13 things you need to know about the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro

Since Apple introduced the iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen, voices began to be heard that a similar device with a smaller screen would also come to market. This took some time to happen, but now we have it on the market. Its name is also iPad Pro, but in this case the tablet has a 9.7-inch screen. Is this the only difference between the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro ? Is there nothing else that differentiates both devices?

In the following lines we will review 13 points about the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro which is important to know . 13 points that will help us see that the differences are in the details and that the two devices are not the same with different sizes as it seems at first glance.

1.- iPad Air 3 or iPad Pro “mini”?

13 things you need to know about the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro
13 things you need to know about the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro

Of course, cataloguing the new 9.7-inch iPad is quite difficult. Is it an upgraded version of the iPad Air 2? Is it a smaller version of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro? It’s actually a bit of both and along the next few lines we’ll see why we say this.

2.- TrueTone screen

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the first to get in touch with this type of technology. Apple has installed a series of new sensors around the display that are capable of reading the colour temperature of the light around it. As a result, the display automatically adjusts to provide the best result according to the ambient light .

In a way this is a new way of understanding the new iOS Night Mode, although instead of being based on the time of day, it is based on the ambient light we have at any given time.

To give you an example that you can better understand, if we’re using the device in candlelight, with a yellow light around us, the iPad Pro screen will change to a warmer color temperature, more in line with the situation we’re in.

In addition to this, the screen the company has installed on this new tablet offers better viewing in sunlight, something that is undoubtedly greatly appreciated.

Both points are exclusive to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. As for the other features, it shares with Air 2: 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution and 264-PPI pixel density on a 9.7-inch panel.

3.- 12 megapixel camera

This time Apple has decided to install the same camera that mounts the iPhone 6s on the tablet . This means that the sensor has 12 megapixels and capacity to capture 4K video. The tablet camera may be used much less than the smartphone camera, but I’m sure no buyer will be bothered by this detail.

What might annoy some is that the camera protrudes from the body of the device at the back, just as it does with the firm’s latest smartphones. The positive side of this is that, although it protrudes, the tablet supported on a table does not wobble at all as we can see in the following video.

The model with a large screen, stays at 8 megapixels, so the difference in this section is quite large.

4.- A9X processor

In this case the processor of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the same as the one mounted on its 12.9-inch big brother. This means great power, both in the graphics section with its 12 cores, and in the CPU section. In addition, the M9 motion coprocessor, which handles the sensor calculations, is also present.

There is still a small difference between the two devices. The “small” model squeezes less of the hardware on the chip (underclock), which doesn’t mean that its overall performance is lower, since it has to handle fewer pixels due to its smaller screen.

5.- 2 GB of RAM

This is one of the main hardware differences between the two devices. While the 12.9-inch iPad Pro has 4GB of RAM, the new model with the 9.7 screen has 2GB installed. As with the previous point, the difference in screen pixels can make a slight difference in performance.

Still, in this case, there may be a difference in certain situations. For example, if you’re going to be editing a lot of 4K video from the device itself, you may have a longer processing time or it may take longer to preview.

6.- 256 GB storage option

No doubt one of the great surprises of the presentation by Apple and something that has pleased many people. The new tablet has a 256GB storage option , the first time that an iOS device reaches this storage capacity.

7.- Connectivity improvements

The device includes WiFi 802.11ac with MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) technology that supports up to 866 Mbps transfer rate. In addition, in the case of the model with mobile connectivity, it has the capacity to reach speeds of up to 300 Mpbs thanks to LTE Advance technology.

8.- Apple SIM included

The Apple SIM comes standard on this new generation iPad . Thanks to it, it is possible to change the telephone operator without installing a new card and eliminating the risk of losing it in the event of a temporary change. Apple SIM is already supported by operators in 90 countries and it is hoped that over time more operators will accept it. Furthermore, we should not rule out that in the future integrated SIMs will become the industry standard.

At the moment this technology is not very well known and not widespread among consumers. That’s why this first generation iPad with the Apple SIM also has a slot to place a SIM as we have done so far.

9.- Live Photos


As we said before, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has the same camera as the iPhone 6s and thanks to that, Live Photos are also present. Another feature that cannot be accessed by the camera of the model with the larger screen.

10.- 5 megapixel front camera with Retina Flash

Like the rear camera, the device’s front camera is also “inherited” from the iPhone 6s. The module has 5 megapixels and features Retina Flash (the light-based flash on the device’s screen that was first introduced on Apple smartphones).

11.- Smaller Smart Keyboard Cover

Most iPad Pro users agree that the Smart Keyboard is an indispensable accessory for getting the most out of the device. Thanks to it, we get a physical keyboard of full size and very comfortable to use the device in our day to day.

In the case of the new 9.7 inch model, the space available is smaller and therefore Apple has been forced to change the layout of the keys and also their size . Specifically, the company has removed a whole row of function keys related to different shortcuts to operating system functions. In addition, as we said, the keys are now smaller. Due to these differences, the first reviews of the keyboard are not very good and assure that it is not the most comfortable option for typing a lot on the computer.

We don’t know if any kind of solution will come soon, since space is what it is and we understand that Apple has wanted to make an accessory as tight as possible to the size of the tablet.

12.- The same Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil has been rated by many people as the best stylus in the tablet industry and in the case of the new 9.7-inch iPad, its operation is identical to that of the larger screen model.

A perfect accessory for anyone who needs to take freehand notes, make drawings, plans, etc, etc…

13.- USB 2.0

Here we have another big difference with the larger screen model. The new device offers USB 2.0 transfer speeds through its Lightning port, while the 12.9 inch model reaches the speeds offered by USB 3.0.

Are there any more differences between the 9.7″ iPad Pro and the 12.9″ iPad Pro?

These are the main differences and similarities between the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the original model with a 12.9-inch screen. We think that’s all the differences, but… Do you know any others? Are there any other features we’re missing that make them different?

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