If you’re wondering what’s next for Apple’s tablet family, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman indicates that the iPad Pro family is due for a refresh as soon as next month. The high-end tablets will include upgraded CPUs that are described as “on par” with the M1 ARM chip Apple is putting inside Macs, along with upgraded cameras, and Mini LED tech on at least one model to help improve its brightness and contrast ratios.
It’s a particularly good time for a refresh, between the advanced CPU technology Apple is pinning its future on, and recently-updated iPad Airs that provide nearly everything the current Pro does at a lower price point. Differentiating the top of the lineup with connectors that make it seem more like the desktop-oriented productivity device it’s supposed to be will obviously give some consumers a reason to reach for the more expensive model. One of our complaints about the 2020 iPad Pro was that it didn’t feel dramatically refreshed, and maybe these can change that impression.
Other than the additional horsepower, the other major upgrade to look forward to is Thunderbolt connectivity. Using the same USB-C connector, it will allow much faster data transmission with compatible Macs (like those M1-powered laptops) high-resolution displays or external storage devices. To top off the rumors, Bloomberg reports Apple will launch a thinner and lighter iPad aimed at students as they return to school, as well as an iPad Mini with a screen that’s larger than the current 7.9-inch display.