Thunderbolt Coming to New 2021 iPad Pro
Apple may be planning to add Thunderbolt to the iPad Pro, making data transfer speeds up to four times faster on Apple's most powerful tablet.
According to a report from reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, Apple has tested iPad Pro models with a Thunderbolt port to make them compatible with additional external monitors, hard drives, and peripherals.
Apple's Mac machines have featured Thunderbolt technology for many years, but the current iPad Pro and iPad Air models have standard USB-C ports, which only transfer at USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds. This means that USB-C on the current iPad Pro can transfer at a speed of 10Gb/s, while Thunderbolt 4 supports speeds of up to 40Gb/s. As well as being considerably faster, Thunderbolt opens up the potential for compatibility with a much broader range of Thunderbolt-only accessories.
Apple is planning to refresh its iPad Pro lineup in the immediate future, introducing new models that "look similar to the current iPad Pros" in the same 11 and 12.9-inch screen sizes, according to Gurman. The two new iPad Pros are expected to feature an updated A14X processor that is "on par" with the M1 chip in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, along with camera improvements.
A mini-LED display will be included with "at least" the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the display upgrade bringing improved brightness and contrast ratios. This is in line with many previous rumors, which have also indicated that the upgraded display technology will be limited to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.