cellular version; unlike the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the smaller iPad will be available in Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular versions in all three capacities. In addition to the now standard space gray, gold, and silver colors, a new rose gold version will also now be available for the 9.7-inch model. A 256GB capacity option has also been added for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, priced at $1099 and $1229 for the Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular models, respectively.