iPad Pro

Cult of Mac's iPad Pro Superguide: Everything you need to know about iPad Pro.
The M4 iPad Pro, released in 2024, is the first to feature an OLED screen.

The iPad Pro is a line of tablet computers manufactured by Apple, targeted primarily at professionals and users who want high-performance capabilities in a portable device. The tablet features a sleek and premium design characterized by a thin profile, aluminum chassis, and a large touchscreen display.

The computer comes with a suite of useful applications written by Apple, and there are millions more available in the App Store. Apple sells two high-end accessories for the M4 iPad Pro: the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil Pro.

Plus, iPad Pro users can choose from a wide array of accessories made by third-party manufacturers. That includes multiple attachable keyboard cases with a trackpad to turn the tablet into a slim convertible notebook.

Overall, the iPad Pro is positioned as a powerful and versatile computer suitable for a wide range of tasks, from content consumption to professional-level creative work, offering portability and convenience without compromising on performance.

iPad Pro models

First-gen iPad Pro (2015)

Apple unveiled the first iPad Pro on September 9, 2015. It featured an impressively large 12.9-inch screen. Apple released the original iPad Pro on November 11, 2015. An iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch screen followed in early 2016.

Second-gen iPad Pro (2017)

Apple announced the second-generation iPad Pro on June 5, 2017. Powered by an A10X Fusion processor, it came with three storage options: 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. A 10.5-inch model replaced the original 9.7-inch iPad Pro; the 12.9-inch version stayed the same size. Both screen sizes employed better screen technology, with refresh rates up to 120Hz, better HDR and TrueTone white balancing. These were the last iPad Pro models that came with a Home Button and a Lightning connector.

Third-gen iPad Pro (2018)

Apple announced the third-generation iPad Pro on October 30, 2018, in two screen sizes: 11-inch and 12.9-inch. Removing the Home Button enabled Apple to design the tablets with full-screen displays, with Face ID sensors on the top edge that worked in both landscape and portrait orientations. The third-gen iPad Pro also replaced Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector with an industry-standard USB-C connector. These iPad worked with a new Smart Keyboard Folio as well as the previously launched Magic Keyboard.

Fourth-gen iPad Pro (2020)

Apple announced the fourth-generation iPad Pro on March 18, 2020, with the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes. A a redesigned camera module, with a LiDAR Scanner for capturing 3D objects and environments. Powered by an Apple A12Z processor, the iPad Pro 4 started at 128GB storage. Apple also sold a Magic Keyboard with a trackpad for this model iPad Pro.

Fifth-gen iPad Pro (2021)

Apple announced the fifth-generation iPad Pro on April 20, 2021. It looked the same as the previous generation, but brought a powerful upgrade: Apple’s new M1 chip. It also offered Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 connectivity (up to 40 Gbps) and 5G capability for cellular models. The fifth-gen iPad Pro also supported external display output up to 6K resolution. The 12.9-inch model gained an XDR display with mini-LEDs that Apple dubbed “Liquid Retina XDR.”

Sixth-gen iPad Pro (2022)

Apple announced the sixth-generation iPad Pro on October 18, 2022. These models used the same design as previous generations, but the more-powerful Apple M2 chip offered a performance upgrade. These tablets also supported a new Apple Pencil Hover feature that let the display detect the stylus up to 12mm above the screen. The sixth-gen iPad Pro also gained ProRes Video Recording (limited to 1080p for variants with 128GB storage but capable of up to 4K for 256GB-plus models). It also supported Apple’s ProMotion adaptive display technology, which let the screen refresh at up to 120 images per second.

Seventh-gen M4 iPad Pro (2024)

The latest model, the M4 iPad Pro released in May 2024, comes in two sizes: one with an 11-inch screen and a second with a 13-inch screen. Like all Apple tablets, it runs iPadOS. At its heart is a powerful Apple M4 processor. It features what Apple calls a “tandem OLED” screen that delivers darker blacks and brighter colors. Apple says the tablet’s slim new design makes it the “thinnest Apple product ever.”

