Apple unveils smaller iPad Pro with True Tone Display, A9X chip, Apple Pencil support & more

By , Mar 21, 2016

9.7-inch iPad Pro

At its press-only media event Monday morning, which is currently underway in Cupertino, California, Apple has formally announced a smaller iPad Pro alongside the iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands and more. As previously suspected, the new device is a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro model that shares the same powerful internals with its bigger brother rather than it being a third-generation iPad Air.

These include Apple’s most advanced A9X processor, a 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution screen with pixel support for the Apple Pencil, the Smart Connector that allows accessories to attach magnetically and provides power and data, and other perks—and it weighs less than a pound, which is the same wight as the iPad Air 2.

True Tone Display

The screen of the new iPad Pro, compared to that on the iPad Air 2, has the lowest reflectivity of any tablet, 25 percent greater color saturation, deeper blacks, higher refresh rates and more.

More important than that, the screen of the new iPad Pro has a brand new technology called True Tone Display which uses two four-channel ambient light sensors to measure the color temperature of ambient light and adjust the display to match the environment.

Like the bigger iPad Pro, the new 9.7-inch device has four speakers that deliver two times more powerful audio volume compared to the iPad Air 2.

There’s also a smaller Smart Keyboard that attaches to the new iPad Pro via the built-in Smart Connector and—as you heard already—it supports the Apple Pencil, Apple’s optional $99 stylus accessory with palm rejection, pressure, tilt, virtually no lag and other highly advanced features.


Like with the new four-inch iPhone SE, Apple has basically brought the camera subsystem on the new iPad Pro on par with the iPhone 6s. Resolution of the front-facing FaceTime camera has been bumped to five megapixels and it now features True Tone Flash, a technology that flashes the display at three times the normal intensity to give your skin in low-light situations natural colors.

New iPad Pro camera

As for the rear iSight camera, the iPad Pro has the same twelve megapixel shooter with Focus Pixels, Live Photos support and other advanced technology as the latest-generation iPhone 6s. Oh, and it captures video in 4K.

New ipad pro pricing

Thus far, Apple has sold more than 200 million 9.7-inch iPads and said there are more than one million apps in the App Store designed specifically for iPads.


The new iPad Pro is available in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and—a first for the iPad—Rose Gold. The entry-level version with 32 gigabytes of storage is priced at $599, or a cool $200 less than the bigger 12.9-inch iPad Pro model.
The mid-range model with 128 gigabytes of storage is $749, like the entry-level 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

However, now there’s another model with a whopping 256 gigabytes of storage for $899. To better reflect the new models, the existing iPad mini and Air models have been discounted.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 19.01.00

Apple will start taking pre-orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro this Thursday, March 24 ahead of its release the following Friday, March 31.

For more information, check out Apple’s press release and iPad Pro webpage.

Is the new iPad Pro the ultimate PC replacement, do you think?

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  • Julio Hernandez

    Another protruding camera. Eh.

  • Digitalfeind

    I wouldn’t call it an “ultimate pc replacement” when a pc can still do so much more.

    • Only way I would rid my PC for this is if they put an OS X type OS on here. Until then, ill stick to my physical computer

      • Jack Wong

        Right… I still love my Macbook air.

  • OneBigInFiniteJoinT

    screen resolution is 2048 x 1536 for the smaller iPad pro . not 2732×2048 <- this one is for the bigger iPad pro. correction please !

  • TwinSon

    If they jailbreak iOS 9.3, I’ll consider trading in my iPad Air 2 for this. Mine’s still JB’d on 8.4.

  • Elias Chao

    I don’t understand why Apple do this thing with the entry model storage. Why not just put a 64GB module.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool they got rid of the 16GB model, but making the next option with 4 times the storage seems to me like they try to make you buy the 128GB model.

  • xoFoxtail

    This makes me regret getting the bigger iPad Pro. But, I feel like the protruding camera would drive me crazy when trying to draw. Oh well, probably won’t be able to readjust to the smaller size anyway.

    • You’ve gotten a better deal at $799 vs $599. With a $200 difference between the two, choosing the bigger one is a no brainier unless portability is really important

      • xoFoxtail

        The bigger size is great for when I’m at home. But, I like to do a lot of hiking and photography, it’s just a tad big to carry around with me. But, after playing with my moms iPad Air 2 the other day, I’m not too sure I can get used to the smaller screen again.

    • skeeter

      I love the bigger one. I don’t think you went wrong especially for drawing.

  • askep3

    So is this iPad going to be a branch off of the airs and share its yearly update with the pro, or is it going to be the next model after the airs, how the airs were to the iPad 4?

  • That $100 bump is gonna hurt upgraders. Just a $200 difference between the smaller one and the giant pro? Utterly foolish pricing structure.

  • skeeter

    It’s definitely not a PC Replacement until it can run a full edition of Photoshop and Lightroom. It has to operate like a computer and not use apps. Sort of like a Microsoft Surface Pro 4.