Should the shiny new iPad mini go Pro?

I imagine the A15 processor inside the ipad mini can deliver similar performance what it can achieve inside the smaller iPhone. We don’t yet have the benchmark data to prove this hypothesis, but it’s possible – assuming Apple hasn’t downclocked chip.

IPad mini bases

Apple told us that the new A15 processor in the iPad mini offers “a 40% jump in performance, and the 5-core GPU offers an 80% jump in graphics performance over the previous generation iPad mini.” .

The previous model used an A12 Bionic chip about as powerful as the entry-level iPad 8, which was also replaced. A little creative thinking based on adding 40% to the existing single-core and multi-core iPad mini benchmarks means the new iPad mini is expected to perform about as good as the current iPad Air, which was Apple’s best tablet of the year. last.

When this version of the Air was shipped, it was faster than the second generation of 11 inches. iPad Pro and the 12.9 inch. A12Z Bionic iPad Pro.

Stop with the numbers already

I’m going to interrupt this flow of statistics to make a point: the new iPad mini is probably as powerful as the high-end iPad Pro of 2020, but weighs less than half. (It weighs 0.65 pounds unlike the pro, which weighed 1.41 pounds.)

You also get less display (8.3 inches vs. 12.3 inches), although a higher pixel density (326 ppi vs. 264 ppi). But the real compromise is on storage, with a stingy 64 GB in the entry-level model. If you’re doing serious work, you’ll want the 256GB version, which starts at $ 649.

So while the wonderful new iPad mini packs as much of a punch as the pre-pandemic iPad Pro, it doesn’t quite have all the bells and whistles.stars light’ (WTF?) Whistles this device. It’s a compelling tablet in its own right that will do what you want it to do. But is not quite a pro.

So what am I saying?

Here’s my take: the decision to put an iPhone chip in the iPad mini once again clarifies that what will set the iPad Pro line apart from other iPads (including this one) is the inclusion of the more powerful chip. M series, supplemented with memory, latency and other features that enhance pro devices for long term business use.

This means (unsurprisingly) that you have two separate families of devices, and over time as Apple’s silicon development teams carve out their own distinct paths following the fork between M and A, you’ll see larger differences emerge. So you have to look at the price.

Right now, the iPad lineup consists of A-series tablets and M-Pro series devices straddling starting price ranges between $ 499 and $ 1,099, increasing if you need more. ‘additional storage or cellular connection.

Here’s how entry-level prices compare:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro: from $ 1,099.
  • 11-inch iPad Pro: from $ 799.
  • iPad Air 4: Starting at $ 599.
  • iPad 9: from $ 329.
  • iPad mini $ 6,499.

I think these levels show space that could be populated by an M-series iPad Pro mini at around $ 849. If you want something portable, but with the power of a pro, you’ll pay for it. But if you just want an iPad, the A-Series will do almost anything you need.

There is a market for the iPad Pro mini

Having only now introduced the A-series iPad mini, Apple is unlikely to want to blunt its reach with a pro. Everyone seems to want one. But Apple already knows that there is a highly professional market for these devices. We know he knows because he told us.

Introducing the device at his launch event, Apple CEO Tim Cook described its use as being “attached to a pilot’s leg in flight or pulled out of a doctor’s gown while treating the patient”. He spoke about the professional uses of the tablet in interviews after the event.

The company referred to three specific pro use cases:

  • Photographers on site editing photos captured in their cameras.
  • Doctors in remote areas perform ultrasound using Butterfly.
  • Technicians using RA Splunk to access complex diagrams on site.

It’s easy to imagine other uses, from warehousing to distribution, manufacturing, field service and beyond. Many uses of this type can be served by the iPhone 13 range, but Apple recognizes that some companies have a greater need for an ultra-portable tablet.

“The new iPad mini is a major upgrade and arguably closer to Apple’s iPad Pro category given its design, support for the A15 Bionic chip, and a USB-C connector,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight.

“The iPad mini represents a significant opportunity for the iPad brand to expand deeper into the many industry sectors Apple already supports, such as aviation, healthcare and retail.

It remains only to determine to what extent the demand in these sectors is increasing. If Apple meets a lot of requests from companies wanting to use the iPad mini, it will have a chance to push the story of mini forward.

An iPad Pro mini would allow the business to push harder in even more specific and demanding business-driven markets. I think this is what should happen.

Apple has a real opportunity to turn the great interest it is about to feel in the iPad mini A15 (this year’s most popular tablet) into a huge passion for the iPad mini Pro.

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Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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