Apple's 9.7 inch iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and smart keyboard.
Apple's 9.7 inch iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and smart keyboard.

Apple's smaller iPad Pro will start at $A899

A NEW 9.7 inch version of the iPad Pro promises to offer performance rivalling that of portable PCs along with 4K video, a new 12 megapixel camera and four speaker audio system.

Apple says the iPad weighs in at less than 500 grams - a much lighter alternative than its 12.9 inch full iPad Pro version.

It will offer support for Apple Pencil and the new Smart Keyboard, meaning it could be used as a super lightweight laptop.

"The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a new Retina display with True Tone technology, four-speaker audio system, blazing fast A9X chip, 12-megapixel iSight camera, 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, faster wireless, and support for Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. It is the ultimate upgrade for existing iPad users and replacement for PC users,'' Apple said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Apple says designers, illustrators and businesses have quickly adopted iPad Pro.

"People don't realise how much hand drawing is needed to produce computer animation," said John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

"iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are the closest we've ever been able to get in the digital world to actually drawing on paper."

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro features a True Tone display, which uses new four-channel sensors to dynamically adjust the white balance of the display to match the light around you for a more natural and accurate, paper-white viewing experience.

Apple says the Retina display is 25 per cent brighter and 40 per cent less reflective than iPad Air 2, making content even easier to see indoors and out.

It uses the same wider colour gamut as the iMac® with Retina 5K display, delivering 25 per cent greater colour saturation.

Night Shift in iOS 9.3 uses iPad Pro's clock and geolocation to automatically adjust the colours in the display to the warmer end of the spectrum after dark.

iPad Pro has a 12-megapixel iSight camera sensor featuring Focus Pixels for fast focusing, an Apple-designed image signal processor, advanced noise reduction, third-generation local tone mapping and better face detection.

It supports 63-megapixel panoramas and Live Photos.

The new iSight camera shoots 4K video.

Apple says the fhe four-speaker audio system provides powerful, clear and rich stereo sound for more than twice the audio output.

Built-in sensors automatically adjust and optimise the audio no matter which way you're using it, the same as the bigger iPad Pro.

Pricing & Availability

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in silver, space grey, gold and a new rose gold metallic finish, and starts at a recommended retail price of A$899 inc. GST for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and starts at a recommended retail price of A$1,099 inc. GST for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

Both iPad Pro sizes are available in offerings of 32GB, 128GB and a new 256GB capacity.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available to order beginning Thursday, 24 March PDT, from, and in Apple's retail stores, through select carriers and Apple Authorised Resellers on Thursday, 31 March, in Australia, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US.

Apple Pencil has a recommended retail price of A$165 and Smart Keyboard sells for A$229.

Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Premium Content Philip’s unconventional royal romance

Prince Philip’s rather unconventional romance blossomed into love

Philip’s deep bond with Australia

Premium Content Philip’s deep bond with Australia

Prince Philip visited Australia an astonishing 35 times.

Bar goes into lockdown after man goes berserk in pub rampage

Premium Content Bar goes into lockdown after man goes berserk in pub rampage

'Hotel staff locked everyone down in the bottle shop and bar'