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on iPad Pro:

Should you buy a MacBook or iPad?

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MacBook VS iPad
Which is the better choice these days?
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Should your next computer be a MacBook or an iPad? Apple is making the iPad more powerful and capable every year — it might be good enough that you don’t need a traditional computer in your life.

While macOS is still more powerful and versatile, the iPad’s hardware offers unique capabilities that no Mac can match. The iPad is easier to pick up and use, more portable and more reliable. It’s worth considering over a laptop if you don’t do a lot of specialized work.

Here are the pros and cons, MacBook vs. iPad: Price, easy of use, portability and more. Keep reading below or watch our video.

This Apple Pencil Pro feature surprises and delights users

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Apple Pencil Pro shadow
See that? Apple Pencil Pro casts the shadow of the tool selected -- a fountain pen.
Photo: @SnazzyLabs, X.com

M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air users are justifiably excited by Apple Pencil Pro’s fantastic and highly functional new features. But now they’re discovering a delightful feature Apple didn’t highlight at its recent “Let Loose” event. The stylus casts a shadow of the selected tool in use on the screen.

That feature may not equal the functional importance of the new squeeze gesture or haptic feedback, but judging by user reactions in the videos below, it’s pretty much the coolest thing ever.

Crazy-thin iPad Pro models hold up under early bend tests

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M4 iPad Pro bend tests
It turns out your super-thin M4 iPad Pro can stand up to some serious bending.
Photo: JerryRigEverything

Three new videos test just how “bend-but-don’t-break” Apple’s new super-thin M4 iPad Pro is, and the answer is “very.” Reviewers came away impressed by how well even the ultra-thin 13-inch M4 iPad Pro performed. And the 11-inch model did well, too.

JerryRigEverything performed bend tests as part of a teardown of the 13-inch M4 iPad Pro. AppleTrack stuck with comparing bends of 11- and 13-inch 2024 iPad Pro models against the 2022 versions. And MobileReviewsEh showed new models held up under massive pressure about as well as older models despite being about 20% thinner.

Folks hold onto iPads longer than ever these days

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iPad buying cycle slows - M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air now on sale
Folks may have just been waiting for the new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air.
Image: Apple

The iPad buying cycle has slowed because iPad owners increasingly hold onto their old tablets for longer periods than in the past, a new analysis showed Wednesday.

However, the just-ended wait for the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air could be a big reason why. It was a long one. The previous generations both came out in 2022.

Confirmed: Redesign makes M4 iPad Pro incompatible with older cases, keyboards, styli

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M4 iPad Pro with older Apple Magic Keyboard
M4 iPad Pro absolutely does not work with previous Apple Magic Keyboard.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A change in the location of magnets built into the M4 iPad Pro breaks compatibility with a wide array of accessories designed for earlier models. That includes many folio cases, clip-on keyboards, and styli. Many of Apple’s own previous offerings are on the incompatible list, too.

Apple had already warned of this, but Wednesday’s launch of the tablet allows real-world tests to confirm the full extent of the affect.

New iPads make it much easier to manage battery health

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iPad Battery Health menu
Quickly checking iPad battery health just got a lot easier with M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air finally make it easy to manage your tablet’s battery heath from the Settings app. iPadOS finally has a Battery Health menu in its 17.5 version, but it only works with the new iPads, not older models.

The new feature lets you limit charges to 80% capacity, which can extend the battery’s lifespan.

M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air go on sale

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M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air design
The M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air are now on sale.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air are now on sale. Customers who preordered the tablets are also getting their units today in launch countries.

If you did not preorder the new iPads, you can pick one up from your nearest Apple store or authorized retail store.

Save up to $50 on new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air

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M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air design
We don't have to wait for deals on the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air.
Photo: Apple

M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air are so new they haven’t even reached customers yet and there are already deals on many configurations. There are discounts on a variety of screen sizes and built-in storage options.

