The iPad Pro 2021: Apple's new tablet, enriched with Silicon
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The iPad Pro 2021: Apple's new tablet, enriched with Silicon

Dominik Bärlocher
Zurich, on 20.04.2021
Support: Luca Fontana
Translation: Patrik Stainbrook
The iPad Pro will have a MiniLED screen. On top of Thunderbolt and a processor that will wipe the floor with any average PC. Or worse. All thanks to one simple yet incredibly important addition: M1.

It's a strange situation. You see someone standing on a stage, singing praises for a «brand new» device, and all along it's been on your desk for about two years in exactly the same look. And guess what happened when Apple unveiled the iPad Pro at their Spring Loaded event.

The device looks exactly like the 2019 model. At first. As always, the devil is in the details as well as behind the screen. After all, we now know that the new model comes with Apple Silicon. What this means: we're getting M1 iPad Pros. With up to 2 terabytes of memory.

MiniLED screens to make iPads brighter

A completely new addition has been installed in front of the M1 chip as well. Instead of an IPS panel, there's now a MiniLED panel. MiniLED consists of tiny LEDs behind the screen. They work like a projector to shine through the LCD pixels and generate the image on the glass that you see at the front. With a 1,000,000:1 contrast.

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The principle of a MiniLED screen is the same as that of a normal LED panel, with the difference being that LEDs are much smaller. Not only does this allow for more dimming zones on the panel, but it also delivers better black levels than LED screens. In short, the image is simply better. The new iPad Pro has over 2500 dimming zones and shines at peak values of 1600 nits.

MiniLED panels, like any new technology, are expensive to manufacture. Therefore, only high-end iPad Pros will receive the new screen. Other iPads keep the LED screen. Since the manufacturing process isn't only new but also slow and resource-intensive, delivery delays may occur. Mainly due to a shortage of raw materials and components caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Generally, it’s agreed: if you know the Apple Display Pro XDR, then you know the iPad Pro screen. Naturally, the screen is also calibrated according to the exact wishes of professionals in the image and video sector. It kind of goes without saying with these specs.

The iPad with Thunderbolt as the centrepiece in a desktop environment?

The iPad Pro is now compatible with the Thunderbolt standard. What this means: you can connect external monitors to your iPad and run iPadOS in a multi-screen setup. The M1 chip is easily powerful enough to run two screens and peripherals, and Thunderbolt provides the necessary data throughput.

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The M1 chip, which is at the heart of the entire iPad lineup in 2021, also provides easy computing power.

*Apple Silicon im Benchmark**: Killt das Macbook Pro mit dem M1 das 16-Zoll Macbook?

Apple Silicon im Benchmark: Killt das Macbook Pro mit dem M1 das 16-Zoll Macbook?

In addition, the iPad supports the USB 4 standard and 5G, on top of massively appealing to video producers with its new camera setup. Real Time Pre-Viz should be possible in front of a green screen, as the iPad's lidar scanner realistically calculates light and shadow in real time.

Will we have to get used to photos and videos shot on iPad? After all, the 12-megapixel sensor now operates a wide-angle lens that always keeps you or other subjects in the centre of the frame thanks to the «Center Stage» function.

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Dominik Bärlocher
Dominik Bärlocher
Senior Editor, Zurich
Journalist. Author. Hacker. A storyteller searching for boundaries, secrets and taboos – putting the world to paper. Not because I can but because I can’t not.

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