New Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch specs: even more capable than the 12.9-incher?

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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

ComponentiPad Pro 9.7iPad Pro 12.9
Screen size9.7 inches12.9 inches
Screen typeLCDLCD
Resolution2048 x 15362732 x 2048
Pixel density264 ppi264 ppi
SoCApple A9XApple A9X
Type64-bit64-bit
SpeedUnconfirmed *2.26 GHz
GPUPowerVR Series 7XTPowerVR Series 7XT
RAMUnconfirmed4GB
Storage32/128/256GB32/128/256GB
ExpansionNoNo
Speakers44
Camera12-megapixel w/ ƒ/2.2 aperture and focus pixels **8-megapixel w/ ƒ/2.4 aperture
FlashTrue Tone flashnone
Front-facer5.0-megapixel FaceTime and Retina flash1.2-megapixel FaceTime
Battery10hr web browsing10hr web browsing
OSiOS 9.3iOS 9.3
BandsUMTS/HSPA+ DC-HSDPA CDMA EV-DO and LTE Advanced – 23 bandsUMTS/HSPA+ DC-HSDPA CDMA EV-DO and LTE – 20 bands
SIM typeNano-SIM / embeddedNano-SIM
Bluetooth4.24.2
WiFi802.11a/​b/​g/​n/​ac with MIMO802.11a/​b/​g/​n/​ac with MIMO
NFCNoNo
InfraredNoNo
SensorsFingerprint barometer gyroscope accelerometer ambient lightFingerprint barometer gyroscope accelerometer ambient light
BuildAnodized aluminum ***Anodized aluminum
Size240mm x 169.5mm x 6.1mm / 437g305.7mm 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.

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!