Spring has arrived, which is when the internet is often filled with rumors about Apple’s first announcements of the year. In recent years, Apple has released a few new products in early spring, and there’s no telling us this year will be any different.
Over the past few weeks, most of the attention has focused on upcoming updates to the iPad. It’s no surprise: although Apple updated both the iPad Air and the standard iPad last fall, the iPad Pro received only a small improvement in speed over time. last spring, with the inclusion of the A12Z processor, on the back burner by the inclusion of compatibility and version. of the Magic Keyboard.
But this small update has created a very special situation, where the current high-end Pro is outmatched by the new iPad Air (this one even works with the Magic Keyboard). It seems clear that the iPad Pro needs an update, maybe quite a big one.
So, while we wait for the announcement of a spring event, let’s take a look at the technology that we hope will reach the new iPad Pro and take it to another level, and even closer to the Mac.
From 12 to 14
At the heart of every iPad are the company’s A-series processors, usually a modified version of the latest and greatest and offering improved graphics performance. The iPad Pro 2020’s A12Z had an additional graphics core compared to the iPad Pro’s 2018 A12X, but otherwise it was the same.
Meanwhile, Apple continued to develop the chips in other of its products: the 4th generation iPad Air introduced in the fall uses an A14 chip, the same one used in the iPhone 12 line that was introduced. around the same time.
Apple claims that this processor is even 40% faster than the A12, and that it also introduces improvements in graphics and machine learning. In the fall, Apple also introduced its first Macs with its own processors. The M1 chips in these computers are very similar to those in the A14.
At the very least, it seems very likely that an upcoming iPad Pro will use a variant of the A14, likely an A14X, although the company may call it a Z chip if it delivers even more powerful graphics performance.
Taking into account the landmarks recorded by Macs with M1s, it seems likely that the A14X will be at the same level. (While it’s not impossible for Apple to upgrade to the A15, it tends to reserve its newer generations of processors for smartphones, so we will surely see the A15 on the fall iPhone 13.)
The days of the Thunderbolt
Until the 4th generation iPad Air last fall, the iPad Pro was the only device among the smartphones and the tablets Apple, which replaced the company’s Lightning port in favor of the standard USB-C connector. This meant that only the Pro allowed users to easily connect peripherals like external memories, cameras, displays, etc.
But now that the Air has the same port, the Pro no longer has that element as a differential factor. And that’s one of the reasons why Apple might consider upgrading the Pro’s capabilities by replacing the USB-C connector with a USB 4 port.
Externally, this port won’t be any different from its predecessor, which might lead many users to wonder what the advantage of USB 4 is other than that number at the end. This new standard not only has all the advantages of USB-C (including the ability to have video output, an easy-to-use balanced port, and power supply).
It also supports the new USB 4 standard, which is basically Thunderbolt 3. This means even faster speeds and likely support for higher resolution external displays.
Apple has already added USB 4 to the Mac M1s that arrived last year, making the new iPad Pro the perfect candidate to be the next device to integrate support for this new standard. After all, it has “Pro” in the name.
I’ll say it: mini-LED
When looking at an iPad, you wouldn’t be judged if you thought the screen took up 90% of the surface. Apple is a pioneer in technologies related to the screen of its devices, such as Retina displays, ProMotion and, of course, Multi-Touch. But rumors have long been circulating that a new technology is about to make its debut: the mini-LED.
To put it bluntly, mini LEDs make diodes that emit light and make backlit displays very, very small (much smaller than today’s LEDs).
By having smaller light elements, the screen has more control over which areas are lit and which are not, which can help make blacks look blacker and have more contrast.
Apple is rumored to be bringing this technology to the Mac in 2021 as well, but the iPad Pro will give us our first look at this technology before it hits the MacBook.
As with any new technology, the main downside to the mini-LED is its price, which might justify its debut on an iPad Pro, which is usually already priced high. Moreover, it would also make its screen larger than that of the iPad Air, and so Apple could give its new iPad Pro the best display it has ever created.
Original article published in igamesnews US.