New iPad Pros reportedly launch in April: M1-level performance, Mini-LED screen, Thunderbolt connectivity

We’ve been hearing rumors about Apple launching iPad Pros featuring a slew of improvements for a while now, and a new report suggests they may be just around the corner. Not only is Cupertino reportedly releasing updated iPad Pros with mini-LED tech and Thunderbolt ports in April, but also a new iPad Mini and refreshed base iPad later this year.
Apple is planning to revamp its iPad Pro line with a new processor that’s on par with its M1 SoC from the 2020 MacBooks, which have been receiving plenty of critical acclaim. That should mean more power and longer battery life—something that’s always appreciated among tablet users. The slates are expected to come with improved cameras, though there’s no word on what these upgrades will entail.

It’s looking increasingly likely that Apple will offer consumers an incentive to opt for the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro model. The larger tablet is said to feature mini-LED backlighting—a rumor we’ve previously heard—enabling higher brightness/contrast and true blacks while being less susceptible to burn-in than OLEDs. More manufacturers are adding mini-LED tech to their TVs, including LG and Samsung.

Apple will include Thunderbolt ports in its new iPad Pros, bringing much faster data transfer rates than the standard USB-C ports found in the current Pro models.

Elsewhere, Apple is said to be refreshing its cheapest, student-aimed iPad with a thinner and lighter design later this year, and will launch a new iPad Mini with a screen larger than the current 7.9 inches.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple would begin mass production of mini-LED iPads in “mid to late April.” He added that a mini-LED MacBook Air would likely be here by 2022, while cheaper iPads such as the iPad Air will switch to OLED displays.

iPad Pros, especially the 12.9-inch models, have always come with a steep price tag. Should this year’s release include all the rumored tech, don’t be surprised if they’re the most expensive iPads to date.

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