Apple nears launch of powerful new iPad Pro lineup

Apple plans to launch a powerful new iPad Pro lineup as early as April, with faster processors and improved cameras, adding to a product line that has performed particularly well as people work and study from home due to the response to COVID-19, Bloomberg News reports, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Apple's iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch models come in Silver and Space Gray
Apple’s current iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch models come in Silver and Space Gray

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

The new models will look similar to the current iPad Pros and come in the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes.

The devices will have an updated processor that is on par with the faster M1 chip in the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini… Apple is also looking to include a Mini-LED screen with at least the larger model, which would be brighter and have improved contrast ratios.

In testing, the new iPad Pros have used a Thunderbolt connector, the same port on the latest Macs with custom Apple processors. The port doesn’t require new chargers, but it would enable connectivity with additional external monitors, hard drives and other peripherals. It’s also faster at syncing data than the USB-C technology used in the current models.

MacDailyNews Take: Beyond mini-LED and the new process “on par” with the M1, the Thunderbolt connectivity will sell iPad Pro units – it will be a big draw for the creative professionals, developers, college students, and business executives who make up the iPad Pro target market!


  1. I hope these “Pro” machines give some consideration to the actual needs of pros. Only-one-port is just ludicrous. It should have lightning, thunderbolt, and an SD card slot for photographers and large-file-transfer. All this wireless connectivity is just impossible to use, and delivers dreadful quality when anything has to happen in real time. It can’t even display still photos on my 4k TV – they come out so oversharpened that it looks like all the trees are covered in snow.

    1. You’re overdoing it. This is still a tablet. The entire concept of tablets is that they are simpler to use and somewhat less complex. If Apple started adding everything you want, the price would jump by at least $100, maybe more, and battery life would go down.

      I really don’t want to see an SD card reader on my iPad Pro. Which SD cards will it read? People who demand this have no idea about what that demand means. Express cards? That’s the latest high capacity, fastest cards out there. Type A or type B? Which one? And if Express cards, then they aren’t backwards compatible with the vast majority of cards. This is the way the photo industry is go8ng, and most all new higher quality cameras have those slots. In another year or two, all new mirrorless cameras will have them.

      Do you really want to be stuck with an obsolete built-in reader? I don’t. I’d rather buy a reader which I can replace when new cards come out. They’re cheap enough.

      1. What Apple sells is convenience and simplicity. The need to shoehorn a bunch of dongles into one port is a betrayal of that. As a videographer I’ve had to deal with how stupidly awkward it is to get video footage from one Apple device to another.

        SD cards can transfer 2 TB of data in a second. If you have to drive the SD card across town, or fedEx it, that is still faster than most internet connections can transfer such files. And everybody knows how they work because they all work the same.

        If you are talking about CFexpress, that is a high performance super-expensive fringe standard that has no chance of replacing SDUC in the market. SD-UC is compatible with a wide range of gear and is fine for all but the most extreme use cases.

        1. Now, you’re making it up. There is no SD card that’s more than a fraction of that in speed. 250mb a second for Express, yes. A terabyte? You’re dreaming. Express is already replacing SD in cameras. Another year and more will use it. You’re forgetting how prices drop over time. I remember when a 32GB SSD cost $3600. I also remember when early NAND cards cost $1,000 for 4MB. I had three for my AGFA mini lab.

          Maybe you’re too young to know any of thus.

  2. Thunderbolt “in testing” doesn’t mean we’ll see it. This is a problem with leaks. None of these leakers is right on everything, and with this, he isn’t saying that it will be present on the new machines, just that Apple has been testing it. So, maybe this year, maybe next year, and maybe not at all. I do hope it will be this year though.

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