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9.7-inch iPad Pro vs. iPad Air 2 spec shootout – Worth the upgrade?

by Roy Choi | March 21, 2016March 21, 2016 12:19 pm PST

Apple announced its new iPad today.

It’s anyone’s guess if the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will now be the company’s “flagship” iPad. After all, we see a whole new batch of iPhones/iPads typically announced in the Fall. For now, at least, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be the darling of Apple’s tablet line.

Apple stated that its 9.7-inch iPad is the number one seller, and with good reason. Many call the form factor the Goldilocks of tablet sizes: not too big, not too small, just right.

So, is the 9.7-inch iPad Pro the eventual successor to the iPad Air 2, or will they coexist? Only time will tell. Here’s a quick rundown of how the two devices compare:

Apple - 9.7-Inch iPad Pro Apple - iPad Air 2
Display Size 9.7-inch, 1536 x 2048 pixel display (264 ppi) 9.7-inch, 1536 x 2048 pixel display (264 ppi)
Resolution X 1536 1536
Resolution Y 2048 2048
Display Type Retina HD LED-backlit widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
Operating System iOS 9.3 (at launch) iOS 8.1 (at launch)
Processor A9X chip with 64‑bit architecture, M9 coprocessor A8X chip with 64‑bit architecture and M8 motion coprocessor
RAM N/A 2GB
Storage
  • 32GB
  • 128GB
  • 256GB
  • 16GB
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
External Storage No No
Main Camera (Back) 12MP 8MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 5MP 1.2MP
Networks
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B
  • LTE
  • UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900)
  • GSM/EDGE
  • LTE: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 38, 39, 40, 41
  • UMTS/​HSPA/​HSPA+/​DC‑HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth 4.0
Battery N/A Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video, or listening to music: Up to 9 hours of surfing the web using cellular data network
NFC N/A No
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Touch ID
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Three-axis gyro
GPS
  • Digital compass
  • Assisted GPS (Cellular models)
  • GLONASS (Cellular models)
  • A-GPS (cellular model only)
  • Digital compass
  • GLONASS (cellular model only)
  • iBeacon microlocation
Height 9.4 inches (23.88 cm) 9.4 inches (23.88 cm)
Width 6.6 inches (16.76 cm) 6.6 inches (16.76 cm)
Depth 0.24 inches (6.1 mm) 0.24 inches (6.1 mm)
Weight 437 g (15.41 oz) 434 g (15.31 oz)
Colors Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Space Gray Gold, Gray, White
Supported Audio Formats AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
Supported Video Formats H.264 video up to 1080p, 60 frames per second, High Profile level 5.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format H.264 video up to 1080p, 60 frames per second, High Profile level 5.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
In The Box N/A N/A


Roy Choi

Roy Choi is a Southern California native. He has been infatuated with technology reviews ever since he bought his first crummy laptop in the summer...

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