The biggest iPad Pro update in six years is coming, and these new Apple products are worth paying attention to

2024 will be the year of the iPad.

I originally thought that the new iPad would be released on the official website together with the Macbook Air M3, but it turned out that the wait took two months.

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the new iPad is likely to be released in early May, and Apple Stores will start stocking up and planning for sale this week.

This product update will involve the entire iPad ecosystem, including:

  • OLED iPad Pro equipped with M3 chip
  • iPad Air equipped with M2 chip
  • New Magic Keyboard
  • 3rd generation Apple Pencil

If you are like us and have been waiting for the new iPad for more than a year, then today’s advance news can help you get through it first.

The next computer could really be a tablet

The last update of iPad Pro was in October 2022, including 11-inch and 12.9-inch specifications.

The new Pro series finally breaks the 9-year-old 12.9-inch screen size and expands its maximum size to 13 inches.

From the appearance, the screen borders of the new iPad Pro have become narrower. According to 9to5mac, the frame dimensions of the new iPad Pro (excluding metal frames) are:

  • 11-inch iPad Pro bezel: 7.12 mm
  • 13-inch iPad Pro bezel: 7.08 mm

In addition, the thickness of the new iPad Pro is also 10% to 15% thinner than the previous generation. It is available in 11/13-inch models and retains both Wi-Fi and cellular versions.

Although the size of the standard version remains unchanged and the large size only increases by 0.1 inches, the narrowed black borders and better body make the iPad Pro visually two times larger than before.

The position of the front camera of the new tablet has also changed, from the vertical front camera of the previous generation to the horizontal front camera. Apple pointed out in the Face ID code description of iPadOS 17.4 that the iPad needs to be held horizontally when setting up Face ID, and the iPad Pro is the only product in the series that supports Face ID.

The most commonly used scenarios for front-facing cameras are video calls and online meetings. In such scenarios, most tablets will stand horizontally on the table. Therefore, the horizontally placed lens can just put the user in the middle of the video, and the eyes can be turned on during the conversation. It also won’t jump repeatedly between the lens and the screen.

At the same time, both iPad Pros are equipped with OLED displays.

The previous generation iPad Pro 11-inch uses an LED display, supports P3 wide color gamut, and has a maximum brightness of 600 nits; while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro uses a mini-LED display, supports P3 color gamut, and has a maximum brightness of 1,600 nits. special.

The newly upgraded OLED display uses self-illuminating technology, and each pixel can emit light independently, so the contrast ratio is higher than that of mini-LED, and no additional backlight is required, which can significantly save energy consumption.

However, high-brightness mode will accelerate the decomposition and degradation process of organic materials, which may shorten the life of the display and cause "screen burn-in" or "pixel burn-in". That is, displaying high-brightness content for a long time may cause the pixels in certain areas to darken. , causing problems such as uneven display.

However, the series-stacked OLED technology used on the iPad Pro has also greatly improved the durability and brightness performance of the screen. The specific experience can wait for our first review.

In terms of performance configuration, the most significant update on the new iPad Pro is the M3 chip.

The standard version of the M3 chip uses a 3-nanometer process technology. The number of CPU and GPU cores is the same as that of the M2. It has 8 CPU cores (4 performance and 4 efficiency), and the number of GPU cores reaches 10. However, M3 integrates 25 billion transistors. There are 5 billion more chips than the previous M2 chip, which further improves the graphics processing capabilities of the new iPad Pro.

Previously, it was reported that with the support of M3, the graphics performance of iPad Pro has been improved by 65%, and the CPU performance can be improved by up to 35%.

Moreover, the memory of the new iPad Pro has also been upgraded to 24GB, which will make it easier for tablet users to handle multitasking and complex applications.

Of course, the price of the new iPad Pro is also likely to be higher. The iPad Pro currently on sale starts at $799, and the mainland China version starts at 6,799 yuan.

Along with the big brother Pro, iPad Air has also been upgraded. This time, the sixth-generation Air updated the original M1 chip to M2.

For the first time, Apple has upgraded the size of the iPad Air to 12.9 inches, which is the largest Air tablet size in Apple's history. The appearance is very similar to the fifth-generation iPad Air, with a slim body and a narrow-bezel screen.

