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