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Apple refreshes iPad Pro with M2; iPad gets A14 Bionic

Apple just announced the sixth generation iPad Pro and a redesigned 10th generation iPad quietly Tuesday morning. While the two Apple tablets didn’t get the grand reveal the iPhones get, that’s not to say the changes aren’t significant. 

For starters, the new generation iPad Pro now comes with the latest and greatest in Apple silicon — M2. Other upgrades are in the connectivity department, with the new iPad Pro getting WiFi 6E, 5G and Bluetooth 5.3 and a software hover feature. The upgrades will be available in both 11 and 12.9-inch models. 

As for the regular iPad, you now get the A14 Bionic powering the tablet, promising both performance and efficiency upgrades. The screen has also been upgraded to a much-larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display which has flatter edges. The camera has been moved to the longer side of the display, you now have WiFi 6 and 5G connectivity and there’s no headphone jack or home button going forward. 

Both iPads are available for preorder starting Tuesday and will hit store shelves by October 26. The sixth generation iPad Pro will start at $799 for the 11-inch and $1,099 for the 12.9-inch model. The 10th generation iPad starts at $449 for the 64GB variant, significantly higher than its $329 predecessor that’s still being sold. 

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M2 in the iPad Pro

Outside of the aforementioned upgrades to the iPad Pro, there isn’t much that has changed at all. The tablet still gets the 12.9-inch Mini LED display with the smaller, 11-inch variant getting a slightly inferior screen. Both tablets will support Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion feature. 

Storage and memory also remain the same. The 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models come with 8GB RAM and the 1TB and 2TB models come with 16GB RAM. It also gets a new ‘hover’ feature, which shows the position of the stylus on the screen before you make contact. 

The new iPad Pro features some serious hardware power. | Source: Apple

iPadOS 16, the latest Apple tablet operating system finally has a launch date — October 24 and the iPad launching just a couple of days later is no coincidence. Part of why the iPad and iPadOS launch is late this year is because of Apple’s struggles with the Stage Manager feature. The feature aimed to revolutionise multitasking on the iPad but has received poor feedback due to buggy performance in the beta tests so far. 

The company has been pushing the iPad as a laptop replacement for quite some time and as good as iPadOS is, unless it can seriously revamp its multitasking capabilities, it’ll stay behind conventional laptops no matter how powerful the hardware crammed inside might be. 

That said, Apple is making some strange choices here. The company has decided to stick with the same accessory lineup this year. The iPad Pro’s Magic Keyboard still doesn’t have a function row, something that even the regular iPad has now in its latest release. Last but not least, the camera is still placed in a vertical position, another issue that has been addressed on the regular 10th-generation iPad. 

Adding colours, removing jacks

The four new colours you can pick the 10th-generation iPad in is quite the headline for Apple, at least in its press release, but the removal of the headphone jack, home button and the higher price hasn’t seen the same attention.

Outside of the A14 Bionic upgrade, the new tablet also features USB-C connectivity, instead of the usual lightning. And while the home button has been removed, Touch ID has moved to the side on the power button. It seems like Apple’s goal with this redesign was more to get the iPad more in line and consistent with the rest of the iPad lineup rather than just increasing performance. 

You get more colours and a better keyboard. | Source: Apple

The A14 Bionic was last used in iPhone 12, but is still an upgrade over the A13 used in its predecessor. Apple claims that the new iPad peforms three times faster as compared to the 2019 seventh-generation iPad and has “all day battery life”. 

The 12MP ultrawide front camera has been moved to the landscape edge and has support for Center Stage. The rear camera has also been updated to 12MP with 4K video recording capabilities. You also get dual mics and landscape stereo speakers. 

Apple claims that the new iPad is going to be compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil and the new Magic Keyboard Folio. That said, it’s higher $449 price tag suggests Apple isn’t looking to replace the $329 entry-level iPad just yet, with both products selling alongside each other. 

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