7th-Gen Apple iPad Pro Showcases New M4 Chip and Ultra-Bright Tandem OLED Display

When Apple debuts a new chip, it usually shows up in one of their MacBook Pros. That makes perfect sense, since those are the premiere productivity hardware in their product line. With the seventh-generation iPad Pro, though, they’re changing that, as the pro-grade tablet will serve as the showcase piece for the outfit’s newest M4 processor.

That’s right, Apple is debuting their newest M4 chip on the iPad Pro. And yes, it’s a big deal because the M4 is the latest version of the same line of chips that have powered their most powerful work machines, essentially positioning the tablet as a productivity powerhouse.

The seventh-gen Apple iPad Pro’s M4 chip features four performance cores, six efficiency cores, a 16-core neural engine, and a 10-core GPU with ray tracing and hardware-accelerated mesh shading. Yes, if those sound like the specs a powerful PC, that’s essentially what they turned the iPad into and it’s impressive as heck. How does this translate in terms of performance? Compared to the last-gen iPad Pro, this makes the tablet 1.5 times faster for general processing, four times quicker for graphics processing, and twice as efficient in terms of power usage.

The upgrades don’t end at the main chip, either. On the display front, it uses the new Ultra Retina XDR, which is a ‘tandem OLED’ display (as in, two panels layered on top of each other) that delivers 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak HDR brightness. They also offer an optional nano-texture glass panel, which has been precisely edged at a nanometer scale, for users working with strict color-managed workflows that require the utmost visual fidelity at all times. Do note, these are only available on the 1TB and 2TB configurations.

The seventh-gen Apple iPad Pro is being billed as a “powerful device for AI.” The 16-core neural engine, for instance, is capable of 38 trillion operations per second, which is 60 times faster than the outfit’s original neural engine from the A11 Bionic chip. Helping boost the AI processing are new ML accelerators, greater memory bandwidth, and the integrated GPU, so it’s probably fair to expect more AI-enabled tasks from your favorite apps going forward. Other new features include a 12-megapixel rear camera with adaptive flash, an ultra wide 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera out front, four studio quality mics, a USB-C connector that supports both Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4 (you can connect an external display to your tablet), and Wi-Fi 6E.

Two sizes of the new iPad Pro are available: 11-inches and 13-inches. The 11-inch tablet measures 5.3 mm thick, while the 13-incher measures 5.1 mm, making the latter the thinnest Apple product ever, which is insane, considering how powerful it is. Both are compatible with a new version of the Magic Keyboard, which offers a larger trackpad and a 14-key Function row, as well as the new Apple Pencil Pro, which comes with a whole host of new functions designed specifically for professional users.

The seventh-gen Apple iPad Pro ship May 15th. They’re available for preorder now, priced starting at $999 for the 11-inch 256GB model and $1,299 for the 13-inch 256GB model. Naturally, models with 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB are also available for higher prices.

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