Apple announces new iPad Pro with M1 chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR display

As part of the Apple event today, the company unveiled the new lineup of iPad Pro tablets. The 2021 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro feature the 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU M1 chip, and a new Thunderbolt connector (over the same USB-C port). The larger 12.9-inch model also sports a new mini-LED screen, which Apple calls ‘Liquid Retina XDR’.

For the first time, iPad Pro is also available in a 2TB storage option and up to 16 GB RAM. Cellular iPad Pro now support 5G connectivity for ultra-fast data transfer speeds. The new 11-inch iPad Pro starts at the same $799 price point, whilst the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is now $100 more expensive, starting at $1099.

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The M1 chip in iPad Pro features an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU. Apple says the iPad Pro is up to 1500x faster than the original 2010 iPad, and up to 50% faster than the 2020 iPad Pro.

The new Thunderbolt port supports a wider range of accessories, at up to 4x faster bandwidth. This means the iPad Pro can now drive the Apple Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.

The new iPad Pro also feature an upgraded camera system for photography and augmented reality use cases. The front-camera now features a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens. For FaceTime calls, the new ultra-wide camera now automatically pans around to keep the person in frame as they move around the room.

The Liquid Retina XDR display offers high dynamic range similar to the performance of the Apple Pro Display XDR. The iPad Pro has around 2500 local dimming zones, enabling a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 1600 nits peak brightness.

Alongside the new iPad Pro, Apple updated the Magic Keyboard accessory with a new white color option.

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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.