iPad Pro (2021) evaluation: M1 + 5G, real computer-level performance


iPad Pro(2021)評測

iPad Pro (2021) review

The iPad Pro has always been described as an existence beyond the computer, but in the past, because of the difference in processor architecture, I think it is difficult to force a direct comparison between apples and oranges. Well, Apple finally made a big move, unified the Mac and iPad Pro to use its own M1 processor, are you happy? Not enough? Actually, directly on the 2021 version of the iPad Pro, the market-leading Mini LED panel was introduced to make the screen comparable to the most high-end display. However, what kind of experience can such an escalation of violence fall into the hands of our consumers? Can it really replace computers? Let’s discuss this problem that has arisen again and again.

Appearance / screen

iPad Pro(2021)評測

iPad Pro (2021) review

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro that came to the fifth generation is basically the same as the previous generation iPad Pro (2020), the length and width are the same, but the thickness is 0.5mm more and the weight is about 40g, but the two There is no big difference when the tablets are put together. Friends who have upgraded may find that the full-covered protective cover is a little bit closer, but if you use the original smart folding cover, only the open design that magnetically sticks to the back of the machine is actually Compatible. If you just want to find a difference, the iPad Pro (2021) has fewer speaker openings, and the location of the SIM card slot is also different. It can be seen that Apple needs to redesign the mold to produce the case, but for ordinary users, it is There is no impact.

iPad Pro 2020 (left); iPad Pro 2021 (right)

iPad Pro 2020 (left); iPad Pro 2021 (right)

But the biggest difference that can be seen is the part of the screen. Because the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro is replaced with the Mini LED technology panel sought after by the market, the name has been suffixed from the previous Liquid Retina and became Liquid Retina XDR. Although it is not technically AMOLED, it has a more similar experience visually, because Mini LED’s zone control is more careful: the official said there are more than 10,000 Mini LEDs divided into more than 2,500 dimming zones, so the black part of the screen Can achieve low light, even no light. For iPad Pro devices with a relatively wide 4:3 screen, there is a high chance that there will be black edges when watching videos. At this time, it is more obvious that the backlight technology of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) is There are different. It also explained why the IPS material can achieve the 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio of the OLED material and the highest brightness of 1,600 nits. It is particularly interesting when playing Dolby Vision videos and viewing HDR photos.

camera

iPad Pro(2021)評測

iPad Pro (2021) review

Although I don’t know how to take pictures with a giant screen, the camera of the iPad Pro (2021) is also worth mentioning, because the camera as a tablet computer has actually caught up with the iPhone 12. The dual-camera main camera of the iPad Pro (2021) is still composed of 12MP wide-angle and 10MP ultra-wide-angle cameras, but this time it supports the smart HDR 3 at the same level as the iPhone 12. Scene to adjust parameters such as sharpness, color and white balance.

iPad Pro(2021)評測

iPad Pro (2021) review

There are also hardware upgrades, that is, the front camera has been greatly improved from the previous generation of 7MP to 12MP, while the ultra-wide-angle lens is still used. In addition to allowing you to take group selfies, the most important use is to achieve the function of “centering the characters”. In the more and more used video calls, it can automatically track the user’s face, and even take into account the effect of automatically widening the picture when other people are in the lens. One thing that is not Apple is that this new feature is actually open to third-party tools when it comes, so in addition to Apple’s own FaceTime, Google Meet, Zoom, and Skype can all be used, but Facebook Messenger does not respond, probably The API hasn’t been updated yet (or is it falling out?).

Specifications / performance

iPad Pro(2021)評測

iPad Pro (2021) review

Then comes the specifications and performance of the iPad Pro (2021). This is also the part that everyone cares about most after switching to the M1 processor. The iPad Pro is equipped with an 8-core CPU + 8-core GPU version, and it is the first time to actively confirm the memory capacity. The 5th-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro tested is a high-profile 16GB RAM. Yes, this specification has to catch up with the high-end version of MacBook Air! So naturally our running score is to put the tablet and laptop together to compete on the same platform.

In the 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme for image processing, iPad Pro (2021) achieved a score of 5,043; in the CPU test part of Geekbench 5, Single-Core was 1,715 / Multi-Core 7,310, and GPU part was 20,393. Compared with the CPU and GPU scores of the iPad Pro (2020) using the A12Z, it is exactly the 50% and 40% improvement that Apple claims. Compared with MacBook Air? In fact, it is a similar score, showing that the iPad Pro (2021) really has laptop-level performance!

What are the benefits of changing to a computer-grade processor besides speeding up? One of the most intriguing is the support for Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4. This allows iPad Pro not only to have more versatile interfaces, but more importantly, to bring greater scalability, such as connecting to an external screen, wired Gbps LAN, even thanks to the extremely high speed of 40Gbps TB3/USB 4 to transfer very large files.

to sum up

iPad Pro(2021)評測

iPad Pro (2021) review

Countless is the first few sessions of the “Whether the iPad Pro can replace the laptop” debate, just like “should middle school students fall in love” again, and the results this time are optimistic. Because in addition to the upgrade of the iPad Pro hardware specifications, the peripheral systems and apps are actually also evolving simultaneously, so that everyone can choose to work on a traditional laptop or a tablet according to their own habits and preferences. Today, iPadOS actually supports a lot of desktop-level applications, especially Adobe’s post-production kits. At the same time, there are also some creative tools unique to iPad. With touch features, iPad Pro is actually better than laptops in creation. .

iPad Pro(2021)評測

iPad Pro (2021) review

For the 5th generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch model alone, the upgrade this time is very obvious. In addition to the M1 processor that improves the performance to the desktop level, the high-end Mini LED screen that can be held in your hand is also the first to see it, especially suitable for users who pursue a visual experience. The character centering of the front camera is a trend that is aimed at the increasing usage of iPad and video conferencing, and it improves the practicality. Finally is the addition of 5G and Thunderbolt 3. Both of these are portable and powerful that can make good use of the iPad Pro, providing high-speed and huge data throughput, regardless of whether it is used online or read and write large files. Can maintain the “fast” iPad Pro should have.

The editor believes that if your work environment and supporting facilities are compatible with tablet computers (for example, relying on Web apps, or engaging in media creation), plus if you are already in the Apple ecosystem, the 5th generation iPad Pro 12.9 inches is a good choice for your mobile office. For example, it allows users to upload Dolby Vision videos from iPhone 12 Pro to iPad Pro for editing. If I ask the editor, can I switch to iPad Pro to handle work, I think 80% of my daily work can be changed, it’s just a Premiere Pro. Or is there any useful video editing tool to introduce Xiaobian? Please communicate more.

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