Apple's new M1-equipped iPad Pros arrive in late May

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,905   +760
Staff member
What just happened? Apple introduced its newest iPad Pro during its Spring Loaded event on Tuesday. The refreshed tablet features 5G connectivity, a new 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, and Apple's new M1 silicon. The new iPad Pro incorporates the same 8-core M1 SoC found in Apple's latest 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini for desktop-like performance in a 13-inch tablet. Apple calls it "the fastest device of its kind."

The M1 architecture delivers considerable performance gains over previous iPad Pro models equipped with the A12Z Bionic SoC. Apple claims the 8-core CPU and GPU are 50- and 40-percent faster, respectively.

Proprietary technologies such as Apple's 16-core Neural Engine and an advanced image signal processor propel it to one of the fastest tablets on the market. It also features up to 16GB of high-bandwidth RAM and up to 2TB of storage that is twice as fast as previous models.

"The revolutionary M1 chip has been a breakthrough for the Mac, and we're incredibly excited to bring it to iPad Pro," said Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak.

The iPad Pro's new Liquid Retina XDR display brings the same technology used in Apple's high-end $5,000 ProDisplay XDR for the Mac Pro to a 12.9-inch mini-LED screen. The 10,000-LED touch display features 1,000 nits brightness (1,600 nits peak) and a million-to-1 contrast ratio.

Apple says that photographers, videographers, and filmmakers will feel right at home editing HDR content on the new iPad Pro.

Driven by the latest iPadOS software, the iPad Pro can effectively act as a capable portable computer with Apple Pencil, trackpad, mouse, and keyboard support. Adding to that capability is Thunderbolt and USB 4 connectivity with four times the bandwidth of previous models, including 10Gbps Ethernet.

The cellular version of the iPad Pro is equipped with mm-wave 5G for up to 4Gbps download speeds. While 5G coverage is still pretty spotty, it should come in handy for those within a coverage area, especially when handling heavy workflows.

The new iPad Pro comes in two sizes—11- and 12.9-inch, and two colors—space gray and silver. Additionally, it is available in five configurations ranging from 128GB to 2TB. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 and $999 for WiFi-only and cellular, respectively. Likewise, the 12.9-inch version starts at $1,099 and $1,299. All models launch in the second half of May, but pre-orders open worldwide on April 30.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 370   +641
I am curious at how much they're going to allow that new Thunderbolt 4 port on an ipad to be used. While I'm not expecting external GPUs or anything that far out, most people using ipads as replacement for laptops always had weird issues to deal with that Apple has been slowly chipping away at.

But something as simple as "Ok this ipad should use thunderbolt to dock into a 4k monitor and have things like correct aspect ratio" should be expected if they truly intend this as "Pro device but anywhere you go" because otherwise yeah, a real "pro" would just take an m1 macbook instead of a tablet if they suddenly need to deal witht he annoyances of ipad os that's still just, not a desktop OS.

I guess just enlisting a bunch of possible updates to the OS doesn't sounds as exiting on the keynote.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 289   +238
Not a big user of pads - so wait 3 or 4 years - when oleds get much much cheaper - and get a super light weight large screen for reading mags, pdfs and possibly books if there is a app that mimics paper real nice -
Probably a nice product for the right person - Guest at my business uses a pro for digital art - he really likes it
 

Farkinell

Posts: 136   +205
I’m yet to find a single iOS app that taxes my 2018 iPad Pro even slightly, so I’ll be interested to see some daily-use benchmarks to compare.
 

Faelan

Posts: 58   +49
It feels almost criminal to have such a gorgeous, powerful and portable device hamstrung by such a limited OS. One can hope that the presence of an M1 CPU along with all that storage and RAM is an indicator that they intend to beef up the OS capabilities. Alas, it’s probably just wishful thinking on my part, but still - one can hope?
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,462   +732
when oleds get much much cheaper
Judging by the prices of oled TVs in the last 5 years, nobody is interested in oleds becoming cheaper :D
I wanted oled TV once, but not for the price they are selling the last few years.
Phone screens also are still expensive.
Oled wont get much cheaper any time soon is my prediction.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 370   +641
It feels almost criminal to have such a gorgeous, powerful and portable device hamstrung by such a limited OS. One can hope that the presence of an M1 CPU along with all that storage and RAM is an indicator that they intend to beef up the OS capabilities. Alas, it’s probably just wishful thinking on my part, but still - one can hope?

I'm assuming that their will too: The point of thunderbolt 4 is probably to enable some actually fast storage for people who do want to edit heavy files. However they're being careful of not taking eyes away from their laptops and desktops so not much on that front is revealed, which makes the product seems well, just extremely weird to me as is: "A tablet for professionals, a professional level of display! For you to....Use clearly amateur apps like Luma Fusion instead of Final Cut or Premiere....*dead silence punctuated by a tumbleweed* "

So what I think they'll do is just use the marketing to promote this as the "best tablet" but once you get your hands on it you find out "Oh, if you just dock it with thunderbolt it actually behaves more like macos instead of this stupid ipados nonsense" but well they don't want to put that part out there to maintain some semblance of division between the laptops and tablets when well, there is none at this point other than what they decide to artificially enforce.

Still I think the hackintosh crowd will quickly get these to just work with regular big sur eventually.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 673   +582
As I foretold several months ago expect the 12.9" top spec model to approach $4K, but with new 2TB version we are looking at over $4K in Australia. You know we have reached peak stupidity when a tablet goes for this much.

Oh well with the iTards flocking to upgrade I'll grab a bargain second hand model in several months time. I got my current 10.5" version for less than half price when the 11" models came out. It was only 12 months old.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 289   +238
Judging by the prices of oled TVs in the last 5 years, nobody is interested in oleds becoming cheaper :D
I wanted oled TV once, but not for the price they are selling the last few years.
Phone screens also are still expensive.
Oled wont get much cheaper any time soon is my prediction.
I'm predicting 3 or 4 years out - Industry has predicted Oled prices to drop - at moment LG makes for TV and samsung for phones - 2 different types - But now we have some Chinese manufacturers starting up and printed OLEDS are coming - maybe not as refined - but they will improve - printed OLEDS much cheaper to produce
 
I'm interested to see if M1 is actually more like a CPU Family name (i5, Ryzen 7...) than a specific CPU. There already seems to be two SKUs of M1 available (8vs7 GPU cores) so maybe we will get couple more with the iPads? The Macs are actively cooled, iPad isn't so I'm expecting to see lower frequencies in the iPad. Will there be other differences, I suppose time will tell.
 

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 319   +207
I am thinking it is specific chip looking a pattern of other Apple names. Family name is M-Series.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple-designed_processors#A_series

I'm interested to see if M1 is actually more like a CPU Family name (i5, Ryzen 7...) than a specific CPU. There already seems to be two SKUs of M1 available (8vs7 GPU cores) so maybe we will get couple more with the iPads? The Macs are actively cooled, iPad isn't so I'm expecting to see lower frequencies in the iPad. Will there be other differences, I suppose time will tell.