Apple has announced a new – smaller – iPad Pro, despite rumours pointing towards a new iPad mini. The new device is a 9.7-inch iPad that caters to users who would rather have a regular sized tablet to carry around instead of the larger 12.9-inch original iPad Pro.
The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro has the same Oxide TFT display as the original iPad Pro; although it has a couple of new additions that are unavailable on its predecessor. The retina display takes advantage of the Night Shift function in iOS 9.3, which dims the colours at night. The idea behind this is to reduce the amount of light entering the human eye at night and will help people sleep.
The colour awareness is enhanced with the new True Tone display which allows the new iPad Pro to adjust the colour temperature of the screen to match the ambient lighting. It does this through ambient light sensors that measure the surroundings and alter the display to match. Apple believes that this will make the experience more natural and relaxing for the user.
Inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the 64-bit A9X processor that is also found in the larger version. The processor is built on Apple’s 3D FinFET processor and is coupled with the embedded M9 coprocessor. This allows it to support the “Hey Siri” always on option.
On the back of the new iPad Pro is a 12MP iSight camera with True Tone flash and the same Focus Pixel technology from the iPhone 6. The additional processing power allows the tablet to shoot 4K video, and Apple has even introduced a new unprecedented storage option to help cope with the larger video files. On the front is the usual 5MP FaceTime HD camera paired with the Retina Flash display.
As far as accessories go, the smaller iPad Pro will have the same accessories as its larger counterpart. There will also be a Smart Keyboard cover, although it is likely to be incompatible with the 12.9-inch version due to size differences. The new iPad Pro will also support the Apple Pencil, along with a host of new Lightning adapter accessories.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will ship in four colours: silver, gold, space grey, and rose gold. Prices range from $599 for 32GB storage, to $749 for 128GB, and $899 for a whopping 256GB of storage space.
Pre-orders for the device will take place on 24 March, with the device shipping a week later on 31 March.