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Review: 9.7-inch iPad Pro

In March, six months after launching the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple introduced its new tablet model with a 9.7-inch screen. With all the features (actually offering even more differentials) of its older brother, Apple had no other option than to call it also iPad Pro, the differentiation was due to the size of the screen: while an iPad Pro 12.9 inches, the other got the obvious name of 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

iPads Pro

Sales of the new tablet started here in Brazil two months after the launch; recently, however, Fast shop (longtime partner of ) sent us a 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for us to review and take our opinion on the tablet to you.

I confess: when I stopped to write this text, I realized how difficult it is to talk about the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. On the one hand, we are facing the fastest and most complete iPad ever released by Apple (more about its features below, of course); on the other hand, its predecessor (iPad Air 2) is a great tablet. It is not easy to create resources and implement changes that are so disruptive as to make you want to change iPads with each release. This, incidentally, is one of the problems that Apple lives in the iPad line.

Without further ado, let's review!

Design

The design of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is basically the same as that of the 12.9 ?. The difference is obviously due to the size of the screen, the addition of color rose gold (in addition to space ash, silver and gold) and the rear camera.

Family of 9.7-inch iPad Pro with four colors flying

In the smaller model, the camera is very protruding and still has a flash (True Tone) underneath, something that the larger model does not have. Besides, everything follows the same line: Incio's button (Home), four speakers (stereo), Smart Connector, on / off buttons and volume up / down, SIM card tray, microphones and the blessed 3.5mm headphone jack.

9.7-inch iPad Pro buttons and connectors

Speaking of the camera, it manages to be even more jumped than those of iPhones 6 / 6s / 7. However, quite surprisingly, if you place the 9.7-inch iPad Pro on a table (with the screen facing up) and press with a finger on the corners of the tablet, you will notice that the camera does not form a kind of lever leaving the iPad ?wobbly?. And, taking into account that many people use the device that way on a table, this is great news.

Dimensions of iPad Pro

In terms of dimensions / weight, we are talking about an iPad exactly the same as the iPad Air 2 and much smaller than the iPad Pro of 12.9 ?, of course. They are 24cm high, 16.9cm wide, 0.6cm thick and 437 grams on the Wi-Fi model on Wi-Fi + Cellular, same dimensions and 444 grams. The storage capacities, however, are the same as the iPad Pro 12.9 ? (and iPhone 7): 32GB, 128GB and 256GB.

Screen

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro screen has the same resolution (2048 × 1536 pixels) and pixel density (264) as its predecessor, the iPad Air 2, as well as a fully laminated fingerprint and oil resistant coating. and has an anti-reflective coating. Its great differential comparing even with the screen of the model of 12.9 ? are the wide shade of colors (P3) it's the True Tone.

9.7-inch iPad Pro screen

According to DisplayMate, we are talking about the best screen ever placed on a tablet in terms of both brightness and reflection. The color accuracy of this iPad's screen is very close to perfect, covering not only the sRGB standard but also the DCI-P3 (used by 4K TVs). It is the same color spectrum used by the digital cinema industry. This wider color range gives up to 25% more color saturation, meaning more vibrant and realistic colors.

Despite the improvements in brightness and colors, I still don't find it comfortable to use the iPad under such a sun. It can be used, of course, but it is not a great experience and, at least I, I end up giving up after some time because it is a little out of sight. In this regard, especially in the consumption of books, the Kindle is unbeatable. But that if it's that cracking sun; if it's just sunny, the experience is another.

If you like the feature Night Shift, you will love the screen True Tone. a great addition to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Both the Night Shift As for the True Tone screen, they provide users with greater visual comfort when using their devices, making a balance of tonality.

True Tone screen on 9.7-inch iPad Pro

At the Night Shift, you set this intensity (color temperature; less or hotter) manually and can schedule a specific period of time for it to be activated or use the option "From Pr to Sunrise"). J o True Tone you have no way to make any adjustments, just activate / deactivate the option. With it activated, ambient light sensors automatically adapt the color and intensity of the screen according to the lighting of the place where you are. The idea is that you have as comfortable and natural an experience as you do when looking at a sheet of paper.

