Apple's latest iPad Pro variant combines the 9.7-inch form factor of the iPad Air series with the desktop-level processing power of the original iPad Pro, making it an interesting option for those who find the latter's 12.9-inch display and overall dimensions too large. Like its larger sibling the 9.7-inch iPad Pro features Apple's A9X chipset and M9 motion co-processor that allows for always-on Siri capabilities. There is also the same Smart Connector, four-speaker array and support for the pressure and tilt sensitive Apple Pencil. The Smart Keyboard has been redesigned to fit the smaller footprint.

In addition the new model offers a new True Tone display which features two four-channel ambient light sensors that measure brightness and color temperature. The display is then adjusted to offer a color-neutral viewing experience. Apple also says the new screen is 40 percent less reflective and 25 percent brighter than the one found on the iPad Air 2. Color gamut is the same as on the iMac with Retina 5K display.

Surprisingly the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's camera specification also offers an improvement over the larger model. The rear camera offers a 12MP sensor and F2.2. aperture with True Tone dual-LED flash and 4K-video capability, which sounds pretty much identical to the iPhone 6s camera. Like on the latest iPhones the display can be used to illuminate a subject when using the 5MP front camera that can record 720p video. Photographers might also be interested in the newly announced USB 3 speed SD-card reader adapter and the USB to Lightning adapter.

Pre-orders for the iPad Pro will start on the 24th of March, shipping will begin on the 31st. You'll have to invest $599 for the 32GB model, $749 for the 128GB variant and a hefty $899 for the top-end 256GB version.


DPReview.com Technical Editor's note:

Rishi Sanyal

Apple's new 'True Tone Display' on the iPad Pro measures the color temperature of your ambient environment, and adjusts the display's white point to match.

If done well, this might be huge for photographers. As content creators, we're always wary of editing on too warm a screen, because it'll make us edit images cooler. Or editing on too cool a screen, because it'll make us edit images warmer. And depending on whether we're editing during daytime or at night with warmer in-home lighting, the same display may appear warmer or cooler, respectively. Compound that with the fact that as a content creator you have no idea of the viewing conditions of any particular viewer, and you just have too many variables to control for.

The push for profiled/calibrated displays on every device that ships, paired with auto-adapting technology like this, might spell some real improvements. Needless to say: standardizing color response across all displays is the bigger problem worth solving, in my view, with this sort of 'True Tone' adjustment being of secondary importance. But it's great to see Apple progressing on both fronts (although, there's still an 'Apple look' to colors on their calibrated displays... but it's hard to know whether that's a mistake, or intentional).

My question is this: since our phone/computer displays are generally either significantly brighter than our surroundings, or fill a good portion of our field of vision when we're viewing them, to what extent are our eyes already adjusted largely for the display white point, rather than for our ambient surroundings? If the former, this tech wouldn't make much of a difference. If the latter, it would.

Thoughts? (Let us know in the comments).