Apple introduced the heavily-rumored 9.7-inch iPad Pro model yesterday. Some are calling this tablet as iPad Pro Mini to differentiate the 12-9-inch variant released last year. Past rumors suggested that the device will be called iPad Air 3. However, Apple decided to launch this device under the “Pro” series. This slate is nothing but a smaller version of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Similar to the bigger model, this version is also compatible with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
Apple said the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be made available for purchase on March 24 via Apple’s online store. The same device will hit the store shelves on March 31. Apart from the U.S., it will be made available in Australia, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, here is a quick comparison of configurations and price between the latest Apple iPad Pro and the 2-in-1 Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
Comparing the two tablets in this category is quite odd because the base versions of both the devices do not match. To be specific, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Mini) will set the buyers back by $599 for the standard version — 32 GB with Wi-Fi only connectivity. The 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model will cost $729.
The Surface Pro 4, on the other hand, starts at $899 for the 128 GB variant with Intel Core M3 and 4 GB of RAM on board, which is the base version.
Readers should note that the keyboard does not come with the device bundle. This means, buyers may have to shell out an additional $150 to $200 for the Smart Keyboard or Type Cover.
The 9.7-inch Apple iPad Pro features Retina display packed with “greater brightness, wider color gamut, lower reflectivity, Night Shift mode and the new True Tone display technology,” which will help in dynamically correcting the white balance, Apple said.
The Surface Pro 4 does not come with fancy technologies that Apple has employed. Nevertheless, it uses the traditional PixelSense technology within the 12.3-inch display panel. This technology helps the Pro 4 to be accurate and provides realistic touch and stylus control, Tech Radar reported.
Speaking of pixel density, 2,736 x 1,824 pixels resolution on the Microsoft device translates to 267 ppi, whereas the 2,048 x 1,536 pixels on the Apple slate gives it 264 ppi. There is apparently no difference in the display category as both offer brilliant viewing experience.
Hardware, Memory, RAM, Battery
Under the hood, the Apple iPad Pro comes with a mobile-based chipset, whereas the Microsoft one utilizes laptop-grade modules. The new iPad is powered by Apple's latest A9X chip, seen in the 12.9-inch variant. The Surface Pro 4, on the other hand, comes powered by Intel Core i5 / i7 / m3 chipsets.
Tech Radar, citing the “preliminary” benchmark score, said the Microsoft device’s performance is better when compared to the new iPad. However, it is better to wait for the real scores once Apple releases the device.
Like always, Apple has not confirmed the RAM configuration. But then, it is believed that the tech giant has housed 4 GB of RAM onboard. The Pro 4 starts at 4 GB but the high-end version comes with 16 GB RAM.
As far as the memory configuration goes, the new 9.7-inch Apple iPad Pro comes equipped with 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB of storage options. The Surface Pro 4 starts at 128 GB and the top-end version has 256 GB of RAM.
Connectivity-wise, the iPad Pro features a Lightning Connector and a Smart Connector to support the keyboard. The Pro 4 sports a USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, a microSD card reader and a charging port.
Apple says the new iPad Pro can offer up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi usage time. Microsoft, on the other hand, said during the launch that the Surface Pro 4 can last up to 9 hours of video playback. However, this 2-in-1 laptop has not been able to provide the promised battery life, Tech Radar reported.
Here is the new official promo video of iPad Pro uploaded by Apple: