For the first time in its 10 year shelf life, Apple just released a new iPad model with absolutely zero fanfare. Due to reasons that hardly need explaining at this point, Cupertino decided against its usual big reveal event at its luscious Steve Jobs theatre space, choosing to instead just throw it onto its website and call it a day. So what does PUBG Mobile performance look like on the most powerful tablet on the market?
With a shiny new iPad Pro ready to crunch numbers out in the wild now, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to run Tencent’s battle royale title on the thing. iPads are well-known in the PUBG Mobile community. They’re big, fast, and very stable. It’s never looked like the most comfortable way to play the game, but it’s by far the smoothest way to win a match.
So, rather than gush over its massive storage space, cursor support, 120Hz 2K panel, and 10 hour battery life, how does this $1000+ late run one of the most popular mobile games in the world? Like butter. Smooth, smooth butter.
Given it probably wouldn’t be a stretch to say the 2020 iPad Pro could run the console version of PUBG if Bluehole decided to port it over, the machine barely breaks a sweat running PUBG Mobile. We’re all used to a stutter (or 10) when running around Erangel. Its sprawling world isn’t massively detailed, but there’s enough going on throughout for mid-range mobile hardware to trip up from time to time as it loads things in and out of relatively slow system memory.
That’s where the iPad Pro has the upper hand.
YouTube user Lulszic Gaming grabbed the new Apple hardware and got to work recording a couple PUBG Mobile matches. But you don’t need to skip to a match to see the device fly. From the moment they start the app, it’s clear to see load times are drastically reduced against even flagship phones from the last few years — like the Google Pixel 2 XL. It takes no time at all to tap through the startup logos, log in, and get to the home screen.
Smooth/Balanced and Extreme FPS settings results in a silky smooth 60 FPS experience no matter how hectic things get. Lulszic did test the device’s performance on the HDR setting, but with the game locking us out of the Extreme 60 FPS mode at higher settings, players wanting PUBG Mobile to look its best will have to settle for a 40 FPS cap.
It’s worth noting that we’re just eyeballing things here. Neither video includes a visible FPS meter for concrete evidence of a rock solid 60 FPS experience. But from the camera footage alone, PUBG Mobile appears to run flawlessly on Apple’s new hardware on both minimum and near-max (HDR) settings. Check out their other video here to gauge for yourself whether a 40 FPS cap is worth the extra image quality.
But what about making use of that fluid 120Hz display? After all, a high refresh rate screen makes for a maximum visible framerate of 120 FPS if the hardware is up to task. Sadly, PUBG Mobile still hasn’t introduced its promised 90Hz mode. And with that original announcement being tied to Qualcomm’s newer mobile processors, there’s no guarantee the setting will be unlocked to iPad users whenever it arrives.
Apple’s 2020 iPad Pro would likely be more than up for the task of running PUBG Mobile at 120 FPS if given the opportunity. It’s a solid piece of hardware for the serious PUBG Mobile player. But given things like hardware triggers on Qualcomm-powered devices like the Red Magic 3, it’s difficult to recommend the 2020 iPad Pro as a pure PUBG Mobile machine.
It’s a great option for those in need of a portable workstation capable of running their favorite mobile apps, though, but no 5G support might hurt the idea of this being a long-term investment.
Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which also runs Tencent Games, developer and publisher of PUBG Mobile. Tencent also subsidizes much of Fanbyte’s PUBG Mobile coverage by covering freelancer budget costs. Those covering PUBG Mobile for the site have no contact with Tencent, however, and are given complete creative control to write whatever they wish.