How the New iPad Pro Could Replace Your Computer

Apple’s dream come true

Key Takeaways

  • Putting the M1 chipset in the new iPad Pro will allow users to take advantage of desktop performance levels in a tablet form.
  • Experts believe the M1 could lead to more support for desktop-capable applications on the iPad Pro.
  • Apple remains committed to making the iPad the best tablet available.
Someone using an Apple iPad Pro with an M1 chip in it while sitting in an outdoor cafe.

Apple

The new iPad Pro finally could finally deliver on its promise to replace your computer, thanks to the power of Apple’s M1 chipset.

The iPad Pro has been in a weird place since it first launched. Halfway between being a great tablet and offering the utility of a laptop computer. Apple’s recent announcement that it's putting M1 chips in the newest iPad Pros finally could be the tipping point that makes the iPad Pro worthy of replacing your laptop. 

"I think it hints towards the future development of iPad and iPad OS," Pablo Thiermann, a hardware expert and video producer, told Lifewire in an email. 

"At the moment, the operating system and available programs on iPad aren’t designed to make use of the power available to them. It’s been like that before and has become more evident now. I expect a serious overhaul of iPadOS, which could bring it way closer to macOS."

King of Performance

The launch of the first M1-powered MacBooks was an exciting time for Apple fans and tech users in general. Apple’s new processor offers fantastic performance, bringing more than enough power to stand up to industry veterans like Intel and AMD. 

The arrival of the M1 in the iPad Pro is no small thing, either. While the iPad Pro doesn’t offer the capability and applications that Macs do, the performance the M1 brings finally could give developers enough power to make the iPad Pro into a proper computer replacement, something that Apple has been touting for several years now.

Yasir Shamim, a digital marketer with PureVPN, says that the M1’s additional capacities also will greatly help iPad Pro users, especially since the chipset offers additional performance that artists and other users utilizing the tablet need.

"RAM has been an issue for me for a while," Shamim told us in an email. "It majorly caps the size of artboards and the number of layers you can have in apps like Procreate. Having up to 16GB now is a game-changer for the work I do on the Pro."

Both Thiermann and Shamim believe that Apple will continue to push out updates to the iPad Pro, which will help narrow the gap between it and MacBooks. That's something we could see more of as soon as iPadOS 15, which Bloomberg reports will include changes to the iPad home screen and more.

Meeting in the Middle

Despite billing the iPad Pro as a computer replacement for the past few years, the Apple tablet has never really offered enough to stand up to the full power of Macs or PCs. With M1, though, that could change.

Sideview of the new iPad Pro with an M1 chip, connect to a magic keyboard with an Apple pencil laying nearby.

Apple

Thiermann believes this new chipset could lead to the iPad Pro getting support for more robust applications like Final Cut and Logic.

The touchscreen interface offered by the iPad Pro, paired with the precision of the Apple Pencil, could make it an ideal device for editing video and audio recordings. Furthermore, the increased performance offered by M1 would allow users to take the device with them more easily than a MacBook.

Thiermann also says that because the iPad Pro now shares similar CPU architecture with the Mac, we could see full-fledged support for apps that already are available on Mac.

He even hopes to see the option to install third-party apps from outside of the App Store in the future. The chances of that happening are still slim, due to Apple’s tight grip on app control when it comes to iOS devices, though with M1, more support may become available.

Of course, Apple is still dedicated to making the iPad Pro the best of its type, and Apple executives have said it isn’t intended as a replacement for the Mac.

White and Gray iPad Pros, side by side, one facing forward and one facing back.

Apple

Instead, it’s meant to compliment it and give users more of an option. If they want to use a Mac, they can use a Mac. If they’re going to use an iPad, then the iPad Pro makes that easier than ever.

Now that the M1 is involved, though, we could see more users leaning towards the iPad Pro, especially as developers start to take full advantage of the greater potential afforded to them with this latest version.

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