Trade Resources Industry Views New iPad (2017) Vs iPad Pro 9.7-Inch: What's The Difference?

New iPad (2017) Vs iPad Pro 9.7-Inch: What's The Difference?

Tags: iPad, iPad Pro

New iPad 2017 vs iPad Pro 2016: Apple isn’t shy about launching 9.7-inch tablets, but which of its latest slates is the best? We compare the specs and tell you what you need to know.

Apple dropped a surprise announcement on us in March, revealing a brand new 9.7-inch iPad as its first major product launch of the year. The tablet is the effective successor to the iPad Air 2, but it's arguably facing more competition from Apple's existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Both tablets are slick and powerful, but which one is right for you? I've rounded up the key differences between the two devices, so you can work out how you want to spend your money.

In this article, I’ll answer the following questions:

How do the designs differ?
How do the new iPad and iPad Pro specs compare?
Which tablet is better value for money?
Should you buy the new iPad or the iPad Pro?

The good news is that both devices look largely identical, with the same approximate form factor, and Apple’s unmistakeable aluminium unibody iPad aesthetic. All the usual buttons (Touch ID, volume controls etc.) don the front and sides, and there’s a camera on the front and back of both tablets.

The key differences are minor. For instance, the new iPad is marginally heavier than the iPad Pro, weighing in at 469 grams (or 478g for cellular), compared to the iPad Pro’s 437 grams (or 444g for cellular).

The new iPad is also 1.4mm thicker than the iPad Pro, which may be down to the larger battery.

The screen panel on the new iPad is also slightly different, as it doesn’t have anti-reflective coating, nor does it support a wide colour gamut. The new iPad’s display also lacks True Tone support – that’s the feature that dynamically adjusts your screen’s colour balance based on data from the ambient light sensor. We will know more about what sort of difference this makes when we review the new iPad.

It's also worth noting that the iPad Pro has a solid line-up of accessories, including the Apple Pencil (£99) and the Smart Keyboard (£149), which connects through the Smart Connector – a feature not included in the new iPad. If you're looking for a tablet to replace that old laptop, the iPad Pro is the better pick.

New iPad (2017) vs 9.7-inch iPad Pro Specs: Which tablet is the most powerful?

Both tablets are on fairly equal footing when it comes to the display; they use the same(-ish) 9.7-inch panel with an identical screen resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. That works out at a respectable 264ppi, and should offer a crisp, clear image at normal viewing distances.

But when it comes to raw specs, the new iPad starts to fall behind. For instance, the new iPad uses a slower Apple A9 chip than the Apple A9X chip found in the iPad Pro. The A9X is an evolution of the iPhone 6S’s A9 processor, and runs at a faster 2.16-2.26GHz clock speed (compared to the A9’s 1.85GHz).

The A9X chip also features a more powerful 12-core variant of the PowerVR Series7XT GT7600 GPU, which means you'll get better performance while gaming from the iPad Pro.

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