The new iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) is showing great potential. It came out on top in last week’s poll, collecting many positive votes even though it is an expensive device, which naturally limits its appeal.
A consensus formed in the comment section – the Apple M1 chipset is great, but it is wasted on iPadOS. Even though it branched off iOS, it is still much closer to a phone OS (an iPhone at that) than it is to macOS.
This locks you out of a lot of professional software, limits what you can do with the file system and makes that Thunderbolt 4 port less useful than it could have been. This would have been much better as a macOS tablet. We already know the hardware supports it and macOS Big Sur can run iPadOS apps, so there was nothing to lose and much to gain.
Well, maybe not nothing to lose. Look at the iPad Pro 11 (2021) result – it edged out the M1-powered Macs, but just barely. The 11” tablet costs $200 less than a 13” MacBook Air ($100 less if you want the same storage). If the tablet ran macOS, which of the two devices would you rather have? By keeping their software separate Apple doesn’t have to find out the answer to that and lose sales to its own devices.
Anyway, the discussion in the comments was centered around performance and software. The mini-LED display of the 12.9” model came up a few times, but it is not a key selling factor.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starts a month from now on June 7. There the company will share details about the upcoming versions of its operating systems, including iPadOS and macOS. iPadOS 15 will redesign the homescreen, but more changes are needed to make the best out of the M1 chip. The Conference could be a huge deal for the new iPad Pros.