Apple intros 9.7-inch iPad Pro with Apple Pencil support, up to 256GB of storage, LTE band 12

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Today is a big day for Apple. Not only did they debut a new 4-inch iPhone and release iOS 9.3, but they also took the wraps off of an new iPad model.

The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro is similar to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that was announced last year, but in a smaller package. It’s got the same built-in stereo speakers found in the four corners of the device, the same Apple A9X processor — though the 9.7-inch supports always-on “Hey Siri” and the 12.9-inch doesn’t — and the same support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro also boasts a antireflective coating like the 12.9-inch model, which Apple says is less reflective than the display on the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and also 25 percent brighter.

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Of course, the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models are exactly the same. Obviously the two screens are difference sizes, and the 9.7-inch model also has a lower resolution than the 12.9-inch version: 2048×1536 versus 2732×2048. While the 9.7-inch model’s screen may be lower resolution, it does offer a True Tone screen technology that isn’t included in the 12.9-inch version. Apple says that this tech lets the 9.7-inch iPad Pro “dynamically adjust the white balance” of its screen. Additionally, the 9.7-inch model’s cameras are beefier than those on the 12.9-inch iPad, with the 9.7-inch version packing 12-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras while the 12.9-inch model has 8-megapixel and 1.2-megapixel cameras, respectively. The 9.7-inch iPad supports 4K video capture, too, whereas the 12.9-inch version only records video up to 1080p.

While we’re on the subject of cameras, there’s one other small difference between the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that’s worth noting. The 9.7-inch version has a rear camera that sticks out a bit from its body, but the 12.9-inch version doesn’t. You can see the two compared in the image below.

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Apple will begin taking orders for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro on March 24, with a full launch scheduled for March 31. It’ll be available in Space Gray, Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold colors, with the Rose Gold color being one color that’s not available on any other iPad. Pricing will be set at $599 for 32GB Wi-Fi, $749 for 128GB Wi-Fi, and $899 for 256GB Wi-Fi. Stepping up to a cellular model will cost $729 for 32GB, $879 for 128GB, and $1,029 for 256GB of storage. Speaking of cellular, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro includes LTE Advanced support, which supports cellular speeds up to 300Mbps.

At the time that this post is going live, T-Mobile hasn’t announced plans to carry the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It does sell the iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, though, so it’s certainly possible that it’ll eventually offer the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, too. Of note is that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro includes LTE bands 2, 4, and 12, while the 12.9-inch version’s T-Mobile LTE support is limited to bands 2 and 4. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro also supports HSPA 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100MHz and GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz.

With many of the same features the 12.9-inch iPad Pro — and upgrades in some areas — are you interested in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro?

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Thanks, Christopher!

Source: Apple

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  • George Salcedo

    I don’t care if your an apple fanboy or not but $599 for a 16gig device is absolutely ridiculous.

    • Adrayven

      First, READ, it’s a 32 GB model. Not 16 GB.

      Second, they lowered the iPad Air 2 16GB down to $399 – They are price adjusting the line. iPad Mini, Air, and Pro is now comparable to Macbook lines. We can expect future iPad Air’s to stay at lower pice point for those who don’t want Pro features..

      Seriously, most parents, kids don’t care about Pencil, True Tone colors, smart connector for keyboards and Wired LAN/Ethernet(New Pro powered USB adaptor allows wired ethernet) connectivity that you have with the iPad Pro.. MOST will go less expensive line, the iPad Air, not iPad Pro.

      • George Salcedo

        It says 16 gig $599 my friend, you read

        • Bryant

          This write-up is wrong. Go to Apple’s website for the actual pricing. 32GB for $599, no 16GB option at all for Pro iPads.

        • Omar I. Montalvo

          There are tons of incorrect information in this article. This piece says that they 12.9 inch and the 9.7 inch are exactly the same and that’s not true, the 9.7 model has a better rear camera, a better front facing camera, new technology on the display, the design is different on both models, the 9.7 inch model has Always-On Siri and the 12.9 model doesn’t support it, the smaller iPad has also a better LTE chip that provides 50% faster downloads because it’s compatible with LTE Advanced

  • Adrayven

    Yup, the 4 speaker system alone makes me interested. Add the new connector and pencil and the 32gb LTE version is likely my new goto device..

    I was seriously looking to get the 12.9 but, I was not aware it didn’t have band 12.. which is a kicker for me.. I find that unfortunate. I tend to use my iPad as a hotspot and wanted to get the larger iPad Pro 12.9 LTE.

    • Bryant

      I purchased the 12.9 a few weeks ago. The speaker system sounds amazing! Love it. Like you, I’m disappointed only the 9.7 has band 12, and it was left out of the 12.9. The other day, I drove around and did Coverage Map speed tests on my 6s and 12.9 pro at the same time. I don’t live in a band 12 area, just 2 and 4, but ironically my iPhone dropped from LTE to 4G in some areas, while my 12.9 pro stuck to LTE the whole time. Are the antennas bigger on the ipads? The LTE performance was better than the iPhone 6s.

  • Mike

    I see no reason to get this I’ll keep my surface pro 2 and galaxy note 12.1

  • Omar I. Montalvo

    There are tons of incorrect information in this article. This piece says that they 12.9 inch and the 9.7 inch are exactly the same and that’s not true, the 9.7 model has a better rear camera, a better front facing camera, new technology on the display, the design is different on both models, the 9.7 inch model has Always-On Siri and the 12.9 model doesn’t support it, the smaller iPad has also a better LTE chip that provides 50% faster downloads because it’s compatible with LTE Advanced. There’s also no 16Gb model at all, they all start at 32gb

    • Alex Wagner

      Omar- I updated the post to correct the reference of a 16GB model and added in the True Tone display feature of the 9.7-inch model. However, other features like the improved cameras and the protruding rear camera are mentioned.

  • patt

    I would love to get the Air2 LTE but it has no band12 and it would have been nice for traveling. I was expecting something like Air3 not iPad Pro with this crazy price.

  • AS118

    Not seeing the point of a 4″ iphone. I’d say a 4.5″ to 4.7″ is the sweet spot for a good one-hand phone, and 4.5″ is surprisingly thin.