iPad Pro 2021: with magic keyboard/stand…still no usb though

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The new iPad Pro has been launched and it seems to live up to the hype that preceded it, promising it would be the biggest upgrade to an iPad yet.

For a start, it seems like the next iPad Pro will have more RAM than any previous Apple tablet, with 8GB in the 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage models and 16GB in the 1TB and 2TB versions.

Then there’s Center Stage, the video calling system which, like the Facebook Portal or the latest Echo Show, keeps the person in the call right in the middle of the action. This zooms and pans to ensure the framing stays just right, using machine learning to make it happen. The new front-facing camera makes this possible, because it has a much wider filed of view, 120 degrees, in fact and the fact that it’s been upgraded from 7MP to 12MP.

 It’s now being claimed that it will work with third-party apps as well as FaceTime. An API will be available so other apps could make use of it. So, one day, it could be part of the Zoom and Teams calls we’re so many of us taking part in. This compatibility was first declared by a developer but Apple has now confirmed it on the site, saying “Center Stage works with FaceTime and other video conferencing apps for an even more engaging experience.”

Of course, how well this all works will have to wait until next month, when we’ll also get to see the miniLED backlighting in action to see if it lives up to the hype.

Oh, and one more thing, as they say. We know the new 12.9in iPad Pro is more expensive than last year’s model. But exactly how much it’s gone up varies hugely depending on where you live. In the U.S., it’s gone up by $100 plus tax. In the U.K., it’s just £30 more than before, which is $42, and that includes all sales taxes. Meanwhile, the $1,099 price ticket in the States is rather dwarfed in Brazil where the same model costs the equivalent of $2,657, that is, way more than double.

The M1 processor

So, the iPad Pro no longer uses the A series of chips which first launched in the original iPad back in 2010 – that was the A4 chip and Steve Jobs proudly announced, “It’s all our own silicon”.

So’s this but what’s striking is Apple is firmly saying not that the iPad Pro is a sort-of half-hearted laptop substitute, it’s absolutely as good as, as powerful as, a laptop.

It actually shares the same chip as the just-announced, redesigned iMac. That’s pretty radical.

We’ll have to see how it performs in real life but on paper at least this is a very big step forward in performance. It’s in both the 11in and 12.9in iPads Pro.

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