2021 iPad Pro might pack performance on par with M1 Macs

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An iPad Pro with a mini-LED display could be in the offing.
A blazing fast processor and Thunderbolt could be hallmarks of the 2021 iPad Pro.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The 2021 iPad Pro will get a considerable performance boost, according to a trusted source. To the point where the tablet is as fast as the M1 Macs released last autumn.

In addition, the USB-C port in the next iPadOS device might support Thunderbolt.

2021 iPad Pro could be the fastest yet by a wide margin

These details come from Mark Gurman’s latest article for Bloomberg. He cited unnamed “people with knowledge of the matter” in his report abut the huge speed gain coming in Apple’s next tablet.

In recent years, the iPad Pro series has sported chips with performance close to Apple’s laptops. The 2021 model will supposedly bring them into parity. “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,” said Gurman.

And that might not be the only notable jump, as the tipster claims that test units support Thunderbolt. This is a standard already used by every Mac since 2016, but no previous iPad. If true, it would allow the tablet to transfer data at up to 40Gbps, which is four times faster than the current models. And use powerful Thunderbolt accessories made for Macs, of course.

Lots of changes but no redesign

The 2021 iPad Pro is expected to be Apple’s first with a mini-LED display, which will improve its visuals. But only the 12.9-inch version might get the upgrade.

All the leaks we’ve heard about the next iPadOS device agree that the general designs won’t change, and there’ll still be 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions. That should keep it compatible with many current accessories, like the Apple Magic Keyboard.

Gurman, who built a stellar track record for correctly predicting future Apple products, says the 2021 iPad Pro will be out “as early as April.” That’s in line with previous reports that Apple plans to release multiple new products that month.