The base model of the iPad Pro 9.7-inch is $100 more than every other base model 9.7-inch iPad to come before it. Instead of the starting price of $500, it now starts at $600. So is the new iPad Pro worth the extra $100 based off its specs and features? Or is Apple just trying to make some extra profit?
Well, for starters, the iPad Pro 9.7-inch can now be purchased in Rose Gold. It's the only iPad being offered in Rose Gold. I got the Rose Gold color variant because it's new and alone is worth $100 more. It looks good but not quite Benjamin Franklin good.
The display has been refreshed, there's a new true tone feature which automatically adjusts the display based on the ambiant lighting conditions around you to make colors appear persistent in different environments. You'll often forget this feature is turned on when using the iPad Pro regularly. But when turning it off, you can clearly note the difference this feature makes. In addition to the 25% greater color saturation in previous iPad models, the display is especially vivid but I can't say it's significantly more vibrant than the last iPad Air 2 and its 9.7-inch display with the same 2048x1536 resolution.
What about that speed though? The iPad Pro 9.7-inch features the A9x 64-bit processor with an M9 co-motion processor. This really is one incredibly fast chip that rivals many ultra laptops since it's 1.8 times faster than the CPU performance of the iPad Air 2 with double the graphics performance of the iPad Air 2 so you can edit 4K footage, you can play graphic intensive games and run graphic intensive apps without really breaking much of a sweat. The biggest bummer is that it only features 2GB of RAM, whereas the iPad Pro 12.9-inch features 4GB of RAM. iOS 9 allows multi-tasking so that's pretty great. But I'm disappointed there's no 3D Touch feature here. I think I could justify paying an extra $100 for that feature, especially knowing that it'll be feature proof.
Okay so what about the camera? You shouldn't be taking photos with an iPad. It'll just look silly and people will judge you, not that that really matters but just imagine a world where everyone held an iPad to take a photo instead of an iPhone. Yeah, it'll be like a solar eclipse of iPads. Well, Apple isn't helping the situation. They actually added a 12MP camera sensor with a 5MP front-facing camera sensor. It's the same sensor we found on the iPhone 6s and it's very capable of taking some great photos. It's almost overkill for a device this size. I would rather have 8MP sensor found in the iPad Air 2 and something like 4GB or a 4K display but maybe that's just me. I don't know, let me know in a comment if you actually take photos with an iPad.
One area that has really improved is the audio department. The iPad Pro features 4 Hi-fi speakers in each corner of the device and when you adjust the orientation, the high frequencies will adjust to the topmost speakers. They get really loud and they're much better than the dual bottom speakers found on the iPad Air. It's actually pretty incredible to think that a device measuring in at 6.1 mm thick and weighing less than 1 lb. can produce such quality audio. In fact, when I first sampled this device to other people, I gave them a sample of the speakers because they're that impressive.
As for battery life, Apple says you can get up to 10 hours of battery life per charge to the iPad Pro 9.7-inch and iPad Air 2. Battery life is great, especially for a device of this size, standby time is excellent but it's really not much of an improvement over its predecessor. A couple other things to consider include accessories. The iPad Pro is compatible with the iPad Pencil and Apple's Smart Keyboard. It even has a dedicated 3-Pin port to connect to a smart keyboard but those accessories are not included in the purchase of an iPad Pro. They may be very tempting for some people but they do cost an extra cash. They cost at least an extra $100, depending on which accessory you want.
I think that if you're in the market for a large iPad and you could justify purchasing the iPad Pro 9.7-inch given the better display, faster processor, improved speakers and camera; as well as the 32GB of storage in the base model. It's the best iPad in the market and certainly one of the best tablets on the market, whether you want to admit it or not. But even so, it lacks 3D Touch and other excessive specs found in competing devices such as 4K display or 4GB of RAM. And the base model is $100 more than the base model of any other iPad similar size to the one before it. Even the very first iPad, which launched for $500. I think the only reason for this price increase is because Apple knows they can get away with it. It's just frustrating for someone who reviews these products because it just complicates recommending it for other people. If it were $500, I could whole heartedly recommend it. But for $600 as the base price, I'd recommend it but only if you were 100% set on an iPad.