When last week Tim Cook unveiled a host of education initiatives from Apple, a new 329 dollars iPad lead the announcement. This new iPad replaces the last year’s model at the same price and joins two iPad Pro models in the Apple’s lineup. Not an entire lot has changed this year, but the lines may begin to blur for consumers especially now that all the three models feature the Apple Pencil support.
Both the iPad Pro models feature similar display using Apple’s True Tone display technology and ProMotion technology and a reflective coating. The True Tone adjusts the color temperature on the basis of the room environment, while ProMotion adjusts dynamically the refresh rate of the screen from 24hz to 48hz to 120hz depending on the usage patterns. Apple touts that the ProMotion maximizes performance and battery life. But the 6th-gen 9.7-inch iPad lacks both ProMotion and True Tone technologies.
As per the display resolution, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes in with 2224 x 1668 resolution, while the 12.9-inch model features 2732 x 2048, both equating to 264 pixels-per-inch. The 9.7-inch model comes in with 2048 x 1536 display. Both the iPad Pro models come with a fully laminated display, whereas the 9.7-inch model does not. This implies that the iPad is slightly simpler to repair than the iPad Pro, but as iFixit noted in its complete teardown, it is yet not simple.
The users definitely get a bit more power inside the iPad Pro models than they do in the 9.7-inch iPad. Both the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models come with hexa-core A10X Fusion processors with 64-bit architectures. Users even get Apple’s M10 compressor alongside a twelve-core GPU. On the other hand, the 9.7-inch model is less powerful with an A10 Fusion chip, though users get the same embedded M10 coprocessor.
While the 9.7-inch model still is not as powerful as the iPad Pro, the things are closer this year than they were last year, when the 9.7-inch iPad featured an A9 chip with an M9 co-processor. The power inside the iPad Pro is a part of what gives it that “Pro” branding, so it should not come as too big of a surprise that there still is a discrepancy when compared to the 9.7-inch.
Sound quality is another area where the iPad Pro models have a leg up. Both the iPad Pro variants come with a four-speaker setup whereas the 9.7-inch model comes with a standard dual speaker system with stereo speakers at the bottom. Finally, the 9.7-inch iPad features a first-gen Touch ID sensor whereas the iPad Pro models feature the second-gen sensor.
The 9.7-inch iPad features the same battery as that of last year. Users get a 32.4-watt-hour battery that Apple says should get up to 10 hours of battery life on Wi-Fi and 9 hours with cellular. The 10.5-inch variant features a bit smaller 30.4-watt-hour battery that Apple again says should net users about 10 hours of battery life on WiFi and 9 hours on cellular.
With respect to its other product lineups, Apple’s iPads are straightforward. The 9.7-inch model extends the lowest barrier to entry, but users sacrifice some performance and display. Meanwhile, the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models are true powerhouses, although there are upgrades likely coming at some point this year.