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9.7-inch iPad Pro

9.7-inch iPad Pro

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Apple has expanded its iPad Pro lineup with a new 9.7-inch model, featuring many of the same features as the larger 12.9-inch model, including the A9X chip, four-speaker array, Apple Pencil support, and Smart Connector magnetic input. It launched on March 31 starting at $599 for 32 gigabytes.

$599 for 32GB, up to 256GB
A9X CPU, 12MP camera, four-speaker surround sound
Smart Connector works with new Apple Smart Keyboard
Apple Pencil support
9.7" True Tone display adjusts color automatically
Launched March 2016

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Rather than introducing a successor to the iPad Air 2, Apple instead rebranded its flagship 9.7-inch tablet as an iPad Pro, packing the features from the 12.9-inch model into a smaller and more portable form factor. But the 9.7-inch model even goes beyond its larger counterpart with a new True Tone display, which uses new four-channel ambient light sensors to measure brightness and color temperature, and adjust the display accordingly for "paper-white" viewing.

Stuffed inside its 6.1-millimeter case is Apple's powerful A9X chip, a 64-bit SoC design that rivals laptops in terms of raw performance. The A9X inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is clocked slightly slower than the 12.9-inch model, and it also has half the RAM — 2 gigabytes.

Apple also built in support for Apple Pencil, meaning users can take advantage of the accessory's pressure- and tilt-sensing capabilities on a smaller canvas than the gargantuan 12.9-inch iPad Pro. A new Smart Keyboard was also introduced alongside the iPad Pro.

Like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it also has a four-speaker "pro" audio system that automatically adjusts sound depending on viewing orientation. Total volume is twice that of the iPad Air 2, and if onboard audio isn't providing enough oomph, iOS 9.3 adds support for outputting video encoded with Dolby Digital Plus audio streams via Apple's Lightning Digital AV Adapter.

iPad Pro's communications suite includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO technology, while cellular versions support LTE Advanced networks with up to 50 percent faster connectivity and what Apple is calling the most LTE bands supported by any tablet. Apple SIM comes embedded directly into the new iPad Pro, making it a simple process to get online when traveling abroad international. 

The display is also 40 percent less reflective and 25 percent brighter than the iPad Air 2. Apple says it's the lowest reflectivity of any tablet available. Color reproduction also hits new heights with the same color gamut offered on the iMac with Retina 5K display, as well as 25 percent greater color saturation than iPad Air 2.

Around back, the new iPad sports a 12-megapixel camera capable of shooting 4K video. It also features a rear-facing True Tone flash and front-facing Retina Flash, another pair of upgrades over the 12.9-inch model.

Apple also announced a new USB 3 speed SD card adapter, and USB-to-Lightning adapter.

The 32-gigabyte model is available for $599, while a 128-gigabyte model will run $749. Apple is also offering a 256-gigabyte model for $899. A new rose gold option will be joining the usual space grey, gold and silver color options, while new cases and keyboard accessories are also available.

Tech specs

9.7-inch Retina display with True Tone technology

0.96-pound for Wi-Fi model, 0.98-pound for cellular

Inputs: Lightning, Smart Connector, dual microphones and 3.5mm headphone jack

In the box: iPad Pro, Lightning to USB cable, and USB power adapter

A9X CPU with M9 coprocessor and support for always-on "Hey Siri"

12-megapixel iSight camera with support for LIve Photos, autofocus with Focus Pixels & True Tone flash

Records 4K video at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, and slow-mo 1080p at 120fps or 720p at 240fps

FaceTime HD 5-megapixel camera with Retina Flash, 720p HD video recording

Four-speaker audio

802.11ac Wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.2 technology

Integrated e-SIM with support for physical SIM cards in cellular model

Touch ID home button

Apple Pay support for in-app purchases

27.5-watt-hour battery with 10 hours of surfing the Web, watching video, or listening to music on Wi-Fi

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