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Apple unveils new iPad Pro with M1 chip and 5G support

Screenshot 2021 04 20 at 19.43.51
© Apple; Screenshot: nextpit

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Apple has just unveiled the new iPad Pro 2021 models during its Spring Loaded keynote. The manufacturer is not cheap (haha) with new features and integrates several highlights in the new tablets – among the highlights are the Apple Silicon M1 chip, a Super Retina XDR mini LED display and 5G. Here's all the info on prices, release dates and features.

Every time an iPad Pro launches, there are the same experiments from YouTubers and tech journalists! "1 week / 1 month with the iPad Pro: Can it replace my laptop?" But now the fact is that Apple is branding the iPad Pro as a true laptop itself. That's because with the integration of their own Silicon M1 chip, which has already debuted in some Macs, the company is pushing their tablets more towards the MacBook lineup.

As always, I'm not going to comment on Apple's claims that the iPad Pro 2021 is 50 times more powerful than the iPad Pro 2020 with its octa-core CPU, or that the GPU built into the SoC has 1,500 times the graphics processing power of the first iPad.

But there's no denying that the transition from a mobile chip to this M1 SoC will result in a noticeable performance boost. Add the inclusion of a Thunderbolt / USB 4 port and up to 2TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, as well as 5G compatibility... and the spec sheet gets even more interesting.

Screenshot 2021 04 20 at 19.42.17
The M1 chip can really change the tablet market. / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

Liquid Retina XDR display: exclusive to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Apple has also implemented its Liquid Retina XDR display technology, which achieves a brightness of 1000 nits across the entire display and a peak brightness of up to 1600 nits.

This technology is based on a system of 10,000 mini-LEDs that already debuted in the Pro Display XDR. As you may have seen in the headline above, the fancy display is exclusive to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021.

The new Liquid Retina XDR display includes other advanced technologies also found in the 11-inch iPad Pro, including ProMotion, True Tone, and support for the wide P3 color space for optimal display of HDR and Dolby Vision content.

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The Liquid Retina XDR display is exclusive to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

A new selfie camera that tracks you in video calls

The 2021 iPad Pro still has a dual camera on the back with a 12 MP wide-angle and 10 MP ultra-wide-angle sensor – but has some new stuff on the front: the new 12MP TrueDepth selfie camera. The ultra-wide-angle sensor can shoot video in 1080p and offers a brand new feature for video calls named "Follow Mode".

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The iPad Pro's new TrueDepth selfie camera / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

"Follow Mode" uses the much larger field of view of the new front-facing camera and the M1's machine-learning capabilities to detect the iPad user and keep them in the frame. When the user moves, the tracking mode automatically pans to keep them in the frame. If other people are joining the conversation, the camera detects this and zooms out smoothly to ensure everyone is in the frame and able to participate in the conversation.

The M1 chip's image processor and neural engine unlock even more possibilities for the professional camera system, bringing Smart HDR 3 support to the iPad Pro for the first time. In low-light conditions, the ISP and LiDAR scanner quickly and accurately focus images and videos to capture even the finest details in near-zero light. At least Apple says so.

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Follow mode for video calls: As soon as a second person enters the frame / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

The iPad Pro 2021 starts at 799 Dollars

The new iPad Pro will be available to order on and the Apple Store app starting Friday, April 30. The iPad Pro will be available in Apple Stores in the second half of May. The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro come in Silver and Space Grey colors.

The iPad Pro is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at 799 Dollars for the Wi-Fi model and 999 Dollars for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at 1099 Dollars for the Wi-Fi model and 1299 Dollars for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

What do you guys think of the new iPad Pro 2021 lineup? In your opinion, can it finally function as a true laptop? Does the price seem justified? Let's talk about it in the comments.

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Antoine Engels

Antoine Engels
Senior Editor

Black belt in specs sheet analysis. OnePlus fanboy in (slow) remission. Average estimated reading time of my articles: 48 minutes. Tech deals fact-checker in my spare time. Hates talking about himself in the 3rd person. Dreams he was a gaming journalist in another life. Doesn't get the concept of irony. Head of editorial for NextPit France.

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  • 4
    Anthony Hall Apr 26, 2021 Link to comment

    sound good