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Overkill — M4 iPad Pro review: Well, now youre just showing off This tablet offers much more than youll actually need.

Samuel Axon – May 13, 2024 9:01 pm UTC Enlarge / The 2024, M4-equipped 13-inch iPad Pro.Samuel Axon reader comments 318

The new iPad Pro is a technical marvel, with one of the best screens Ive ever seen, performance that few other machines can touch, and a new, thinner design that no one expected.

Its a prime example of Apple flexing its engineering and design muscles for all to see. Since it marks the companys first foray into OLED beyond the iPhone or Watch, and the first time a new M-series chip has debuted on something other than a Mac, it comes across as a tech demo for where the company is headed beyond just tablets.

Still, it remains unclear why most people would spend one, two, or even three thousand dollars on a tablet that, despite its amazing hardware, does less than a comparably priced laptopor at least does it a little more awkwardly, even if it’s impressively quick and has a gorgeous screen. Specifications

There are some notable design changes in the 2024 iPad Pro, but really, its all about the specsand its a more notable specs jump than usual in a couple of areas. M4

First up, theres the M4 chip. The previous iPad Pro had an M2 chip, and the latest Mac chip is the M3, so not only did the iPad Pro jump two whole generations, but this is the first time it has debuted the newest iteration of Apple Silicon. (Previously, new M-series chips launched on the Mac first and came to the iPad Pro a few months later.)

Using second-generation 3 nm tech, the M4s top configuration has a 10-core CPU, a 10-core GPU, and a 16-core NPU. In that configuration, the 10-core CPU has four performance cores and six efficiency cores. Advertisement

A lower configuration of the M4 has just nine CPU coresthree performance and six efficiency. Which one you get is tied to how much storage you buy. 256GB and 512GB models get nine CPU cores, while 1TB and 2TB get 10. Additionally, the two smaller storage sizes have 8GB of RAM to the larger ones 16GB.

This isnt the first time Apple has tied RAM to storage configurations, but doing that with CPU cores is new for the iPad. Fortunately, the company is upfront about all this in its specs sheet, whereas the RAM differentiation wasnt always clear to buyers in the past. (Both configurations claim 120GB/s memory bandwidth, though.) Enlarge / Can the M4 help the iPad Pro bridge the gap between laptop and tablet? Mostly, it made me excited to see the M4 in a laptop.Samuel Axon

Regardless of the specific configuration, the M4 promises substantially better CPU and GPU performance than the M2, and it supports hardware-accelerated ray-tracing via Metal, which some games and applications can take advantage of if developers put in the work to make it happen. (It looked great in a demo of Diablo Immortal I saw, but its unclear how often well actually see it in the wild.)

Apple claims 1.5x faster CPU performance than the M2 and up to 4x faster graphics performance specifically on applications that involve new features like ray-tracing or hardware-accelerated mesh shading. It hasn’t made any specific GPU performance claims beyond those narrow cases.

Further ReadingApple releases eight small AI language models aimed at on-device useA lot of both Apples attention and that of the media is focused on the Neural Engine, which is what Apple calls the NPU in the M-series chips. Thats because the company is expected to announce several large language model-based AI features in iOS, macOS, and iPadOS at its developer conference next month, and this is the chip that will power some of that on the iPad and Mac.

Some neat machine-learning features are already possible on the M4you can generate audio tracks using certain instruments in your Logic Pro projects, apply tons of image optimizations to photos with just a click or two, and so on. Page: 1 2 3 4 5 Next → reader comments 318 Samuel Axon Samuel is a senior editor at Ars Technica. He primarily covers software development, gaming, Apple, consumer technology, and mixed reality. He has been writing about gaming and technology for 15 years, and is a Chicago-based game developer. Advertisement Channel Ars Technica ← Previous story Next story → Related Stories Today on Ars

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Projecting the X factors, tactics and key matchups that will swing Rangers-Panthers

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Projecting the X factors, tactics and key matchups that will swing Rangers-Panthers

The NHL’s conference finals have arrived, and if you asked around in September, the four teams remaining were some of the most likely answers to the question, “Who will win the Stanley Cup?”

We didn’t get here the way many would have imagined, though. In the East, there can be no debate that the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers are the best teams, and were the best teams over the course of the season.

The West, however, was a little more surprising. The Dallas Stars battled the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets all season for the No. 1 spot in the West, with all three teams having spells at the top. The Edmonton Oilers had times during the season when they were wholly unconvincing as playoff threats, including a dismal start that saw them nine points out of a playoff spot in November, leading to the dismissal of coach Jay Woodcroft.

