New Chip in Latest iPad Pro Targets More Than Just Productivity

It’s well known that Apple follows a highly predictable cycle for updating its device lineup. So, when they announced at the end of April that a new product launch event was scheduled for early May, many were quick to speculate that this would herald the arrival of new models of the iPad Pro and iPad Air.

Speculation was rife about how Apple would refresh its tablet line. Predictions ranged from a simple chip upgrade to the M3 processor, to the incorporation of entirely new screen technologies, and even the possibility of an updated imaging system to bolster Apple’s mixed-reality ecosystem.

We now know that the updates to the new iPad Pro and iPad Air are not particularly related to the Vision Pro. However, categorizing them simply as “flagship tablets” might be overly simplistic.

The New iPad Pro Launches with the M4 Chip, Boasting Significantly Enhanced AI Performances

The latest iPad Pro undoubtedly represents the most significant upgrade among the new releases. Highlights include the debut of the new M4 chip, a novel dual-layer OLED screen, and compatibility with an even more powerful Apple Pencil Pro, among other features.

According to Apple, the M4 can be seen as an “AI performance” specialized version of the M3. With four performance cores and six efficiency cores, it offers about 20% more memory bandwidth compared to the M3. Its GPU maintains the design of the M3, supporting hardware ray-tracing and dynamic memory allocation technologies.

A major update for the M4 is its new neural engine, which Apple claims can reach AI compute speeds of up to 38 TOPs. Although it’s unclear at what precision this is achieved, if consistent with previous iterations, it would mean more than a 100% increase in AI performance for the M4. Such an enhancement in AI capabilities is unprecedented in Apple’s recent chipset generations, making it clear that the M4 has been designed with AI at its core.

One intriguing detail about the M4 is that its display processing unit (DPU) is optimized for OLED screens. Although Apple hasn’t described the nature of this “optimization” (which could include color calibration and anti-burn-in measures), it raises the possibility that future MacBooks, and even iMacs, might switch to OLED displays.

A Focus on Productivity and Durability, Lower-Tier Model Features Full AI Capabilities

The significant changes in the new iPad Pro model, from the information available, seem aimed not only at reinforcing its position as the “top productivity tablet” but also at pioneering Apple’s AI application ecosystem.

Notably, the new iPad Pro uses a double-layer, tandem OLED panel that offers significantly longer life and lower power consumption (though at a higher cost) than standard OLEDs. Its Smart Keyboard has also been updated with a metal surface for improved durability.

Despite only the 1TB and 2TB models featuring the full 4+6 core CPU and 16GB of memory, even the lower-tier models maintain powerful AI capabilities, reducing only a large core and halving the memory to 8GB, rather than scaling down GPU specs as seen in previous generations.

This implies that, given the AI productivity applications Apple has currently announced and the device’s status as the most powerful AI-capable device in the Apple ecosystem, even the lower-spec versions of this generation’s iPad Pro can meet the

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