Oh no, I think I want an iPad Pro now

The iPad Pro has always struck me as a confusing device. It’s significantly more expensive than the (very capable!) iPad and iPad Air. iPadOS is still not a great environment for multitasking. And Apple still hasn’t justified why a super-powerful tablet (simplified versions) in the first place Final Cut Pro and Audition not enough!). If you’re trying to get some serious work done, you’re better off getting a slightly used last-gen MacBook Pro instead of spending $1,000 or more on an off-the-shelf tablet.

And yet, something about this year’s iPad Pros forces me.

Apple Magic KeyboardApple Magic Keyboard


Taken individually, most of the tablet’s new features seem trivial. It is the first device with Apple’s M4 chip, which has better AI than the previous M-series hardware. It has a “tandem” OLED display that combines two OLED panels for better performance. Both the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pros are incredibly thin and light (the latter model is Apple’s thinnest device ever, at 5.1mm).

But when you put all these advancements together and combine them with a redesigned, MacBook-like Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro M4 starts to look more and more similar. the ultralight computer of my dreams. A super-powerful machine that’s easy to take anywhere, with a gorgeous screen for watching TV shows and a capable keyboard for typing on the go. Perhaps I was mesmerized by the side profile of the iPad Pro with its Magic Keyboard, designed by Syd Mead in the 90s and envisioning how laptops could change in a few decades.

iPad Pro M4 with magic keyboardiPad Pro M4 with magic keyboard

Admittedly, the new iPad Pro looks a lot like the 2022 model. But, as the kids say, it’s different now. This year’s iPad Pro is thinner than I thought possible, and the updated Magic Keyboard solves most of the problems I had with previous versions thanks to its aluminum top cover, function keys, and larger touchpad.

Part of the appeal, at least for me, is that Apple has taken the idea of ​​a tablet computer one step further Microsoft’s Surface tablets. While these devices can function like genuine PCs and run full Windows applications, Microsoft hasn’t improved their keyboard covers or overall design in years. If you want to hold the surface in your lap, you’ll still have a foothold to dig your feet into and a pretty poor typing experience. On the other hand, the iPad Pro M4 now looks more like an actual laptop.

Now, I understand that part of this gadget craze is fueled by coverage of Apple’s recent unveiling event. I’ve been thinking a lot about iPads the past few days, and it’s taken a toll. When paired with a keyboard case, you can potentially get a laptop-like computing experience from your entry-level iPad or iPad Air. But then again, I already bought a 10th generation iPad Logitech’s Slim Folio keyboard and I don’t actually use it much for typing. It’s fine to jot down something short like an email, but the unsatisfying buttons make it difficult to get into the writing flow.

Once iPadOS is evened out, I’d feel better about switching to an iPad Pro a better platform for multitasking. The stage manager is a starter, but a bit clunky and difficult to navigate. Of course, Apple is limited to what’s possible on smaller displays, but I can imagine that iPads (along with iPhones and Macs) will become more functional once the company starts rolling out its products. rumors native AI models.

What if Siri could pinpoint your shopping list, pull prices from local stores, and share it with your friends? What if it could automatically edit your vacation videos to post on Instagram? Now imagine being able to do these things without losing focus from the email on your screen or your company’s Slack channel. Multitasking doesn’t necessarily require switching between multiple programs. With AI improvements, we could perform potentially complex tasks with natural language, and our devices could better predict what we actually need.

iPad Pro 2024iPad Pro 2024


Price is another glaring issue facing the iPad Pro. It’s always been expensive, but Apple is really pushing the limits of affordability with these new models. Both the 11-inch and 13-inch tablets are $200 more than before, starting at $999 and $1,299, respectively. While it’s nice to see them come with 256GB of storage as standard (up from 128GB), creative professionals will probably want to spend another $200 to get 512GB.

If you want the full 10-core CPU power of the M4 chip, you’ll need at least 1TB of storage, which makes the 11-inch iPad Pro $1,599. Want nano-textured glass for extra glare reduction? That’s another $100. Oh, and don’t forget the Magic Keyboard! It’s $299 or $349 more, depending on the size. If you really want to spec the iPad Pro as a laptop, it’s easy to get close to $2,000.

Alternatively, you can get a MacBook Air for just $1,299 or a 14-inch MacBook Pro for $1,599. Maybe add another $200 to get 16GB of RAM. At least with these machines you have bigger screens, great keyboards, the full desktop power of macOS, and multiple ports for connectivity. If you indeed If you want the iPad Pro experience, you can always look to the used or refurbished 2022 models that come with the more capable M2 chip.

Given how expensive it is, I probably won’t be buying a new iPad Pro anytime soon. But the desire is definitely there, sitting somewhere inside me, ready to take over my cognitive functions the moment these tablets drop in price.

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