I liked the screen True Tone and I feel a huge difference when I'm using the iPad and I switch to the iPhone. I really didn't understand why Apple left her out of the iPhones 7/7 Plus, even more considering that we spent a good part of the day looking at our screen. smartphones.

Some complained that Apple did not offer the possibility to adjust the intensity of the True Tone, leaving more or less close to the light reflections on white paper. I didn't particularly miss that.

I use the iPad a lot in the bedroom, at night (whether to read texts or watch series / movies / videos). At this point, the LCD screen still bothers me a little because of the ?blacks that are not black?. Nothing that makes me give up on watching what I want, of course, but I would love to see an iPad with AMOLED screen in this regard, this unbeatable technology. Obviously Apple always puts a lot of points on the scale when it comes to launching a new gadget and, at least for now, LCD technology's pros are still beating AMOLED's (at least for the company).

Finally, it is worth saying that I miss 3D Touch. It's not something that I use a lot on my iPhone, but I use it mainly, Quick Actions (shortcuts in the app icon). It would be nice to have this feature on iPads as well, but it seems that their screen size at least for now is the impediment to the adoption of technology.

Loudspeakers

Here we have an area of ??great prominence in the iPad Pro. Like its bigger brother, the iPad Pro of 9.7 inches has stereo speakers high fidelity (four, one at each end). Regardless of how you are holding the iPad (portrait or landscape), it automatically adjusts the orientation of the high frequencies towards the upper speakers.

And I have to say one thing: these speakers are good, see! I'm not saying that you can throw a party at your house using the iPad as a sound, but I can guarantee that we have a better and more powerful sound than the 15 ? MacBook Pro with Retina display, for example (a notebook with a lot of more internal space than a 9.7-inch iPad to accommodate good speakers). I will not even compare with the older iPads, as something unfair; the stark difference.

If you are dissatisfied with your iPad speaker, you can bet that the iPad Pro speaker will satisfy you. I recommend going to a store Fast shop after all, there are more than 90 scattered throughout Brazil for you to do a test yourself!

Cameras

Another point that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro stands out with praise from its predecessors is not just his, but the 12.9 ? model, too. While the others have an 8-megapixel iSight (rear camera) with a /2.4 aperture, this iPad has a 12-megapixel and /2.2 aperture (the same camera as the iPhone 6s). Furthermore, she is able to do Live Photos, capturing a wide range of colors, has a flash True Tone, takes photos with automatic and panoramic HDR with up to 63 megapixels instead of up to 43 megapixels, and autofocus / touch to focus with Focus Pixel.

In addition, we have all the features present in the cameras of other iPads: backlight, five-element lens, hybrid IR filter, exposure control, face detection, continuous mode, timer and photos with geographic location.

9.7-inch iPad Pro camera

It is a very good camera to have on an iPad that is definitely not the best / most comfortable device for you to go out and take pictures. Despite this, it is good to know that, if you need it, there is a camera of that level in the tablet. At home and even on my holidays, that I took the iPad with me, I came across an interesting situation. When I was using the tablet, instead of leaving it aside and taking my iPhone to take a certain photo, I took advantage of it being in my hand and went with the iPad. As I said, it is not the ideal gadget to put under your arm and walk around taking pictures. But at a time when you have it in your hand and want to capture something, you no longer need to doubt the quality of the camera and choose the iPhone.

This quality in the camera is also reflected in the video recording since, with it, we can shoot with 4K HD quality (3840 × 2160 pixels) on other iPads, the maximum quality Full HD 1080p. Slow-motion videos (a really cool feature), which were previously limited to HD 720p at 120 frames per second, have now gained the option of 1080p at 120 fps or 720p at 240 fps. In addition, we also have a better stabilization of continuous auto focus video.

Video in time-lapse with stabilization, face detection, 3x zoom, backlight and videos with geographic location are also part of the camera package just like other iPads.

The FaceTime HD camera (front) has also been improved and matched the iPhone 6s, with 5 megapixels and Retina flash (the screen itself flashes to help illuminate the room). However, I confess that I only use the front camera for FaceTime, Skype and similar apps. I don't remember one. selfie made with the iPad. ?

Performance (processor)

According to Apple, the A9X (processor that equips iPad Pro) allows tablets to perform tasks that were previously possible on computers. Speaking of the CPU, it is 1.8 times faster than the iPad Air 2; the GPU offers up to twice the graphics performance of the iPad Air 2, being able to render images full of details, fluid animations and realistic effects.