Savvy shoppers can save up to $50 by buying these hot new tablets from Amazon.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

Super-slim M4 iPad Pro won’t be super-bendy, Apple says

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M4 iPad Pro: Slim but not fragile
Apple VP John Ternus (shown) explains why M4 iPad Pro isn't as fragile as it might look.
Photo: Apple

Apple brags that the 13-inch version of the M4 iPad Pro is “the thinnest Apple product ever,” but the company took steps to be sure the new tablet isn’t fragile and easily bendable.

In an interview, Apple’s head of hardware engineering describes a “central rib” that makes the computer more stiff.

It’s iPadmania! [The CultCast]

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iPad Pro leads our Apple
How much iPad chatter can you handle?
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Apple’s “Let Loose” event is over, and the new iPad Pro and iPad Air are officially here. In our postmortem, we discuss the pros (tons) and cons (not many) of the new tablets. Plus, we go over what we got right and wrong in the run-up to the event.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple Pencil Pro and the new Magic Keyboard for iPad sound great for artists.
  • Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro gain some cool new features.
  • The first M4 chip benchmarks look promising.
  • That eye-catching “Crush!” ad for the iPad Pro lands Apple in hot water.
  • And we have a winner in our “Let Loose” event predictions challenge.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

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 you upgrade to the 2024 iPad Air with M2 chip?

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Should You Upgrade to the M2 iPad Air?
Is your iPad Air old enough to justify buying the new iPad Air?
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Depending on which model of iPad you own, it might be time to upgrade to the new iPad Air with M2. Announced on May 7, 2024, the new iPad Air features a speedy Apple M2 chip. It’s a great middle-of-the-road iPad, with plenty of storage on the base model and a nice display that’s now available in a 13-inch size. It’s easily upgradable with the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard.

However, whether it’s worth upgrading to the M2 iPad Air depends on which iPad you already own — so we put together a buying guide to help you make the decision. Check the infographic below or watch the video.

Wait for M4 iPad Pro stretches into June

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M4 iPad Pro running Stage Manager
M4 iPad Pro is beautiful, powerful and backordered.
Screenshot: Apple

Preorder some configurations of the M4 iPad Pro and the recently launched tablet won’t be delivered until late May or even early June. If you held off ordering until you could read a review of the device, you could be facing a bit of a wait.

That said, there are still ways to get one on launch day, May 15.

M4 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air comparison: Do you really need the Pro?

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M4 iPad Pro vs M2 iPad Air comparison
iPad Pro or iPad Air: Which new iPad is right for you?
Image: Apple/Rajesh Pandey

The new M4 iPad Pro brings big technological leaps to Apple’s high-end tablet. It packs a cutting-edge OLED display and a fast M4 chip inside the “thinnest Apple product ever.” Upgrades in the M2 iPad Air, unveiled Tuesday alongside the Pro model during Apple’s “Let Loose” event, aren’t as impressive. An in-depth M4 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air comparison, however, shows that the midrange Apple tablet likely makes a better choice for many users.

So, are you confused about buying the M4 iPad Pro versus the M2 iPad Air? This comparison will help you decide.

Apple apologizes over reviled ‘Crush!’ iPad Pro ad [Updated again]

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Apple video for iPad Pro - Crush
The lingering shot of this little guy giving up the ghost didn't help.
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event: Apple’s “Crush!” video advertising the new iPad Pro is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way with its graphic destruction of creative tools.

The video first aired during Apple’s “Let Loose” event Tuesday. And when CEO Tim Cook included the video in a post about iPad Pro on X, hundreds of people replied with irritation. You can see some of the strongest reactions, and the video itself, below.

Updates on Thursday: Later on Wednesday Hollywood names piled on with more criticism of the “Crush!” video. Actor Hugh Grant, for example, referred to it as, “the destruction of the human experience, courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

And filmmaker Rizo Sixo Safai made more of a splash when he told Apple he “fixed” the video by running it in reverse with some tweaks, resurrecting the creative tools. See that version below.

It also came to light that Apple’s “Crush!” ad closely resembles an LG Renoir phone ad from 2008, as pointed out in yet another X post (also below) and elsewhere. Some call Apple’s ad a rip-off.

