Price (RRP): $899 (starting price); Review model was $1599 (256GB, WiFi/4G);
“Finally,” say fans of the Apple iPad. “A new iPad Air is here.” But is Apple’s new iPad merely a follow-up or something more?
It’s been a long time coming, but Apple’s iPad Air 2 replacement is finally here. With the Air 2 first arriving at the end of 2014, many expected a new model last year, but we’re being treated to that now, with the newly updated 9.7 inch iPad Pro popping up in March 2016.
Yes, the name has changed, and that’s important, because while the iPad Air 2 was a great device, the next line of Apple tablets is about professional features, including the professional bits and bobs released on the 12.9 inch massive iPad Pro from last year.
For this model, though, it’s about getting these features down into a smaller body, which is exactly what Apple has accomplished in the 9.7 inch iPad Pro.
You’ll find much the same design as what occupied the 9.7 inch iPad Air 2, complete with a near identical chassis, screen, and thickness, but Apple has replaced the insides, opting for an Apple A9X processor alongside the M9 co-processor.
Storage inside device is set to either 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB, with no way of upgrading once you’ve purchased one. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS 9.3 arrives on the tablet out of the box.
Connections for the new iPad Pro arrive in the form of 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi as well as Bluetooth 4.2, and if you opt for a 4G “cellular” variant, you’ll find A-GPS and GLONASS support alongside 4G LTE for mobile broadband.
Cameras can be found in the 9.7 inch iPad Pro too, with a 12 megapixel camera support 4K and a True Tone flash found on the back, while a 5 megapixel front-facing camera can also be found on this model.
All of this sits under a 9.7 inch display showing a resolution of 2048×1536, which in turn translates to a clarity of 264 pixels per inch, in line with Apple’s tablet point of view for “Retina” screens, and Apple has also brought in a new four-channel True Tone light tracker to calibrate the screen’s colour based on your surroundings.
The speakers have been upped to four and you’ll also find two microphones on this tablet, with remaining ports sitting at both the top and bottom, with a 3.5mm headset jack up top and an Apple Lightning port for charging and data transfer at the very bottom. If you opt for the cellular iPad Pro, your nanoSIM slot is available via a pin ejectable tray on the bottom right side.
Buttons are also low in number, part and parcel with Apple’s design, and you’ll find only a power button up top, individual volume buttons on the right edge, and a home button with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner underneath on the very front under the screen.