Tablets aren’t just for watching Netflix anymore, and creatives should pay attention.
Apple has just announced two new lines of iPad—a regular edition in multiple colors, and the iPad Pro powered by an M2 chip. A set of updated features includes Wi-Fi 6E and ProRes video capture. But the most exciting thing is the addition of DaVinci Resolve.
So what does this mean for creatives? Is it a dumbed-down version for tablets? And how will it feel editing on Resolve using touch? Let’s dig through the news.
iPad for Pros
The new M2 iPad Pro comes in two sizes, an 11-inch and a 12.9-inch. The former has a Liquid Retina display, while the larger includes Apple’s XDR tech. This adds some additional brightness, with the 12.9-inch offering 1000 nits max full screen and 1600 nits peak for HDR content. It will also give you a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.
Both models come with M2 Apple Silicon that has an 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.
For the GPU, creatives get 10-cores and a 16-core Neural Engine. The cameras are also pretty rad, with a 12MP f/1.8 Wide and a 10MP f/2.4 Ultra Wide with a 125° field of view. You can’t go wrong with the camera package Apple puts into its products for mobile photography.
Finally, creatives will get hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW. This is processed through dedicated decode and encode engines, which allows this iPad to rival larger systems. For RAM, models with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage will have 8GB, and the 1TB and 2TB models will have 16GB.
All in all, these iPads seem to be one of the best tablets on the market from a specs perspective. Especially when you bring in the super-fast Wi-Fi 6E and unique workflow with the Apple Pencil.
We could spend the whole article talking about the feature set of the new iPad Pros. Look, they’re great. If your workflow would benefit from a tablet, these are the ones to shortlist.
But we’re filmmakers. We’re here for DaVinci Resolve.
DaVinci Resolve Lite?
At one point, a DaVinci Resolve system cost more than $100,000, and now you can apparently use it on an iPad. Unfortunately, all we have to go on is a picture. However, we can still learn a few things if we put on our detective hats.
At the bottom, we only see two tabs instead of the original seven. Gone are Edit, Fusion, Fairlight, Media, and Deliver. Creatives are only left with the Cut and Color tabs, which shows this edition of Resolve to be a cut-down suite (pardon the pun).
For tablet use, this may be more than enough for creatives, especially since Fusion requires a bit more finesse to use than a finger. It seems that Blackmagic Design is attempting to bring in creators opting more for mobile platforms and quick turnarounds.
There’s no word from BMD on when Resolve for iPad will be available. But the iPad Pro goes out in late October, so we should know more soon.
Colorists on the move will get a kick out of Reference Mode. This will enable the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Liquid Retina XDR display to match the color requirements for their HDR workflows. Creatives can then use the iPad to review and approve in apps like Frame.io, color grade in Resolve, and composite in Photoshop.
How the calibration and adjustment will be handled remains to be seen, but iPads have been good enough to be used for reference for quite some time. Seeing Apple embrace the workflow with dedicated support is a nice touch.
Furthermore, additional photos show the iPad Pro utilizing Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Publisher 2 iPad, Octane X, and uMake.
Ideally, this setup will allow creatives to mock up a CAD drawing with uMake, render out content for VFX or gaming with Octane X, and design their print material with Affinity Publisher.
Thanks to Apple Silicon, we are seeing non-traditional systems inching forward in the content creation game. Not everyone needs a dedicated laptop or desktop anymore, especially when delivering web content. And while Apple isn’t the only one making strides, with Microsoft, HP, and Samsung offering small footprint options, the new iPad Pro with M2 is definitely one to beat.
What do you think about the new iPad Pro? Would you want to add this to your workflow? Let us know in the comments!