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Apple iPad Pro 9.7: The iPad you want [REVIEW]

Apple iPad Pro 9.7: The iPad you want [REVIEW] Mashable We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Mashable Mashable Mashable Australia Mashable France Mashable India Mashable UK Sign in Like Follow Follow Mashable see more  > Search Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop More Channels Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop Company About Us Licensing & Reprints Archive Mashable Careers Contact Contact Us Submit News Advertise Advertise Legal Privacy Policy Terms of Use Cookie Policy Apps iPhone / iPad Android Resources Subscriptions Sites Mashable Shop Job Board Social Good Summit Tech Like Follow Follow The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the best iPad Apple has ever made 3.3k Shares Share Tweet Share What's This? By Lance Ulanoff 2016-03-25 19:02:03 UTC Mashable Choice highlights the best of everything we cover, have experienced first-hand and would recommend to others. The best flagship iPad you can buy is now the 9.7-inch iPad Pro . Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a familiar and excellent product. While a smaller version of the large 12.9-inch iPad Pro Apple just launched last fall may seem like a quick solution to iPad sales problems (it more or less peaked in 2014 and has been flat-to-falling ever since), it would be foolish to think that the company developed the 9.7 edition quickly. It’s safe to assume that it was on the drawing board when Apple was developing the first iPad Pro. See also: iPhone SE review: Turns out, good things do come in small packages On the other hand, the somewhat unwieldy $799, 12.9-inch iPad Pro has probably not been a big consumer hit (no one expected it to be), and Apple desperately needed a fresh start for its flagship iPad. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is it. Apple has not discontinued the iPad Air 2 (or iPad minis , for that matter), but there’s so much more power and utility in the new tablet that it’s hard to imagine why anyone would opt for an Air 2. And if you think the price is a reason, keep in mind that $100 more not only gets you double the storage space of the base model iPad Air 2, but it also significantly ramps up the processing power and gets you Apple’s best iSight camera with 4K video recording. A little body work As I mentioned earlier, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro looks almost exactly like the iPad Air 2. The dimensions are identical and both weigh an incredibly light 0.96 pounds. The Touch ID-enabled home button is the same and supports Apple Pay for in-app purchases. Design cues like the chamfered edges on the top (it’s the tiniest bit wider) and curves leading to the flat bottom are the same. The Power/Sleep button and the volume rocker are also unchanged. Apple finally did away with the black (or white) plastic strip on the iPad back and clad the antenna in the same aluminum as the rest of the body. It’s a nice touch. There are four of these grills on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's body. They produce formidable sound. Image: Brittany Herbert/Mashable There are bigger differences and similarities to the much larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Like the larger iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has four powerful speakers — two grills along each short edge — along the top and bottom (in portrait mode). And then there’s the camera. Here's a good look at the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's 12-megapixel camera. Yes, it sticks out a little. To the left, you can see the, finally, covered antenna. Image: Brittany Herbert/Mashable The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the first iPad with a camera that sticks out about a millimeter from the back of the device. It’s a familiar look, one we’ve seen on the iPhone 6 and 6S devices. In this instance, the extra space accommodates a powerful 12-megapixel iSight camera. There are clear benefits to having this powerful shooter in an iPad, but I do wonder why Apple is getting so comfortable discarding its commitment to smooth lines and clean surfaces. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing about the 9.7-inch iPad Pro that’s sloppy, but it no longer sits perfectly flat on a table. The other difference is the introduction of the Smart Connector (yes, just like the one on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro). Apple has done an excellent job of making these three copper connectors barely noticeable. See it While the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's 2,048 x 1,536 screen resolution is the same as the iPad Air 2, the display is actually an upgrade from both the iPad Air 2 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (leaving aside the latter’s higher 2,732 x 2,048 resolution). The 9.7-inch iPad Pro's screen may be Apple's most-advanced tablet display ever. Image: Brittany Herbert/Mashable The 9.7-inch iPad Pro introduces a much brighter (500 nits, as measured by Apple) screen that’s noticeable to the naked eye, reduced reflectivity that doesn’t kill reflectivity all together, a wider color gamut and True Tone. The merits of these last two screen features will depend largely on your point of vi