Review of the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024): a true powerhouse of a tablet

Review of the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024): a true powerhouse of a tablet

Apple was pushing up its Let Loose launch event as a “different kind of Apple event” and the most significant iPad launch since the first iPad before revealing the new iPad Pro 13-inch (2024). Now that the dust has cleared, it appears that the anticipation was mostly warranted.

Together with the recently announced 11-inch model, the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) is an exceptionally capable and adaptable device that, as the accompanying marketing blurb indicates, boasts several “firsts” and “bests”: it’s the thinnest Apple device ever (it’s even thinner than the iPod Nano), it has the best tablet screen available, and it’s the first iPad to use an Apple M-class chip (the new M4) instead of a Mac.

The iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) is undoubtedly a product of a market leader at the top of its game; with its impressive specs and jam-packed cutting-edge technology, it is a strong contender for the best tablet money can buy in 2024. However, this also implies—in a somewhat counterintuitive way—that this tablet is not for everyone.

Initially, in addition to the impressive specifications, features, and performance promises Apple is making for the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024), there is also an astronomically high price tag: The standard model costs $1,299 / £1,299 / $2,199; the 11-inch model is more reasonably priced at $999 / £999 / AU$1,699.

Many people will not be able to afford it at first because of the price, and this is not a tablet meant for sofa surfing and watching videos.

This isn’t just a tablet meant to replace your old iPad, Amazon Kindle, or Galaxy Tab; rather, it’s a device meant to replace your MacBook. When you consider that, the price (and performance levels) of the iPad Pro become much more reasonable. Additionally, the new iPad Pro serves as a showcase for Apple’s brand-new M4 chip (the iPad line has skipped the M3 chip found in the latest MacBook Air and the base model of the 14-inch MacBook Pro).

The new iPad Air 6 will be much more appealing if you’re not looking for a top-tier tablet to replace your laptop and are just looking for something more reasonably priced for casual tasks. It also has some neat features of its own, and both the new Pro and Air 6 support the amazing Apple Pencil Pro stylus.

The iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) could, however, prove to be a very wise purchase if you’re looking for a capable piece of equipment that can manage some highly demanding jobs, such as video editing and music production, and also comes in an incredibly thin and light form factor.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

Starting at $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$2,199 for 256GB of storage, the 13-inch iPad Pro (2024) goes up to $1,499 / £1,499 / AU$2,549 for 512GB, $1,899 / £1,899 / AU$3,249 for 1TB, and $2,299 / £2,299 / AU$3,949 for 2TB.

These costs apply to the Wi-Fi versions. If you require more extensive web connectivity, you may also acquire cellular devices that offer 5G connections; however, these models come with an additional $200, £200, or AU$350 in price.

That is a significant increase above the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2022)’s starting price of $1,099 / £1,249 / AU$1,899. Apple attributes the price increase to the new design, a far better OLED screen (more on that later), and enhanced performance provided by the M4 chip compared to the M2 chip that was included with the previous edition. Additionally, the base model of the new iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) has twice as much storage as the base model of the iPad Pro 12.9-inch, with 256GB available.

It makes sense to remove the 128GB storage option from an expensive professional gadget that doesn’t offer a memory card port or allow users to manually upgrade the bundled SSD in 2024 because that amount will quickly fill up. That could not go over so well, though, if some iPad customers feel like they’re being forced to pay extra for an upgrade they might not have chosen.

Adding more storage to the new iPad Pro increases its cost. These prices are for the Wi-Fi-only variants. The 512GB model costs $1,499 / £1,499 / AU$2,549, the 1TB model costs $1,899 / £1,899 / AU$3,249, and the 2TB Pro costs $2,299 / £2,299 / AU$3,949.

If you don’t want a lot of storage, you might be content to buy the lower-capacity models to save money. However, in a frustratingly typical way for current Apple, the features vary slightly based on the storage capacity you select.

To begin with, the 1TB and 2TB variants have 16GB of RAM, while the 256GB and 512GB models have 8GB. Additionally, the M4 chip in the 1TB and 2TB variants has a 10-core CPU, whereas the M4 in the 256 and 512GB models has a 9-core CPU. It’s important to keep in mind that the higher-capacity (and more expensive) models will perform noticeably better due to the memory doubling and additional core.

DESIGN

If you don’t want a lot of storage, you might be content to buy the lower-capacity models to save money. However, in a frustratingly typical way for current Apple, the features vary slightly based on the storage capacity you select.

To begin with, the 1TB and 2TB variants have 16GB of RAM, while the 256GB and 512GB models have 8GB. Additionally, the M4 chip in the 1TB and 2TB variants has a 10-core CPU, whereas the M4 in the 256 and 512GB models has a 9-core CPU. It’s important to keep in mind that the higher-capacity (and more expensive) models will perform noticeably better due to the memory doubling and additional core.

