Apple Event: New 9.7 Inch iPad Pro Announced


Apple’s new iPad Pro seeks to breathe life into the iPad line and overtake PC market for casual users.

The new iPad Pro comes in at two sizes, the original 12.9″ and the new 9.7″ version. Notably, this new 9.7″ will be rather light at only 1 lb, have increased usability, and feature updated processors inside of it. This new iPad Pro is going to be used as the new model upgrade from iPad Air 2.

Lets break down some of these features. Most relevant to the gaming community is that the iPad Pro at both sizes will feature the 3rd generation of the Apple A9X 64 bit chip. It clocks in with half a teraflop of power, which Apple claims makes the iPad more powerful than the Xbox 360. This is pretty significant. Think about it. The iPad as a device is only 6 years old in April of this year. In 6 years, the iPad, if Apple is to be believed, has caught up with the power of a console from the seventh generation of home console gaming. That’s pretty incredible. So much power now sits in your hands.

So lets go through some other things as well. They’ve upgraded the speakers to and created more of them inside the mold for 4 total speakers. They’ve added in the iOS Hey Siri-functionality allowing for you to call on Siri to look for things through your iPad Pro. There is new support for Apple Pencil in the 9.7″ model alongside multitouch input as well. There are also new adaptor inputs for SD cards, cameras, and even microphones for those who want to podcast through their iPads.

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Additionally, there are the usual upgrades to the camera. 12mp, 4K video, 5 mp Facetime camera, and 63 mp Panoramas. These are all pretty good upgrades. The big thing with this is as mobile live streaming takes off, it is possible cameras could come into play. You definitely want a high quality camera for your streaming. Combined with the ability to plug in Mics gives you a better way to livestream from an iPad if that ability becomes more available with time from Apple.

Where Apple once said the market for tablets was separate from the market for PCs, they now realize the market for tablets is the same as the market for casual PCs. From here forward, each new iteration of the iPad Pro will be looking to take on more of those tasks that are traditionally done by laptops of today and home computers of yesteryear. It is an interesting transition, if only because Microsoft has been on to this for some time with the Surface, but Apple has the clout with the mobile user base to make the tablet revolution go full force. As they said, 600 million people have PCs that are 5 years or older and that is the market they are looking to have buy into the new paradigm of tablet computing vs. laptops and desktops.

The 9.7″ iPad Pro will be available in Silver, Gold, Space Grey, Rose Gold on March 31 starting at $599.