Chip-Monks  ⁄  iOS  ⁄  Apple iPad Pro (9.7)
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Released: Mar, 2016
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  • Display : 9.7 inches, IPS LCD, Retina display
  • Max OS : iOS 11
  • Storage : 32 GB
  • RAM : 2 GB
  • Body Material : Aluminium
  • Cameras : Rear: 12 MP, Front: 5 MP
  • Dimensions (L, B, W) : 9.4, 6.6, 0.24 in.
  • Connectivity : 4G

When Apple released the iPad Pro (12.9) in November 2015, it turned several heads – not just because of the massive 12.9 inch screen, but also for various other novelties it springboarded – the Apple Pencil, a smart-connector-enabled keyboard, a super-resolution screen, intelligent high-fieldity speakers; and paired will all of that was assured mega-fast performance and prolonged battery life despite the gargantuan and consequently, battery-hungry screen.

Given that the regular sized iPad’s are Apple’s tablet-bread-and-butter, it comes as no surprise that a new 9.7 inch version of the iPad Pro hit the stands in March, 2016 – just four months later.

The latest iPad Pro features a brilliant screen, a nifty A9X processor and an even better camera than its bigger sibling. The real question is, is this device really worth all the hype it is being subjected to? Or is just another attempt by Apple to rekindle the lost interest in the iPad (neé tablet) lineup?

Let’s find out!

The brand new iPad Pro features a 9.7 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1536×2048 pixels (which takes it to the QXGA realm), and a pixel density of 264 ppi.
Just like the original 12.9 inch iPad Pro, the new one also contains a scratch-resistant glass on top of the display, along with an oleophobic coating.

So, there’s nothing new in the screen? A fair bit, we assure you!

The new 9.7 inch display is vivid, with even more life like colours and saturation, and it features Apple’s latest True-tone display. Apple’s used two ambient light sensors to detect the color temperature of the environment around you, day or night, and uses that input to adjust the iPad Pro (9.7)’s  display to match that temperature. Outcome – the whites look really, naturally, white which turns to different shades depending on the sepia or luminescent light around you.

Not only does this make the screen easier and more natural to read, it also descales the harshness your eyeballs are subjected to, when viewing otherwise bright screens. Coupled with the Night Shift feature introduced in iOS 9.3, this is a brilliant piece of innovation which I hope makes its way to TVs and PCs as well!

The iPad Pro supports a nano-SIM/Electronic SIM card, and just like its elder sibling it comes with support for the Apple Pencil and Apple’s Smart Keyboard (and other officially supported peripherals).
The Smart keyboard uses laser ablated fabric for construction, which alongside the Macbook-style chiclet keyboard forms a really nice structure. For those of you who don’t quite fall in love with Apple’s keyboard, third-party keyboards are already becoming available, like the Logitech Create Keyboard Case.

Moving on to the Apple Pencil, theres no other way of saying this… It is truly the best in the business. Responsive, tactile, excellent balance and in-hand comfort. The palm-rejection algorithm on the iPad Pro (9.7) is just as supremely effective as it was on the iPad Pro (12.9). And supported apps all work just as well on the smaller sibling.

The iPad Pro (9.7) comes with iOS 9.3 installed, which has a couple of new features under the hood. For starters, there’s Night Shift, which can ease you into the evening by slowly changing the color temperature of the display from cold (blue) to warm (yellow). Another new feature is Secure Notes, which lets you set a password to protect any personal information that you wish to store in the built-in Notes app, and of course there’s enhanced multi-tasking. The iPad Pro line leverages all the new features in the upgraded OS (in fact, it actually feels like the OS was built for the iPad Pro!).

Internal hardware wise, the new 9.7 inch iPad Pro carries internals almost identical to those on the 12.9 inch iPad Pro.
Both iPad Pros have the same third generation 64-bit A9X system-on-chip, combining a custom dual-core processor (Twister) clocked at 2.16 GHz with a monstrous 12-core graphics processor. The major difference comes in terms of RAM – while you got a massive 4 GB of RAM on the 12.9 inch variant, you only get 2 GB of RAM on the newer iPad Pro (9.7).
This might seem like a significant ‘downgrade’ to naysayers, let me assure you, it’s not. Why? Because of the simple fact that iOS is nowhere nearly as memory dependent as other platforms, Android, to be specific. Further, since the system doesn’t have to drive a screen as gargantuan as 12.9 inches across (which is 5.6 million pixels vs. the 9.7 inch version which is “only” 3.1 million pixels), the RAM proves more than sufficient at all times.

During our tests we threw everything, including the kitchen and triple-door two ton refrigerator at the iPad Pro (9.7) and it laughingly chucked them off and went about its business, whistling! So, 2 is clearly equal to 4, on the 9.7.

One of the actual noteworthy downturns on the new iPad Pro is that it relies on the older version of a Lightening charging port, that is capable of only USB 2.0 speeds, unlike the advanced/upgraded port found on the 12.9 version, that actually supports USB 3.0 level speeds. While I personally hardly ever connect a cable to my tablet any more (thanks to my cloud-only workflows), but if you still use wires, and you want the speed, this is something you’ll need to consider when and if choosing between the two sizes.

There are three memory variants of the new iPad Pro: 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB (its the first device ever to be released with 256 GB of onboard internal memory!).

One of the places that the 9.7 version gets a leg up on it’s elder sibling is on the rear camera. Historically, one thing that some Apple loyalists felt was missing on the original iPad Pro was 4K video recording. Apple just fixed that.

You get 4K recording on the fresh iPad Pro! At the back is a 12 megapixel iSight camera with an f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus and dual-LED flash. 4K video recording feels like a breeze. And… the new iPad Pro does Live Photos (so far unique to the iPhone 6s).

With a majority of tablet manufacturers ignoring the camera units on their devices, it’s good to see Apple coming up with such a gorgeous camera on the new iPad Pro. It really poses a serious challenge for several tablet manufacturers and ridicules the “norm”.

Summing up, Apple is back at what it does best. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better tablet anywhere in the world!

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