A few weeks prior to today’s launch event, rumors about Apple’s next tablet took a turn, and instead of a new iPad Air model, it started sounding like we were about to get a device that shrunk the iPad Pro down to the size of Apple’s main 9.7-inch tablet lineup. That means that the new iPad Pro has some unsurpassed hardware on board, and beyond things like Apple’s latest SoC, the tablet picks up killer accessory support, as well as the option for more on-board storage than ever before.
In a lot ways, the new iPad Pro 9.7-inch model is the splitting image of its 12.9-inch forebear. In a few, the smaller tablet actually looks like it has the edge. And in other areas still, last year’s big iPad Pro comes out on top. We know the one’s larger than the other, but how do the rest of these specs balance out? If size (and price) is no issue, which is the better-equipped iPad Pro for your uses? Today we’re breaking down Apple’s latest iPad hardware and looking at how the new tablet compares to the still-quite-new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Apple iPad Pro 9.7 vs iPad Pro 12.9 specs
|Component||iPad Pro 9.7||iPad Pro 12.9|
|Screen size||9.7 inches||12.9 inches|
|Resolution||2048 x 1536||2732 x 2048|
|Pixel density||264 ppi||264 ppi|
|SoC||Apple A9X||Apple A9X|
|Speed||Unconfirmed *||2.26 GHz|
|GPU||PowerVR Series 7XT||PowerVR Series 7XT|
|Camera||12-megapixel w/ ƒ/2.2 aperture and focus pixels **||8-megapixel w/ ƒ/2.4 aperture|
|Flash||True Tone flash||none|
|Front-facer||5.0-megapixel FaceTime and Retina flash||1.2-megapixel FaceTime|
|Battery||10hr web browsing||10hr web browsing|
|OS||iOS 9.3||iOS 9.3|
|Bands||UMTS/HSPA+ DC-HSDPA CDMA EV-DO and LTE Advanced – 23 bands||UMTS/HSPA+ DC-HSDPA CDMA EV-DO and LTE – 20 bands|
|SIM type||Nano-SIM / embedded||Nano-SIM|
|WiFi||802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO||802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO|
|Sensors||Fingerprint barometer gyroscope accelerometer ambient light||Fingerprint barometer gyroscope accelerometer ambient light|
|Build||Anodized aluminum ***||Anodized aluminum|
|Size||240mm x 169.5mm x 6.1mm / 437g||305.7mm x 220.6mm x 6.9mm / 713g|
A few notes on other differences: * – Apple reports that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s A9X SoC runs 2.4x faster than an A7, while the chip on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is 2.5x faster, suggesting a clock speed change.
** – The camera on the new iPad Pro adds support for 4K video and Live Photos.
*** – Both models are available in silver, gray, and gold, while the 9.7-inch iPad Pro adds a rose gold option.