About a year ago Apple announced the beginning of a new era: it would replace the Intel processors in its computers with its own chips. Now it has gone one step further. The M1 chip is also incorporated into the latest iPad Pro. The Cupertino company’s most powerful tablet has a new screen and is compatible with 5G networks. It also stands out for a front camera that, despite not being located in the most appropriate place, is capable of following the user during a video call.
EL PAÍS has tested the iPad Pro version with a 12.9-inch screen for a month, available from 1,199 euros. It is an expensive and large tablet that, despite its dimensions, is comfortable in hand and is not particularly heavy (682 grams). It measures 28 centimeters long, 21.4 wide, and is 6.4 millimeters thick. The design of the device is reminiscent of its predecessor and that of other terminals of the technology giant such as the iPhone 12: in addition to the flat edges, it also shares the square camera module. When using it, fingerprints are barely marked on its back.
The new iPad Pro also debuts a Liquid Retina XDR display with more than 10,000 miniLEDs. Although you do not notice a gigantic change with respect to previous generations, the experience when using it is very positive. It stands out for both the contrast and the realism of some colors, especially when consuming audiovisual content or editing photographs. The refresh rate – the number of times the screen is updated per second – reaches 120 Hz. With it, the experience is fluid in all cases. Both the scrolling between screens and the animations are quite fast.
A camera that follows you
The front camera is 12 megapixels and the results are correct for making video calls. A point in favor considering that the quality of the cameras of most of the laptops on the market leaves a lot to be desired. However, your location may not be ideal in some cases. It is not the same to use the tablet vertically as landscape. When placed horizontally, the camera is on the side instead of being centered on the top of the device. One useful feature during video calls is Center Stage. The camera uses machine learning to follow and focus us if we move while we speak. Something similar to what the Amazon Echo Show 10 assistant does.
In the rear camera module, the tablet has three sensors: a main 12 megapixel, a 10 wide angle and a LiDAR sensor, which can be useful for those users who use augmented reality applications. Given its dimensions, the iPad Pro is not entirely comfortable when using it to take photos. Although the results of the photographs are good, in some circumstances – especially at night – they are not comparable to those obtained with a smartphone high-end like the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
But, if this tablet stands out for something, which is compatible with 5G networks, it is because it is the first to include the M1 processor. The version that this newspaper has tested is the one with 512 GB of storage. The performance is very positive in all cases: both when playing games and when editing videos or photos or using apps augmented reality. There is practically no type of lag —Delay— in the day-to-day. In the tests carried out, the battery has reached the full day of use.
A magnetic keyboard to look like a laptop
The Magic Keyboard is a keyboard that attaches magnetically to the back of the iPad Pro. In doing so, the experience is very similar to that of using a computer. The accessory is comfortable for typing and incorporates a fairly precise trackpad (touch panel to move the cursor). But it has a downside: the price. It costs 399 euros. In addition to being a very powerful tablet, the iPad Pro has interesting features such as one that allows you to use two applications at the same time.
In recent years Apple has been the leading company in the tablet market, according to the portal specialized in market statistics Statista. Although the iPad Pro does not achieve an experience equal to that achieved with a laptop, for many users Apple’s most powerful tablet can be a very effective work tool. Improvements such as those of the screen or the new chip can be useful for professional users, but it is also possible that they do not make a big difference for some of the users.