Apple launches iPad Pro with M4 chip, but removes the headphone jack

May 9, 2024

Apple has launched a new iPad, the first one in over a year and a half. Let's take a look at what the iPad Pro has to offer.

The new iPad Pro comes in two sizes, an 11-inch display and a 13-inch display. Both models are powered by a brand-new chipset, the mighty Apple Silicon M4. This is surprising because the M3 chips were launched just 6 months ago.

Apple says that the 3nm M4 outperforms the M2 by 1.5x times in CPU performance, has 1.2x faster memory bandwidth, and can render 3D content 4x faster. The 10-core GPU supports Dynamic Caching, hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing. The M4 chipset is capable of delivering up to 10 hours of battery life on the iPad Pro. Why does an iPad have this chipset anyway? Well, you know where every tech company is headed, A.I. What else could it be? Apple may have big plans for it.

That's not all that's new, the iPad Pro has an OLED screen, which Apple has termed Tandem OLED. It supports up to 120Hz refresh rate, aka ProMotion Display. There is an optional nano-texture add-on that helps scatter ambient light for reduced glare. Anyway, I won't bore you with the details, here's a rundown of the complete specs.

Apple iPad Pro specs

  • Display: 11-inches/13-inches Ultra Retina XDR Tandem OLED display, 2420 x 1668 resolution, 264 ppi, 1000 nits SDR/XDR (1600 nits for HDR), ProMotion technology, P3 wide color gamut, True Tone, Apple Pencil hover, Nano-texture display glass option on 1TB and 2TB models
  • Chipset: M4, 9-core CPU with 3 performance cores and 6 efficiency cores (10-core CPU on 1TB/2TB storage models), 10-core GPU, Hardware-accelerated ray tracing, 16-core Neural Engine, 120GB/s memory bandwidth, 8GB RAM (16GB RAM on 1TB/2TB storage models)
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Camera: 12MP Wide Rear camera, 4K video, ProRes; Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide front camera, Center Stage, TrueDepth camera system
  • Security: Face ID
  • Media Engine: Hardware-accelerated 8K H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW Video decode and encode engine, ProRes encode and decode engine, AV1 decode
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi, and 9 hours on Cellular networks
  • Audio: Four speaker audio, Four studio-quality microphones
  • Connectivity: USB?C connector with support for Thunderbolt / USB 4, Wi-Fi 6E, 5G Cellular
  • Weight: 11-inch model - 0.98 pound; 13-inch model - 1.28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11-inch model - 9.83 x 6.99 x 0.21 inches; 13-inch model - 11.09 x 8.48 x 0.20 inches

Apple Pencil Pro

Apple has also announced a new stylus called the Apple Pencil Pro. The accessory has some new features such as haptic feedback, barrel roll to change the orientation of pen and brush tools, squeeze to open a palette to switch tools, colors, line weights. It also supports Find My network, which can help you find your lost Apple Pencil. The device costs $125, and you can get a free engraving with it.

So we now have 4 different styluses from Apple. That's not confusing at all, here's a comparison chart to help you. The new Apple Pencil Pro is compatible with the iPad Air M2 11-inch and 13-inch models, and the iPad Air M4 11-inch and 13-inch models.

The new Apple iPad Pro price starts at $1,000/£1,000/€1,200 in the U.S./U.K. and EU respectively. The tablet is available for purchase in 29 Countries around the world. The Cupertino company has slashed the price of the 10th gen iPad, which is now available for $349.

One more thing that's worth mentioning is that the new iPad Pro does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. I saw a report about how the new tablets don't come with stickers, because of the company's eco-friendly policies. Sure, remove stickers and the headphone jack, and sell expensive plastic earbuds, cases, and chargers, that is eco-friendlier, right?

iPadOS has stagnated

Apple needs to get it together and reinvent iPadOS. I've had an iPad for over 7 years, and I feel that Apple's tablets are simply not worth it anymore. The hardware on the devices may be fantastic, but the software experience is just ridiculously bad. Yes, you can play AAA games like Death Stranding, Assassin's Creed Mirage, etc. But the fact remains that the tablets are limited to apps that are available on the App store, and those apps are not impressive, and are often scaled poorly. Why equip an iPad with a powerful processor if it is going to be crippled by an awful app ecosystem? No jokes about Stage Manager! Oh wait, there have been rumors about a Calculator app being added to iPadOS 18, that should need some powerful hardware.

In its current state, the iPad lineup is nothing more than a glorified iPhone with a bigger display. But, the sad truth is that iPads are extremely popular, so it won't make Apple change things. People love to gift them to their friends and family, kids like playing games on it, and it's probably good for casual users for browsing, email, chat, and streaming videos. Do you really need an M4 Apple Silicon chipset for these tasks? No. Sure, artists and studio workers may appreciate the stylus, but I think the removal of the headphone jack might dissuade them from buying the new iPad.

I love my MacBook, and I think the iPad could be a wonderful device if only it supported macOS. Oh, but that would mean giving up on the sweet money it earns from the iOS App Store, right? That would make a bad impression on shareholders, wouldn't it? And that sadly is what Apple seems to care about. Well, at least the EU didn't accept Apple's requests to not make iPadOS a gatekeeper, so there's that.

Overall, I think the new Apple iPad Pro is impressive in terms of design and specs, but it's probably not worth it. You can get a MacBook Air for about the same price or cheaper, and those laptops have an excellent display and keyboard, stellar battery life, arguably the best trackpads ever made, a USB-C charging port, and of course, a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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Apple launches iPad Pro with M4 chip, but removes the headphone jack
Here's what you need to know about the new iPad Pro with the M4 chip.
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  1. JCplusULTRA said on May 18, 2024 at 8:23 am

    FAKE NEWS! You can’t remove what was never there. iPad Pro never had a headphone jack to begin with.

  2. Anonymous said on May 10, 2024 at 2:32 pm

    These things are so dumb down and limited that they are useless. Might as well buy a Windows laptop and be done with it. Cheaper and better specs, upgradable, no dongles, no walled garden, no proprietary garbage from Apple.

  3. ArcArseBrowser said on May 10, 2024 at 2:38 am

    More limited Chinese garbage from Apple. Any device without a headphone hack is an automatic no buy.

  4. John said on May 9, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    Same old Apple, obsessed with thin and lack of external ports. At least someone pointed this out, but I am sure Apple will just say you can use the USB C to headphone jack. Of course all Apple product users are very familiar with dongles and have been for some time.

  5. Dean said on May 9, 2024 at 1:12 pm

    They removed the headphone jack on the Pro model in 2018.

  6. John G. said on May 9, 2024 at 10:59 am

    So this is why they sell only a 6%. Next step for the future is to sell these devices with no screen. Really what a mess. Thanks for the article! :]

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