M4 iPad Pro review roundup: Slim, gorgeous but a bit limited


M4 iPad Pro in use
Early reviews of M4 iPad Pro are full of positives with some negatives.
Screenshot: Apple

The first reviews of the M4 iPad Pro praise its slim design, its beautiful screen and its speedy new processor. But there’s also some criticism of the limitations imposed by iPadOS.

Read on for the highs and lows of early reviews of Apple’s new top-of-the-line tablet.

‘The thinnest Apple product ever’ –Apple

Apple kept the same general iPad design, but slimmed down. And reviewers love it.

“The new iPad Pro is a genuine achievement in tablet design,” said The Verge. “It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to the vision that a tablet should feel not like a computer but, rather, like a piece of glass in your hand.”

And Tom’s Guide said, “Thanks to the thinner and lighter design, the iPad Pro is more portable than ever — not to mention more comfortable to hold for long periods.”

“The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was its thinness,” said CNBC. “It’s noticeable compared with the M1 iPad Pro I’ve used for the past several years. And it’s lighter. That’s especially nice on the 13-inch model.”

The 11-inch version measures just 5.3 mm thick while the 13-inch model is even thinner at 5.1 mm.

iPad goes OLED

The M4 iPad Pro has an OLED display. With an organic light-emitting diode screen, each pixel glows on its own. It earned compliment after compliment.

“Everything is incredibly bright, sharp and vibrant, whether I’m browsing the web, editing photos, watching movies or playing games,” said Engadget. I cannot stress enough how delightful this screen is.”

“The new OLED display is sharper, brighter, and more colorful than the previous iPad Pro,” said Gizmodo. ‘I watched the same content on both devices, and the Ultra Retina OLED display had far better depth and contrast than previous generations of iPad or MacBook screens.”

Apple M4 debuts in iPad Pro

The 2024 iPad Pros brought the debut of the M4 chip processor. This is the first time an Apple processor family has launched in a tablet.

Tom’s Guide ran Geekbench 6 on the new chip and got a Multi-Core score of 14,523, and a Single-Core score of 3,700. These are quite close to preliminary benchmark scores that showed the M4 offers roughly 20% better performance than M3.

“In my benchmark tests, the M4-powered Pro scored about 50 percent higher than the previous M2-running model. In practice, it definitely doesn’t feel 50 percent faster, but it does feel faster,” said The Verge.

And Engadget pointed out, “When you’re spending in excess of $1,000, it’s good to know you’ll get performance that’ll last you years into the future, and that’s definitely the case here. As apps get even more complex, the iPad Pro should be able to make short work of them.”

Even longer battery life

These early reviews are based on just a few days with the tablets, and most didn’t have time to test battery life.

And exception is Tom’s Guide, who said, “In our battery test which involved continuous web-surfing over Wi-Fi with the display set to 150 nits of brightness, the iPad Pro lasted for an astonishing 13 hours and 13 minutes. That not only beats the 10 hours Apple promised but also breezes past the iPad Pro M2’s 10 hours and 39 minutes of battery life.”

Better placement for front-facing camera

For M4 2024 iPad Pro, Apple relocated the front-facing camera to the long edge of the tablet.

“The front-facing camera on the landscape edge of the tablet means you can actually do video calls when the iPad is in its keyboard dock and not look ridiculous,” said Engadget.

“Moving the front-facing camera from portrait to landscape placement was a no-brainer,” said TechCrunch.

Many don’t love iPadOS

Reviews of the M4 iPad Pro are not a lovefest. Many call out weaknesses of iPadOS.

“By forcing the device to run a locked-down, oversimplified operating system, Apple has prevented this ultraportable and ultrapowerful machine from becoming the full-fledged computer so many users want it to be,” said The Verge.

“The software, iPadOS, is what you’ll get on any other iPad. And while I think it works great, it’s time for the Pro models to have a better operating system,” said CNBC.

Which isn’t to say all the reviewers hate the operating system.

“I was able to do everything my job asks of me on the iPad Pro while I was testing it, but that doesn’t mean it would be my choice over a Mac for certain situations,” said Engadget.

“I used the iPad Pro as a laptop and the tablet had no problem handling my regular workflow, which usually has me juggling multiple open tabs and applications,” said Tom’s Guide.

M4 iPad Pro review roundup: The Verdict

M4 iPad Pro running Stage Manager
Reviewers love almost everything about M4 iPad Pro.
Screenshot: Apple

“The iPad Pro lineup has always been about showing off just how good of a tablet Apple can make, but this one truly is without compromise. It doesn’t just have a nice screen, it has the best screen Apple has ever made. It doesn’t have the same processor as some Macs, it has a newer and better one,” said Engadget. “To get all of that technology into a device this thin and light truly feels, well, magical.”

“It’s my favorite iPad to date, even though I don’t need the faster chip. I love how thin it is and that it’s lighter than the earlier iPads,” said CNBC.

“The iPad Pro 2024 is an exceptional tablet. Its vivid OLED display is a marvel to behold and the new thin and light design makes it more portable than ever. I’m also a fan of its speedy M4-powered performance and astonishing battery life,” said Tom’s Guide.

The 11-inch 2024 iPad Pro starts at $999, while the 13-inch model starts at $1,299. Both tablets come in either silver or space black.

Buy from: Apple

It will start reaching customers on May 15.


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