At its March 2016 event today, Apple announced a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro with Apple Pencil support and a similar display to the one in the 12-inch iPad Pro.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of Marketing, said that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the “ultimate PC replacement,” and that many Windows PC users will switch over to the new iPad Pro. They chose to make a 9.7-inch version because that size is the most popular iPad size, with Apple selling over 200 million units. Schiller also pointed out that there are 600 million users of PCs over 5 years old, and that those users would benefit from switching over to a new iPad Pro.
The 9.7-inch version of the iPad Pro comes with the same display materials as the larger 12-inch version that’s 25 percent brighter than the iPad Air 2 and 25 percent greater color saturation. It also has the lowest reflectivity of any tablet and has an “incredible” contrast ratio. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro also comes with a True Tone display that uses new four-channel ambient light sensors that measure the color of ambient light to adjust the display to match.
Like the 12-inch iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch version also comes with four speakers, granting it 2x audio output of the iPad Air 2.
The A9X chip also features 12 cores of graphical power that, according to Schiller, makes it more powerful than an Xbox 360. Like other Apple devices, including the new iPhone SE, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes with an M9 motion coprocessor that enables always-on “Hey Siri” support. Its Smart Connector can enable adapters and peripherals, like a USB camera adapter and an SD card reader.
The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in four colors: silver, gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold. The 32 GB Wi-Fi variation starts at $599, while the 128 GB and 256 GB Wi-Fi variations are priced at $749 and $899, respectively. It’ll be available for pre-order on March 24. Additionally, Apple announced that the 12-inch iPad Pro will be available in a larger 256 GB variation for $1,099.
Finally, the iPad mini now starts at $269 while the iPad Air 2 starts at $399.
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