iPad Pro (2021) review – Apple's most impressive (and most frustrating) computer
It has an amazing display, that’s, not only great for consuming hdr content, but is also good for editing, hdr videos as well and from a multi core performance perspective. This ipad, with its m1 chip inside, runs circles around any other ipad. It also includes fun, innovative new features like center stage, which i didn’t think i would like at first, but i grew to love it, and it also is a multi tasking beast with 16 gigabytes of ram on the high end edition and there’s thunderbolt support in tow. For connecting professional accessories, but there’s still some pain points as well: there’s, no multi user support just yet and there’s no extended desktop support for external displays and yeah. We need clamshell mode as well apple. We also need much better multitasking, with support for windowed iphone apps yeah. Once again. The ipad pro is an amazing machine hardware wise, but there are still quite a few pain points for professional workflows. Let’S talk about it, but first a word from our sponsor: 905 mac is sponsored by air buddy 2 a must have utility for airpods users. The original version was great, but air. Buddy 2 comes with tons of new incredible features. It extends mac os to improve your airpods experience and it’s fully compatible with bixer and apple silicon. Just open your charging case next to your mac, to see a beautiful ui with info on batteries, connection and status with airbuddy2, you can connect and change listening modes at the same time with a single trackpad gesture, automate system, volume, audio input and listening mode, so you’re Ready to go into a video call with just a single click and you can enjoy custom global keyboard, shortcuts that allow you to quickly connect to disconnect from or change listening modes on your devices go to airbuddy.
app, slash nine to five mac to learn more. The first 195 mac viewers to use that url will get airbuddy with a 20 discount and stay tuned to the end of this video to learn about even more things that air buddy 2 can do for you, the 2021 ipad. Pro models have arrived and while they aren’t a huge departure from their predecessors in the way of looks, they include several compelling new features that largely will appeal to pro users. Now, in this 2021 ipad pro review we’re going to discuss how these new tablets are driven by the same m1 chip that powers today’s max, affording greater performance than the a12 z chips found in last year’s 2020. Ipad pro features like thunderbolt connectivity for wider interoperability with professional grade. I o stand out as key additions for both the 11 and 12.9 inch models. It was always so frustrating when i couldn’t connect the thunderbolt devices that i use on my mac to my ipad, and this becomes much less of a glaring issue with this 2021 refresh, although it still isn’t perfect now, one of the biggest differentiators between this year’s ipads And the previous models is the liquid retina xdr display a feature found exclusively on the 12.9 inch 2021 ipad pro so we’re going to focus primarily on that model. Now, to be sure, this display is aimed at professional content creators who regularly engage in video and photo editing, but it can also be enjoyed when passively, consuming media content, as well from a technical standpoint.
It’S one of the more impressive displays available today – and this is coming from someone who regularly uses apple’s pro display xdr, but considering the hardware just tells one part of the ipad pro story, as in previous years, apple is still working hard to improve the software that Drives its tablets to apple’s credit, the team behind ipad os has done a great job over the last couple of years to bring the software side of the equation up to speed. Admittedly, though, there’s still a way to go before the ipad is able to fully put its wheels to the ground, so to speak, benefiting from all the power under its hood. The good news is that apple appears to be fully committed to this endeavor, and i have a strong suspicion that we’re going to be very happy once ipad. Os 15 is unveiled on june. 7Th 2021 at wwdc so sit back, relax and enjoy this review of the 2021 ipad pro, and if you appreciated this video, please leave me a thumbs up and be sure to subscribe for more videos like this. The 2021 ipad pro is far from a huge departure from its predecessors in the way of exterior design, in fact, it’s virtually indistinguishable from the 4th generation. 2020 ipad pro the 12.9 inch model looks more or less exactly the same as the previous model, except for the fact that it’s slightly thicker to accommodate the new liquid retina xdr display 11 inch models which sport the same display as last year’s.
Ipad remain unchanged in this area. The design of the ipad is one that nearly everyone agrees is good and, as we can see from the recent imac refresh and elite, macbook schematics apple seems to be quite fond of the design as well. The ipad, of course, is dominated by its display with the minimal bezels and no home button to contend with. The sides are squared off with flat edges, giving it an industrial look that harkens back to the iphone 4.. I contend that this is one of the best looks in apple’s story, design, history. Now you can get the ipad pro in any color. You want as long as it’s, space, gray or silver. Like always, i wish there were more color options, but apple likes to save its more diverse palette for more budget friendly models. While i usually opt for space gray ipads, i decided to go with silver this year, because i thought it might complement the new white magic keyboard better and my assumption was completely validated once i pair these two devices together, the silver ipad pro looks absolutely stunning. When connected to the white magic keyboard and honestly, it might be my favorite device plus accessory collab of all time, no joke now. The magic keyboard is the same backlit keyboard with the built in trackpad that apple shipped last year, except for the fact that the dimensions have been indiscernibly updated to better accommodate the thickness of the ipad pro.