9.7-inch iPad Pro interior

I have nothing to complain about the iPad Pro in that regard, really! However, I am not a person who had the CPU and GPU to the extreme on the tablet as I do all my heavy lifting on my 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. In the end, the iPad for me is a device designed for moments of relaxation, diverse (basically content consumption). At least here, it definitely does not replace a computer as Apple says even though it has a captive place in my daily life, just like the notebook.

Therefore, for my level / intensity of use, it is very difficult to say that it is really 1.8x faster than the iPad Air 2 or that it has a 2x better graphics performance. At that point, the iPad Air 2 completely satisfied me. Now, if you are a person who in fact stopped doing a lot of heavy tasks on the Mac / PC and started to do them on the iPad (like editing images and videos, writing huge texts running two apps side by side on Split View, among other tasks), this whole difference can and should be much more noticeable.

The chip of these gadgets is directly related to energy efficiency. And, as it has always been doing since the launch of the first iPad in 2010, Apple promises the same 10 hours of use even though it delivers infinitely superior processing power.

Connectivity

In this part, very little has changed. We support Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2, support for GSM / EDGE, CDMA EV-DO and MTS / HSPA / HSPA + / DCHSDPA technologies. The big highlights go to three things: support for 23 LTE bands instead of 20, the inclusion of the Smart Connector (which currently basically serves to use Logitech's Smart Keyboard and CREATE case) and the integrated Apple SIM.

The Apple SIM, incidentally, deserves an explanation. We already talked about it here on the website, but the technology has evolved enough to the point that the iPad now has this built-in ?card? making it possible to use a data plan for it or for a normal physical card, from any operator, which can be placed standard SIM card tray (obviously, on Wi-Fi + Cellular models).

Apple SIM on 9.7-inch iPad Pro

The idea of ??Apple SIM is to allow you to choose a data plan from partner operators directly from your device, without having to go to a physical store to buy a chip and choose the plan. The thing is very, very practical! Just go on Cell Data Settings and touch the button ?Configure Cellular Data? to see the options of operators and plans.

In Brazil, the two compatible international operators are AlwaysOnline and GigSky (which are focused on offering data plans to foreigners who are visiting the country, the plans are quite salty). I hope that more and more operators will support Apple SIM, because the idea is very good.

Going back to the Smart Connector, it's a shame that only Logitech is currently exploring it. I hope that Apple will encourage other partners to create products compatible with this technology (the possibility to start using some accessory just by touching the tablet is very cool).

Sensors

As with all the latest iPad models, we have the Touch ID, the three-axis gyroscope, the accelerometer, the ambient light sensor and the barometer. Here I miss two things, the first being a second generation fingerprint reading sensor, as we have on the iPhone 6s onwards. I have not understood until now why Apple did not leave the line uniform, putting this Touch ID that is much faster than the first generation.

iPads Pro

The second, which has to do with iOS 10 since something implemented in the software, but which also has a direct dependence on the accelerometer, was the lack of the ?Lift to activate? feature. With the new Apple operating system installed, when you pick up your iPhone (6s / 6s Plus or 7/7 Plus) the screen automatically wakes up so you can see the information and start using the device. Why not implement this on iPads, too? Battery in the problem, obviously. So I see no reason for the tablet not to have this feature that makes things a lot easier.

?Pro? accessories (Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil)

I played very little time with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, so I don't have much to share with you. What can I say about the pencil that is great to have support for it on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It would be very bad for Apple to make only the largest model compatible with the accessory, forcing people to purchase a very large tablet in order to enjoy the benefits of working with the Apple Pencil.

Apple Pencil and 9.7-inch iPad Pro

of course it is more pleasant to draw / use the pencil on a giant 12.9 ? screen, however there are those people who think more about mobility (who prefer to have a smaller iPad to move around easily) and still need the Apple Pencil to get the job done in the best possible way. Think of real life: it's great to draw on an A3 sheet, but there are also moments when a small notebook can do the job.

About the Smart Keyboard, my opinion changes a little. Not to the point of saying that Apple shouldn't have launched the case / keyboard for the 9.7 ? iPad Pro, but that the experience of typing on the larger accessory, intended for the 12.9 ? iPad Pro, is much better, no have doubts.

