Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The New M1-Powered iPad Pro

Apple:

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.

An iPad uses what is ostensibly the same processor as half of Apple’s Mac lineup. Impressive. This is the first time Apple has openly acknowledged the iPad’s memory instead of treating it as secret sauce and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is offered in similar configurations as its Mac cousins. Unlike a Mac, you cannot customize the RAM independent of its storage; if you do not want a terabyte of disk space, you will get 8 GB of RAM.

There is a lot to love about these new iPad models, and I am excited to see the display in the 12.9-inch model, even though it increases the price considerably. But this is the part of covering new iPad hardware where I am legally obligated to express that my frustrations remain in its software. I am excited for what WWDC may bring on that front because, much as I want one of these new iPad Pro models, nearly all of the things I wish to change about my base-model years-old iPad are in its operating system.