Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro — introduced at today’s “Let Us Loop You In” event — weighs in at under one pound and is available in a 256GB model. Despite its smaller size, it packs a retina display with greater brightness, a wider color gamut, lower reflectivity, Night Shift mode and new True Tone display technology to dynamically adjust white balance.
The new iPad Pro sports a 64-bit A9X chip, a 12-megapixel iSight camera for shooting Live Photos and 4K video, a 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, and faster wireless technologies. And, of course, it includes support for the Apple Pencil and a new Smart Keyboard cover designed to fit its 9.7-inch body.
The True Tone display uses new four-channel sensors to dynamically adjust the white balance of the display to match the light around you for a more natural and accurate, paper-white viewing experience, according to Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. The Retina display is 25% brighter and 40% less reflective than the iPad Air 2, making content even easier to see indoors and out, he adds.
It uses the same wider color gamut as the iMac with Retina 5K display, delivering 25% greater color saturation1 for more vivid colors. A custom timing controller, photo alignment and oxide TFT deliver incredible color, contrast and clarity. Night Shift in iOS 9.3 uses iPad Pro’s clock and geolocation to automatically adjust the colors in the display to the warmer end of the spectrum after dark and could help you get a better night’s sleep.
The new iPad Pro also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO technology, faster LTE Advanced with up to 50% faster cellular connectivityo, and the most LTE bands supported by any tablet, says Schiller. With Apple SIM embedded directly in the new tablet, it’s even easier to connect to wireless data plans right from your device when traveling in more than 100 countries and territories.
The 12-megapixel iSight camera sensor features Focus Pixels for fast focusing, an Apple-designed image signal processor, advanced noise reduction, third-generation local tone mapping and better face detection, all resulting in detailed images, 63-megapixel panoramas and Live Photos. A True Tone flash is designed to improve low light shots and document scanning.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has the same four-speaker audio system that its 12.9-inch cousin introduced. Built-in sensors automatically adjust and optimize the audio no matter which way you’re using it. iOS 9.3 also adds support for playing video encoded with Dolby Digital Plus audio streams with support for multichannel output using the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in silver, space gray, gold and a new rose gold metallic finish, and starts at $599 for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and $729 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Both iPad Pro sizes are available in offerings of 32GB, 128GB and a new 256GB capacity, the highest of any iOS device. (Well, darn, now I wish my 12.9-inch iPad Pro had that much storage.)