Alongside its new, colorful M1-powered iMacs, Apple also announced an update to its iPad Pro lineup that sees its flagship tablet models get the company’s M1 chipsets. In addition to the more powerful processors, Thunderbolt and 5G in both the 11” and 12.9” models, the larger 12.9” iPad Pro also gets a new ‘Liquid Retina XDR display’ that takes inspiration from Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor and brings it to the iPad line.
Both the 11” and 12.9” iPad Pros now have Apple’s 8-core SPU and 8-core GPU M1 chip. In addition to improving performance, the new chip powers the new Thunderbolt connection (which uses the same USB-C port as before) and includes 5G connectivity for better wireless performance. Apple says the new M1-powered iPads are 50% more powerful than the 2020 iPad Pro models and the Thunderbolt port now offers 4x the bandwidth of the USB-C found in the 2020 iPad Pro models. As an example of just how powerful the new iPad Pro devices are, Apple says the tablets can output full 6K resolution to Apple’s Pro Display XDR.
Apple further improved its 12.9” iPad pro with what it refers to as a ‘Liquid Retina XDR display.’ Fancy marketing lingo aside, this is effectively a mini-LED display that Apple claims offers 1,000-nits max full-screen brightness, 1,600-nits peak brightness (HDR) and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio thanks to 2,500 local dimming zones. The larger iPad also gets a new 12MP wide-angle TrueDepth camera on the front that can track subjects in the frame by digitally panning and zooming the image when on FaceTime calls.
The new M1-powered 11” and 12.9” iPad Pro models start at $799 and $1,099, respectively, with 128GB of storage. Storage options beyond the base 128GB model include 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and, for the first time ever in an iPad, 2TB. The 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models will have 8GB of RAM, while the 1TB and 2TB models will have 16GB of RAM. A maxed-out 12.9” iPad with 2TB of storage and Wi-Fi + cellular will set you back a wallet-busting $2,399.
The new iPad models will be available to order starting April 30 with the first units expected to ship out in the second half of May. You can find out more on Apple’s website.