Apple M1 iPad Pro: What's New and What Cables You'll Need

Apple made a huge splash with the launch of its M1 MacBooks, and now it's looking to revitalize its line of tablets by putting the M1 on iPad Pros. It should make them faster than ever before, rivaling even the most powerful of tablet alternatives, but that's not all that's coming with the new-generation tablet. The M1 iPad cable connection options are greatly enhanced too, bringing USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 to the table.

Here's everything you need to know about the iPad M1 cables, connections, performance, and more.

How Fast Will the M1 on iPad Be?

Apple's M1 MacBooks are some of the fastest laptops ever made, and there was no real difference in raw performance between the M1 chip found inside the MacBook Air, and the one under the hood of the higher-end MacBook Pro. While the M1 on iPad will retain the same eight CPU cores and eight GPU cores of the laptop M1 system on chip (SoC), it's unlikely to operate at exactly the same specifications as its laptop counterpart, simply because the tablet doesn't have the same thermal headroom due to being a smaller device with less room for passive and active cooling.

That doesn't really matter, though, because the M1 iPad uses iPad OS, which has its own suite of software so doesn't have the same demands as MacOS. IPad OS is also more optimized for the ARM-based M1 chip, because it shares the same underlying architectures as the Apple A1 SoC from previous generation iPads, so any loss in performance is easily made up.

Apple claimed before release that the new M1 on iPad Pro design would be as much as 50 percent faster than its predecessor, and that played out in real world testing. It is stupendously fast and puts most other tablets to shame.

Better Looking Than Ever

The M1 on iPad improves graphical performance by a large margin too (as much as 40 percent, according to Apple), which helps power the new displays, especially the higher-end option on the larger iPad Pro. The 11-inch model has a resolution of 2388 x 1688 pixels, while the 12.9-inch version has a more detailed 2732 x 2048 pixels.

The 11-inch model uses the more traditional Apple Liquid Retina LED display, which looks fantastic at its more compact form-factor. However, the iPad Pro M1 12.9-inch model has something quite special. Its higher-resolution screen uses mini-LEDs, making the screen both brighter than its smaller companion, and able to offer far more nuanced HDR. Great for watching movies or TV shows.

iPad M1 Cable Port Evolution

The new iPad Pro M1 doesn't just overhaul the tablet's internal processors and display, but upgrades its connectivity too. The new iPad Pro has a single USB-C port with full support for both USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 technologies, raising the bar for USB performance to 40 Gbps, and making sure that any compatible Thunderbolt 4 devices it connects to will be able to take full advantage of that speed.

That also makes the M1 iPad Pro fully compatible with 10Gb Ethernet, and a wide range of high-speed external storage. Perhaps most importantly, though, it gives users the option of using a Thunderbolt 4 cable for iPad Pro M1 to use Apple's own Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution, without compromise.

What iPad Pro M1 Cables You'll Need

There aren't extensive iPad M1 cables in the box, with only a single iPad Pro USB C cable for charging included. If you want to take full advantage of the tablet, it can be a good idea to order a USB4 cable for the iPad Pro, or a Thunderbolt 4 cable for the iPad Pro, depending on what you plan to connect them to.

Cable Matters offers a range of iPad Pro Thunderbolt cables, and iPad Pro USB-C cables, all of which let you take advantage of the greatest data transfer bandwidth and USB Power Delivery (some up to 100w) so that you can swiftly charge your new iPad Pro M1 tablet.


[Intel Certified] Thunderbolt 4 USB-C Cable Supporting 100W Charging

[USB-IF Certified] USB4™ Cable (40Gbps) with Power Delivery

Wider Cameras, Faster Wireless, and More

Alongside its big physical changes, the iPad Pro M1 features some more ethereal enhancements too. The TrueDepth camera has a resolution of 12MP, making it supremely detailed, but it also supports Apple's new Center Stage feature for video calls, so it will leverage its ultrawide viewing angle to focus on whoever is talking, or expand the frame to include new participants if they join the call half-way through.

Wi-Fi 6 gives the highest speeds of wireless internet access when a network is available, but if not, the new iPad Pro M1 can also take advantage of 5G connectivity for an ultrafast cellular data connection.

If you pay extra, you can also use the new white Magic Keyboard with the iPad Pro, making for a much-improved typing experience, and it comes with full support for the (sold-separately) Apple Pencil too.

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