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Apple iPad Pro 2021 new features explained: M1 chip, Mini-LED, Center Stage & more

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The new Apple iPad Pro, alongside the new iMac, was one of the highlights of the Apple Spring Loaded event, and for good reason. The new powerful ‘Pro’ tablet from Apple improves on its predecessors by including the M1 chip that powers Apple’s laptops and Mac Mini, as well as other new specifications like a new Mini-LED screen, Thunderbolt support and more. Here’s all you need to know about the new iPad Pro 2021.

iPad Pro 2021: Features and Specifications

With the M1 chipset, Apple claims it has bumped up the performance on the new iPad Pro by up to 50 per cent than the last iPad Pro and the GPU is claimed to be 40 per cent faster. The tablet can now also be coupled with up to 16GB RAM and up to 2TB internal storage, which again is expected to be twice as fast as before.

Apple has been improving the iPad Pro to bring it closer to laptops and on that line, the brand has now brought a Thunderbolt USB-C port to the new iPad Pro. The tablet hence now has a transfer speed of 40Gbps and allows users to connect fast external storage external and display monitors of up to 6K resolution.

The new iPad Pros also get 5G connectivity and in the US, this includes support for mmWave 5G. This allows speeds of up to 4Gbps on the iPad Pro under ideal conditions. There’s also eSIM support.

12.9-inch iPad Pro gets Mini-LED screen, both variants get ProMotion display

The iPad Pro is still available in two sizes, an 11-inch variant and a larger 12.9-inch variant. While the smaller iPad sticks to an LCD display, the larger 12.9-inch iPad now gets a Mini-LED display panel (that Apple calls the Liquid Retina XDR display). Check out more on Mini-LEDs below.

The new backlight on the panel now features 10,000 tiny LEDs grouped into 2,500 local dimming zones. This panel allows the iPad Pro to show better contrast ratios and peaking at 1,600 nits of brightness. The tablet now also supports all HQ imaging formats including HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG.

Apple, Apple iPad Pro, Apple iPad Pro 2021. The larger iPad Pro 12.9-inch now gets a new Mini-LED screen. (Image Source: Apple)

The 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch variant both get Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion display tech that allows adaptive refresh rate switching on the screen. Check out more on how that works in our detailed copy below.

New TrueDepth Camera and Apple’s ‘Center-Stage’ feature

Both the iPad Pro variants get a new 12MP TrueDepth camera on the front with a new 122-degree ultra-wide-angle lens. The large field of view allows the new iPad Pro to make use of a new feature called Center Stage that could be really handy.

The iPad can now zoom in to the users’ position during a video call and uses Machine Learning algorithms to track the user in real-time. This lets the camera view ‘follow’ the user in case he/she moves from the original position during the video call, as long as the user is in the field of view of the new ultra-wide camera lens.

Further, the feature also intelligently accommodates a second user should someone enter the frame during the call and will automatically pan to a position from where both subjects are in the frame.

On the back, there is still a dual camera with a 12MP main sensor and a 10MP ultra-wide-angle sensor. There is also a LiDAR scanner. The setup is now capable of Smart HDR 3 and can auto-focus better in low light thanks to the scanner. The LiDAR scanner also lets users insert animations and digital imagery into their photos and videos to create mixed-reality-like photos and videos.

Apple, Apple iPad Pro, Apple iPad Pro 2021. Here are the new iPad Pro specifications. (Image Source: Apple)

Pricing and availability

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at Rs 71,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 85,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Meanwhile the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at Rs 99,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 1,13,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space grey finishes with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations. The tablets will be available to order from Friday, April 30, on the Apple website, Apple Stores and on the Apple Store app. The iPad Pro will be available in Apple Store locations and Apple Authorised Resellers in the second half of May.

Under its educational pricing scheme, Apple will price the iPad Pro lower for newly accepted college students and parents, faculty, staff and homeschool teachers of all grade levels. The reduced pricing starts at Rs 68,305 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and Rs 94,905 for the 12.9-inch variant.

Also, the second-generation Apple Pencil is available for Rs 9,810, and the Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro is available for Rs 14,310 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and Rs 16,110 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for college students. The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro will be available for college students at Rs 26,226 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and Rs 29,986 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

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The highest-spec new iPad Pro costs $2,400