I didn’t feel like rummaging for my digital calipers, but it seems like the difference between the two models is of absolutely no consequence in the real world and with that being said, it’s going to be very interesting to see how the white magic keyboard holds up. After a few months of daily usage, i hope i’m wrong, but i have a feeling this keyboard is going to look extremely weather and worn around this time next year, although it’s not an oled display, which is able to achieve perfect blacks, the liquid retina xdr display In the 12.9 inch ipad pro is the best non oled display that i’ve, seen personally and technically speaking, it’s easy to understand. Why now, of course, the ipad pro display comes with all the standard features that we’d expect. Hence true tone: p3 wide color pro motion, 120 hertz, refresh rate support it’s all in tow, but that’s. Just the beginning. This year’s 12.9 inch display features an absurd oled, like 1 million to 1 contrast ratio, which makes the ipad a prime candidate for both viewing and grading hdr photos and videos. Such a contrast ratio is made possible by mini led technology, which packs inside more than ten thousand mini leds. These custom designed light sources are 120 times smaller than the leds in last year’s model and feature custom, diffusers and optical films to produce a stunning image. This display can produce a sustained thousand nits of full screen brightness with 1600 nits of peak brightness for hdr content.
Peak brightness is possible for highlights in up to 40 percent of the screen area when the rest of the image is either black or the brightness level. Up to 600 nits, in other words the display can’t achieve 1600 nits of peak brightness across the entire area, but there’s no real world situation, where such a scenario would even be necessary, grouped together in clusters of four each of the over 10 000 mini leds form Over 2500 local dimming zones, which provide precise, brightness control for each zone, so that makes it so that small portions of the screen can deliver brighter highlights and small details can be discernable even in the darkest of areas. This additional control over light output also helps to reduce the blooming effect that you see when a light source is surrounded by a dark area. Now, when you consider the 5 000 pro display, xdr features a mere 576 individually controlled leds across a 32 inch panel. It really puts into perspective how impressive the 12.9 inch ipad pro is. Granted it doesn’t feature all the same bells and whistles as the pro display. Xdr and it’s obviously a much smaller display with lesser resolution, but it is nonetheless impressive, technical mumbo jumbo aside, the end result is a display that can be used not only to consume hdr content, but also to edit and grade hdr videos and photos. While the differences can often be subtle, they are definitely noticeable to the discerning knight movies that utilize hdr to the full, like pacific rim.
Look absolutely stunning when compared to the same movie on an ipad pro from last year and grading hdr videos and third party apps like lumafusion, is now possible. For the first time on an ipad on older ipads, it was possible to edit hdr content, but you couldn’t really accurately grade the footage due to the lack of brightness and contrast capability at 95 mac. The majority of our videos are shot with hdr in mind, so editing videos on the ipad was never really an option up until now, with the liquid retina xdr display, i can now edit and grade hdr footage shot from my sony, fx3 or a7s3 without any issues And just to reiterate, lumafusion is an absolutely fantastic and powerful way to edit video on the ipad pro and the experience frankly has never been better. For years, the ipad has featured chips that almost seemed like they really had no business being inside a tablet that was limited in the way that ipad os is, but the disparity seems to be even more egregious this time around. Considering that the 2021 ipad pro features the same m1 chip used in computers like the 2021 imac, the 13 inch macbook pro etc, the result is a killing ant with a sledgehammer type of performance power that is so over the top that i can’t imagine apple letting Another wwdc come and go without announcing some game. Changing software features in applications as usual benchmarks. Tell part of the story and a quick run of geekbench 5 showcases, a huge increase in performance between the a12z and the a14 bionic chips found in last year’s ipad pro and ipad air models with the new 2021 ipad pro the benchmarks show a modest improvement in Single core over the a14 bionic chip in the 2020 ipad air, but a huge increase in multi core performance versus every other ipad on the list.
