Apple’s current flagship iPad Pro models use the M2 chip. The M2 is an 8-core chip built on ARM architecture, with TSMC’s 5nm fabrication. It has powerful media engines, and M2 was also used on the MacBook Air and Pro models.
A key selling point for iPad Pros is the excellent performance they bring. Using a laptop chip makes iPads much more powerful than the competition, which uses mobile chips. The M2 iPads are currently the best gaming machines too.
One major drawback is the software since iPadOS isn’t exactly a replacement for a good desktop software experience. In recent times, there’s been a lot of progress. The Stage Manager feature for multitasking makes productivity better.
In the future, there are many directions that Apple is probably planning to take the iPad in. One direction was a foldable iPad Mini. There are plans for an Ultra tablet too.
The current 12.9″ iPad Pro is already large for general use and content consumption. It’s nearly as big as a compact laptop. However, according to a report on Twitter, Apple is working on a much larger 14.1-inch model. Rumours suggest it could be called iPad Ultra or iPad Pro Max.
That’s not quite as big as Samsung’s Tab S8 Ultra (and the upcoming Tab S9 Ultra), which are both 14.6-inch in size. However, even 14.1 inches is huge for a tablet. This makes its portability aspect redundant since it’s harder to carry around.
For years, we’ve seen advertisements from Apple about how iPads are effectively built to replace laptops. iPadOS is still missing proper Pro apps, good coding tools (like XCode), and proper video editing software from Apple.
Apart from the restrictive app collection, the lack of a proper laptop UI feature set makes it clunky and underwhelming for a laptop replacement. Samsung does much better on this front since it has better power usability and DeX Mode.
DeX is a good substitute for a good laptop UI. Apple does something roughly similar with the Stage Manager display feature, but it isn’t as good. According to the report, the 14.1-inch iPad (Ultra/Pro Max) will have the M3 Pro chipset.
If everything goes as planned, the iPhone 15 Pro models in September 2023 will be the world’s first devices to launch with TSMC 3nm chips. There were plans to use 3nm chips on MacBooks earlier, but there are unprecedented technical issues.
There’s not much information about the 14.1-inch iPad Ultra display. Since we know Apple is working on OLED iPads, we could see it as soon as 2024. However, there’s also a chance that it’ll ship with an improved MIni LED panel.
The software experience is another aspect where this iPad will allegedly have several improvements. It’ll apparently have a lot of essential features from macOS, bringing an actual laptop-like experience to iPads.
We don’t know which features will make it to iPadOS, but this tablet looks promising. It outcompetes Samsung’s offerings in performance. M2 and M1 are already overkill for many people, and this is only for professionals looking for extreme performance.
Also, there’s no reliable information about the pricing of this tablet, which could skyrocket to over 1500$. We’ll update you if there’s any further information about the M3 Pro iPad Ultra.