Apple! Just put macOS on the new 2021 M1 iPad Pro Already! 

Logan Davis, Staff Reporter

At Apple’s April 20th2021 event, they unveiled the all-new 2021 iPad Pro. With the introduction of this iPad, I initially thought it was just another spec bump or something that was not worth the time of the viewers of the online virtual keynote, but boy was I wrong! Apple made the 2021 iPad a serious contender, if not threat, to similarly designed competing devices like the Microsoft Surface to name an example.  

To start, the new iPad Pro is getting rid of the widely known Lightning port that has been standard for all iPhones and standard iPads in favor of a USB-C form-factor Thunderbolt port. “Thunderbolt in an iPad!?” I hear you cry out; I know! I was shocked by this announcement as well. They also mentioned that the new iPad will also support 5G cellular connectivity as well as the introduction of their new display technology for the iPad called the Liquid Retina XDR display. That mouthful of a name is essentially Mini LED technology that uses an array of several diming zones to light up various parts of the display in different dynamic ranges. The display also is able to produce up to 1000-nits of full brightness and up to 1600-nits of peak brightness. Compared to older iPads where if the entire screen were black, you would still see a sort of dark gray picture on the display, this new display allows for truly dark blacks, and is perfect for people who do creative work like using Procreate or someone who has an HDR workflow that needs a display like this. Apple Borrowed from their ProDisplay XDR technology to make this possible for the iPad Pro. But it starts to make sense when Apple dropped another bombshell. 

The new 2021 iPad Pro now features the previously written about, custom Apple M1 CPU that can be found in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and more recently the 2021 iMac. Apple has effectively brought the iPad Pro into the same realm as the Microsoft Surface, and also the choice to include that chip in their product allows it to be able to trade blows with the previously mentioned devices that also share that same M1 CPU. 

After seeing that announcement, I immediately screamed out “Now put macOS on it!” I mean, honestly! After they decided to make this iPad Pro almost as fast as a MacBook Air due to them both effectively sharing the same cooling solution. Obviously, some work would have to be done to make sure that macOS runs smoothly in terms of interface on the iPad Pro, but given that macOS already runs on the M1 Chip, most of the work has already been done! A lot of tech journalists and Apple fans shared the same thoughts and opinions on this new iPad. 

With the 2021 iPad Pro having the ability to have up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage capacity makes a lot of people, including myself, wonder what Apple must be planning for this device in future software updates. For almost $2,400 fulling maxed out with specs like that, it makes me speculate that Apple with possibly allow pro apps like XCode, Final Cut Pro X or Logic Pro X on the iPad Pro. Currently with the limitations of iPadOS, average users do not push their iPads that far to need all that storage and processing power. So, what makes Apple think someone will take advantage of that those muchly improved specs when they can just get a MacBook Air for a cheaper price that features a full desktop operating system? Only time will tell how Apple will plan to blur the lines between the MacBook line running macOS and the iPads running iPadOS. 

The 2021 iPads start at $799 for the 11-inch base model, and $1099 for the 12.9-inch base model. Orders begin April 30th and will ship out during the second half of May.