Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro might be the hot ticket item this spring, but it’s still not the fastest iPad you can buy. That distinction goes to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which Apple released late last year. The two devices sport the same A9X chip, so what gives?
According to Apple’s website, the A9X chip inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is 2.4x faster compared to the A7 chip, which is a pretty big jump. However, Apple notes that the A9X chip inside of the 12.9-inch model is 2.5x faster than the A7 chip, indicating that Apple underclocked the smaller model—something it failed to mention onstage during Monday’s event.
For most, the difference in speed will be negligible; if you’re coming from something like the iPad 2 or even the iPad Air 2, you’ll certainly notice a boost in performance. But, for the most part, an underclocked A9X chip will still provide a smooth and lightning quick experience, so that shouldn’t be what sways your decision when choosing which iPad Pro model to buy.
As AppleInsider notes, Apple likely underclocked the A9X chip inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro due to battery and heat concerns. There are obvious trade-offs to the smaller size, so it’s just a matter of what you feel is important to your needs. The smaller model does sport True Tone screen technology and a 12-megapixel camera, which the 12.9-inch model does not, so there are reasons to go small.
For posterity’s sake, we will do a speed comparison once we get our hands on the 9.7-inch model next week. In the meantime, you can see our video coverage from yesterday in the video below.