But... iPadOS doesn’t take full advantage of the M1 speed, you say. Maybe not, but there are certain tasks where I noticed it. 3D games like Genshin Impact or Asphalt 9 load faster and run smoother. Upscaling low-res photos using machine learning in Pixelmator Pro is significantly quicker. iPadOS (even the iPadOS 15 beta) is overall more responsive.
Where the M1 will really matter is years down the road. Five years from now, the M1 chip will still have enough power to support iPadOS 20 (or whatever it’s called) without slowing down. If my 2018 iPad Pro is still going strong three years later, the M1 iPad Pro will most likely have a very long lifespan.
First, the mini-LED display tech is exclusive to the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro. The 11-inch uses the same regular LED display as other iPads. Second, is it worth the money considering the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro starts at $1,099, which is $100 more than the 2020 version cost?
That’s geek-speak for: the picture quality is really friggin’ fantastic. Colors are more vibrant than before and the bright and dark sections are brighter and darker, respectively. The black levels are the darkest on any iOS device or MacBook; blacks still aren’t as dark as OLED, but there are rumors that Apple might adopt OLED in 2023.
A/V nerds like myself will appreciate having the best visual fidelity, but I don’t think most people will appreciate mini-LED. I don’t think most people are making purchase decisions based on black levels. Mini-LED is a nice feature to have — one of those small quality-of-life improvements. No wonder Apple made it exclusive to the biggest, most expensive iPad — it definitely feels like a “pro” feature.
The cameras on the rear are virtually identical to the previous iPad Pro: 12-megapixel main lens + 10-megapixel ultra-wide. There’s also a LiDAR scanner on the bump for AR. The selfie camera got a bump up to 12-megapixels and supports Center Stage, which keeps you in focus on video calls. But they’re iPad cameras... so temper your expectations.
Maybe not the last one ever. But the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro (and even the 11-inch) will last a very long time. The M1 chip alone gives the iPad Pro an extraordinary amount of power to grow into as Apple adds new features to iPadOS. It wouldn’t surprise me if the M1 iPad Pro still works great 10 years from now. If you already have a 2020 iPad Pro, you can probably skip this one, unless you have to have the mini-LED display or 5G.