In our series previews, we look at specific areas: key points of difference in the series, the X factor, which team my model favors and the reasons why, along with a projection on the series result.

The model is a neural network that accounts for player strength, offensive, defensive and special teams performance, goaltending, matchup ratings and rest. As the model ingests data, it improves, with the heaviest weights on recent play. The model allows for players to be added and removed, with their impact on the game results measured.

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M’s Rojas: Yankees’ Schmidt ‘was clearly tipping’

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M's Rojas: Yankees' Schmidt 'was clearly tipping'

NEW YORK — With a little nod of his neck as he took his lead off second base, Josh Rojas seemed to signal Mariners teammate Dylan Moore that a cutter was coming from Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt.

Moore drove the 93.1 mph pitch 386 feet into the left-field seats for a 2-0 lead, helping Seattle to a 6-3 win over New York on Tuesday night.

“Everybody’s always trying to look for something,” Rojas said Wednesday. “We’re out there trying to find anything we can to gain an advantage.”

MLB Network showed a frame-by-frame comparison of Schmidt in the set position with Moore at the plate in the third inning. Rojas could see none of the ball before a sinker, a little of the ball ahead of a sweeper and a significant portion before a cutter.

Moore had fouled off Schmidt’s first full-count pitch, a sweeper, before the right-hander came back with a cutter.

“You can see in the video he was clearly tipping,” Rojas said.

Schmidt, 28, said after the game the Yankees were aware of the tipping and quickly worked to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

“Obviously tipping is a part of this game and it’s a factor and it’s always in the back of our heads and something that we’re well aware of,” Schmidt said. “They got two runs on it. But I was able to make adjustments after we saw the video and just part of the game. Another factor in it.”

Schmidt said tipping had been an issue with him in the past.

“It’s just something that we’re constantly with all our guys paying attention to and working on,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Mariners manager Scott Servais, a big league catcher from 1991 to 2001, said technology has forced teams to become more alert to tipping.

“You didn’t have all the cameras and all the people working in front offices. It was actually a learned skill,” Servais said. “The days that you weren’t playing, you’re just locked in on that pitcher. Where does he comes set? When does his hand go into his glove? Where’s his eyes? Does he bite his lip when he throws his slider? There’s all kinds of stuff that happens, and in our day, you would just sit and stare at the guy until you try to figure it out for yourself.”

Asked who was the best at picking up tips, Servais brought up his own experience.

“Veteran players that didn’t play much — like myself — knew what to look for,” he said. “I always thought catchers had a good sense for it because they all knew that pitchers all did something a little bit different.”

Rojas said figuring out pitch tips “is a pretty common thing.”

“Even if you have something, it’s still pretty hard to get a hit,” he said.

Major League Baseball’s approval in 2022 of the PitchCom device for communication between pitchers and catchers has largely eliminated catchers signaling pitchers — and the ability of runners at second to pick up those signs. That causes runners to focus on the pitchers.

“Now it’s strictly a game of trying to find little things like that that will give you a tell,” Rojas said.

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Padres’ Bogaerts broke shoulder diving for ball

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Padres' Bogaerts broke shoulder diving for ball

CINCINNATI — San Diego Padres All-Star second baseman Xander Bogaerts broke his left shoulder attempting a diving pickup and was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday.

“I’m not a big timetable guy,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “Obviously he’ll be on the sidelines for a period of time. It’s really impossible to say how long. We’re still gathering information.”

Bogaerts injured his shoulder while diving for a ground ball in the first game of a doubleheader Monday against the Atlanta Braves. Bogaerts was escorted off the field after being evaluated by training staff.

Initial imaging of Bogaerts’ shoulder came back negative, but the fracture was revealed when further tests were done on Wednesday.

“Not as good (of news) as we clearly would have hoped, especially after the initial imaging,” Shildt said.

The Padres said Bogaerts, 31, did not suffer a labrum tear and does not require surgery at this time. The bone needs time to heal, but Bogaerts said he hopes to return to the lineup by late summer.(

Bogaerts, who was placed on the IL retroactive to May 21, is hitting .219 with four homers and 14 RBIs.

In related roster moves, the Padres selected the contract of outfielder David Peralta and transferred right-handed pitcher Luis Patiño to the 60-day IL.

Luis Arraez started at second base for the second straight game on Wednesday. Shildt said he will get creative in terms of replacing Bogaerts moving forward.

“The good news is, we have options between three or four different guys,” Shildt said. “We’re still in the process of figuring things out.”

The Associated Press and Field Level Media contributed to this report.

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