The new iPad Pro with M1 – Apple’s Spring Loaded event recap

Image Credit: Apple

The new iPad Pro with M1 announced at Apple’s Spring Loaded virtual event yesterday, the company’s first livestream of the year.

Apple took to the virtual stage yesterday to announce their redesigned iMac, all-new AirTags, and changes to the iPad Pro, Apple TV 4K and iPhone 12. Find the full stream from Apple here.


iPad Pro

Like the new iMac, iPad also gets the M1 chip, with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine on all new iPad Pros. Apple says this leads to 50% faster performance and 40% faster graphics performance. We previously thought these M-series chips would be reserved for Macs, but the inclusion in an iPad raises questions on a potential merger of macOS and iPadOS in the future. Unlike the new iMac, the design remains largely unchanged from the previous generation.

The smaller 11-inch iPad comes with a Liquid Retina display, ProMotion, True Tone, P3 wide colour, ultralow reflectivity and 600 nits of max brightness. The real display upgrades come to the larger 12.9-inch model, which now features a Liquid Retina XDR display, with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, thanks to over 10,000 mini LEDs under the display. These custom-designed LEDs are 120x smaller than the previous generation, with 2500 local dimming zones, leading to 1000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1600 nits of peak brightness. Specs that are comparable to Apple’s $5000 Pro Display XDR monitor.

The front-facing camera is now Ultra Wide, with 12MP, 122-degree field of view and Center Stage. Center Stage crops in on the Ultra-Wide camera and pans to wherever you are, keeping you in the centre of the frame on FaceTime calls and other video conferencing apps. If someone enters the frame, the view will expand to keep everyone in visable. Portrait mode selfies are now also available with the upgraded front camera. The rear cameras are largely unchanged, but now have powerful ISP from the M1 chip and Smart HDR 3.

Video Credit: Apple

The USB-C port on the bottom of the iPad is now also a Thunderbolt port that can transfer data at up to 40Gbps. Thunderbolt allows for high-performance accessories such as fast external storage, displays and docks. You can even connect up a Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.

Video Credit: Apple

Cellular models are now 5G capable. Other optional extras include a Magic Keyboard, now in two colours for both sizes: Black and White. The 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models come with 8GB RAM, while the 1TB and 2TB options come with 16GB RAM.

Image Credit: Apple

The 11-inch Liquid Retina Display model starts at $799. The 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display model starts at $1099. Pre-orders start on April 30, with availability in the second half of May.

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