The four speakers, Touch ID switch key, volume keys, USB-C interface, etc. are all the same as the previous generation. The biggest difference between the two is that in order to achieve better image performance, the new iPad Air uses a larger photosensitive component. A flash is also added under the lens, so the lens module is slightly higher than the back panel, giving a feeling of being visible from the back of the iPhone X.

However, according to reports, Apple has not canceled the 10.9-inch iPad Air, but has added a larger size. When purchasing, consumers can choose the most suitable tablet size according to their personal usage habits.

Compared with the 13-inch iPad Pro, the new iPad Air is similar in size and has a price advantage that the former does not have. Therefore, for many friends who have entertainment and light office work but no professional needs, the iPad Air 12.9 inch, is a more cost-effective choice.

The new iPad mini is on the agenda, and there is also news about the foldable tablet

With its upgraded appearance, screen, and hardware configuration, the iPad Pro has begun to rival the performance of laptops. A major update to the Apple Pencil can help it better utilize its "productivity" as a tablet.

Technology website 9to5mac discovered in the iPadOS 17.5 beta that the new Apple Pencil will have an important update: a new “squeeze” gesture.

The new squeeze gesture allows users to quickly perform some simple interactions, making it more convenient and flexible for users to add shapes, signatures, stickers, or text in various operations.

Presumably, the gesture will be triggered by pressing on the surface of the Apple Pencil barrel, similar to the press we use on the AirPods ear stems. Users can trigger specific functions by squeezing the side of the Apple Pencil, just like pressing the AirPods ear stem.

In addition, Gurman also revealed that in addition to updating the two mainstream models of iPad Pro and iPad Air, Apple has also put iterations of iPad mini and entry-level iPad on the agenda.

He believes that "Apple is still developing new versions of low-end iPad and iPad mini, but the release of these products will not be until the end of this year."

The entry-level iPad is one of the few Apple products that has been labeled "cost-effective". Starting from 2022, Apple has kept the price of this tablet at around 3,000 yuan by reducing manufacturing costs and controlling configuration. The price of the 11th generation iPad is likely to be lower than the previous generation.

It may be a bit laborious to buy an entry-level iPad for professional productivity, but it is more than enough for watching TV shows and taking notes.

The last iPad update was the tenth-generation iPad eSIM version last year. The biggest feature of this tablet is that it has no card slot opening (cellular version). It is very likely that eSIM technology will be used in every smart terminal in the future.

At the same time, there is also news about iPad mini.

The previous generation iPad mini was released in September 2021 and was equipped with the A15 Bionic chip. Gurman expects that the new iPad mini will upgrade the processor and camera, and repair the "jelly effect" that has been criticized on the mini, while other aspects will basically not be adjusted.

In addition, Apple engineers are exploring another form of tablet: the foldable iPad.

This plan has just begun. At present, Apple has not been able to find a suitable screen material and folding solution that can avoid creases when the screen is folded. This is also the reason why the folding screen iPhone has been heard for a long time but has not been implemented.

According to Apple's consistent requirements and style for products, if they cannot find a suitable solution to solve the crease problem, they are likely to abandon the folding route completely.

At this point, the iPad series, which has been delayed for more than a year, has finally received an update, which is also a crucial step for Apple in 2024.

  • In early February, Vision Pro was officially launched, and the concept of “spatial computing” came to the world of consumers;
  • In early May, the iPad series received a major update, and Apple tablets finally entered the OLED camp;
  • In June, AIGC will officially enter the Apple ecosystem, and the iPhone, which has been delayed for more than half a year, will finally join the AI ​​battlefield.

The iteration of the iPad at this point in time is just a link between the past and the next. On the one hand, it makes up for the progress of tablet configuration, and on the other hand, it also makes sufficient hardware preparations for the AI ​​terminal that will be launched next.

The positioning of the tablet itself is awkward. It does not have the performance of a computer or the portability of a mobile phone. But the iPad has found a unique niche through the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil:

It’s more portable than a computer, has a larger screen than a mobile phone, enables paperless learning, and lightweight office work.

In the first year of All in AI, the new iPad should bring more surprises.

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