iPad Professional 12.9-inch 2021 check: Apple’s new M1 pill is in a league of its personal

Apple iPad rating (Image: APPLE)

Apple is back with a brand new iPad Pro, and this latest tablet really is as powerful as a full-fledged laptop. That’s because the new iPad runs on the specially designed M1 processor – the same silicon brain found in the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and the all-new iMac. Unsurprisingly, those MacBook heads make the new iPad Pro extremely fast – not that it was spot on with last year’s A12Z Bionic chip – but it really is about time everyone get rid of other devices and go all-in on the iPad? Express.co.uk tried the new iPad Pro before it launched. Here’s what we think of Apple’s most powerful tablet to date.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch test:

The first thing you will notice when you unpack and remove this newest and greatest 12.9-inch iPad from the box is that the design hasn’t changed a bit. That’s not a bad thing as this tablet still looks stunning with its high quality aluminum shell and bezel-less display, and it continues to make it the best looking iPad out there.

What’s new if the look hasn’t been updated? Any major changes with this new iPad Pro will be instantly visible when you press the power button and start this new tablet. Perhaps the biggest upgrade is the Apple-designed M1 chip.

This processor was announced last year and is already included in the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. It even powers the newly introduced iMac and, as you can read in our review, it makes this desktop PC more responsive and faster than ever.

Apple iPad Pro rating

The new 12.9 inch screen is stunning (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

With this new M1 processor in the iPad Pro, you’re going to have a real struggle to find something that this device can’t handle. We ran everything from Photoshop to memory hogging games, multiple apps side by side, and a lot more, with the new Pro getting it all on point.

If you want some geeky stats, the new Pro is actually around 50 percent faster than its predecessor. This is a huge win considering how fast the iPad Pro 2020 felt (and continues to feel!). If you’re really a “pro” user, that extra oomph is a very welcome addition as the iPad does things like a scorching knife through butter.

While it doesn’t feel intuitive to moan over so much grunt, we wonder if the average iPad Pro owner will ever really benefit from this immense engine. While you may not really feel the benefits of the M1 while watching Netflix, answering emails, and shopping from the sofa … the powerful M1 should not least mean that this iPad Pro will have the latest software for years to come. Update receives coming.

Apple iPad Pro rating

The new iPad looks the same, but offers numerous additional functions (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

    Apple iPad Pro rating

It is powered by the M1 chip that is now found in the iMac and MacBooks (Image: APPLE)

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro also benefits from an improved screen, which Apple calls the “Liquid Retina XDR Display” (for reference the 11-inch sticks with last year’s screen).

The first time you turn things on, you might not really notice the huge difference between old and new – since the previous iPad Pro still looks really great. However, when you find HDR 4K content, you’ll suddenly be impressed by how much better this updated screen is over the standard Liquid Retina model from last year.

On this mini LED panel, the colors look much bolder and the blacks get more punch. It’s also brighter than before, which is a bonus for anyone using their iPad Pro in the great outdoors.

And that screen isn’t the only bonus. If you love to take your iPad on the go, it now has 5G networking technology too. That means you can insert a 5G SIM card and unlock speeds of over 300 Mbit / s. That’s about four times faster than the average home broadband speed in the UK. So it should be more than enough to collaborate on documents, take part in video conferencing and a lot more on the go.

Of course the cellular model will cost £ 150 more to buy, but 5G in an iPad makes a lot of sense and we can see this become an extremely popular addition as this next generation mobile signal improves across the UK.

Apple iPad Pro rating

The Magic keyboard is available in white (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Apple iPad Pro rating

Apple iPad Pro rating (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

If you go for the more expensive model, you get this clever eSIM that allows you to instantly connect to networks around the world without having to buy a local SIM card.

The next upgrade that is definitely worth mentioning is the new ultra-wide front camera, which now gets a nifty feature called Center Stage.

This option allows the camera to track your movements as you make video calls so you are always in the picture when you move around the room.

