In the March 2016 Apple Keynote Event, Apple announced the smaller 9.7 inch iPad Pro which is the little brother to the larger 12.9 inch iPad Pro announced last year. The new 9.7 inch iPad Pro features much of the same features as the larger iPad Pro but with some better implemented features. Both tablets were received well by reviewers and users alike, but which one is better. For this question, we have compiled 10 differences between 12.9 inch iPad Pro and 9.7 inch iPad Pro. Earlier, we also discussed the 10 differences between iPad Air 2 and 9.7 inch iPad Pro for people who are confused in deciding whether to buy the new 9.7 inch iPad Pro or save some money and buy the iPad Air 2.
Differences Between 12.9 inch iPad Pro and 9.7 inch iPad Pro
Being part of the same line-up, both of these iPad Pro models have the same chassis design with the difference being in the size. Both iPad Pro models feature the iconic aluminium finish also seen on other iPad models with a solid design and perfect design aesthetic unique to Apple’s iPad tablets. Both iPad Pro models have a lightning connecter, 3.5mm audio jack, Touch ID home button and 4 speakers on each corner for crisp and elegant sound. The smart connecter is located on the left side of the iPad Pro models for using them in landscape orientation with a smart keyboard or other smart accessory.
The 12.9 inch iPad Pro is thicker and a little heavier than the 9.7 inch iPad Pro. Both iPad Pro models come in Space Gray, Silver and Gold colors and the Rose Gold color only for the smaller iPad Pro.
The 12.9 inch iPad Pro is the largest device in the iPad Pro line-up and the largest iPad Apple has ever released. With a huge 12.9 inch display, this iPad Pro proves very useful for drawing and sketching. The smaller 9.7 inch iPad Pro has the True Tone Display feature which adapts its screen to a warmer color to match the light of your surroundings so that there is not much strain on your eyes. The screen of the smaller iPad Pro shows very vivid colors and greater detail than the larger iPad Pro.
The 12.7 inch iPad Pro has a screen resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels and the 9.7 inch iPad Pro has a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels.
Other than the new features described above, both iPad Pro models have a pixel density of 264 ppi, palm rejection when writing on the screen with the Apple Pencil and pressure sensitivity.
The 9.7 inch iPad Pro and 12.9 iPad Pro contain Apple’s 64-bit A9X processor which is roughly 2.5 times faster than the A7 processor included in the iPad Mini 2. Compared to the iPad Air 2, everything in the iPad Pro tablets runs faster and smother making them the fastest tablets Apple has ever made. Apple even stated that the graphics performance is much closer to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console.
The only difference in the specs is that the 9.7 inch iPad Pro has 2GB RAM and the 12.9 inch iPad Pro has 4GB RAM.
Other than the smaller size of the 9.7 inch iPad Pro, it also has a huge advantage over the 12.7 iPad Pro because of its advanced camera. The 9.7 inch iPad Pro has a 12-megapixel iSight Camera and a 5-megapixel front facing camera with support for Live Photos and True Tone Flash. What True Tone Flash basically does is that it flashes the screen with a white image when taking selfies to fill the absence of a front facing camera flash. The 9.7 iPad Pro can shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second and 1080p video at 30 or 60 frames per second video.
The 12.9 inch iPad Pro has an 8-megapixel iSight Camera and a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera without the features included in the 9.7 inch iPad Pro. The 12.9 inch iPad Pro can shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second.
The smaller iPad Pro has a much powerful camera and its smaller size and lighter weight can make taking photos and making videos much easier. On the other hand, the 12.9 inch iPad Pro takes photos and videos very well, but it may prove not very useful if bought for only using its camera.
The 12.9 inch iPad Pro and 9.7 inch iPad Pro come with 32GB, 128GB and 256GB of storage. Only the 12.9 inch iPad Pro doesn’t come in 32GB for Wi-Fi + Cellular. If you are going to use any of the iPad Pro models as a replacement for your PC or Mac, 32GB storage may be less for you, so you should go with higher storage options.
At release, the 12.9 inch iPad Pro was released with iOS 9 and is upgradable to iOS 9.3.2 which is the latest iOS release. The 9.7 inch iPad Pro was released with iOS 9.3 and is upgradable to iOS 9.3.2.
Using iOS on both iPad Pro models is the same because they both have the same features like split-screen view, which is exclusive to these iPads and all the other features and apps which you can find on other iPad models.
4. Battery Life
Apple advertises battery usage of both iPad Pro models with up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening music. Due to the larger size of iPads, they can have larger batteries to keep them running for longer times. Both iPad Pro models can be charged with the power adapter that comes in the box or connecting the USB cable to a computer.
3. Smart Accessories
The smart connector on both 9.7 inch iPad Pro and 12.9 inch iPad Pro support smart accessories which can be connected to this port. Accessories like the Smart Keyboard and the Logi BASE Charging Stand make use of this smart connector.
Some new accessories were launched for the iPad Pro which include Lightning to USB Camera Adaptor which can be used to connect a camera or a USB powered Ethernet port and Lighting to SD card adaptor for using SD cards.
All configurations of the 9.7 inch iPad Pro are roughly around $200 cheaper than the corresponding configurations of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro. This price difference can be the main deciding factor, to buy which iPad Pro, for most people. Following is the price list for the 9.7 inch iPad Pro:
- Wi-Fi, 32GB: $599
- Wi-Fi, 128GB: $749
- Wi-Fi, 256GB: $899
- Wi-Fi + Cellular, 32GB: $729
- Wi-Fi + Cellular, 128GB: $879
- Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB: $1029
Following is the price list for the 12.9 inch iPad pro
- Wi-Fi, 32GB: $799
- Wi-Fi, 128GB: $949
- Wi-Fi, 256GB: $1099
- Wi-Fi + Cellular, 128GB: $1079
- Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB: $1229
Both iPad Pro models are very incredible additions to Apple’s iPad tablets. Each iPad Pro model has a different purpose. For portability and better camera, the 9.7 inch iPad Pro is good for that. But if you want a larger display and you want to see more on your iPad, the 12.9 inch iPad Pro is for you. The similar features in the iPad Pro tablets are what make them stand out from other iPads and even Android and Windows tablets.