2021 iPad Pro: Launching Date, Big Upgrades, Prices
2021 iPad Pro: Launching Date, Big Upgrades, Prices

Apple plans to announce new iPad devices as early as April, adding to a product line that has performed particularly well as people work and study from home, complete with Mini-LED display, Thunderbolt and M1-rivalling power.

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 Pro models and come in the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes.

Lanch Date of iPad Pro 2021

Previous leaks had pointed to the iPad Pro 2021 launching as early as next week, but the report from the usually reliable Mark Gurman said he spoke to "people with knowledge of the matter" who push the date back to April.

The mini-LED and chip upgrade had both been rumored previously, but this is the first hint that Thunderbolt will come to the iPad Pro 2021.

It’s unclear if Apple is going to hold an event for the fifth-generation iPad Pro, but as reports suggest now, this model could launch in April. We still don’t know if Apple will give new colors to this iPad, new storage options, or 5G capability. The iPad Pro currently comes in Silver and Space Grey, 128GB up to 1TB storage, and with LTE connection.

The main changes - New Upgrades of iPad Pro 2021

The fourth generation of the iPad Pro launched in March 2020 with minor upgrades.

The main change next time will probably be the mini-LED display technology that is going to appear on the 12.9-inch model. As rumors suggest, this iPad will be introduced as early as April. The updated tablets could come as people continue working and learning remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main changes were the LiDAR Scanner, introduced for the first time in an Apple product, and the A12Z chip, a variant from the A12 series. The most exciting news was the introduction of the Magic Keyboard with a trackpad, which also works on the third-generation iPad Pro (and now the fourth-generation iPad Air).

Prices of New iPad Pro 2021

Pricing is expected to remain at $750 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $999 for the 12.9-inch model — which, if it does get the rumored upgrades, would help secure its place on our best tablets list.

New iPad Pro 2021: A14X chip, mini-LED display, Thunderbolt port, and more

Here’s everything we know about the looming iPad Pro update…

Reports still suggest that the new iPad Pro will launch in Q1 2021. According to DigiTimes, the mini-LED technology will be the main change of this year’s iPad line.

As for now, all the iPads have LCD screens, which require backlights. With the introduction of mini-LED, dramatically smaller LEDs are used, which provides much greater control of localized backlighting, allowing higher brightness and deeper blacks. The combination boosts the contrast ratio, as well as using less power.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro will likely be the first Apple product with mini-LED technology. Basically, only the Apple Watch and iPhones use an OLED screen. Other devices, including the iPad and MacBook, use an LCD screen. The introduction of mini-LED display technology on the fifth-generation iPad Pro will open the possibility for more Apple products to adopt this feature, like the rumored 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

It’s important to note that for now, only the 12.9-inch iPad Pro model will receive the mini-LED display technology. According to multiple reports and analysts, this new iPad will have a chip based on the A14, the same processor available on the fourth-generation iPad Air, and the iPhone 12 lineup.

It’s unclear if the chip is going to be called A14X or A14Z, but it will have better performance than the previous model.

Some report now suggest that this new iPad will drop the USB-C port for a Thunderbolt one. Thunderbolt ports are available on the Mac and would enable iPad Pro users to connect to additional displays, and other accessories, as well as transfer files faster. In terms of design, the connector looks the same, but the technology is better.

This iPad could also receive an upgrade on its cameras, with Smart HDR 3 and Dolby Vision recording technology, introduced with the iPhone 12.

A better Apple Pencil - New iPad Pro 2021

Early this month, a new Apple Pencil leak surfaced on the internet. With a glossy design, this could be a new accessory for the iPad Pro. While this Apple Pencil looks similar to the first-generation model, we can’t see a Lightning port, so it could mean that it’s for the newer iPads.

2021 iPad Pro: Launching Date, Big Upgrades, Prices and More

Remember that the second-generation Apple Pencil charges when attached to the iPad Pro model (third generation or newer) and iPad Air (fourth generation for now).

Recent reports claimed that Apple may have a newer version of the Pencil stylus, maybe one that's more compact or have additional touch-based controls (or a new tip?). The second-gen Apple Pencil debuted back in 2018 and there's already iPad stylus fragmentation, with differing levels of support in different iPads for the first- and second-gen Pencil.

5G in new iPad Pro?

The iPad doesn't have 5G... yet. Since the 2020 iPhones introduced 5G, the iPad Pro would make sense as the next on deck. Apple doesn't even have LTE on any of its laptops, but iPads have had that option almost from the start. That being said, I've found my local 5G to be lacking, and mobile data is an add-on option I don't tend to use.

A better display

The iPad Pro display is great, and its 120Hz refresh rate still isn't available on any other iPhone or iPad. But a shift to OLED (or in the meantime, Mini LED) feels overdue. Especially since the iPad Pro is aimed at graphic designers, photo editors and people looking for perfect displays.

ipadpro-macbookm1-3

Will the iPad Pro and the MacBook Air have the same M1 processor? If so, how similar will they become? - Scott Stein/CNET

Apple has several other product updates planned for this year. The company is working on new iPhone gadgets and Apple Watches, an accessory for tracking the location of physical objects, and major updates to the MacBook Pro laptop and iMac desktop.

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