Apple Announces iPad Pros with OLED Screens and an Improved iPad Air

Apple announced a new poweful line of iPads on Tuesday that makes it seem as though the iPad is poised to replace the MacBook. Pair one of the new models with a Magic Keyboard and it's more like a laptop than a tablet. And the updated iPad Pro with its state-of-the-art OLED screen and quad speakers may be the best way to watch movies on the go. 

iPad Air
Always seen as an "iPad lite," the 11-inch model is now joined by a 13-inch screen. The outer design is the same as the 2022 model and has the same Liquid Retina Screen with anti-reflective coating, True Tone technology, high brightness, and support for P3 wide color.  

Recognizing that the iPad is often used in a landscape orientation, stereo speakers with Spatial Audio have been added to maximize sound when the iPad is on its side.  The speakers in the 13-inch model have double the bass for a richer sound in music and videos to create an overall better viewing experience. 

Likewise, the front-facing ultra-wide 12 MP camera has moved to the iPad's long side for use in landscape mode. It's a much more natural way to conduct FaceTime and Zoom calls.  Combined with Center Stage, which follows the person speaking, it's a better video call experience. When unlocking the device, it might take a minute to get used to turning your iPad for facial recognition. 

Beyond entertainment and calls, the iPad Air has bumped up its processor to handle more demanding apps. Apple replaced the iPad Air's M1 chip with the M2 chip, similar to the one in the previous generation of iPad Pro. Its 8-core CPU 10-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine will easily handle new AI processing needs without wait time. The extra power will improve iPadOS features like Visual Look Up, Subject Lift, and Live Text. Plus, it can handle AI-powered app tools like Auto Enhance in Photomator.

Connectivity has been updated as well. It is now capable of Wi-Fi 6E.  The cellular model supports 5G.

iPad Pro
Upgrades in the 2024 iPad Pro take its performance into the stratosphere. The Pro has been redesigned and is now Apple's thinnest product ever made.  At 5.1 and 5.3 mm (0.2 inches), it's even thinner than the iPod nano and weighs less than the iPad Air.  Apple refers to the iPad Pro's new processor as "the rocket chip." This top speed performance coupled with a profoundly detailed OLED screen is well suited for creative and business professionals living up to its iPad Pro name.

The Pro's Ultra Retina XDR display created with Tandem OLED technology promises to be the brightest, sharpest Apple display to date. Two layers of sandwiched OLEDs result in a brighter (1600 nits peak brightness in HDR and a 2-million to one contrast ratio), impossibly-detailed screen with deeper blacks. The 2420 x 1688 pixel resolution is 264 pixels per inch.  It supports ProMotion adaptive 10-120Hz refresh rates for smooth video and gameplay.  Professionals who require low reflectivity can choose the nano-textured glass option that scatters the light while maintaining image quality and contrast. 

The 2022 iPad Pro was considered to be the best tablet for watching movies and now it's been improved.

What's more, gamers will enjoy ray tracing, dynamic caching, and mesh shading made possible by the 10-core GPU in the 1 TB model.  Adaptive lighting and shading elevates game play creating a more realistic experience. If you want more than the 13-inch screen, connect a Thunderbolt 3 or USB 4 to the iPad Pro to stream at rates up to 40 Gb/s, which is more than enough to run external displays like the Pro Display XDR at 6K resolution. 

The improved GPU is just one aspect of the iPad Pro's new self- proclaimed "rocket chip."  Apple replaced the previous generation's M2 silicon processor with an all-new M4 chip (skipping the M3 chip used in current Macbook Pros). The M4's four performance cores, and six efficiency cores can run on battery for a full day thanks to the power efficiency of 3-nanometer technology.

All of this power is required to run apps like the new Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro editions. Final Cut Pro now supports four live streams at once for instant multi-cam switching. The M4 chip performs AI-enabled tasks like instantly removing a subject from its background in 4K video. Logic Pro for iPad 2 which expands the drummer capabilities to include bass and keyboard players and ChromaGlow that creates an analog warmth to the track.

Like the iPad Air, the Pro can connect to Wi-Fi 6E, and the cellular model is 5G capable. Cellular models of both the Pro and the Air no longer have physical sim cards opting for the eSim cards that make it easier to connect when traveling internationally. 

Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard
While the current Magic Keyboard will connect to the iPad Air, there is a new accessory for the iPad Pro. The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro (M4) has added a row of function keys, making it feel more like you're working on a Macbook instead of an iPad. Both keyboard models connect to iPads magnetically, hold the iPads vertically, and fold up for easy transport. 

Apple also announced the Apple Pencil Pro, the next-generation Apple Pencil that only works with the new-generation iPads. It includes a number of features that users have wanted. For example, the pencil is now included in Find My, making it easy to locate when it rolls between the sofa cushions. 

The Pencil has hovering capabilities that allow an artist to preview a brush stroke before committing to making a mark.  A sensor in the barrel can tell when you squeeze the pencil, offering quick access to the tool palette.  And users can tell when they've double-tapped or squeezed the pencil via a confirmation haptic tap. 

The pencil senses when it has been rotated using an inner gyroscope. Turning it one way and back changes between broad and narrow brush strokes. 

If it's time to update or get a new iPad, you'll now get much more for your money.  All models have more memory. The iPad Air starts at 128 GB for $599 (11-inch) and $799 (13-inch), with models available for up to 1 TB.  iPad Pros start at 256 GB for $999 (11-inch) and $1299 (13-inch).  The Apple Pencil Pro is $129, and the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro (M4) is $299 (11-inch) and $349 (13-inch).

rachelgreen's picture

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Steffin's picture

Apple's latest announcement of iPad Pros with OLED screens and an enhanced iPad Air is exciting. The OLED display promises internet and tv packages for seniors superior visuals with vibrant colors and deeper blacks. The improved iPad Air offers a great balance of performance and value, making it an appealing choice for users. Can't wait to experience these upgrades!

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