The biggest update in tonight’s launch was probably the iMac, powered by the M1 and with a brand new design. The most surprising one to me, however, was the iPad Pro. It’s also equipped with Apple’s in-house developed M1, which makes the new iPad Pro the most powerful iPad ever.
With the M1 chip built in, the new iPad Pro will be unprecedentedly fast. According to Apple, the M1 will make it 75 times faster than the original iPad 11 years ago. It is apparently comparable to regular computers from the company when it comes to performance. The design of the new iPad Pro remains virtually unchanged, other than the aperture of the ultra-wide-angle camera around the FaceID area.
The USB-C supporting Thunderbolt and USB 4 has an extreme performance increase as well, with 4x more bandwidth for wired connections than the previous iPad Pro — up to 40Gbps, which means higher resolution on connected monitors and the possibility of many more simultaneously connected accessories. Internal storage has also increased sharply in performance, it claims to be twice as fast as before. We probably won’t feel this change that much, but for professional users, it is a game changer. With faster external storage and a major upgrade of the USB-C port, the content on the iPad can be transferred at an amazing speed.
The 12.9-inch version gets an insane screen upgrade, a screen close to Apple’s Pro Display XDR. It will bring an amazing brightness to the new tablet, 1000 nits standard brightness, and up to 1600 nits at maximum brightness. There won’t be any issue even if you take the iPad out on a beach in strong sunshine, other than the battery level. They achieve this by having mini-LED backlights, which means that you have a regular LCD panel, with lots and lots of separately managed backlight areas. An extra ultra-wide-angle camera for the FaceID system also comes as a small surprise. It can be used in video conferencing giving you a much nicer experience with more freedom to move.
It is a given that the new iPads will feature 5G as it already exists in the iPhone 12 series. The new iPad Pro offers the broadest 5G coverage worldwide and while millimeter-wave 5G is only supported on US models, this higher frequency version of 5G allows iPad Pro to reach speeds up to 4Gbps. The downside of the very high frequency is that the radio waves will have problems penetrating walls while being very suitable for large crowds.
The new iPads Pro series are the most advanced and powerful tablets on earth. It’s such a shame that Apple didn’t put MacOS onto those monsters, but I suspect that they are considering doubling down on increasing the functionality of iPadOS. Still remember the tagline “Your next computer is not a computer”? We will see…