Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Apple revealed its new M1 chip-powered iPad Pro at its April 2021 Spring Loaded event.
The 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro Credit: Apple
Apple has certainly showered its new iPad Pro with so many improvements and new features that it’s difficult not to get excited about the tablet. The 12.9-inch version comes with a new Liquid Retina XDR display, 5G connectivity, an Ultra-Wide front camera and the M1 chip, which is Apple’s most powerful chip to date. What’s even more exciting is that Apple made the iPad Pro available to order from 30 April 2021 on their official website and will be purchasable in the second half of May.
Having the M1 chip installed in the new iPad Pro will certainly be a huge advantage for creators who are always on their feet. With the M1 chip, it can deliver up to 50 per cent faster CPU performance than the A12Z Bionic of the 2020 iPad Pro and up to 40 per cent faster GPU performance. Additionally, the M1 chip’s power efficiency will guarantee that you won’t need to charge the iPad pro frequently to enjoy the device’s features.
The M1 chip doesn’t just provide faster processing and longer battery life. Its Neural Engine, advanced image signal processor (ISP), unified high-bandwidth memory architecture and a high-speed storage capacity of 2TB make the iPad pro more capable than its 2020 iteration. What’s more, the iPadOS in the new iPad Pro is already optimised to capitalise on the M1’s capabilities to easily handle everything from simple navigation to the most demanding of workflows.
The M1’s ISP and Neural Engine provide Smart HDR 3 to the iPad Pro’s camera system. In low-light conditions, the M1’s ISP and the iPad Pro’s LiDAR scanner will quickly and accurately focus images and videos to capture a crazy amount of detail from almost no light at all.
The liquid Retina XDR display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro Credit: Apple
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a Liquid Retina XDR liquid crystal display designed to utilise over 10,000 LEDs. The display’s brightness at fullscreen can go up to 1000 nits and has a maximum brightness of 1600 nits. It also features a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio to enhance workflows. With these working together, the iPad Pro can possibly capture the brightest highlights and the most subtle details in even the darkest images and display an image that “reflects what can be seen in the real world.”
The display also includes other advanced technologies such as ProMotion, True Tone and P3 wide colour support that can also be found in the 11-inch version.
Apple has also included 5G connectivity to its new iPad Pros. With the proliferation of the 5G network, Apple hopes that the support will allow users and creators alike to connect to a fast and secure network without connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot. The company also mentioned that the iPad Pro supports “millimetre wave”, the highest frequency version of 5G, and eSIM support to easily find a network and sign up for a 5G data plan on the spot.
The new iPad Pro’s Thunderbolt and USB 4 in action Credit: Apple
The new iPad Pros also have Thunderbolt and USB 4 support that provide customers with a USB type port that is capable of giving 40 Gbps of bandwidth for wired connections – four times more bandwidth compared to the 2020 iPad Pro. It can also support 10 Gbps Ethernet and opens up a wide array of high-performing accessories from faster external hard drives to external displays with an even higher resolution.
Apple also supplied the new iPad Pros with a new 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera that comes with a Centre Stage mode which uses a much larger field of view and the M1’s learning capabilities to keep a user centred in the frame. A camera using Centre Stage will automatically pan itself to keep the user in the shot. The camera will automatically zoom out smoothly when other people come into view to fit them in the shot, allowing them to join the conversation without moving the device.
Other features include expanded language support for Apple Pencil features like Scribble and Smart Selection, new emoji, support for the latest gaming controllers – the PS5’s DualSense and the Xbox Series X’s controller – and the ability to share lyrics and see top songs in cities around the world with Apple Music.
The iPad Pro has two sizes available; the 11-inch and 12.9inch versions. Both sizes can be purchased with either a silver or space grey finish and in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB storage configurations. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at S$1,199 for the Wi-Fi model and S$1,419 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro, on the other hand, will start at S$1,649 for the Wi-Fi only model and S$1,869 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
Even homeschool teachers can avail Apple’s education pricing for its new iPad Pro Credit: Beci Harmony on Unsplash
Education pricing for the new iPad Pro is also available to current and newly-accepted college students and their parents, as well as school faculty, staff and homeschool teachers of all grade levels. In this case, the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros can be purchased at S$1,129 and S$1,649 respectively.
Those who plan to purchase the iPad Pro online can have their device engraved on to make the iPad Pro their own. Additionally, eligible customers who purchase a new iPad can enjoy a year of Apple TV+ for free and three months of Apple Arcade free of charge.
Written by John Paul Joaquin