Smart Keyboard for iPads Pro

For some I may be sounding hypocritical when I say that Apple was right to support Apple Pencil on a smaller screen, but that it ?went wrong? when creating a smaller keyboard for the tablet. The difference here is that on the screen everything is digital and you can "increase" the space of your work environment with the pencil depending on the app you are using. When drawing, for example, you can zoom in on the screen and the 9.7 ? can be even more than enough; on the keyboard, there is nothing to do: you will be confined to typing in a very small space, which in my view is even a nuisance. Some people, however, don't bother typing on such a small keyboard and it makes perfect sense to have this accessory available.

iOS 10

I remember seeing Tim Cook, at an Apple event, talking about how Android apps created for tablets were basically a ?push and pull? version for smartphones and, consequently, bragging that on iPads the experience was much better. Without a doubt better and some developers are congratulated for taking advantage of not only the screen but also the computing / graphics processing power of iPads.

However, I believe that Apple can do better than iOS itself. I could say that many Apple apps can be framed in this ?push and pull? (in the iPad Pro of 12.9 ?, so to speak) and I expected an improvement in that sense in iOS 10.

Although they are not new to iOS 10, I must comment on the Slide Over, The Split View and PiP (Picture-in-Picture) If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch this quick video.

I really love the Slide Over and PiP despite thinking that Apple could put a search engine from Slide Over to make our life easier when it comes to finding the app we want. J o Split ViewAlthough I use it a lot, I don't like it so much because of a very specific problem: space occupied by the virtual keyboard.

Here in the We communicate internally through Slack and use Wunderlist to manage schedules and other things related to day-to-day activities. Put one of these apps on Split View and ordering the keyboard and asking for an experience not so satisfactory as the keyboard simply occupies a huge part of the screen.

Split View on 9.7-inch iPad Pro

This, of course, is not limited to these apps since most apps at some point need the keyboard activated. If this is for a short period of time, that's fine; but if you are using any app (a messenger for example) in mode Split View, the experience will not be as good on the 9.7 ? screen in this regard, the space of the iPado Welcome.

Newly, even, we have the possibility to use the iPad if you don't have a fourth generation Apple TV as a home center for the native app Casa (Home). In this way, we have the ability to enable automatic and remote control of HomeKit accessories from iOS devices. For this to work, of course, the iPad configured as central must remain in your home, connected to the local Wi-Fi network and turned on.

iPad and Apple TV as home center (HomeKit)

The app Casa, incidentally, a good news from iOS 10 but unfortunately still needs time to show what it came from. It is not easy to purchase accessories to create a smart home, so this is a market that will develop little by little.

The Messaging app (Messages) won a good survival of the iPad with iOS 10, due to the many news presented by Apple. This will undoubtedly cause more and more people to use Apple's messenger on tablets.

Completed

We are talking about the best iPad ever created by Apple. If you like the size of the 9.7-inch iPad, you work with design or something and need a stylus a pencil, don't think twice about getting one. If you have an old war iPad that is no longer doing the job, you will just love this iPad Pro!

If you have an iPad Air 2, however, you should carefully evaluate the differentials mentioned in this post and see if any of them are really essential for you. As I said, the predecessor of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is still a great tablet and good enough for many, but many people. It is up to you to assess whether one or another Pro differential (such as the screen True Tone, for those who use the tablet on the street for a long time, or how much stereo speakers, which we only have) are in fact essential.

Even if you have the iPad Air 2, you obviously have every right to want the 9.7-inch iPad Pro just to have the newest and best tablet ever created by Apple, there's no problem with that, if you want and can. ?

Where to buy

Did you like the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and plan to buy one? So be sure to support the and visit a Fast Shop store (our partner) to purchase yours or buy online, from the convenience of your home.


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Founded in 1986, Fast Shop today has more than 90 stores spread throughout Brazil. Its main focus is to delight the customer and, therefore, its stores have a bold design, a welcoming environment and a layout specially developed to offer consumers the best in: product exposure, experimentation, entertainment, after-sales and differentiated services . In March 2008, Fast Shop launched the first Apple Premium Reseller in Brazil, called a2YOU, demonstrating its commitment to the Apple market in our country.