Apple is holding its keynote event on Tuesday, April 20, and by all indications, this is the company’s biggest tech launch of the year with numerous products expected. The tech giant will likely focus on next-generation iPads, including the updated iPad Pro, Apple’s most powerful and sophisticated tablet. If the current rumours are true, the 2021 iPad Pro could feature a new display technology, a new processor, 5G support, and possibly a Thunderbolt port.
While the last year’s iPad Pro was a marginal upgrade, experts say a new version of Apple’s premium tablet will have plenty of new features, something that could push people to consider one for work and play.
Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming iPad Pro.
iPad Pro with an improved display
The iPad Pro’s display is fantastic, and getting a 120Hz refresh rate is hard to find on a premium tablet. But since the iPad Pro is primarily aimed at pro users and graphics designers, it’s time for Apple to consider a shift to an OLED or mini-LED display technology. Rumour has it that the next iPad Pro will feature a mini-LED display. Particularly, the model with a 12.9-inch display, might be the first one to use a mini-LED display. The benefits of mini-LED are plenty. A mini-LED essentially uses smaller LEDs to form the backlit. This means deep punchy blacks and extremely good contract levels, at par with an OLED display.
An M1-like processor
The A12Z processor on the last year’s iPad Pro is fast. However, it didn’t bring major performance improvements over the A12X processor that powered the original iPad Pro. A recent report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg claims that a new chip that will power the iPad Pro is “on a par” with the M1 silicon inside the MacBook Air M1 and Macbook Pro M1. In all likelihood, the chipset will be customised for the tablet experience, bringing the just-right features to the iPad Pro.
A new Apple Pencil
There is a clear possibility that the next iPad Pro may arrive with a brand new Apple Pencil. Apple Pencil first arrived with the original 12.9in iPad Pro, though it was heavily criticised. However, the second-generation Apple Pencil was a major improvement. It currently supports iPad Air and Pro models. The third-generation Apple Pencil, as rumours indicate, will continue to have a flat edge and it will continue to be charged as the second-gen model was, by attaching to the edge panel. Expect the Apple Pencil 3 to have a gloss design. Some rumours even suggest the next version of Apple Pencil could be released in black as well as white options.
Other anticipated features
The existing iPad Pro uses the USB-C, which is a big improvement over Lightning. But to justify the cost and “pro” name, the iPad Pro needs to have an extra connectivity option that you won’t on other iPad models. A Thunderbolt port on the iPad Pro should provide a faster and more robust connection to external monitors, accessories, and peripherals.
What about 5G?
The current iPad Pro doesn’t have 5G but the next model could have one for faster connectivity. That being said, 5G is slower than promised, indicating 2021 is not the year 5G becoming mainstream.