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The big 2024 iPad line up refresh is here

Apple drops the M4 processor into iPad Pro before anything else, plus an all-new Apple Pencil, new iPad Air, and a price drop on the base iPad. A big day for the tablet.

Seamus Byrne
Seamus Byrne
2 min read
Promo image of the new iPad Pro on a white background
The iPad Pro: the first M4 chip in any Apple product

There was a lot of anticipation for the new iPad announcements this week, and now we have all the details after watching the slick announcement special from Apple.

The big reveal was the new iPad Pro getting the next-gen 3nm M4 processor before any of the Mac range, which Apple says has allowed for the thinnest design ever. Not of any iPad, but they're claiming it is the thinnest device Apple has ever made – even thinner than the iPod nano from back in the day. (The Apple Pencil is thicker, and so is the USB-C cable connector).

Side view of the pencil attached to the iPad Pro on a black background
The pencil is thicker than the iPad Pro

The iPad Pro and the iPad Air are now both available in 11-inch and 13-inch variants, which is a big win for those who don't feel they need all the grunt of a Pro but still want that bigger 13-inch size. I'm betting there will be plenty of those selling fast.

The iPad Air moves to the M2 processor, which the old Pro was using, while the new iPad Pro gets the M4. Apple says it sees 1.5x CPU performance over the M2, plus it enables hardware support for the AV1 video codec and a range of new features like a very slick Final Cut Pro multicam system using four iPhones wirelessly linked in via a new Final Cut Camera app. Can't wait to hear what the mobile event pros think of that one.

iPad Pro also gets a new Tandem OLED screen, which uses two OLED panels stacked to deliver enhanced brightness. With all their extra screen tech in the mix Apple is calling this an Ultra Retina XDR display which is starting to become quite a mouthful. There is also a nanotexture option now, which seems like a big plus for serious pros who want to reduce glare while working in any environment.

There's also a new iPad Pro keyboard that Apple says feels "just like using a MacBook". I used to really like the old Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro but the keys were not ideal for writing for long periods – so this seems a very good step forward. It also includes function keys like a MacBook too.

The new Apple Pencil Pro is a nice update, offering new features based on squeezing the grip to bring up new menus, plus haptic feedback on board. Brushes on a canvas can also follow the rotation of the pencil to create more natural brush strokes and the hover can reveal the exact orientation of the brush before you press down.

For those after the tried and true base level iPad, there's no new offering here but the price is now starting from $599 for 64GB or $849 for 256GB. Given how many people just want an iPad to watch videos, that entry model is a pretty good little interactive TV screen.


Seamus Byrne Twitter

Founder and Head of Content at Byteside.

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