According to Apple, the M4 chip uses half the power while offering the same performance as the M2 chip. The M4 chip can, of course, perform far better than the M2, but because of its outstanding power efficiency, Apple has been able to create the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024), which has dimensions of 281.6 x 215.5 x 5.1 mm and weighs 579g. This is significantly slimmer than the 6.4mm of the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) and less thick than the 5.9mm of the iPad Pro 11 (2022). Apple even claims that the 13-inch iPad Pro (2024) is the thinnest product it has ever produced.

That’s how it feels, for sure. To truly understand how thin the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) is, you must hold and feel the device in your hands rather than merely reading the specs. The 13-inch iPad Pro is incredibly portable, even with its larger display than the previous model—especially if you’re used to carrying about a 13-inch laptop. Regarding Apple’s declaration that this is the thinnest product the company has ever produced, I measured it against an Air Tag, which is the thinnest Apple product I could find, and the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) is, in fact, somewhat thinner than the Air Tag. This is a remarkable accomplishment given that one of these gadgets is a high-end, potent tablet computer and the other is essentially a location tracker that is meant to blend in as much as possible with your possessions.







Apple iPad Pro 13-Inch 

Some individuals could find it unsettling to have such a thin, light, and pricey gadget, and even after all these years, many people will still be thinking about the iPhone 6 Plus “BendGate” incident.

The good news is that the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) feels surprisingly sturdy despite its incredibly thin design. You won’t want to throw it around like you might a cheerful, low-cost Android tablet that costs a fifth of the price, but you also won’t feel like you’re handling a delicate object that could break at any time.

As one might anticipate, both Logitech and Apple themselves provide a variety of coverings and protective cases for the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024). Purchasing one will help safeguard your costly acquisition, and many—like Apple’s recently released Magic Keyboard—additionally enhance the tablet’s functionality.

DISPLAY

The most interesting feature of the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) is its redesigned display, aside from the new M4 CPU. The new iPad Pro’s OLED display technology offers significantly better contrast, particularly for HDR content, than the Mini LED technology of the previous model. It is also much brighter, with a maximum fullscreen brightness of 1,000 nits (and 1,600 nits peak brightness for HDR content), compared to the 2022 model’s 600 nits.

When I placed the 2021 model, which has the same display as the 2022 model, side by side with the new iPad Pro 13-inch (2024), a few variances became clear right away. While watching the identical Dolby Vision 4K video, the new iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) revealed better information in extremely dim settings, revealing textures that the 2021 model’s shadows covered. Additionally, the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) exhibited no discernible “bloom,” a phenomenon in which a small amount of light seeps from bright objects into nearby dark areas.

There were also other, less obvious variances to be seen when comparing the iPad Pro screens side by side. First off, the new iPad Pro’s screen has a warmer color temperature than the 2021 models, which means that instead of the blue tint seen on the 2021 screen, whites have a faint yellow tint.

Both iPad Pros were using their stock display settings at the time, and True Tone was disabled. An Apple-only feature called True Tone modifies the screen’s color based on the surrounding lighting when using the iPad. This is left on by default, and for everyday use, I advise you to leave it on for the best image quality. However, you should turn it off if you’re working on a project that calls for precise color, like photo editing. The screen of the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) supports the wide P3 color gamut as usual.

Unless you turn off True Tone and place two iPads next to each other, you won’t see the color temperature difference right away. Even then, it will depend on your personal preference—I really kind of like the older model’s somewhat colder color temperature.

With its vivid, lifelike, and bright colors, the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) was a pleasure to use for gaming, photo viewing, and movie watching on both Disney Plus and Apple TV+. You won’t find a better viewing experience with tablets.

BATTERY LIFE

With its 38.99 watt-hour battery, Apple claims that users of the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) may browse the web for up to 10 hours while using Wi-Fi and up to 9 hours when utilizing a 5G cellular connection. It’s interesting to note that despite the 13-inch model’s larger body requiring a larger battery than the 11-inch model, the expected battery life is the same. This is probably because the 13-inch model’s larger screen requires more power.

The good news is that the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) not only outperformed those predictions in our battery life testing but also completely beyond them. When using Wi-Fi, we were able to get 14 hours and 50 minutes off of a single battery. That decreased by more than an hour to 13 hours and 13 minutes when using cellular, which is still remarkable and much better than what Apple claims.

I was surprised with the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024)’s ability to hold its charge during daily use, especially when using programs like Logic Pro for iPad 2. It readily lasted through a workday while I played with Logic Pro, watched some movies, and wrote this review.

In our evaluation, the new iPad Pro’s battery life easily outperforms that of its predecessor, which had trouble lasting Apple’s claimed 10 hours. This is probably due to the energy efficiency enhancements made by Apple in the M4 chip as opposed to the M2.

CONCLUSION

We have been using the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) every day since we received it for a range of purposes, such as writing parts of this review, taking pictures, browsing the web, and using Logic Pro for iPad 2 to create audio tracks. We’ve been utilizing the iPad Pro 13-inch (2024) in place of our MacBook Pro 13-inch daily, along with the new Magic Keyboard. A variety of live demonstrations of the new features are also presented to us. We have examined every Apple M-class chip, from the M1 to the most recent M4, during the years that we have been reviewing Apple products, with a focus on Macs and MacBooks.

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