So far, Apple M1 has been limited to Apple's Mac devices, but today, the company announced that it's bringing its most powerful chipset yet to the iPad Pro. The new iPad Pro model is the first to replace the A series with the M series chipset, and it also supports 5G for the first time in an iPad.
As you'd expect, the new iPad Pro promises a lot more performance than its predecessor, with a 50% faster CPU and 40% faster graphics than its predecessor. The storage has also been made up to two times faster, and the iPad Pro can now be had with up to 2TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, which is a significant leap for a tablet. Because the Apple M1 is built on the same architecture as the A-series chips, app compatibility isn't a problem.
An additional benefit you get with the Apple M1 is support for Thunderbolt and USB 4, offering four times more bandwidth than the previous generation - a maximum of 40Gbps. You can also do things like connect a 10Gbps Ethernet adapter to it, or a high-end display like Apple's Pro Display XDR.
Another big thing for the new iPad Pro is the new display, specifically on the 12.9-inch model. Apple has adopted a mini-LED design that uses over 10,000 LEDs across the entire display to provide a greater contrast ratio and better brightness, with 1,000 nits of maximum full-screen brightness and 1,600 peak brightness. You also get 2,596 local dimming zones. Apple calls this Liquid Retina XDR, which is just a combination of names we've seen the company use before.
In addition to the improved backlight technologies, both models also have ProMotion 120Hz displays, TrueTone support, and P3 wide color support, and each display is calibrated at the factory.
The new iPad pro also comes with an improved front-facing camera, which is a 12MP ultra-wide lens. It can fit a lot more in the frame, and because of that, Apple is also introducing a new feature called Center Stage. This allows the camera to focus and track a user on the camera - say, during a call - and follow them as they move around, keeping them in the frame. It can even adapt to when another person shows up and zoom out so everyone fits in the frame.
The new iPad Pro also has more image processing chops, so you can now use Smart HDR 3 on an iPad Pro for the first time. You should also get better night-time shots thanks to the new ISP and the LiDAR sensor on the back.
That's mostly it for the new iPad Pro, though Apple also announced that iPadOS 14.5 will be rolling out starting next week with support for additional languages for Apple Pen features like Scribble and Smart Selection, new emoji, support for more gaming controllers, and more. The iPad Magic Keyboard, which is also compatible with the new iPad Pro, will also be coming in a new white color.
The new iPad Pro will be available to order on April 30 and begin shipping in the second half of May. The 11-inch model starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch variant starts at $1,099.