A day with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, Smart Cover and Smart Keyboard

“Earlier today, I was handed a 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a gaggle of accessories in a big bag with my name on it, which is pretty standard procedure when companies hand review units off to you,” Andrew Cunningham reports for Ars Technica. “And then I was told there was no embargo.”

“The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a whole lot like an iPad Air 2 in many ways,” Cunningham reports. “Most improvements are subtle. The screen, for instance, is nice. But it’s only nice in ways that you’ll really notice if you’re a stickler for color accuracy or see an older and newer iPad side-by-side… The last major difference to bring up in this quick impressions post is the camera bump on the back, a bump that exists because this iPad uses the same camera as the current high-end iPhone (a first; iPads typically use serviceable but inferior cameras). In the iPhone 6 and 6S phones, that camera bump causes the body of the phone to wobble a bit when placed on a flat surface. A similar sort of wobble would be bad for the iPad Pro, particularly for people who want to lay the tablet flat on a table and draw on it with the Apple Pencil. Happily, the iPad is so big that it doesn’t wobble at all — the camera bump is just an aesthetic annoyance, not a functional one.”

Cunningham reports, “Having half the RAM of the larger version is a bummer, but in most other ways it’s still best described as a smaller version of the big iPad Pro.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good to know that the camera bump is just an aesthetic annoyance, not a functional one. Expect it to disappear in the next-gen devices – iPhone and iPad both.


  1. So called iPad Pro 9.7 fails to impress. Still has USB 2.0 port speeds (in 2016?????). Still has 2-gigs of RAM (why even move from my Air 2?????). Built in tax for a 16GB upgrade (in 2016 mind you).

    It appears Tim Cook is slightly more greedier than he is incompetent. I’ll wait for the 12.9 inch iPad to come down in price, in order to get web pages to load faster with the 4-gigs, and the bigger screen of course!

    Until then, I’ll stick with my mini 3 and my Air 2.

    1. I’ve never used any of my iPads with out a protective case. That solves any wobble “problem.” Come to think of it how can you sit at a desk and read without a case that has the folding stand on it. I’d say there is no problem.

      1. AK-H wasn’t talking about using one in that fashion. He was talking about using one with an Apple Pencil.

        For graphics pros like myself who would be using an iPad Pro with an AP, laying it flat would be (more often than not) the preferred way to use it. And without a case as well since a case would add unwanted bulk.

        Not that it would be an issue for me in particular as I’ll be going for the larger iPad Pro, anyway.

    2. Sometimes I think Jony Ive is slipping. The camera bump is such an annoyance, and a big design snafu in my opinion. He should have told the tech guys that if they can’t give him a thin enough camera, then the whole iPhone/iPad needs to be thickened so that it is flush. Use the extra space for more battery.

    1. About thetime Steve Jobs fell ill the company started to charge rediculous price differentials for memory. A policy that they seem wedded to today.

      I ‘m afraid I’m no longer the keen upgrader I once was.

      There is no reason to leave this ‘Pro’ version with yesterdays’ USB port speeds, a lack of RAM and $100 price points for increasing memory – well, none that are related to the actual cost of the components. Instead its a bit like buying diamonds from De Beers – they decide what and how to restrict the offer – take it or leave it.

      Hence my Apple line-up is all looking rather dated and will only be replaced upon its final demise.

      The Pro tablet has the ‘come-on’ of an additional $100 for the pen and yet more for the keyboard case without the need to add a further $100 to the entry price.

      It’s not difficult to see why the lustre of the company has been lost over the last few years.

      Further evidence if it were needed is the relatively few posts each new announcement gets on this site.

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