Apple is widely known to be in the final stages of production on its brand new iPad Pro models. With the next Apple event slated to take place in March, next-generation tablets are likely to play a prominent role in the presentation. According to the latest whispers from the factory, the biggest upgrade to the new iPad Pro will be the screen.
Apple is said to turn away from the backlit LED touchscreens of the current iPad Pro model to miniLED displays. While the latter use a similar technology, as the name suggests, the LEDs are much, much smaller and packed tightly together. This dense network of LEDs behind the pixels allows much better control over local dimming to achieve deeper blacks and more accurate colors. It’s also better for power consumption, so the battery life can be extended for the next iPad Pro.
It’s worth noting that while miniLED is a significant upgrade from the previous generation, it isn’t quite as much of a leap as OLED. This is really the pinnacle of image quality currently available, with each pixel acting as its own light source. In order to produce black tones on the screen, the pixel is completely switched off. This creates cavernous blacks and means the display doesn’t need any power to show the color. As a result, so-called dark modes – like the one integrated in iOS – can be real battery life booster.
With both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro using OLED displays, Apple is clearly seeing the benefits of screen technology. Some have suggested that iPad Pro move to OLED in the future, with the miniLED then slipping down to iPad Air and iPad Mini. Currently, all iPad models use LED-backlit displays, although the iPad Pro range uses a 120Hz high refresh rate screen to differentiate this.
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Aside from the improvement in screen quality, the next iPad Pro is expected to be very similar to the existing model. According to some tipsters, it might be a little thicker to accommodate the new display. However, it is expected that the bezels, square edges, and magnetically attached pen will all stay the same.
Under the hood, Apple is said to be using a variant of its A14 Bionic with six cores, which was introduced last year in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series. The latest redesign of the iPad Air, which was unveiled on September 15, 2020, also uses this chipset. In the past, Apple has improved the performance of its tablets, although it is unclear whether this will be the case with the new iPad Pro models as the iPad Air uses the same chipset as the smartphone. It’s also possible that Apple is using the specially designed M1 system on a chip that is found in its latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops.
The M1 is faster than the A14 Bionic, although both top the charts when compared to competing chipsets for smartphones, tablets and desktop classes. The iPad Pro currently ships with 11-inch and 12.9-inch displays starting at £ 769 and £ 969, respectively. It is unlikely that these prices will change the next time the hardware is overhauled.
As always, nothing is confirmed until Apple CEO Tim Cook produces a new iPad on stage. Take the above information with a grain of salt. However, the current generation iPad Pro was launched on March 25, 2020.
Following the introduction of the new iPad Air last year, this flagship tablet currently has a slower chipset than its mid-range rival – something Apple probably wants to fix.