Apple M4 Powers iPad Pro Refresh With Impressive New Capabilities For Creators

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Apple's iPad is a device category that has been well-etched into the mainstream tablet market. After a few years of ho-hum updates, the venerable iPad Pro has received a substantial update for consumers and creators alike. The latest generation iPad Pro comes in 11-inch and 13-inch sizes, both with Apple's new Ultra Retina XDR OLED display. 

Prices of $999 and $1,299 round off the new pro lineup, sans the various accessories also announced. Apple Pencil Pro, at $129, comes with a host of improvements to usability that will be excellent for creators. The redesigned $349 Magic Keyboard is very MacBook Pro-like, subtlety answering the question of Apple's intent for the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. 

apple m4 breakdown

The iPad Pro also packs Apple's latest M4 silicon, a significant leap ahead of even high-end existing Macs which are relegated to M3 chips currently. This new M4 is lauded by Apple for its AI capabilities, with its new display engine amongst performance improvements. 

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With both iPad Pro models sharing the same technology, users now have a simpler choice that comes down to screen size. The Ultra XDR Retina display also comes in a nano-texture glass for professional users who want more light control for color accurate work. This option only appears available on the 1TB and up storage sizes for iPad Pro, adding to some cost considerations.

The 1600 nits peak brightness with HDR is also impressive, especially considering the new device is significantly thinner than its predecessor. It is lighter, something mobile users will appreciate in its form factor. 


The Apple Pencil Pro was a highlight of the Apple announcement, and it has gotten much smarter. With various new interactions available, such as squeezing the device and a gyroscope, input can now be more versatile. It can also be easily located with Find My, a feature that many who are prone to lose items are thankful for. 

Coming in at $129 is also a bonus, since the technology within is more advanced than ever before. Apple could have raised the price further to justify the new abilities, but kept pricing more in line with previous versions. With its ability to magnetically attach and charge with iPad Pro, creators and pencil aficionados should be delighted with this updated device. 


Getting iPad Pro closer to its status as a laptop replacement, the new Magic Keyboard is more Mac-like than ever. With a newly included function row and updated trackpad, the usability of iPad Pro as a laptop replacement will come down solely to what Apple does with its software to allow it. 

Popular apps such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro also received significant upgrades to work in synergy with iPad Pro, indicating Apple is willing to allow its laptop-qualities to emerge. The inclusion of the powerful and forward looking M4 chip with AI also signifies Apple wants the iPad Pro to be as strong as its MacBook lineup. 

An updated folio iPad Pro cover finishes off the accessories update, a likely vital piece to protect your new iPad Pro. 

With Apple's WWDC 2024 developer conference happening in June, more software updates are on the horizon. The M4 chip is now within iPad Pro, so the hardware is just waiting for Apple's software to fully take advantage of what can be done. If AI will make the impact as many predict is still up in the air, but iPad Pro appears to be one of the first devices out of the gate that has potential.

The latest iPad Pro is available to preorder with a retail release set for May 15.