Should you upgrade to the 2024 iPad Pro with M4 chip?

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Should You Upgrade to the M4 iPad Pro?
Is your iPad Pro old enough to justify buying the new iPad Pro?
Photo: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You own an iPad Pro, and you’re wondering if you should upgrade to the new iPad Pro with M4. We feel your pain. Announced on May 7, 2024, the new iPad Pro features the brand-new M4 chip. It’s the top-of-the-line iPad with a gorgeous Tandem OLED display and a radical thin-and-light design.

It’s easily upgradable with the new Apple Pencil Pro and refreshed Magic Keyboard. But whether it’s worth upgrading depends on which iPad Pro you use right now. We put together a guide to help you decide. Check the infographic below or watch the video.

Should I buy the M4 iPad Pro?

Should you buy the new M4 iPad Pro? Don’t Upgrade: iPad Pro (6th generation, M2) If you can afford it: iPad Pro (5th generation, M1) iPad Pro (4th generation, 2020) Time to upgrade: iPad Pro (3rd generation, 2018) iPad Pro (2nd generation, 2017) iPad Pro (1st generation, 2015)
A lot of people bought the 2018 iPad Pro. They have a lot to look forward to with this new model.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you use any older iPad Pro with a Home button, your time has come for an upgrade. The new M4 iPad Pro is a completely new tablet. You can pair it with the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. This Apple accessory boasts an aluminum shell that makes it look more like a MacBook. Plus, it adds function keys (as well as its laptop-like trackpad and cursor). And you’ll love how the new Apple Pencil Pro attaches magnetically rather than sticking awkwardly out the side.

The 2018 iPad Pro is starting to show its age, too. The iPad Pro with M4 should deliver a huge leap in speed. It also boasts an impressive OLED display, with offers a significant boost in brightness and contrast over the LCD panel. With Stage Manager enabled, you can plug in a desktop display for dual-screen productivity.

iPad Pro plugged into Studio Display running Stage Manager
Get some desktop-computer-style productivity with an iPad Pro.
Image: Apple

The difference gets weaker when you compare newer models of the iPad Pro with the new M4 version. If you own the fourth-generation model from 2020, or the fifth-gen iPad Pro with an M1 processor, you should upgrade only if you really want or need the OLED display.

Even if you already own an iPad Pro with the modern, flat-side design, the iPad Pro with M4 is subtly different enough to break compatibility with prior accessories. Its dramatic reduction in thickness means the Magic Keyboard wouldn’t fit. And moving the FaceTime camera to the same side where the Apple Pencil attaches means the internal parts that handle charging and pairing aren’t compatible.

For that reason, you certainly shouldn’t upgrade to the iPad Pro with M4 if you already have the M2 model and accessories. Wait it out and get a little more value for your money.

More about the iPad Pro

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