Apple Announces Refreshed iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Liquid Retina XDR Display, 2TB Storage, More

Apple today announced the refreshed 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, complete with a new M1 chip and support for 5G for the first time. The larger 12.9-inch display also features a new Liquid Retina XDR display with support for HDR and more; all thanks to the use of the rumored mini-LED panel.

Starting with the arrival of the M1 chip, Apple says the move will see a huge increase in performance, not least thanks to support for up to 16GB of RAM.

There is also the addition of a new 2TB model as well, making the new iPad Pro the perfect companion for photographers and videographers alike.

The breakthrough M1 chip takes the industry-leading performance of iPad Pro to an entirely new level. The 8-core CPU design features the world’s fastest CPU cores in low-power silicon — delivering up to 50 percent faster CPU performance than A12Z Bionic. The 8-core GPU is in a class of its own, delivering up to 40 percent faster GPU performance. This combination of CPU and graphics performance on iPad Pro widens its lead as the fastest device of its kind. Powerful custom technologies, including a next-generation 16-core Apple Neural Engine, an advanced image signal processor (ISP), a unified, high-bandwidth memory architecture with up to 16GB of memory, 2x faster storage, and up to 2TB capacity, make iPad Pro more capable than ever. The industry-leading power efficiency of M1 enables all of that amazing performance along with all-day battery life in the thin and light design of iPad Pro.1 Because M1 shares the same fundamental architecture of A-series chips, iPadOS is already optimized to take full advantage of the powerful technologies in M1 to easily handle everything from simple navigation to the most demanding workflows.

Both new iPad Pro models will come with 5G mmWave support in the United States, while Thunderbolt is coming to the tablet for the first time as well.

The latter move also means that the iPad Pro can now be connected to Apple’s impressive Pro Display XDR at its full 6K resolution for the first time.

Support for Thunderbolt and USB 4 makes the USB-C port on iPad Pro the fastest, most versatile port ever on an iPad, with 4x more bandwidth for wired connections than the previous iPad Pro — up to 40Gbps. Thunderbolt supports 10Gbps Ethernet and opens up a massive ecosystem of high-performance accessories, like faster external storage and even higher resolution external displays, including the Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution, all connected using high-performance cables and docks. With support for more peripherals than ever, iPad Pro now fits even more seamlessly into creative workflows.

Apple also added a new 12-megapixel camera to the front of the iPad Pro, allowing for new panning and zooming when in a video call.

The TrueDepth camera system on iPad Pro features an all-new 12MP Ultra Wide front camera designed specifically for iPad, enabling Center Stage, a new experience for video calls. Center Stage uses the much larger field of view on the new front camera and the machine learning capabilities of M1 to recognize and keep users centered in the frame. As users move around, Center Stage automatically pans to keep them in the shot. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to fit everyone into the view and make sure they are part of the conversation. So whether whiteboarding with coworkers or attending a virtual family gathering, the experience of connecting is now more engaging than ever.

All of this starts at $799 for the 11-inch iPad Pro, while the 12.9-inch model will now start at $1099. The newly refreshed iPad Pro will be available in the second half of May, Apple says. The 2TB models will set you back a whopping $1899 if you opt for the 11-inch model, or $2199 for the 12.9-inch one.

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