And on Thursday, Apple issued an apology for the ad in a statement to Ad Age, saying the ad “missed the mark.”

“Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world,” Apple marketing VP Tor Myhren said. “Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad. We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry.”

Features we expected but didn’t get in M4 iPad Pro

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Expected features we didn't get in M4 iPad Pro
Apple pulled one of the cameras out of the M4 iPad Pro. And that's not all.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple touts the beautiful OLED screen and speedy M4 processor in the latest iPad Pro, but some other features quietly disappeared.

And more that had been rumored or just hoped for simply never appeared.

Versatile new lightweight folio fits 2024 iPad Pro and Air

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Pitaka MagEZ Folio 2 as stand
The new Pitaka folio serves as a stand and case for a new 2024 iPad Pro or iPad Air.
Photo: Pitaka

The new Pitaka MagEZ Folio 2 serves as a case and holds the recently released M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air in landscape and portrait orientations as a stand, the company said Wednesday. It provides an option for new tablet owners in search of an affordable case and stand.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Pitaka MagEZ Folio 2, the ultimate accessory for the new iPad Pro,” said Pitaka CEO James Zheng. “Designed with the modern professional in mind, this folio combines sleek design, premium materials, and innovative features to elevate the iPad Pro experience.”

Cases, keyboards and screen protectors are ready for 2024 iPad Pro and iPad Air

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ESR Rebound Magnetic Keyboard Case 360
Apple isn't the only option for a cool iPad Pro or iPad Air keyboard case. Like this one from ESR.
Image: ESR

Apple unveiled the 2024 iPad Pro and iPad Air on Tuesday, and third-party accessory-makers were prepared. Logitech, Otterbox, Zagg, Pitaka and ESR have all already unveiled peripherals for the new tablets.

There are keyboard cases, cases, screen protectors ands more.

A top microphone needs a great audio interface [Setups]

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Shure SM7B microphone setup
The Shure SM7B microphone and Focusrite Vocaster Two audio interface are crucial to the user's work on YouTube.
Photo: MiRealEscape@Reddit.com

A prolific YouTuber runs today’s featured MacBook Pro setup. And you can tell it’s the pride and joy of a streamer or podcaster just by some of the crucial equipment. Namely, an excellent Shure SM7DB microphone run through a Focusrite Vocaster Two audio interface to ensure high-quality audio recording.

Watch Apple’s ‘Let Loose’ event in just 90 seconds

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90 Seconds.
Watch the event in just 3.95% of the time.
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event:Today’s “Let Loose” Apple event overhauled the iPad lineup. Apple unleashed a new iPad Pro and iPad Air, the refreshed Apple Pencil Pro, a sleek new Magic Keyboard, and lowered the price of the regular iPad. The iPad mini was acknowledged, too.

If you don’t have time to sit through the 38-minute presentation, here it is in just 90 seconds.

Bummer! New iPads won’t work with old Apple Pencil.

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iPad comparison with Apple Pencil Support
Comparing Apple Pencil support on new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air with an older iPad Pro (3rd Generation)
Screenshot: Apple.com

When Apple unveiled the Apple Pencil Pro during Tuesday’s “Let Loose” event, the company seemingly bid adieu to the second-generation Apple Pencil. An Apple tool reveals that unspecified Apple Pencil 2 compatibility issues mean the older stylus won’t work with 2024 iPad Pro and iPad Air models.

So, if you’re an artist buying a new iPad, or someone who takes lots of handwritten notes, you probably need to budget an extra $129 for a new Apple Pencil Pro.

Top-tier 2024 iPad Pros get faster chip, more RAM, hefty price tags

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2024 OLED iPad Pro games
Gaming is better with more RAM and a faster processor.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event:Those who want the most powerful 2024 iPad Pro available need to choose one with at least 1TB of storage. Going with lots of capacity brings a faster version of the new M4 processor and twice as much RAM.

The high-storage versions also have the option of a nano-texture display glass.

Getting all these adds considerably to the price tag, though.