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Apple unfurled a proverbial middle finger at rivals after it revealed the new 2024 iPad Pro.

I got a savage whiff of the M4 chip inside this premium tablet — and all I can think is, “If this is what the M4 can do for the iPad Pro, the next M4 MacBook is going to be a problem!”


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

And by “problem,” I mean it’ll be a thorn in the side for laptop manufacturers competing with MacBooks. For us consumers, however, the M4 MacBooks are going to be killer laptops if the M4 iPad Pro is anything to go by.

Apple did mention that the M4 was power efficient, but I didn’t realize it’d be this good. As you’ll find out later in this review, the iPad Pro has mind-blowing endurance on a single charge. On top of that, the new iPad Pro is as svelte as a haute couture model. (Apple wasn’t kidding when it likened it to the “iPod Nano.”)

But as much as I already want to induct the new iPad Pro into our best tablets list, there are some things to consider. For example, some features that were once on the iPad Pro 2022 are no longer present on the current generation.

Note: As Mashable’s Senior Editor Stan Schroeder pointed out, there are some absent features that were once present the iPad Pro 2022. We will be calling out any trimmed features in a small section called “Notable Absence.”

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) price and specs

The iPad Pro I tested for this review costs $2,099 via Apple’s official website


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

It comes with the following specs:

New M4 chip (10-core GPU, 10-core GPU)

1TB of storage

16GB of RAM

Standard Glass

Wi-Fi + Cellular

Tandem OLED display with 2,752 x 2,064-pixel resolution

“Space Black” chassis

If this is too pricey for you, the cheapest 13-inch configuration costs $600 less (i.e., $1,299). However, that downgrades your specs to 256GB, 8GB of RAM, and no cellular support. And while you’re still getting the M4 chip, this variant has a slightly less powerful 9-core CPU (the 1TB and 2TB configurations have a 10-core CPU).

However, whether you choose the 9-core CPU or 10-CPU, the M4 chip is plenty powerful — perhaps even too powerful — for the iPad Pro. (More on that later.)

There’s also an 11-inch model if you want to shave the price down even further. The starting price for that one is $999 and comes with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

Recommendation for pro artists

If you’re a pro digital artist, 8GB of RAM really isn’t going to cut it. For the smoothest multi-tasking experience, I’d grab the 16GB of RAM model. This means you’ll have to, at the very least, grab the 11-inch model with 1TB of storage, which will set you back $1,599.

Featured Video For You

Unboxing the 2024 iPad Pro and iPad Air

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) design

“OMG heck yes!” I said when I realized Apple sent me the Space Black iPad Pro. As you’ll read in my op-ed, I am a huge fan of Space Black since it debuted with the M3 Pro MacBook Pro last year. Hell, if Apple can make the blackest black to ever black in the history of black, I’d lose my mind.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

It’s worth noting that the Space Black that debuted with the M3 Pro MacBook Pro featured anti-fingerprint tech, but the Space Black iPad Pro does not have the same.

The iPad Pro also comes in Silver, too, by the way, if Space Black doesn’t do it for you.

And can we talk about the iPad Pro’s ultra-slim design? This is Apple’s thinnest iPad yet, even beating the iPad Air.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

Nothing prepared me for how taken aback I was when I first picked up the iPad Pro. I know Apple referenced the iPad Nano to illustrate its ultra-thin and featherweight form factor, but holding it feels like I’m just cradling the whispers of technology — and nothing more. To put numbers to my experience, here are some figures:

13-inch iPad Pro: 0.20 inches thick, 1.28 pounds

11-inch iPad Pro: 0.21 inches thick, 0.98 pounds

And finally, the webcam, typically located on the top (when you’re holding it in portrait mode), got moved to side bezel. This way, when you’re hosting video calls or launching FaceTime sessions, the webcam is sitting on top while in landscape orientation.

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) display

The rumors turned out to be true. The 13-inch model (2,752 x 2,064-pixel resolution) and the 11-inch variant (2,420 x 1,668-pixel resolution) both have a new OLED display, which delivers striking true, deep blacks. (I delved into the benefits, and some possible cons, of OLED here.)

13-inch Space Black iPad Pro with the new Magic Keyboard
Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

However, what the rumors left out is that the new iPad Pro has a Tandem OLED display. This means that instead of one OLED panel, the iPad Pro has two of ’em. This delivers two benefits:

A striking contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1

Brilliant display (up to a peak brightness of 1,600 nits)

For the uninitiated, a contrast ratio tells you the difference between the brightest white and darkest white. As such, the 2,000,000:1 figure tells us that the brightest white on the new iPad Pro Tandem OLED is two million times brighter than the darkest black.

I mean, just look at this YouTube video that showcases the iPad Pro’s stunning contrast capabilities:


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

If I didn’t know any better, I’d reach out and grab a cherry directly from this slate. The Tandem OLED helps the green grapes look more conspicuous against the dark-red fruit.

I also watched some episodes of Selling OC, one of my favorite reality TV shows on Netflix, and was dazzled by how well the panel captured a highlighter-green suit on one of the real estate agents as well as glitzy, sweeping, colorful drone shots of Orange County, California.

It’s also worth noting that the new OLED iPad Pro 2024 has better ProMotion tech, allowing the iPad Pro to waver between 10Hz to 120Hz (the previous-gen iPad Pro jumped between 24Hz and 120hz). As such, when a speedy refresh isn’t needed, the new iPad Pro can drop down even lower for better energy conservation.

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) ports and connectivity

The M4 iPad Pro has a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4, which means you can get fast wired data transfer (up to 40Gb/s).


