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iPad Pro 9.7 vs 12.9: Size Is Not The Only Difference, So Here's What You Get

23 March 2016, 8:02 am EDT By Horia Ungureanu Tech Times
Apple lately launched its 9.7-inch iPad Pro slate, and we pitted it against its predecessor, the 12.9-inch model. Aside from the difference in size, the comparison showed significant upgrades in the newest Apple tablet.  ( Apple )

Apple officially launched the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, so here are the main differences between the recent device and its 12.9-inch predecessor.

Design

First off, you should know that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the first iPad that packs LTE Advanced support. This should increase the cellular speed connectivity by 50 percent.

Another novelty on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the debut of the Apple SIM. The company says that this will smoothen up the process of connecting to wireless data plans while travelling internationally.

Camera

The camera is where the most improvements of the latest Apple tablet stand out.

While the bigger iPad Pro had an 8-megapixel iSight camera, the main snapper of the latest iPad Pro is a 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera. The 4-megapixel upgrade comes with a caveat: the camera protrudes a bit out of the back of the device, similarly to the iPhone 6 and 6s.

The aperture on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is f/2.2, meaning that the new tablet can get better shots in low light conditions. In comparison, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro featured an f/2.4 aperture. When it comes to panoramas, the new device has the upper hand with 63-megapixel panorama support, 20 megapixels larger than its predecessor.

Apple says that the new gadget is the first to have True Tone flash.

As a reminder, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has zero support for Live Photos, but the newest model does. The company also touts "improved noise reduction," a feature missing from the larger model.

The selfie snapper from the 9.7-inch model is a significant improvement over the former model. The new iPad Pro packs a FaceTime camera of 5-megapixel with Retina Flash, whereas the 12.9-inch iPad Pro had a 1.2-megapixel camera, sans Retina Flash.

Size

Apart from the obvious difference in screen size, there are a few other things that set the two Pro tablets apart. Weight is one of them, as the 9.7-inch pulls 0.96 pounds, whereas the 12.9-inch model is a tad heavier, at 1.57 pounds.

Thickness is another place where you can see the difference: the 9.7-inch model is 0.24-inch thick and the 12.9-inch is 0.27-inch thick.

Hey Siri

The new iPad Pro also got an always-on "Hey Siri" capability. Owners of the original iPad Pro can use the function only when the device is plugged into a power source.

Screen

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the first tablet that carries True Tone display, enabling the screen to auto-adjust color temperature to adapt on the room environment.

The company claims that the latest iPad Pro comes with the "lowest reflectivity of any tablet." According to the manufacturer, the 9.7-inch slate has a display which is 25 percent brighter than the one on the iPad Air 2. Also, Apple mentions that the newest tablet comes with a wider color display than its predecessors.

Video

When looking at video functions, the 9.7-inch model is at an advantage. It aptly records 4K video at 30 frames-per-second, as well as slow-motion videos at 120 fps at a resolution of 1080p and 240 fps for 720p resolution. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro can only record 30 fps videos of 1080p and slow-mo at 120 fps with resolutions of 720p. The company says that the newest slate comes upgraded with "cinematic video stabilization," another feature that the 12.9-inch model lacks,

Battery

It was expected that the smaller iPad Pro would holster a tinier battery than its larger predecessor. The 9.7-inch carries a 27.5-watt-hour battery. Even if the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a heftier, 38.5-watt-hour battery, the manufacturer points out that the battery lifetime will be almost the same for both devices.

This means that both the new and older model of iPad Pro will get around 10 hours of web use (or 9 hours during LTE mode) from one full charge.

Processor

Although both iPad Pro models pack the same Apple A9X CPU and the same GPU, the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro is faster. The reason behind this difference is that the CPU of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is underclocked, as Apple's own comparison shows. Compared to the A7, the A9X is 5 times faster on the larger iPad Pro, but only 4.3 times faster on the smaller model.

Price

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a base price of $799 and can go as high as $1,229 for the 256 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a starting price of $599 for the base model and can cost as much as $1,029 for a higher-end configuration.

Conclusion

Fans of the iPad Air 2 might be motivated to purchase the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, as the upgrades are significant. However, in terms of iPad Pro models, some might prefer the 2-in-1 experience that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can deliver in terms of productivity and mobility.

Let us know which of the two iPad Pro tablets you prefer, in the comments below.

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