Apple has announced the latest addition to the iPad line-up. The new iPad comes as a surprise to many as it isn’t the new iPad Air 3 we were expecting. Instead, Apple has added a 9.7in iPad Pro to the mix, with improved specs, design tweaks and more.
The unveiling took place at a special event on 21 March 2016 alongside the newiPhone SE. Read on to find out the new iPad Pro’s release date, price, specs and features, as well as pre-order information.
The 9.7in iPad Pro is available for pre-order on 24 March 2016 and is will be hitting the shelves on 31 March 2016. The iPad Pro 9.7in comes with Apple’s A9X processor chip, has a 9.7in (2048×1536) retina display, has the 12Mp iSight camera, comes in four different colours (Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold), and comes in three different storage capacities (32, 128 and 256GB). Read on to find out more.
- 1 Apple iPad Pro 9.7in UK release date: When is the new iPad Pro coming out?
- 2 New iPad Pro: podcast discussion
- 3 Apple iPad Pro 9.7in UK price: How much does the new iPad Pro cost?
- 4 iPad Pro 9.7in release date: Where to buy the iPad Pro in the UK
- 5 Apple iPad Pro 9.7in specification: What to expect from Apple iPad Pro 9.7in
- 6 Apple iPad Pro 9.7in: Recap of Apple’s March event.
Apple iPad Pro 9.7in UK release date: When is the new iPad Pro coming out?
After a 21 March unveiling, the iPad Pro is available to pre-order now and will begin shipping and be available to buy in stores from 31 March.
New iPad Pro: podcast discussion
In episode seven of the UK Tech Weekly podcast, we discuss (among other things) our mixed feelings about the iPad Pro launch: it’s the first segment of the clip embedded below:
Apple iPad Pro 9.7in UK price: How much does the new iPad Pro cost?
You can pre-order from Apple with a starting price of £499 here, and Apple has an option that lets you spread the cost for up to 24 months with PayPal.
As a result, the older iPad Air 2 has received a small price drop of £50, now starting at £349.
The new 9.7in tablet has three different storage and connectivity options, which reflects upon its price:
- 32GB storage for £499
- 128GB storage for £619
- 256GB storage for £739
Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities:
- 32GB storage for £599
- 128GB storage for £719
- 256GB storage for £839
It is interesting to see the addition of a 256GB iPad, the first time Apple have released a high storage-capacity tablet. According to previous rumours, it’s using a SanDisk 256GB NAND flash memory, which is a great addition to the line-up.
To complement the new iPad pro, Apple has also released various colourful cases (£39 for the Smart Cover and £55 for the Silicone Case), a Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader (£25) and a Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter (£29).
iPad Pro 9.7in release date: Where to buy the iPad Pro in the UK
Apple isn’t the only place you’ll be able to buy the new iPad. You can pre-order the Wi-Fi and cellular version of the new iPad from EE here on a 24 month contract, and the same from O2 here.
Other networks likely to carry the new iPad Pro include Vodafone and Three.
If you’re after the Wi-Fi only version, you can pre-order the iPad Pro 9.7in fromCurrys now.
We’re expecting the likes of John Lewis, Tesco, Ebuyer, Simply Electronics, and Apple Authorised Resellers including Jigsaw24, KRCS, and Stormfront to stock the new iPad Pro too.
For more advice on where to buy your iPad Pro, visit our iPad Pro deals round-up.
The iPad Pro 9.7in comes in four different colours: Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold. Rose Gold is the new addition of colours to the Pro line-up. Unfortunately, the 12.9in variant is still not available in this colour.
Apple iPad Pro 9.7in specification: What to expect from Apple iPad Pro 9.7in
While the new iPad Pro has been marketed by Apple as a 9.7in variant of the 12.9in iPad Pro, there are fundamental differences between the two Pro tablets.
Here’s a breakdown of the 9.7in specs:
- Software: iOS 9.3
- Display: 9.7in, 2048×1536 resolution at 264ppi
- Processor: A9X with 64-bit architecture. M9 coprocessor
- Graphics: 12-core PowerVR Series 7XT
- RAM: 2GB LPDDR4 RAM
- Storage: 32/128/256GB
- Camera (rear, main): 12Mp iSight with Focus Pixel and True Tone flash, support for full-HD recording at 60fps and 4K at 30fps
- FaceTime HD Camera (front, selfie): 5Mp with Retina flash, support for HD video recording
- Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac; dual channel support (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and HT80 with MIMO
- Bluetooth: 4.2 technology
- Cellular models: LTE, HSDPA+ and CDMA UK bands
- SIM: Nano-SIM (supports Apple SIM)
- Battery: 27.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer
- Dimensions: 169.5x240x6.1mm
- Weight: 437g (Wi-Fi model) / 444g (cellular model)
- Colours: Silver, Gold, Space Grey, Rose Gold
- Other: GPS and GLONASS, Touch ID, Apple Pencil
The biggest update from the 12.9in iPad Pro is the new 12Mp iSight camera, which is able to record in 4K at 30fps and full-HD at 60fps. The camera is also capable of taking beautiful 63Mp panorama images and even slo-mo videos at full-HD at 120fps and HD at 240fps.
The graphics capabilities within the 9.7in iPad Pro boasts 12 cores of graphical power, where Apple states it’s more powerful than an Xbox 360. This addition is replicating what is found within the 12.9in iPad Pro, and this also applies to the four-speaker system that supposedly boosts in audio performance.
The 9.7in tablet will ship with iOS 9.3 which will include Night Shift mode, useful for those wanting to view the iPad in dark rooms. The new tablet also shipped with True Tone Display: according to Apple, sensors within the iPad will detect your room’s lighting and will adjust the white balance of your iPad Pro accordingly – a nifty little feature.
As previously stated the iPad Pro 9.7in is available in four different colours (Rose Gold being the latest addition) and 256GB capacity, a good addition over the iPad Air 2.
Another new addition to the 9.7in iPad Pro is the Smart Keyboard, which was previously released with the 12.9in iPad Pro. The updated keyboard is slimmer and looks more fit for purpose – it can be found for £129 and is available for order from 24 March 2016.
The Apple Pencil is also supported in the 9.7in tablet, but has to be purchased separately for £79. According to Apple’s March event presentation the Apple Pencil is widely recommended by artists and professionals.
Over the iPad Air 2, the new 9.7in tablet brings faster performance, 25 percent greater colour saturation (resulting in a brighter and more accurate image) and a 40 percent less reflective screen.