iPad Pro 9.7 Review: Is It Worth The Upgrade From Your Current iPad?

Hardware Reviews / iOS / Mobile / Reviews / Tech

Last year Apple announced a whole new iPad dubbed “iPad Pro.” It was Apple’s biggest iPad out there coming in at 12.9 inches. This year, Apple came out with the same iPad Pro moniker, but with a smaller screen. 9.7 inches to be more specific. A few things have been changed with the newest iPad Pro, but all the same it’s still going to run like any other Apple device. Let’s get started with this iPad Pro 9.7 review.


What’s In The Box

  • iPad Pro 9.7
  • Lightning to USB cable
  • Power block
  • Manual


If you’ve used the iPad Pro 12.9, then you’ll see the same resemblance other than the screen being smaller. The design is still stunning all around. The front is home to the front facing camera up top and the home button with Touch ID at the bottom. Flipping the tablet over Apple’s logo is dead center in the middle with the word “iPad” at the bottom. In the top left you’ll see the camera with true tone flash underneath it. To the right of that is the antenna lining for cellular and WiFi connection. Looking at the top of the device is the power button all the way on the right side and the 3.5mm headphone jack on the left. You’ll also notice two speaker holes and the rest of the antenna lining. On the right side is the volume rocker and nothing more. Left side is only home to three magnets where you can connect a smart cover. Bottom of the device you have two more speaker grills and the lightning port for charging the device.


Coming in at 9.7 inches with a retina display, you won’t have any problem with not being able to see what’s on the screen. What’s also included with this display is True Tone. True Tone display automatically adapts the display based on ambient lighting conditions to make colors consistent in different environment. I’ve always left it on as it’s more eye pleasing than having it off where the screen acts brighter thanks to the whites. As for Force Touch, it’s not included with the iPad, but you can take live photos and hold down the screen in the gallery to view a short clip of the picture you took. With Force Touch not being included that’s not a bad thing one bit as it doesn’t seem necessary to have it on this device. If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus you’ll know what I’m talking about.


The iPad comes with iOS 9.3 pre-installed, but does have an update to iOS 9.3.1 waiting for you. If you’re familiar with iOS, you know how to operate it. If you’re using the app store, you will have a multitude of choices for applications whether it’s specifically for the iPad or an iPhone.


Packed with 2GB of RAM, there’s no slowing this iPad down. I swapped through multiple apps at once and the device ran just fine. Even though it has a dual core processor, it works well with the OS whereas some other tablets would slow down after running a bunch of apps. I played some games and didn’t notice any hiccups and messed around with Adobe Lightroom along with Pixlr when editing a few photos and still didn’t see any issues.


Apple introduced four speakers on the last generation iPad Pro and those same four speakers carried over to the new iPad Pro. The speakers can be pretty loud at max volume to the point where a crowded room can hear what’s being played on the iPad. There was no notice of distortion with max volume when playing a video or music, so that’s a plus.


Apple ditched the 8 megapixel that came with the iPad Pro 12.9 and went with a 12 megapixel camera. Taking photos with the camera is actually pretty good considering cameras shouldn’t be a thing on tablets. This won’t be my everyday device for taking photos as some pictures didn’t turn out as well as I thought they would. Mainly indoor photos. They turned out ok, but weren’t the best. The front facing shooter is set for 5 megapixels and it does somewhat ok. It’s not the best quality picture, but it’ll do the job if you don’t care for a crisp photo. iPad-Pro-9-7-Rear-Camera

Battery Life

It is said that the iPad Pro 9.7 can get up to 10 hours of battery life. While that is true from using the device, I was able to get past 10 hours a few times. Those that have used iPads in the past, or even iPhones know battery life is pretty good and can get you close to a day or longer. After playing a few games and watching multiple shows on Hulu, battery life was much higher than I thought it would be at by the time I was done.


The cost on the iPad Pro 9.7 is much better than its bigger brother. Pricing starts from $599 to $899 for WiFi model and $730 to $1,030 for cellular model. Even though the cost is steep to some people, Apple has been known to provide what you pay for.

Wrap Up

By now I’m sure you’re wondering if you should upgrade from your current iPad Pro or iPad Air 2 and my response to that is yes and no. So, why the two answers? Well, you can upgrade if you think you need a new iPad to stay up to date or are tired of the 12.9 iPad Pro, but no it’s not much of an upgrade because you’re not missing out on much feature wise. No matter what way you look at it, the iPad Pro 9.7 is still a stunning device to purchase.

iPad Pro 9.7
4.6 Out of 5
Nailed it
The display is great along with performance, sound quality, and battery life.
Needs Work
The cost of the iPad is steep, but not everyone has funds to buy this device. The camera was ok when it came to indoor photos.
Bottom Line
Apple's newest iPad Pro 9.7 is one of the most powerful iPads out there to date. While still keeping a thin profile, it's lightweight and can be carried with you everywhere you go.
Battery Life5.00
*We reviewed a retail unit of the Apple iPad Pro 9.7 purchased by the reviewer.
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