Apple peels its iPad Pro down to 9.7"

Continuing the theme that Apple began today with its iPhone SE, the company also peeled its 12.9" iPad Pro a bit to produce a 9.7" version of its most powerful tablet. Like the bigger iPad, the 9.7" Pro comes with an A9X processor inside, and users can draw on its screen with the Apple Pencil. This tablet does have a couple new tricks hidden inside its glass-and-aluminum body, though.

As part of iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a feature called NightShift that changes the color temperature of the disply in response to time and geography (sorry, f.lux). The mini iPad Pro uses NightShift in tandem with two ambient light sensors to match the white point of the display to ambient conditions, so the screen always appears "paper white." More color-critical users will appreciate the display's full coverage of the DCI P3 gamut, and the 500-nit maximum brightness of the screen should make it legible even in broad daylight.

This smaller tablet also gets what sounds like the same 12MP camera in the just-introduced iPhone SE and the iPhone 6S. Like those phones, the mini-Pro can shoot 4K video that users can edit and post-process right on the device. A powered Lightning adapter with USB Type-A and Type-C ports, a card reader, and a "Smart Keyboard" cover will also be available.

Apple will sell the smaller Pro in space grey, silver, gold, and rose gold color options. Pricing starts at $599 for the 32GB version. A 128GB model is available for $749, and a first-for-an-iPad 256GB option will sell for $899. The 9.7" iPad Pro will be available for pre-order March 24, and shipments will begin March 31.

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