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Apple’s new iPad Pros boast MacBook-level M1 chip, XDR display, and 5G

After months of rumors, Apple has taken the wraps off of a new iPad Pro at the Apple Spring Loaded 2021 event. The new iPad Pro models keep the overall design of previous-generation models, however, they get improved performance thanks to the inclusion of the same M1 chip that’s found in Apple’s recent Mac models.

The boost in performance means that the iPad Pro is even more suitable for things like video editing and audio production, at least for on-the-go workflows.

Liquid Retina XDR display

As rumored, the iPad Pro not only offers improved performance but also includes a radically improved display. The new display uses Mini LED technology, which means that it should be able to deliver much deeper black levels. It also offers 1,600-nit peak brightness and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Apple calls the package as a whole the Liquid Retina XDR display. Unfortunately, it seems as though this tech is only available on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro — not on the smaller 11-inch device. It’s unclear if the 11-inch device gets any of the improvements on offer, or if it keeps the same display as the previous-generation iPad Pro.


It’s not necessarily a bad thing that the devices have a similar design to previous-generation iPad Pro models, of course. The iPad Pro is still at the forefront of tablet design and offers a look that has been copied by plenty of other tablet makers. It’s got an edge-to-edge display with a Face ID camera in the relatively thin bezel that is there.

Ultrawide front camera and faster storage

That camera now also includes an ultrawide camera on the front, which can recognize the user and keep them in the center of the view. The feature is called Centerstage, and using A.I., can recognize other people and adjust accordingly.

There are other spec upgrades to the device too. Notably, it now has up to 2x faster storage, and that storage can be upgraded to a massive 2TB. On the bottom of the device, the USB-C port has been upgraded to the USB 4 spec, meaning that it also supports Thunderbolt 3 accessories.

5G Support included

Last but not least, as expected, is 5G support. Most people will probably stick to the Wi-Fi-only model, but those that do need fast connectivity on the go will now be able to take advantage of next-generation 5G networks.

The 11-inch iPad Pro keeps the $799 price tag as the previous generation, while the 12.9-inch device now costs $1,099, up from the previous $999 price tag. They’ll be available for pre-order starting on April 30, with availability in the second half of May. It supports the same accessories, including the Apple Pencil 2, and the Magic Keyboard, which is now available in white.

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