M1 MacBook Pro vs M1 iPad Pro for Color Grading in Resolve 18

DaVinci Resolve has finally dropped for iPad! This is exciting just because it finally shows that those iPads with pro-level processing are actually capable of running pro-level apps.

For anyone who has been dreaming about having an iPad finally replace their laptop this is a huge step in the right direction. But is it actually a good option or just a basic port that ensure your MacBook hangs around a little bit longer?

Filmmaker Michael Tobin is hoping to answer that question in this video by comparing the M1 MacBook Pro with the M1 iPad Pro. While these aren’t the latest and greatest M2 systems, the comparison between the devices should hold true even as the chips get better.

Starting with startup time you’ll actually find the iPad Pro blows away the MacBook Pro. To be fair, the Resolve app for iPad is still far from the full-fledged desktop version. It only offers the Cut and Color pages right now.

Still, nice to see the optimizations are great with Apple Silicon. The best part is that this should only get better and it already supports standard Resolve project files.

Image Credit: Apple

This initial project is on a Full HD timeline though there are some heavy grades throughout including some strong noise reduction.

The iPad plays it back clean. The M1 MacBook Pro wasn’t quite as smooth. The effects seem to be pushing the MacBook over the edge.

Things to consider are usability. On the MacBook, there is a lot more screen real estate and control to show off things like the full timeline with more vertical space. The iPad version has a squished UI.

Not everything is as adjustable as on the laptop which is unfortunate since they are a similar size.

Blackmagic does seem to have considered the iPad interface and how it reacts to user interaction. For example, opening up the inspector minimizes the bins to leave your viewer nice and large.

Image Credit: Blackmagic Design

Resolve on iPad has a surprisingly similar layout. The iPad is missing some buttons, but it still doesn’t have the full controls and features as the desktop version yet so this is to be expected.

So the iPad experience is looking good, but it still isn’t quite as fully featured as the desktop version. No surprises there. But, you will need to consider than an iPad with keyboard and such is going to cost more.

On the other hand, the iPad Pro’s 12.9” display is better with mini-LED tech.

Performance is smooth, which is a great sign for the future of Resolve on iPad.

What I would say is that the iPad may not be a replacement for your laptop just yet but it is looking good for the future. Maybe don’t drop your main computer today.

Still, if you enjoy an iPad and happen to already have one you could do some quick edits on the go and then bring it to your desktop to finish up later on.

What do you think? Is iPad on Resolve a sensible thing?

[source: michael tobin]

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  • Apple 13” MacBook Pro with M1 Chip (B&H, Amazon)
  • Apple 12.9” iPad Pro with M1 Pro (Amazon)
  • Apple 12.9” iPad Pro with M2 Chip (B&H, Amazon)

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