Gurman: New iPad Pros in April

Mark Gurman:

The company is planning a refresh to its iPad Pro line, adding a better processor and improved cameras, the people said. The new models will look similar to the current iPad Pros and come in the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes. The devices will have an updated processor that is on par with the faster M1 chip in the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini. Apple designs these processors itself and typically has them made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

It’s worth remembering that Apple never shipped A13-based iPad Pros. They went from the A12X in November 2018 to an A12Z speed bump one year ago — and the difference between the A12X and A12Z is just one extra GPU core (from 7 to 8). I suspect the new chip in the new iPad Pros will be called the A14X, not the M-something. But performance-wise they should be very close. The names are just marketing, and “M” means Mac.

Apple is also looking to include a Mini-LED screen with at least the larger model, which would be brighter and have improved contrast ratios.

They’re getting announced in two weeks but Apple is “looking to include Mini-LED”. They’d better make a decision soon.

In testing, the new iPad Pros have used a Thunderbolt connector, the same port on the latest Macs with custom Apple processors. The port doesn’t require new chargers, but it would enable connectivity with additional external monitors, hard drives and other peripherals. It’s also faster at syncing data than the USB-C technology used in the current models.

Sounds like this is USB 4, which incorporates Thunderbolt 3.

Thursday, 18 March 2021