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Apple iPad Pro with M4 (2024) review: Doing more

Apple iPad Pro with M4 (2024) review: Doing more

Apple iPad Pro with M4 (2024)

The latest Apple iPad Pro with M4 packs a powerful punch, but I’m not sure all of this power can be fully tapped into just yet. It handled everything I threw at it with ease, though certain features, such as Adobe Photoshop’s AI-powered generative fill, still need the internet to work. But it’s how this redesigned tablet feels in the hand, combined with the new Magic Keyboard that really sells how just sleek and great Apple’s latest gadget is.

Quick specs

  • Apple M4 processor: 9-core CPU, 10-core graphics for 256GB/512GB models, 10-core CPU and 10-core graphics for 1TB and 2TB models
  • Ultra Retina XDR OLED display, up to 1,600 nits peak, 1TB/2TB models have nano-texture display option
  • 4-speaker audio
  • USB-C connector with Thunderbolt and USB 4 support

The first thing you’ll notice is how slim the Apple iPad Pro with M4 is. My 13-inch review unit is impossibly slim, at 5.1mm. It’s even thinner than the 14.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, which checks in at 5.5mm. The previous iPads were already thin, but the Apple iPad Pro with M4 is Apple’s thinnest device to date. Honestly, it just feels super great to hold and touch. The sleek profile also makes this iPad easier to pack in my backpack alongside my MacBook Pro.

Apple iPad Pro with M4 (2024)
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

With a new aluminium base, the Magic Keyboard looks and feels premium — much better than the rubbery plastic of previous generations. The exterior of the Magic Keyboard is still the same material, though. It now comes with a function key row, and a larger haptic trackpad that only clicks if the iPad is attached. It retains the same cantilever design that makes the tablet look like it’s floating in the air from various angles. The USB port at the bottom has also been tweaked to turn when you open the cover.

Apple iPad Pro with M4 (2024)
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Like the older iPad Pros, the Apple iPad Pro with M4 features a faster USB-C 4 port, and allows you to connect a storage device to it. You can also use a Thunderbolt dock for more connectivity. I tested the iPad with the Belkin Connect USB-C 7-in-1 Multiport Hub Adapter, and was able to connect my Razer Viper V3 Pro, explore the files on my SD Card, and even connect to an external monitor.

The other big design tweak is to move the front-facing camera to the landscape side. This brings the iPad in line with other productivity tablets where having the camera on the longer side is better for video calls. It also means it doesn’t accidentally dim the display when you’re using it at the bedside. But the 13-inch version is a tad too big to use at bedside — the 11-inch is perfect, though.

Performance is great. Everything I tested ran beautifully, from Adobe Photoshop to AI-generative art app Draw Things. I’ll be honest, these apps didn’t really strain the M4 chip. In Draw Things, performance was similar to the M2 chip. However, in benchmarks like Geekbench 6, the M4 is about 28% faster.

The 13-inch tandem OLED Ultra Retina XDR display is brilliant, with beautiful colours and contrast. I really loved editing photos and videos on this screen. Everything just pops. Battery life is also good, with around 8hr 7mins in our video-loop test. That’s twice that of the iPad Pro with M2 (2022), but note that this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, as the iPad Pro with M2 here is the 11-inch model (we didn't have a 13-inch model on hand to compare).

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Apple iPad Pro with M4 (2024)
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Lastly, the newly-introduced Apple Pencil Pro is amazing. It makes drawing and writing on the iPad more natural, since it now features haptic feedback. You can squeeze it to call up a palette to switch tools, and rotate the pencil to adjust your brush shape. Pretty cool stuff really.

Starting at S$1,499 for the 11-inch and S$1,999 for the 13-inch, the Apple iPad Pro with M4 (2024) is one heck of a tablet, but the launch price is even higher than the 2022 iteration. It's something to ponder before you take the plunge, especially as we aren't seeing its full potential just yet. Perhaps 2024’s WWDC and iPadOS 18 will change things up. Get it from Shopee or Lazada.

Note: Review unit provided by Apple. This review was also written entirely on the new iPad Pro.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Extremely powerful, but pricey

Get from Shopee (11-inch)
Buy from Lazada (13-inch)

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