iPad Pro, iPad and mini 4: What are the dif­fer­ences?

Try­ing to de­cide on which iPad to buy? Ro­man Loy­ola looks at the ma­jor spec­i­fi­ca­tions of each model

iPad&iPhone user - - NEWS -

When Ap­ple re­leased its new iPad, the com­pany also sim­pli­fied the iPad line-up: in­stead of four mod­els, there are now three. This makes it eas­ier to de­cide which one to buy, though there are still a lot of fac­tors to con­sider. We take a look at the ma­jor fea­tures you should think about when pick­ing an iPad.

Size

If you want to carry your iPad around, size is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. Over­leaf is a break­down of each iPad.

Dis­play

Just look­ing at the iPads, it’s dif­fi­cult to dis­cern any dif­fer­ence in the screens be­sides their sizes. All of the iPads

use LED-back­lit dis­plays with Multi-Touch sup­port and fin­ger­print-re­sis­tant oleo­pho­bic coat­ing. But there are a few fea­tures that are found in some mod­els and not in oth­ers that may not be ob­vi­ous.

If colour ac­cu­racy and de­tail is vi­tal to your work, then you want the 9.7in iPad Pro with its P3 wide colour and True Tone. If you re­ally want the big­ger screen of the 12.9in iPad Pro, you won’t get the P3 sup­port, but there is a way to use iOS’s Night Shift

to act like True Tone. The iPad lacks the lam­i­nated dis­play and anti-re­flec­tive coat­ing found in the other iPads, so you might have is­sues with glare. You might con­sider an iPad mini 4 in­stead, es­pe­cially if you plan to be out­doors a lot, or if you are go­ing to use the de­vice where light­ing is in­flu­en­tial in the en­vi­ron­ment, like a photo stu­dio.

Smart Con­nec­tor

The iPad Pro is the only iPad out­fit­ted with a Smart Con­nec­tor, which is used to con­nect de­vices like key­boards.

Ap­ple’s Smart Key­board (pic­tured) uses the Smart Con­nec­tor to con­nect to the iPad Pro. The Smart Key­board for 12.9in iPad Pro is £169, and the Smart Key­board for 9.7in iPad Pro is £149. Third par­ties like Log­itech also make key­boards that use the Smart Con­nec­tor.

You can still use a key­board with the iPad and iPad mini 4, but since these iPads don’t have a Smart Con­nec­tor, Blue­tooth is used to con­nect to a key­board. So, you can use any Blue­tooth key­board, but you may want to get a key­board case that’s de­signed specif­i­cally for the iPad or iPad mini 4 for ex­tra com­fort.

Ap­ple Pen­cil

In case you’re not that fa­mil­iar with Ap­ple’s iPad mod­els, the iPad Pro is the only de­vice that can be used with the Ap­ple Pen­cil (£99), a pen-like in­put de­vice. You can still use your fin­gers to in­ter­act with the iPad Pro, but the Pen­cil pro­vides the pre­ci­sion needed for cre­ative work, or for peo­ple who want to write us­ing an in­stru­ment.

You can find a third-party sty­lus that can be used with the iPad and iPad mini 4, though they may not func­tion like the Ap­ple Pen­cil. Some sty­luses are made for specif­i­cally for writ­ing, while oth­ers are for sketch­ing.

Photo cam­era

If still photos are a pri­or­ity for you, then you prob­a­bly want the 9.7in iPad Pro. It has a few ma­jor fea­tures (noted be­low) that the other iPads don’t have.

Video cam­era

The 9.7in iPad Pro is also the more ca­pa­ble video cam­era. In fact, its specs out­pace the other iPads by a wide mar­gin. Ma­jor dif­fer­ences noted in the ta­ble over­leaf.

FaceTime cam­era

Since iPads are used more and more for video­con­fer­enc­ing, the FaceTime cam­era is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. As with photos and video, the 9.7in iPad Pro has the best specs.

The 9.7in iPad Pro has a 5Mp FaceTime cam­era, while the other three iPads are a 1.2Mp. It also comes equipped with a Retina Flash to make sure you are prop­erly il­lu­mi­nated. There is no flash in the other iPads.

Pro­ces­sor

The iPad Pro is the top per­former with an A9X chip. The chip in the 9.7in ver­sion is slightly slower than the one in the 12.9in model, so it doesn’t over­heat in the smaller form fac­tor. The iPad has a A9 pro­ces­sor, which is same model num­ber as the pro­ces­sor in the iPhone 6s. Though it’s not as fast as the A9X, it’s a boost over the A8X chip that was in the iPad Air 2. The iPad mini 4 comes with the slow­est pro­ces­sor of the lineup, an A8. It’s the com­pro­mise you make to get the smaller form fac­tor and a rea­son­able price.

Rose Gold

And fi­nally, after con­sid­er­ing ev­ery­thing listed above, there’s the one thing that could change or con­firm your de­ci­sion: the Rose Gold fac­tor. The 9.7in iPad Pro is the only iPad avail­able in Rose Gold. All iPads are avail­able in Gold, Sil­ver and Space Grey.

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