Needless to say, the multi core performance on this year’s ipad pro is downright beastly, and it will make a noticeable difference for apps that effectively use multiple cores we’re going to talk about some of those apps in this video now granted. A lot of apps need to be updated to fully take advantage of the m1, but already we’re, seeing performance differences and benefits from that m1 chip. For example, i exported my almost nine minute van move s3 ebike video review in lumafusion as an hlg h.265 10 bit. Video file and the results: well, you can see. Definitely the export time is lower. The m1 enabled ipad pro save me about 21 seconds when exporting that nearly 9 minute video scale that up and you will notice significant gains, especially if you regularly export videos now also remember that lumafusion hasn’t been updated since the new ipad pro arrived in stores. It’S totally possible that luma touch may issue an update that better takes advantage of all the extra resources under the hood. The ml super resolution effect in pixelmator photo also stands to benefit thanks to the upgraded neural engine. Now, in this test i ran ml. Super resolution on a 40 32 by 30 24 photo shot on my iphone 12. So just a random photo and you see the difference there lower is better the ipad pro with the m1 chip achieved the conversion time in 20 seconds less than the 2020 ipad pro from last year, and also just doing regular things like compressing and uncompressing files.
You’Re going to see big differences between the ipad pro from this year, the 2021 model, with the m1 chip and last year’s a12z, enabled ipad pro. So, of course, that is just a sneak preview of sorts of all the benefits that the m1 chip will bring to the table again. Just to reiterate, once more apps are updated to really take advantage of all that the m1 offers you’ll see even better performance gains. Now let’s talk about storage in memory having one terabyte of flash storage on an ipad isn’t new we had that before, but the ability to configure two terabytes is new. The ipad pro is now capable of having the same maximum memory and storage configuration as mac computers, housing, m1 chips. Yes, having two terabytes of storage on tap makes the ipad pro a legitimate workstation for creative professionals dealing with large amounts of data. You just don’t have to worry about running out of storage, now, storage and memory on the ipad pro sort of go hand in hand, because the highest storage tiers get double the memory of lesser models. Thus, if you opt for the one or two terabyte versions, you’ll get 16 gigabytes of ram instead of just eight. To be sure, eight gigabytes of ram on an ipad is already a benchmark because no other ipad up until now has featured more than six gigabytes but 16 gigabytes of ram that’s, a huge luxury that will pay dividends with multitasking when working with large photo and video Projects and what’s even crazier, is that apple outright divulges the amount of memory in its new ipads in its technical specifications, something that it only did with mac computers up until now.
Now something to keep in mind as well is that apparently right now, individual apps can only address 5.1 gigabytes of memory. Now, while that is a lot it’s still a far cry from the full amount of memory available on the highest in ipad, so hopefully apple will update ipad os to allow individual apps to address more memory. Now this noteworthy increase in ram leads me to believe that ipad os 15 is going to feature significantly improved, multitasking capabilities that will really be able to take advantage of the vast amount of memory on tap. But even now you can benefit from the additional memory with the ability to quickly resume more apps. For example, if i run just 4 games, nba 2k1 arcade edition sonic racing hot lava, sneaky sasquatch on the 2020 ipad pro with 6 gigabytes of ram it’s gon na run out of memory and begin to force games to restart really quickly. Now, on the 2021 ipad pro with 16 gigabytes of ram, i can easily run all those games plus many more apps, like affinity, photo affinity, designer slack, pixelmator pro procreate and still switch back to those games and immediately resume after cycling through all those apps. This, in effect, can help speed up ipad pro workflows and make for more seamless experiences. The ipad pro has had a usbc port since the 2018 refresh, but the 2021 model is the first ipad to support thunderbolt, as mentioned at the outset.
Not having thunderbolt on the ipad has been an exercise in frustration when moving peripherals between the mac and ipad. I usually edit videos on my mac using an external thunderbolt 3 ssd, the kind of external storage that hasn’t worked with ipad up until now, but thunderbolt is about more than just being able to connect to thunderbolt peripherals. It also brings forth a huge increase in available bandwidth between the ipad and external devices. This means that i can transfer huge video files between the ipad pro and an external ssd in a much more reasonable amount of time, something that just wasn’t possible before thunderbolt connectivity. Also opens up the possibility that the ipad pro will work with more complex thunderbolt devices like audio interfaces from companies like universal audio, having built in cellular is convenient to be sure and while 5g still has a long way to go in its growth it’s rapidly. Improving my biggest beef with cellular connectivity on this year’s ipad pro is cost cellular. Ipad models now come at a 200 premium, which is a tough pill to swallow. When my 5g enabled iphone 12 works perfectly fine as a mobile hotspot, wi fi, 6 aka 802.11ax is still in its early stages. As far as adoption is concerned, and most people don’t even own wi, fi 6 compatible routers it’s, the classic chicken and x scenario. So something has to come first and it’s good. That apple is including wi fi 6 in its newest hardware, the tech promises to work better in environments with lots of connected devices and also provides increased power.
