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.
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.
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?