It even knows when someone else is walking in and joining the conversation – the camera instantly shifts to a wider angle to make sure everyone is seen. It’s a really clever system, and we wonder how long it will take for more Apple products to get similar technology.

It’s worth noting that the configuration of the rear dual lens camera with clever LiDAR sensor has stayed the same as that of the iPad Pro from last year. Although the images have been slightly improved thanks to a clever AI. This becomes more apparent when you take pictures with the new Pro at night, which handle low-light shots far better than before.

When it comes to battery life, there is good news and bad news. Unlike the new MacBooks, which had Apple’s battery charged significantly with the new M1 chipset, things on the new iPad have remained pretty much unchanged. While the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro now have industry-leading battery life, the iPad Pro has the same 10 hours on a single charge as last year. It’s still amazing and will easily make it through a long haul flight – if we’re all flying again – but don’t expect to spend the weekend without a USB-C charger in your pocket.

Apple iPad Pro rating

You still get the same great experience with Apple Pencil (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Other upgrades worth mentioning include much faster data transfer speeds thanks to a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port. If money isn’t an option, you can now add a whopping 2TB of onboard storage – although this model will cost you £ 2,149 then and include 5G too. Ouch!

For those who want a better laptop experience, the iPad Pro is still compatible with numerous keyboard options, including Apple’s Magic Keyboard. Some reports had indicated that last year’s Magic Keyboard wouldn’t work with the new 2021 Pro, but it doesn’t appear to be the case in our review.

If you’re in the mood to buy one of these writing accessories, it’s worth noting that the Magic Keyboard is now available in white and looks very chic.

Along with all of these new features, you still get quick Face ID unlock, full compatibility with the new Apple Pencil, four amazing studio-quality speakers and microphones. This is the best thing about the latest iPad Pro model, but is there anything you don’t like?

Our main problem is that while it is an incredible feat that Apple uses the same powerful chip in the iPad that power the MacBook Pro and iMac, some find that all of that feat makes little sense in a tablet.

Apple is pretty sure that this new iPad Pro 12.9-inch is not designed to be a laptop replacement, and we agree that even with the M1 inside, there is still a lot this tablet can’t that You can do with a MacBook Air. Running more than two apps at the same time would be a breeze for the powerful M1 … but you can’t do that with iPadOS, for example.

IPadOS software has come a long way in the past few years, but it can’t be hidden that this new device is still just a tablet. And if you want to get real work done, you should have an M1 computer on your desk too.

That said, if you’re looking to buy a new tablet and really want the best of the best, you won’t find anything as good as the new iPad Pro. If you want a tablet to do basic “tablet chores”, don’t forget that last year Apple brought some of our favorite parts of iPad Pro design – like the edge-to-edge screen – to the new iPad Air and at £ 579 that’s a pretty phenomenal deal.

Apple iPad Pro rating

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch test (Image: APPLE)

iPad Pro 12.9 review: final verdict

PROS • Incredibly powerful • Stunning screen • Improved front camera • Now with 2TB of storage
disadvantage • Can get very expensive. • The rear view camera remains the same. • Is it just too powerful for a tablet?

This is quite simply the most incredible tablet anyone has ever made. With the M1 inside, the iPad Pro is now as powerful as Apple’s newest desktop PC, has an improved screen, and access to incredibly fast 5G downloads when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection at home.

The new front-facing camera system with Center Stage is great for FaceTime calls. For those who can afford it, there is now the option to add a whopping 2TB of built-in storage.

Basically everything has now been added that we groaned in last year’s iPad Pro. And as such, it’s hard to fault this premium tablet.

The only thing to remember is that Apple is selling cheaper iPads, including the really excellent iPad Air. We’d make sure you need all that extra power and LiDAR camera before you splash over $ 1,000 on a tablet (or $ 2,597 if you do) I want the top-of-the-line iPad Pro with a keyboard and an inserted Apple Pencil.

When you have so much space on your credit card and want to feel the full power of this M1 chip, what are you waiting for?

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