Efficiency, higher data rates and increased capacity i’ll be honest and admit that the new center stage camera feature for ipad pro wasn’t very high on my list of exciting new developments. However, after trying center stage, i came away extremely impressed with the technology center stage leverages the 122 degree field of view from the new ultra wide truedepth front facing camera. This new camera features a much wider field of view and a slightly slower, f, 2.4 aperture versus f 2.2 than last year’s, true depth, camera and the new camera boasts a higher resolution going from 7 megapixels on its predecessor to 12 megapixels, while the wider field of View by itself looks sort of distorted with that fisheye, like effect when, combined with the wonders of machine learning apple, is able to eliminate much of the wide angle distortion while automatically adjusting the frame to keep all subjects in view. The end result is a really cool effect that makes it feel as if you have your own little front facing camera person. Panning, the camera as one or more subjects move about the frame and since the wide angle, camera has such a vast field of view when compared to a standard, wide camera. As long as you’re within the reach of the ultra wide lens center stage is able to do its machine learning, assistant, business center stage, automatically crops pans and corrects for distortion on the fly, it lends an effect that smoothly and convincingly pans around to follow anyone in Frame granite, the resolution is affected as center stage automatically crops the frame of view but that’s to be expected given what’s at play, and i can only see this feature becoming more impressive as apple’s machine learning, capabilities grow and as the front facing true depth.
Camera gains higher resolution sensors with more light capturing capability, but as it stands now, though, it’s still very impressive and i wish it was available on the mac center stage works with facetime calls, but an api allows third parties to join in on the fun. In fact, the most popular video conferencing app at the moment, zoom already supports center stage functionality now here’s the part of the review, where a lot of people like to bash the ipad. But after sitting back and really like considering some of the big leaps and functionality that we’ve had over the last few years, i think it’s a bit unfair to act as if apple isn’t, working on improving the ipad. From a software perspective, the biggest move was creating. The ipad’s own fork of ios aptly entitled ipad os. This allows the ipad to get its own version of software, which adds much more flexibility to allow the ipad to grow in ways that it may not have been able to do before. With that being said, i’m. Looking forward to big changes in ipad os 15 for the better here’s, just a few items that i would like to see, that would improve the ipad immensely number one better. Multitasking support i’m talking windowed multitasking, not just being able to run two apps side by side, but multiple apps having apps overlap, other apps running iphone apps in windowed mode. Imagine running instagram right there on your ipad in a window sitting on top of another application, and then there needs to be much better support for external displays.
I’M. Not talking about just mirroring your ipad’s display onto an external monitor, but actually using an extended, desktop and support for clamshell mode to run ipad os like a desktop computer and apple. Please give us multi user support. Please and the files app is just not up to snuff. We need something better. For instance, when you transfer a file in the files app you just kind of have no idea how much time is remaining and we need to be able to view extensions as well and just overall. We need click and drag support to select multiple items at once. With the trackpad and while you’re at it apple, go ahead and give us widgets everywhere, give us prores, playback support and the ability to support devices like capture cards, for instance, better driver support. We need a copy and paste manager as well, and those are just a few of the things off the top of my head, but those things will make ipad os so much better and hence the ipad so much better as it stands now. The ipad is super powerful, but there are several pain points that make it more difficult to use than a desktop computer. So if you find the ipad a little bit frustrating to use, my advice is to hold off on the ipad pro until you see what apple has in store for ipad os. But otherwise, if you love the ipad as it is, then by all means.
This is the best ipad ever by a long shot thumbs up. If you appreciate this video and hit that subscribe button for more videos like this, this is jeff with nine to five mac. 905 mac is sponsored by air buddy 2. A must have utility for airpods users as we discuss air buddy 2 is the perfect companion for air pods. It also extends mac os with the batteries widget and menu bar icon. That shows all your devices intelligently grouped and smart stats. Give you battery usage over time. Total listening time call time and shows you which airpod is draining its battery more quickly, but airbuddy goes beyond headphones. It can show battery information for your ios devices, accessories like the magic keyboard, magic mouse and even other mac’s running air buddy, including their accessories and with the magic handoff.