Hardware shootout: Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad vs. iPad Pro

“Apple’s new sixth-generation iPad packs a bunch of tech for just $329,” Christian Zibreg writes for iDownloadBlog. “In addition to supporting Apple Pencil like iPad Pro with the same touch sample rate of 240 Hz, it comes outfitted with improved cameras and the A10 Fusion chip for faster performance, smoother graphics and augmented reality features.”

“Comparing the 9.7-inch iPad’s official technical specifications with the iPad Pro hardware specifications reveals more than a dozen important differences between the two products,” Zibreg writes. “The quad-core A10 Fusion chip in the new iPad (the same one powers the iPhone 7 series) is clocked at 2.2 GHz versus the 1.4GHz dual-core A9 chip in its 2017 sibling. The iPad Pro models are powered by an enhanced “X” edition of the A10 Fusion chip. Compared to the Apple A8 part, A10x Fusion is a powerhouse of a chip that delivers 2.5x faster CPU performance and 4.3x faster graphics. Its non-X A10 Fusion counterpart in the new iPad boasts 2x faster CPU performance and 2.7x faster graphics.”

“The new iPad has 2GB of RAM while iPad Pro features double that at 4GB. More RAM = better multitasking,” Zibreg writes. “For example, the new iPad supports 11’s Split View and Slide Over multitasking modes, but running them in parallel results in the Split View apps being dimmed.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Beside the RAM discrepancy, it’s the iPad Pro’s ProMotion display that really sets the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros apart.

We can’t wait to see Apple’s next-gen iPad Pro models with (we expect) TrueDepth cameras, Apple A11X Socs, and other significant improvements. Those should be quite the powerhouse tablet computers!


  1. Given that this year’s iPad Pros are to get a major redesign and update, one can only surmise what next year’s $329 iPad include. Possibly a 10.5″ screen & A11 SoC?

    1. I don’t see it. They’ll keep the same form factor for a few years at least. Larger screens with slimmer bezels are more expensive and prone to cracking when dropped, they don’t want that for the crumb cruncher market.

      1. An iPad with a 10.5″ screen is no more or less breakable than a 9.7″ iPad. There’s a reason why Apple partnered with Logitech to make a rugged keyboard case for the 2018 iPad. There’s no reason they can’t do the same for a 10.5″ iPad.

        1. BS, the more aluminum unibody between the point of impact and the screen, the less likely the screen will crack. You probably think a head-on wreck in an Escalade vs a Prius is the same thing too.

  2. All I know is my retina iPad screen is cracked to smithereens. Plus for no apparent reason it’s gotten so slow I don’t use it now. And it was fast until about 3 months ago.

    1. A noticeable omission to iOS 11.3 on the iPad for me was battery health. I’ve had a similar experience to you, and my guess is that the battery is going. My iPad is now going on 4 years. I’ve loved it and it’s lasted, but it’s definitely a noticeable slowdown.

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