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Apple unveils new M1 chip-powered iPad Pro – here’s how to pre-order it

Apple's spring event made it official: a new iPad Pro is coming this May 2021.

New iPad Pro Liquid Retina XDR

Apple released the first iPad over a decade ago. Since then, we’ve seen eight generations of the classic iPad with features such as smart keyboards, FaceTime and an Apple pencil added over time.  And now the wait is over for the newest model – in its recent tech event, Apple launched the new iPad Pro which is absolutely packed with impressive specs.

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The new iPad Pro joins a whole host of updates from Apple’s Spring Loaded event, including a new iMac, a purple iPhone and the highly anticipated AirTags. Alas, there was no news on the iPhone 13 release date, nor the AirPods 3 release date.

iPad Pro unveiled: what’s new?

Apple fans will rejoice as the rumours were true – Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ launch has delivered the next iPad Pro. But what’s new? Heralded as a ‘huge step forward’, the M1-powered iPad Pro is packed full of functionalities that have not been possible before.

There are two sizes, a 12.9-inch model (starts at £999) and an 11-inch model (starts at £749).

Pre-order the 11-inch iPad Pro for £749 at Amazon

Pre-order the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for £999 at Amazon

Key specs of the new iPad Pro:

  • M1 chip delivers 75% faster CPU performance
  • New 12.9-inch display “goes beyond any display in the world” and “showcases a new level of detail” with Liquid Retina XDR
  • Thunderbolt connection – a fast new way to connect to accessories like displays and hard drives
  • Up to 2x faster storage
  • 5G capability – connection speeds of 3.5 GbP/S
  • 12MP Ultra Wide camera
  • All-day battery life
  • ‘Center Stage’ – enables the camera to follow you around the room
  • Up to 2TB storage
iPad Pro specs
Credit: Apple

Apple also confirmed a new feature in the iPad Pro that was widely expected: the installation of mini LED technology in the display. These little lights vary the lighting ‘zones’ across the display – essentially giving you a more vibrant image with better contrast levels. This is something we’re spotting in the world of televisions this year, too. It’s very exciting for it now to feature in a smaller handheld device.

The Thunderbolt connection is an entirely new offering for the iPad Pro, making it a more integrated product. In other words, it will help creatives and a whole host of others link up to other displays and import images and files much more easily.

Sustainability was another key theme of the Apple event, and we’re pleased to note that the iPad’s Pro enclosure features 100% recycled aluminium.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

New iPad Pro release date: when to pre-order

The new iPad Pro is available to pre-order now and will be fully available from the second half of May 2021.

Pre-order the 11-inch iPad Pro for £749 at Amazon

Pre-order the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for £999 at Amazon

New iPad Pro price: how much does it cost? 

There are two sizes, a 12.9-inch model and an 11-inch model. The 12.9-inch starts at £999, while the 11-inch’s price tag begins at £749. This is Apple’s most premium iPad with the most impressive specs to date.

How does the price compare to last year’s launch? The second-generation 11-inch iPad Pro had an RPP of £769, and the 12.9-inch model was £969, so there are no big surprises here.

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For the latest news, reviews and product guides, head to the Technology section. And to find more out about Apple’s latest products, try our Apple Watch 6 review.