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iPad Pro 2021 performance could match the MacBook Pro — What we know

iPad Pro
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

We knew if the new M1-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro could match the performance of the A14 chip used in the iPad Air then Apple would have no problems escaping the grasp of Intel. 

Not only did the M1 match the A14, but it absolutely demolished the tablet chip in our benchmark testing. But hold on tablet fans because the iPad isn't ready to fly the white flag.

According to Mark Gurman from Bloomberg (via Forbes), the next version of the Apple A chip, set for the next iPad Pro 2021, will be "on par" with the M1 in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. 

That means the upcoming iPad Pro could be more powerful than the vast majority of Windows 10 PCs. Combine that theoretical performance with some of the desktop-friendly features (including the Magic Keyboard) Apple has brought to the iPad in recent years, and the new iPad Pro could be a genuine laptop replacement. 

It isn't just the speeds we should be anticipating with the new chips, which will likely be called the A14Z, A14X or A15. The M1 chip brought new features and extended endurance to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro -- if the upcoming A-series chip is just as efficient, Apple's upcoming tablets could last much longer than 10 hours, as they do now.  

So performance won't be a problem for the iPad Pro (not that it ever has been), but what other upgrades could this tablet receive? Well, Gurman says the tablet will come with 5G support as well as better cameras. I know, tablet photography is silly, but those cameras could improve the AR experience, something Apple remains gung-ho about. 

Perhaps most exciting is the move to Mini LED, a new display technology with many of the benefits of OLED but without the risk of burn-in. If Apple does indeed switch to these panels, the new iPad Pro's display will be brighter and more colorful. 

We should learn more about the next iPad Pro in the coming weeks; Apple is said to be hosting a special event in March, though the exact date is still unknown.