9.7″ iPad Pro — the Bad and the Ugly →


Andrew Cunningham, reviewing the 9.7″ iPad Pro, noticed a discrepancy in memory bandwidth when compared to the 12.9″ iPad Pro:

We’re not sure what to blame for the reduction in memory bandwidth. The memory bus could be narrower (the 12.9-inch iPad uses a 128-bit memory interface, as opposed to 64-bit in the iPhone), but the scores are still substantially higher than they are in the iPhone 6S, and we’d expect them to be lower if the memory interface had actually been scaled back. The smaller Pro could be using DDR3 RAM like the iPad Air and Air 2 did instead of DDR4, but every A9-equipped device has used DDR4 memory, and the A9 and A9X memory controller might not even support the older DDR3 standard. We’ll need to wait for additional insight from iFixit or Chipworks before we have enough information to say for sure.

This is the third thing that surprised me, after I learned that Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter only supports USB 2 speeds on the smaller of the two iPad Pros.

If this A9X had shown up in an iPad Air 3 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro didn’t exist, it would have blown us away. It still represents a tangible improvement over the A8X in the Air 2. It’s only next to the full-fat, 4GB-of-RAM A9X in the big Pro that this one looks a little disappointing.

While ‘only’ 2 GB of RAM wouldn’t impact me personally, I don’t quite understand why Apple wouldn’t want to future-proof the most popular iPad size category, especially since its sales are declining over the past few quarters. Four gigs could actually be a valid selling point, especially since people seem to keep their iPads for years. I realise that I partially answered my question, but raising the ASP should account for something, right?

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