Short Thoughts on the M1 iPad Pro

I will leave the long form reviews to those who do it as a living but thought I’d post some of my notes after a weekend with the new device.

 

The Device Itself

  • The new screen is fantastic for HDR content and is ridiculously crisp. Bladerunner 2049 is stunningly good.
  • I do notice shadowing around the edge of the screen as the screen does appear to be deeper set due to the Micro LED in the screen. it doesn’t bother me particularly. On my particular unit, the ‘bloom’ problem of Micro LED people have brought up isn’t really noticeable to me.

Not to discount other peoples experiences of the product, but it wouldn’t be a new Apple product launch if there wasn’t a ‘something-gate’ issue for the worst parts of Apple fandom to hand-wring over 🤷‍♂️

  • Improved Front Camera with “Centre Stage” is great. I couldn’t care less about the rear cameras. I’ve never taken even a semi-serious photo with an iPad.

  • Coming from a 2018 12.9 Pro that was no slouch, the M1 is literally seamless. Switching from application to application and multi tasking (as it is on iPad at present) has zero stutter. The device simply moves out of your way. it’s phenomenal to use.

     

    Accessories

  • The new Magic Keyboard case is just as much of a fingerprint/grease magnet as the old one. Just accept without putting a skin over it, it’s going to mark and be done with it. I wish I’d bought the white one. But I’m sure in 6 months after it was worn in I’d think differently.

     

    The future?

    We’ll see what iPadOS 15 brings. Scuttlebutt from some is that there’s bigger software changes on the cards that will unlock more magic of the M1 and the increased RAM. I personally think the upgrade will be more conservative than people think, but I do hope for much requested features such as…

  • large focus on file management

  • Multi-screen support

  • Re-worked multi-tasking

  • Inclusion of the (Fabulous) Apps Library

  • On-Screen Widgets

  • Closer synergy of MacOS/iPadOS Applications

I do not think we will see a larger focus on ‘desktop’ style apps or rendering, Nor do I think we’ll see anything like a Samsung DeX experience as some have wanted. I do think we will finally see the Pro-Apps translated to iPadOS.

 

Summary

Nothing comes closer to the view of the future of computing than what the iPad Pro is. It’s the most adaptable, transformable computer and a true joy to use.

It’s just that vision hasn’t moved forwards considerably hardware wise from the 2018 model. Introduction of mouse support and the Magic keyboard has done a lot of heavy lifting in regards to iPad usability over the past 3 years. Let’s hope WWDC reveals how that will be pushed forwards soon.

David Crane @DaveyCraney