Apple iPads – All The Details On The New And The Upgraded

Rare is the Apple launch that doesn’t herald a major advancement in consumer technology, and the recent Apple iPad reveal didn’t disappoint. Though it’s been the longest time ever between the launch of new iPads, it’s worth the wait. The market-leading tablets have received a major shake-up that means the iPad Pro and iPad Air are better, easier and quicker to use.

So what’s new? The iPad Air has a new chipset for 2024, and it also now boasts a 13-inch version for a clearer experience. Meanwhile the iPad Pro premieres the all-new M4 chipset that will be used across more Apple products in due course. It also gets a ‘Tandem OLED’ display for top-quality visuals, and a new Magic Keyboard. Indeed, its accessories get new versions too – the Apple Pencil Pro has also been redesigned for 2024 and is certainly its best yet.

Sounds intriguing, right? Whether you’re thinking of upgrading your tech, or an Android fan keen to see what the other side are up to, here’s a closer look at the upgrades in the iPad world.

An upgraded iPad Air, now in two sizes

The iPad Air is the standard tablet, but it’s upped its game significantly this year. Available in Blue, Purple, Starlight and Space Grey, it comes not only in its expected 11-inch size, but for the first time, it’s available as a 13-inch too – ideal for those who prefer bigger screens. New features include a front-facing landscape 12MP Ultra Wide camera, which means video calls will look better. And there’s landscape stereo speakers with spatial audio too – serious music fans should opt for the 13-inch model, which offers double the bass.

The underlying tech has also improved: it’s moved from the M1 chipset to the M2. This means it’s nearly 50% faster than the previous iPad Air, and up to three times faster than the iPad Air with the A14 Bionic chip. That makes it ideal for playing games, streaming videos and other intense uses. The chip also means it delivers better AI performance – which will be even more useful when Apple ups its AI game in months to come. But the M2 chip might still be a surprise, as the newer M3 chip could have been used instead.

Still, it explains the very reasonable price: it’s £599 for the 11-inch and £799 for the 13-inch. That’s just a fraction more than the 2022 version cost when it was released – although it now has 128 GB storage instead of 64GB. If that’s not enough storage, there are also heftier options with 512GB (£899) and 1TB (£1,099) versions available too. Orders ship from 15th May.

The iPad Pro, with the brand new M4 chip

While the iPad Air has had some major changes, it’s arguably the iPad Pro which has had a big reveal. It’s the proud owner of the first M4 chip from Apple, making it the most technically advanced gadget around (see below).

Like the iPad Air, it comes in two sizes: 11 inches and 13 inches. They’re reported to be Apple’s thinnest ever tablets, coming in at 5.3mm for the 11-inch model and 5.1mm for the 13-inch model ­– a massive improvement from the 6.4mm it was before. In fact Apple say it’s the thinnest product it’s ever created, even thinner than the iPod Nano.

It’s also the first iPad to feature ‘Tandem OLED’ displays – which puts two layers of OLED pixels on top of each other to create a single screen with double the resolution, while also avoiding OLED burn-in (when static images burn themselves onto the screen so an imprint is faintly visible at all times). It makes for a clear and bright image – these iPad Pros have a brightness of 1,600 nits for HDR content, higher than some of the best OLED televisions. You’ll certainly notice the difference when looking at light and shadow in photos and videos.

All this new tech is reflected in its price – it’s £999 for the 11-inch iPad Pro, and £1,299 for the 13-inch. But like the iPad Air, it includes more storage – it’s now 256GB instead of 128GB as standard (which makes the thinness all the more impressive). Orders ship from 15th May.

Introducing the Apple M4 chip

The iPad Pro has moved straight from the M2 chip to the M4 chip – and it’s the first Apple product to use it. iPad Airs, MacBooks and iMacs will feature it in future models but for now, it’s the iPad Pro that reaps its benefit. The M5 heralds a huge step up in performance. It brings a whole host of tech goodness that ultimately means it’s 50 per cent faster than the M2 and renders apps with a fraction of the power. That not only helps gaming and streaming capabilities, but also paves the way to handle big AI-related tasks – Apple says the Neural Engine is capable of carrying out 38 trillion operations a second, making it one of the fastest NPUs on the market. AI is expected to be the theme of Apple’s next big reveal, so while this is the first we’ve seen of the M4, it won’t be the last.


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