I've changed a lot over the past year.
What about Apple's iPad Pro?
Apple's recent Mac's have all been changing over to a new custom and one processor that supercharges the Mac's and gives them better battery life.
Life, the new M1 processors also in the iPad Pro Models, that just became available.
And I've been living with that iPad Pro for about a week, to try to see what the differences are compared to 2020.
Now, speed wise as you might expect that M1 is super fast and equals the speed of the M1 Max we've seen at CNET, which is grey.
Does it make the iPad a replacement for your Mac or does it make it some sort of potential future alternative to what a Mac is?
It's getting really close.
Let's talk about it.
So I've thought for years about the idea of having an iPad in my everyday computer.
I've talked about it since 2012 at least.
It now feels like the iPad Pro 2021 has all of the hardware pieces or nearly all of them to build that dream computer.
But one thing that's missing is the software to tie it all together.
That software right now runs on iPad iOS iPad OS is very much like iOS on iPhones.
It's been slowly differentiating.
And it's been adding things like multitasking, and it adds things like a lot of pencil support, and really nice support in browsers for a growing number of apps that start feeling more like the things you do on Chromebooks and laptops.
But iPad OS is really a very different beast.
The apps that it runs are pretty different.
There's a different class of creative apps.
I feel right now as I hop back and forth between an M1 MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, that there are a lot of apps I really love on the iPad and then there are apps Or at least browser experiences that I gravitate back to the Mac.
Now, of course, if you're a creative person, I think that's really the person that's going to be buying this iPad in the first place.
You're going to be looking at it for things like art or for photo editing.
It's going to cost you with accessories, easily over $1,000 for whatever configuration you get If you think that you're going to get maybe at least an Apple pencil or something like a keyboard, the starting price is at 799 for the 11 inch model 1099 for the 12.9 inch model are a lot more expensive than if you go all the way down to the entry level iPads, they start around $300.
Now you're getting a lot more in the picture with the iPad Pro, but you probably want to get more storage than the base 128 gigabytes.
And you might want to add things like optional cellular which costs more and it doesn't come with a keyboard and it doesn't come with an Apple Pencil.
So let's break down some of the top things to keep in mind on this iPad Pro.
One that display, there is a new mini LED display that's on the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, it's not on the 11 inch, and that mini LED display promises to have a color accuracy and brightness and contrast ratio that equals apples Pro SDR display.
I don't have a Pro SDR to compare to But in using it, it's really vivid and it reminds me a lot of the OLED display on the iPhone pro models, but made larger.
The black levels are notably super black, side by side when you put it next to a previous iPad Pro or the 11 inch.
You can see the difference.
But In everyday use for people who aren't comparing directly side by side or in dark rooms, which you notice the mini LED uses an array of small LEDs to backlight and do basically, more controlled, focused.
Backlighting to get to that higher contrast ratio.
The brightness is supposed to get to 1000 nits or even like a comparative 1600 nits in super focused targeted areas.
It does seem really bright, I used it outdoors and it also seemed nice.
Now the camera has also changed on the front facing part for the iPad Pro.
It's a wider angle camera and it also has this new technology called center stage.
If you ever use something like a Facebook portal, you might have noticed these types of digital zooms that follow you as you move around.
That's what Apple added to the iPad.
And it's really useful and it's uncannily good at times.
It pans around and follows me as I'm talking.
Now it's enabled to work on Face Time.
It's already enabled to work on zoom.
An apple's promising support for all you know, the major video conferencing apps.
It's available as a toggle in settings if you wanna turn it on and off, and video recording apps have it as well.
Let's see what happens when it actually uses a recording of my face.
Maybe it also follows me around.
Sometimes it does, which is fine because there aren't that many times where I'll be using.
Here's a recording of my head.
Weirdly enough, Apple's own camera app does not have support for it.
But the wide angle video camera also could be used to record yourself at a superzoom seggie stick type distance.
I mean it's really wide angle The camera on the iPad Pro is still on the shorter end, which is, you know, the top portrait end up there as opposed to being put over here.
And the reason that would be so great is because we're docking iPads with keyboards all the time to be able to talk with people like on a laptop and I want eye contact.
