iPad (2017) vs iPad Pro 9.7: A World of Difference


Michael Grothaus

23/03/2017 – 3:25pm

Which 9.7in model is right for you? The MAC DADDY (iPad Pro) or the Average Joe (new iPad)? Mike has a look

In late March 2017 Apple took its online store offline–with many assuming we’d see a slew of new iPads. Well, the rumors were half-right. Apple introduced a new 9.7in iPad, replacing the iPad Air 2. The new iPad is simply called “iPad.” Apple also retired the iPad mini 2 and gave a minor spec bump to the iPad mini 4. What Apple didn’t do, however, is unveil any new iPad Pros, be it the 12.1in model, the 9.7in model, or the rumored new 10.1in model.

So now Apple’s iPad lineup includes four distinct models: the 12.1 iPad Pro, the 9.7in iPad Pro, the 9.7in iPad, and the 7.9in iPad mini 4. What we want to do in this article is compare the two most popular models: those with the 9.7in screen size. So just how does the new iPad and the existing 9.7in iPad Pro compare? We took a look at each to find out.

iPad vs the 9.7in iPad Pro: Specs and Design

iPad (2017)

  • Display: 9.7in 2048×1536 pixel at 264 ppi
  • Colors: Silver, Space Grey, Gold
  • Storage: 32 or 128GB
  • Processors: 64-bit A9 and M9
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Touch ID: yes
  • Cameras: front 1.2MP 720p HD camera and a rear 8MP 1080p HD camera
  • Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, optional 4G
  • Size: 240 mm × 169.5 mm × 7.5 mm
  • Weight: 469 grams
  • Inputs: Lightning
  • Speakers: 2

9.7in iPad Pro

  • Display: 9.7in 2048×1536 pixel at 264 pixels per inch; True Tone display; Wide colour display
  • Colors: Silver, Space Grey, Gold, Rose Gold
  • Storage: 32, 128, or 256GB
  • Processors: 64-bit A9X and M9
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Touch ID: yes
  • Cameras: front 5MP 720p HD camera and a rear 12MP 4k HD camera with flash
  • Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, optional 4G
  • Size: 240 mm × 169.5 mm × 6.1 mm
  • Weight: 444 grams
  • Inputs: Lightning, Smart Connector, Apple Pencil
  • Speakers: 4

We’ll get to the big difference (the display) in just a bit. But first let’s take a look at the some of the major internal differences between the two 9.7in tablets. The biggest differences are in the RAM and CPU department. Apple has packed 4GB of RAM into the 9.7in iPad Pro–it’s most ever and TWICE as much as the 2GB of RAM found in the new iPad. That extra RAM combined with the A9X processor found in the Pro means the thing will wipe the floor for the new iPad when it comes to processing power.

As far as connectivity goes, the basic connectivity is the same on both iPads: each iPad includes the same Wi-Fi connectivity as well as Touch ID and Bluetooth. However, the iPad Pro features support for the Apple Pencil and the new Smart Connector, which allows advanced external keyboards to be able to be used with the device.

The iPad Pro also comes in three sizes: 32, 128, or 256GB. The new iPad now only comes in 32 or 128GB options. The iPad Pro also comes in a Rose Gold color option in addition to the Silver, Space Grey, and Gold options found on the iPad. But other than the extra color option, the two models are indistinguishable from each other.

It’s also worth noting the iPad Pro has four internal speakers, so the sound quality of audio should be much improved over the new iPad and its two speakers.

iPad vs the 9.7in iPad Pro: Display

You wouldn’t think it, but one of the biggest differences between the new iPad and the Pro is in the display. The iPad features a 9.7in display of 2732×2048 pixel at 264 pixels per inch. The iPad Pro features the exact same size and resolution of display. However, the iPad Pro has an enhanced display with features such as True Tone and wide color built in. Wide color allows for a more vivid color gamut and the True Tone display means the Pro’s display will automatically change color based on ambient light in the room, which means it will look more natural—the way paper does when you work on it.

The 9.7in iPad Pro also works with the Apple Pencil, an advanced stylus that allows artists to work on the iPad as never before. The reason the Pencil only works with the iPad Pro is because of a new Multi‑Touch subsystem built directly into the iPad Pro’s display.

iPad vs the 9.7in iPad Pro: Camera

The final differences between the iPad and the iPad Pro are in the camera department. The iPad Pro features a better front and rear camera (5MP and 12MP, respectively; and each of these shoot 720p and 4K video, respectively). The rear camera on the iPad Pro also has a flash. The cameras on the new iPad are relatively weak in comparison: 12.MP/720p front and 8MP/1080p rear–and the rear has no flash.

iPad vs the 9.7in iPad Pro: Price and Verdict

Here’s the rundown of the various costs for the different models of each iPad:

  • iPad Pro: 32 GB £549, 128 GB £639, 256 GB £729 (add £120 on for the cellular model).
  • iPad: 32 GB £339, 128 GB £429 (add £130 on for the cellular model).

As you can see, the iPad Pro is significantly more expensive than the iPad. But cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor for which you buy. You should get the 9.7in iPad Pro if you are a professional in the video, graphics, or design industry and you want a touch screen tablet to work on. Or you should get the iPad Pro with Smart Cover if you want to ditch your laptop and carry around a tablet replacement.

But for everyone else, the regular iPad is probably the best fit if all you want to do is browse the web, play games, and send emails. In short, the iPad is an everyman device. The iPad Pro, one the other hand, as the name suggests, is designed with professionals in mind.

If you’re looking for a bargain on your next iPad, meaning, you don’t want to pay high-end, premium prices, but kind of want an Apple one, and are happy using a reconditioned unit, you should definitely check out Gazelle, as they offer tons of iPad, iPhone and Mac at significantly lower prices than “brand new” gear.

Yes – these are reconditioned. But they always look and feel brand new, so, in all honesty, I don’t really see why anyone would ever look else where when purchasing a phone, tablet or laptop. I mean, you can pick up a 128GB iPhone 6s Plus for $529 – that’s insane value for money.

And if you’re after an iPad Pro, well… Gazelle has a 32GB model for $519. Want more storage? The 128GB iPad Pro will set you back $699.

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