iPad Pro 9.7 its not”the iPad,” it’s just “iPad.”

ipadpro_coffee-cup-pen-largeAt the introduction of the new iPad Pro 9.7 last week Tim sais It’s exactly the kind of phrase you expect from Cook’s Apple: spoken humbly, but revealing a huge ambition. It mixes a thing that’s familiar (the good ol’ iPad) with an idealistic goal. And Apple likes to workshop these phrases until they have a fine, chamfered edge — it’s not “the iPad,” it’s just “iPad.” It’s a little confusing, but it’s definitely compelling, and when you first hear it you really want to buy in.

The most important thing to know about the new iPad Pro isn’t the specs or the speed — it’s the price. It starts at $599 for the 32GB model. It’s difficult to even compare that price to the just-reduced iPad Air 2, since Apple has set up the storage options for these models differently — but in general you’re looking at a $150 or more price differential. And if you’re really going to use the “Pro” in the iPad Pro version, you’ll probably want to pony up for the 128GB model, which is $749. Oh, and you will also probably want the Smart Keyboard for $149, and maybe the Apple Pencil for $99.

The difference between the iPad Pro and the iPad Air is roughly equivalent the difference between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air: The  iPad Pro 9.7 has the same screen size and the same basic body as the iPad Air 2, but the Pro’s screen is much better, with lower reflectivity and a wider color gamut. The Pro 9.7 also has a great new feature called “True Tone” that adjusts the color of the screen, which isn’t available on the larger iPad Pro. The 9.7-inch Pro has the same A9X processor as its bigger brother, but with 2GB of RAM instead of 4GB. It also has a very good 12-megapixel camera.