iPad Pro 9.7 May Be Apple's Best Tablet Yet - InformationWeek

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4/12/2016
07:06 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iPad Pro 9.7 May Be Apple's Best Tablet Yet

Apple's mid-size 9.7-inch tablet takes a big step forward in the new iPad Pro. This powerful slate offers plenty for mobile professionals to like. Here's an up-close look.
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The new iPad Pro relies on the same basic form factor of the iPad Air 2, but includes some of the updated components and capabilities of the larger iPad Pro. Don't be fooled -- the smaller iPad Pro is no Franken-iPad cobbled together from spare parts. It may be similar to its predecessors, but the iPad Pro 9.7 is a more powerful and complete tablet that may just be Apple's best yet.

The iPad Pro is the exact same size as the iPad Air 2, down to the fraction of an inch. It's also the exact same weight. At 9.4 inches long, 6.6 inches wide, and 0.24 inches thick, and weighing 0.96 pounds, it is among the slimmest and lightest 10-inch slates on the market. The aluminum chassis is strong and attractive. It's obvious Apple paid attention to the details and used high-quality materials throughout -- from the speakers to the screen.

[Read Top 10 All-Time Favorite Apple Commercials.]

Many devices are unusable outdoors or anywhere there is a lot of direct lighting. The iPad Pro's anti-reflective coating eliminates glare almost entirely, making the screen far more visible in a variety of lighting conditions. The True Tone technology helps the iPad Pro adapt to those lighting conditions by matching the tone of the ambient light.

It does this by playing with the white balance a bit and making the display warmer (more yellow) or colder (more blue) depending on the surroundings. It's very effective. Further, the Wide Color increases the color gamut by 25% compared to previous iPad screens. The results are incredible. This is Apple's finest display, without a doubt. It's a shame the larger iPad Pro doesn't offer these eye-pleasing features.

Under the hood, the iPad Pro has the same A9x processor with M9 motion coprocessor as the bigger slate. Apple doesn't publish clock speeds for its processors. In my real-world tests, the performance of the two is comparable. That means I was able to edit a multitrack song in GarageBand and a 4K video in iMovie without the iPad choking up. The iPad Pro is noticeably quicker than the Air 2.

Here is a closer look at the notable features I found in my review of the tablet as well as my gripes, and pricing. Scroll through and let me know what you think. Would you dump your tablet or laptop of the iPad Pro 9.7?

(All images by Eric Zeman/InformationWeek)

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/13/2016 | 1:19:23 PM
Re: I have it
You use your iPad for more complex and processor intensive operations than i do. As i mentioned, I mainly use it for music, movies, games (solitaire and backgammon) and reading news. It is more of an entertainment device for me than a computer. Given what you have written about the applications you use, there is a noticable difference. I'm hoping that i can get some really good games on the iPad but I just do not have the time. I would like a good chess game and some other strategy games. It would be nice to really put the chip to the test.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
4/13/2016 | 11:24:31 AM
Re: I have it
That's a very strange accessment, tjgkg. I've got all of the iPads, other than the 4, and this one, but the iPad Pro 12.9" model that I have, with the same SoC, easily beats my iPad Air2 in every way. Opening apps, using the web. In photo and movie editing. Using CAD and draw and painting apps, as well as intensive gaming. In all of these ways, it's very noticeably faster. The newer 9.7" model is almost exactly the same, other than having 2GB RAM rather than 4. For many things, that doesn't make a difference. It's almost as though you have neither tablet, from saying what you're saying. I simply can't see how you can't notice a difference, as it's way too obvious, and acknowledged in every review.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/12/2016 | 10:05:34 AM
I have it
I recently got this tablet to replace my first gen iPad Air. I have not noticed much difference in terms of performance  or display. The footprint is pretty much the same but other than that I cannot really tell much of a difference yet. I like to keep my iPad in an Otter Defender so I am waiting for the new cases for this model to arrive. Right now the device fits the old case but there are some issues in terms of access to the Home button and covering the additional speakers and flash. But better safe than sorry until the new case comes. In the past i have watched movies and listened to music using headphones. The keyboard while a good idea is still not going to address the limitations of iOS. I agree with you that it is not a replacement for a laptop yet. I found this out first hand whilst on vacation when i needed to access Word and Excel files! Basically it is a good entertainment device for use on a plane or in a hotel. It is not that great for business productivity. For that you really need a proper laptop.
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