iPad Pro: Apple’s new M1 tablet is pretty much becoming a Mac

Apple’s latest iPad Pro uses the same processors as Macs. Convergence is here.

Apple / screenshot Sarah Tew / CNET

This story is part of it Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

You’re home. You reach for the computer. You work from home. What are you using? Based on my home, it has everything available. For Apple, the equation is constantly changing: Between the Mac and the iPad, two versatile but different platforms play. But they now share the same processor: M1 chip from MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and new 24-inch iMac is also in the new iPad Pro, as shown on Apple spring event on Tuesday.

This sounds like a huge leap towards iPad as a computer with full power, similarly I was expecting years, but in reality The iPad Pro was already at that level with its previous processor. What has kept the iPad Pro is its software, which also limits the way external devices such as the screen and external memory can be used. The latest iPad pros sound like incredibly powerful race cars. But prices are the same way.

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The M1 promises even higher speeds

The 50% and 40% increase in CPU and graphics power for the new M1 chip compared to the A12Z processor on the iPad Pro 2020 sounds great, but what does that mean? It will depend on the applications that use them. IPad professionals are trying to connect further back cover sensor, which uses a series of lasers to deeply scan 3D space with its cameras. Much like recently iPhone 12 Pro, expect these iPads to be even better in augmented reality and 3D scanning.


The iPad Pro still works with the magic keyboard, but expect more accessories via Thunderbolt.

Apple / screenshot Sarah Tew / CNET

Thunderbolt port means more accessories

The identical-looking USB-C port on the iPad Pro is now capable of USB-4- and Thunderbolt, which will allow for faster accessories and storage and possible compatibility with a wide range of Thunderbolt docking stations. I think Kensington is recent StudioDock for iPad Pro, but maybe more. Apple also promises that the iPad Pro can come out on Pro Display XDR. It depends on the apps that allow screen output, which not all iPadOS apps do. Or, it strongly suggests that Apple will provide support for multiple displays in iPadOS at its upcoming WWDC event.


Mini-LED technology on the larger iPad Pro promises much better brightness and contrast.

Apple / screenshot Sarah Tew / CNET

The enhanced screen only comes with the 12.9-inch model

Apple places great demands on the quality of its Liquid Retina XDR screen based on mini LED, which will have thousands of small LEDs for more localized backlight control and enable higher brightness and contrast ratios. This new screen will only be available on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and its price will go up: the initial version is $ 1,099 (£ 999, AUD 1,649), and that includes just 128GB of storage.

Read more: The Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a Liquid Retina XDR screen with specs specs

5G is here, but it will cost you

I don’t use the mobile network on iPads, mainly because I’m just connecting the phone. But these IPad professionals with 5G-enabled technology are opening new foundations, Apple’s first non-phone 5G devices. Just adding 5G capabilities costs $ 200. You will still have to pay for the service every month.

Read more: Apple gives the iPad Pro 5G an option, although the paid costs will cost you


Center Stage will follow faces in video chats, much like the Facebook portal.

Apple / screenshot Sarah Tew / CNET

The new front camera promises better video conversations

The new wide-angle camera introduces a digital zoom feature that tracks the face of Apple calling Center Stage. Similar Facebook portal, the camera follows the speaker, even more people, and zooms in to frame them. The feature should work in all applications, but will not necessarily solve the problem of direct eye contact on iPads. These new iPad pros still have cameras on the shorter end instead of the long edge, so chatting in landscape mode (which I usually do because I use keyboard cases that fit that way) sometimes means I don’t look directly at the camera. Will the new iPad Pro solve this problem? We’ll see when I try it out, but Center Stage still sounds like a welcome feature.

Price: Much above what most people would want

These iPad pros are obviously, obviously not for people without a lot of money. As well as at least $ 1,000. The initial 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $ 799 (£ 749, $ 1,199), and that’s for just 128GB of storage. Increase it a bit and get accessories (magic keyboard or Apple pen), and you are far above $ 1,000. Prices are climbing even higher: the new 2TB, plus 5G storage option means the 12.9-inch iPad Pro costs $ 2,399 without any accessories. That’s a lot.

Apple Input iPads they are still in the $ 300 range, which means the price range for the iPad is now in the thousands of dollars. If you consider the iPad as your comprehensive manufacturing tool, as many people do, then the cost could be justified. Or if you just love having a really nice tablet for yourself.

The iPad is extremely versatile and could really be a device for everyone. But it’s still not quite for me, even after all these years. The iPad Pro has stellar qualities (screen, pen, camera) that the Mac still lacks. For the most part, the new iPad Pro is about as expensive as the 2020 ones. But here and there you may end up paying more.

I wouldn’t expect these iPad pros to be relevant to every iPad user. But I’m very curious to see how many new features produce ahead.

On paper, the iPad Pro looks poised to become the AlternaMac

I want to try out new pros before I can tell if they’re worth it, and it’s still looming and it’s unknown how much Apple will open iPadOS to make the most of these machines. But the transition to the M1 processor seems more than symbolic.

The iPad reminds new iMac, who shares the same processor, feels like a spiritual cousin. Maybe iPads are really ready to be part of the same computing world as Macs. Or Macs are bleeding more and more on the territory of the iPad. Somewhere the two of them meet. And that meeting point is now M1.

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