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CheckMag | Is the new M4 iPad Pro worth the hype? 4 things you should know before buying one

Is the new iPad Pro worth the hype? (Source: Apple)
Is the new iPad Pro worth the hype? (Source: Apple)
The iPad Pro is Apple's premium tablet, featuring the same powerful M-series chips found in Macs. But does it live up to the hype? Some new models might not be the upgrade you're expecting, and could even be considered a downgrade. Here are the top four things to be aware of before making your purchase.

1. The ultra-wide camera is gone

Apple’s latest iteration of the iPad Pro (currently available to purchase at BestBuy) maintains the 12MP f/1.8 main camera seen in previous models but has controversially dropped the 10MP ultra-wide lens that was featured in the 2022 version. This change reduces the rear camera setup from a dual-lens to a single-lens configuration.

Despite retaining the LiDAR scanner and introducing an upgraded True Tone flash, the removal of the ultra-wide camera is an unexpected move. This modification suggests that Apple may be downplaying the importance of rear cameras on tablets, potentially influencing consumers who prioritize photographic capabilities.

If photography is a significant use case for you, it might be worth reconsidering the new iPad Pro in favor of alternatives with more comprehensive camera systems​.

The ultra-wide camera is gone (Source: Apple)
The ultra-wide camera is gone (Source: Apple)

2. New iPad Pro loses a microphone

Apple has emphasized the "studio-quality" microphones in the new iPad Pro (2024), but it's worth noting that the previous iPad Pro (2022) also featured studio-quality mics and included five microphones compared to the four found in the new model.

Whether this reduction will significantly affect audio quality is currently unclear. Four microphones should still provide robust performance, and there may be other improvements Apple has not detailed. However, in terms of sheer numbers, the iPad Pro (2022) surpasses the new model.

Users who prioritize audio recording capabilities might find this change noteworthy, although the real-world impact remains to be seen.

3. No always on display

Apple has finally transitioned to OLED displays for its iPad Pro lineup. This upgrade comes with a reduction in the screen's lowest refresh rate to 10Hz, down from 24Hz in the previous model. Despite this improvement, the iPad Pro still doesn't support an always-on display feature, which remains exclusive to iPhones and Apple Watches.

The likely reason is that even at 10Hz, the display would consume too much battery power compared to the iPhone 15 Pro's ability to drop to 1Hz. However, the new 'Tandem OLED' technology used in the iPad Pro offers other battery-saving benefits.

No always on display for iPad Pro 2024 (Source: Apple)
No always on display for iPad Pro 2024 (Source: Apple)

4. Debuts with M4 Chip

Apple's latest iPad Pro is powered by the next-generation M4 chip, bypassing the M3 entirely and jumping from the M2 to the M4. This new M4 chipset, released just six months after the M3 for Macs, prompts questions about the necessity of this upgrade. Was the M3 not sufficient?

According to Apple, the M4 chip provides a significant performance boost, delivering 1.5x faster CPU performance compared to the M2 in the previous-generation iPad Pro, and up to 4x faster rendering performance. The M4 also appears to excel in power management within the iPad's compact design, suggesting it is a more versatile processor overall.

However, the practical benefits of the M4 are currently limited by the lack of apps optimized for this new chip. Additionally, iPadOS constraints, such as the restriction to running only four apps simultaneously in Stage Manager mode, seem out of place given that the iPad Pro now features a more powerful CPU than the M2 MacBook Air. This limitation highlights the challenge of fully leveraging the M4's capabilities at this stage.


Source: Apple

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 05 > Is the new M4 iPad Pro worth the hype? 4 things you should know before buying one
Triet Le, 2024-05-22 (Update: 2024-05-22)