The new iPad Pro and iMac replace the previous entries in their respective series. So if you buy an iPad or iMac this weekend, chances are you’ll be one of the last models before the shinier new devices roll off the line.
And so it’s really not a good idea to buy one this weekend.
Not only does the tablet or desktop computer you buy instantly lose a sizable chunk of its resale value when it becomes last year’s model, but it’s also much slower (and less colorful) than the new model it replaces – and costs the same.
For the new iPad Pro, which is available in the same 11- and 12.9-inch models as before, Apple is now offering its specially developed M1 system on a chip. It’s the same silicon found in the latest MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and starting with the Spring Loaded event this month, the new iMac. The iPad Pro has always been a powerful tablet, but the fact that it now grunts as much as most MacBooks opens up huge new potential.
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The upgraded iPad Pro not only has faster courage, it also has an ultra-wide front camera. When you make a video call, iPadOS intelligently switches between the wide and ultra-wide cameras to keep you in the picture – even if you are walking around the kitchen preparing dinner while you take part in the bimonthly family quiz on Zoom.
If you’re looking to buy the larger 12.9-inch model, Apple built in a new Liquid Retina XDR display. Marketing aside, this is a mini LED display, which means it has performance much closer to that of an expensive OLED panel than the LCD screen it is replacing. HDR content will be much brighter on the new screen, while black should look comparatively cave-like.
Unfortunately, the iPad Pro 11-inch comes with the same LCD display as last year, but still enjoys the better specs and new tricks of the front-facing camera.
And when it comes to the iMac, Apple gave it their all. The company completely redesigned the all-in-one desktop computer. It now looks much closer to the square design of the iPad Pro or the Pro Display XDR that Apple launched along with the Mac Pro.
The borders around the screen are now white instead of black, which looks eye-catching on the desk, but may make watching videos on the iMac less impressive. Fortunately, these bezels are much thinner than the previous model, so Apple can put a larger 24-inch display in about the same footprint as the 21.5-inch model.
The biggest change in the new iMac design is, of course, the return of some colors. Yes, the all-in-one desktop computer that revolutionized the industry with its clear shell and bright colors in the late 1990s is returning to its roots after more than a decade of serious aluminum seriousness. The entry-level model comes in four colors (blue, green, pink, silver), while the slightly more expensive variant is available in the full suite of seven colors (blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange, purple).
All new iMac models come with color-coordinated wireless keyboards. You also have a choice of a Magic Mouse or a Magic Trackpad of the same shade to complete the look.
If you choose to upgrade from the entry-level model, the wireless keyboard included in the iMac also includes a Touch ID fingerprint scanner. These have been common on MacBooks for a while, but this is the first time the biometric sensor has made the leap to Apple’s desktop computers. Pressing the tip of your finger on the scanner unlocks the device – no password required – and it can also be used to authenticate Apple Pay transactions when shopping online and when logging into secure apps like password managers.
If you’re just looking for the entry-level model, you can pay extra at the checkout to upgrade to a Touch ID compatible keyboard and an Ethernet port in the charging block (to avoid the hassle of dongles on your desk for a wired connection) . Both are standard on the updated model, which works a little better if you want both of them.
Both the new iPad Pro and the iMac can be pre-ordered on Friday, April 30, 2021 in the Apple Store online and in the iOS app. Both new devices are expected “in the second half of May,” Apple says, although hopefully we will have a more specific date when pre-orders begin.
The iMac starts at £ 1,249, while an upgrade to the eight-core model with Touch ID accessories and four USB-C ports starts at £ 1,499. In the meantime, the iPad Pro starts at 749 euros for an 11-inch model. Keeping the same screen size but adding 5G compatibility costs £ 899. And if you want the 12.9-inch model (with the Liquid Retina XDR display), you get £ 999 for a Wi-Fi variant and return £ 1,149 for Wi-Fi and 5G.