Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro: Starting price $599, storage 32 GB

The new iPad Pro features and a 12-megapixel camera, above the eight-megapixel setup on its big brother, as well as 4K video support.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Apple has taken the wraps off of the new, smaller version iPad Pro.

Confirming previous rumors, Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599 for a WiFi only device with 32 GB of storage.

For $749, storage bumps up to 128 GB and the ability to add LTE connection with wireless carriers. There's also a 256 GB version for $899.


For the most part, the smaller iPad Pro line borrows features from the larger iPad Pro launched last year.

The device comes with a Smart Connector for a new Smart Keyboard that will fit with the smaller design, an Apple Pencil stylus, an A9X processor for added memory and workflow, and an embedded M9 coprocessor.

The device also features and a 12-megapixel iSight camera, above the eight-megapixel setup on its big brother, as well as 4K video support. Apple noted that the advanced camera can be used in augmented reality apps and to scan documents.

Apple says the device is 40 percent less reflective than the iPad Air and 225 percent brighter than an iPad Air 2.

In addition, it supports two of Apple's new "breakthrough" features. First is Night Shift, a new mode that will change the device's screen color to reduce the amount of blue light being emitted, which theoretically promotes better sleep.

"But the second features is a breakthrough that has never appeared on any device before. It's incredibly innovative," said Phil Schiller, Apple's head of marketing. "We call it a True Tone display. It measures color temperature of the ambient light and adjusts the display to match."

Apple said the True Tone flash improves low light shots and document scanning.

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The 9.7-inch iPad Pro can be seen as a replacement for Apple's older iPad Air line, which will be sold as budget device alongside the iPad mini 4.

Apple's iPad lineup was once the company's hottest product line, but it has struggled for the past couple of years as consumers hold on to their tablets for longer periods of time.

Apple hoped last year's launch of the original iPad Pro would bolster sales by appealing to business users, but the company's numbers suggest it hasn't quite worked out that way. Apple's December quarter showed iPad unit sales falling 25 percent to 16.1 million. It marked the eighth consecutive quarter where iPad sales fell from the previous year.

Schiller candidly admitted during today's event that Apple is hoping to lure some new (and very specific) iPad users with the new Pro line.

"Windows Users," said Schiller. "The majority of people coming to iPad Pro come from Windows."

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available for order starting this Thursday, March 24 from Apple.com and in Apple's retail stores. On March 31 the device will be available through select carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers in Australia, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the U.K., U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.S.

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