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

This lets you connect to a single external display (including the Pro Display XDR, for example, at its full 6K resolution).

Notable absence: In the cellular version of the new iPad Pro, you won’t find a SIM card slot. You must use an eSIM if you want to be consistently connected to a wireless network. Without a SIM slot, you can’t use a physical SIM card. You’ll have to reach out to your carrier for a QR code and follow other prompts to get cellular service.

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) audio

Sabrina Carpenter’s “Espresso” already sounds addicting as is, but after firing it up via Apple Music, I am even more obsessed. The iPad Pro’s quad-speaker setup outputs a sound that’s rich and smooth, seemingly mimicking the texture of espresso.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

From the pulsating beat to the punchy baselines, the iPad Pro perfectly captured the song’s electronic synths and catchy guitar riffs, providing a full-bodied sonic experience.

Notable absence: The previous-generation iPad Pro had five “studio-quality” mics. The new iPad Pro drops a mic for a total of four. I don’t think I’ll miss that one much. I had a FaceTime chat with a friend who said I sounded perfectly crisp on the mics.

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) cameras

The iPad Pro comes with a 12MP wide camera on the back while the selfie shooter comes with a 12MP ultra-wide camera.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

It also comes with a TrueDepth camera system, which means you’re getting FaceID on this bad boy (something you won’t find on the iPad Air.)

Yes, like its predecessor, the iPad Pro still has a 12MP wide camera, but with the new-generation model, you’re getting improved low-light performance and better detail. Take a look at this scenic shot I took at a park in Long Island.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

From the ripples capturing one’s eyes with its defined prominence in the foreground to the majestic trees looming over the pond, this picture is stunning for a shot taken with a 12MP iPad Pro shooter. The gen-over-gen improvements, though iterative, are noticeable.

I also took a selfie with the M4 iPad Pro, and I’m impressed with how well it captured my complexion and my bright red lipstick, as well as the patchy, grassy area behind me.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Video calling on the iPad Pro 2024 felt a lot less awkward, too, with the webcam being on the right bezel this time.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Notable absence: The previous iPad Pro came with a dual-camera array on the back, with a 12MP wide shooter and a 10MP ultra-wide camera alongside it. The new iPad Pro 2024, on the other hand, no longer has the 10MP ultra-wide camera.

This is interesting because Apple Vision Pro (AVP) spatial video requires both the main and ultra-wide cameras, so this iPad is out for AVP spatial recording. Personally, I think a telephoto lens would be more useful than an ultra-wide lens, allowing students and professionals, for example, to take more close-up, detailed photos of whiteboards and decks in lectures and conference rooms.

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) battery life

The iPad Pro has jaw-dropping battery life. It’s rated for a 10-hour runtime, however, I had a different experience — one that blew my mind.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

After running a TikTok rundown, which involves running a TikTok video on a loop at 50% of brightness, the iPad Pro lasted a whopping 16 hours and 24 minutes. In other words, the iPad Pro survived more than six hours longer than expected.

Adding a cherry on top, the average usage profile consists of some idle time, something the TikTok rundown doesn’t account for, so you may likely be able to squeeze even more out of the M4 iPad Pro 2024.

Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) benchmarks

I could not believe my eyes when I ran Geekbench 6 on the M4 iPad Pro — and I got a multi-core score of 14,586. I was so floored, I ran the test again, but I got similar results.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

For context, the M4 iPad Pro is more powerful than every single PC and MacBook we’ve tested for the past six months, save for the mighty Lenovo Legion 9i.

In other words, the M4 iPad Pro says, “Eat my dust” to all the M3 MacBooks, which have the following scores according to our in-house testing:

14-inch M3 MacBook Pro: 11,998

15-inch M3 MacBook Air: 12,057

But oh, it’s not just the M3 chip it beats. According to results posted on Geekbench, the M4 iPad Pro even beats the M3 Pro inside the 14-inch MacBook Pro. In other words, the M4 iPad Pro runs with the big boys, including the hefty M3 Pro MacBooks. Wow!

I ran apps like Procreate Dreams (animation app) and Sketchup (3D modeling app) to play around with the M4’s prowess, but realistically, as a digital art hobbyist, my workload doesn’t even come close to taxing the M4 chip. Perhaps there’s a niche of consumers who could push the M4’s envelope, including on-the-go professional creators who work with complex CAD models in Shapr3D and video editors who regularly use DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro for demanding workloads.

I’ve also had the pleasure of using the 13-inch iPad Pro with the new Magic Keyboard, which now features an aluminum palm rest, a larger haptic trackpad and a full function row, but it’s the latter that pulls at my heart strings because the tablet — with the new-and-improved keyboard — now feels more “MacBook-like.”

Is Apple iPad Pro 2024 (13-inch, M4) worth it?

If you find yourself saying, “LOL, the iPad Pro is super overpowered for something that’s supposed to just stream Netflix and browse the internet,” that’s an indication the iPad Pro isn’t for you.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

So the question is, who is the M4 iPad Pro 2024 for? This perfect user for the iPad Pro 2024 is a professional digital artist who often steps away from their desktop PC and needs a sleek, on-the-go device that can handle taxing workloads (on apps like ZBrush or Nomad Sculpt, for example) while they’re traveling from A to B.

If you’re not a pro artist, another niche that would love the iPad Pro are Apple enthusiasts who don’t mind dropping at least $1,000 on a luxury slate that has a brilliant, sleek display, a striking high-contrast panel, and shockingly long battery life.

If you fall into any one of those categories, the iPad Pro is, indeed, for you. Otherwise, it’d be best for you to consider the iPad Air, a cheaper option, that starts at $599.

Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

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