I still find that my eye contact drifts over to the side And it makes me look like I'm not really at people.
now it's already a really good Zoom computer for a lot of people and have to say the camera's on the iPad Pro are already a lot better than the camera's on lets say Macbook Air, but i think that Centre Stage is a technology that is destined to be on all Apple's other products.
5g is also on these iPads and I got to have a test sim on both of the iPads to test out 5g on Verizon around my house because I don't go much farther than that.
I'm kind of laughing because I've never been that big On cellular and iPads.
That's because I would just rather tether to my phone and not pay the extra fee.
Now LTE has been available 5g is new, and Apple still doesn't have cellular options on its laptops, which is weird.
But maybe at some point considering their m ones as well, maybe they will.
The 5g really depends on how faster 5g is in my area.
It was about 280 megabits per second, which is kind of like what it was with LTE.
Just fine, faster than my home Wi Fi but It's not like a knock my socks off.
Now let's talk about the processor.
The M one processor that's on here is super, super fast.
Probably not a surprise because already on the max it's shown.
But it's incredibly fast.
I think it's a little bit of a bigger deal at the moment on the max because MacBook Airs, for instance, were super laggy when it came to running multiple tabs in something like Chrome, and then that went away with the M one.
Everything runs silky smooth, huge battery life gain, very dramatic.
on the iPads have already been very efficient on battery life.
And iPads and iPhones have used Apple's chips already.
So the leap to m one is more like another ramp up on the scale.
It feels like a really big step forward on Apple's existing chips.
That being said, the speeds and benchmarks that we've tried show like almost approaching doubling on multicore speeds.
Which is very dramatic.
Leaving even things like the iPhone 12 Pro in the dust.
And it seems to match the speeds on even the recent iMac, so you have the raw performance that seems to match.
AR is a very interesting use.
This is technically Apple's most powerful AR device.
And this is the only M1 device that has had that a, our capability in it, because it has the cameras and it has lidar.
So for things like, you know, not just displaying a are, but for recording, 3D scans of things you can use the light our display and the cameras to be able to capture pretty impressive 3D captures of objects and landscapes.
I was playing around with that with a couple of different apps and the ability to process that is faster on the m one and for people who are creating that type of content.
They might really choose to get this type of device.
But what I'm really waiting for is for Apple to kind of unlock all the rest of it.
There aren't right now.
NDM one optimized apps that I really been able to find pre launch to play with, although there are ones like procreate that are coming out that are enabling all sorts of extras, and I'm waiting for Apple to announce its pro apps like for instance, where's logic, where's Final Cut Pro and also the ability to multitask even further.
The iPad Pro is basically limited to two pain multitasking plus kind of a floating third app you can bring up and the monitor support while you can support higher resolution monitors on the iPad Pro, that's still only for a couple of apps that might use it for output.
It's not a true extra monitor like you'd get on a computer.
If Apple unlocks that on the M1 with iPad OS15, that could be really cool.
The other thing that I thought about when I was using this is Thunderbolt, now, I really didn't play much with it because Thunderbolt again, is is a theoretically, powerful thing if you want to plug in a lot of high speed, Already the iPad Pro had supported USBC.
And I feel like that was the big leap in terms of getting to a lot of mainstream accessories, plugging into monitors and all sorts of stuff that you you might have that other devices use too.
I mean, it sounds like a full computer.
And yet, I feel like the iPad Pro is not entirely for me, that full computer and I'm kind of feeling confused by that.
So, where does it leave us?
I mean, if I had infinite money, the iPad Pro, especially, the 12.9 inch version is beautiful.
It kind of reminds me again would you want to pay for the iPhone 12 Pro max And get that super fantastic screen and the camera and all these other things.
I mean, Apple adds a lot to the equation with the pro models.
The speakers are fantastic.
The microphones are really great.
The cameras are great the processor, you know, all across the board.
So there's a lot to bring to the table that makes it feel very luxury.
But I would feel weird spending that much into it.
Again, you could be spending easily close to $2,000.
If you start tricking this out, I think the hardware is spot on, just move that camera.
And that's pretty much everything that I've ever wanted in an iPad Pro.
We're really waiting for.
Is the rest of the software.
And if Apple can transform that, and make me be able to do everything in a multitasking way, then maybe the iPad really has started to become the future, beyond the Mac or alongside it.