Business and creative professionals looking to purchase an iPad Air or iPad Pro should find a lot to like in the new 2024 models. Announced by Apple at its May 7 “Let Loose” event, the latest iPads offer new sizes, new processors, more storage options and new spots for the front-facing camera. Though the standard iPad and the iPad mini were left out of the event, Apple had plenty to highlight about the sixth generation iPad Air and the iPad Pro.

iPad Air

The 2024 iPad Air now comes in two sizes, just like the iPad Pro. The smaller 11-inch is designed for greater portability, while the new 13-inch adopts the larger screen size of the entry-level MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The 13-inch model offers 30% more screen real estate than its 11-inch cousin, according to Apple. The screen on the higher-end iPad Air 1TB and 2TB models includes Apple’s new Nano-texture display glass, which aims to minimize glare.

The 2024 iPad Air is available in two sizes, 11 inches or 13 inches. Image: Apple

On the CPU side, the 2024 Air is powered by Apple’s M2 chip, an upgrade from the previous model’s M1 chip. Equipped with a faster CPU, GPU and neural engine, the sixth-generation Air promises a performance three times faster than the fifth-generation model from 2022. The speedier processor also devotes resources to artificial intelligence and machine learning, which offer advantages in intensive apps such as Adobe Photoshop.

The new iPad Air switches the front-facing Ultra Wide 12MP camera from the portrait side to the landscape edge. This long overdue transition should make it easier for people to see you during a video conference.

Apple has changed the storage options on the Air. The base capacity is now 128GB, up from 64GB previously. If you need more, you can choose among 256GB, 512GB and 1TB.

The new iPad Air is available in four colors: Blue, Purple, Starlight and Space Gray. The 11-inch Air starts at $599, while the 13-inch flavor starts at $799. You can order either model as of May 7, with availability kicking off on May 15.

iPad Pro

Offered in 11-inch and 13-inch variants, the 2024 seventh-generation iPad Pro models focus on being thin and light. The new 11-inch version is only 5.3mm thin and weighs less than a pound, while the 13-inch flavor is 5.1mm thin and hits the scale at 1.28 pounds. Apple boasts that the new iPad Pro is its thinnest product ever.

The 2024 iPad Pro comes with a new OLED screen and is powered by Apple’s latest M4 chip. Image: Apple

The biggest upgrade for the new iPad Pro may be in the screen. For 2024, Apple’s Pro tablet transitions from Mini-LED to OLED. Combining the light from two separate OLED panels, the new screen promises deeper blacks, more details in shadows and low-light conditions, and better power consumption. Yet the display still aims to be bright and vibrant, providing 1,000 nits for SDR and HDR content and as many as 1,600 nits at peak brightness.

The display itself is thinner and lighter than in the previous iPad Pro. Like the new iPad Air, the 2024 Pro offers Apple’s new Nano-texture display glass in the 1TB and 2TB models.

Aside from a new screen, the 2024 iPad Pros come with a brand new processor, and it’s the latest from Apple. Jumping a generation from the M2 in the previous Pro models, the new Pro tablets are powered by an M4 chip. The M4 promises 50% faster CPU performance than the M2 while using half the power. The M4 also incorporates a new neural engine, which Apple pegged as its most powerful neural engine ever, 60 times faster than the first such engine.

Touting the new engine’s focus on AI-oriented tasks, Apple highlighted faster and smoother AI performance in such programs as Final Cut Pro for video editing and Logic Pro for audio. For consumers and business pros, the AI will help detect and eliminate shadows and other obstructions in a document scan across the Files and Notes apps.

With the new iPad Pro, you can more quickly perform AI-enabled tasks such as applying a Scene Removal mask in Final Cut Pro. Image: Apple

Like the new iPad Air, the 2024 Pro sees its front-facing camera move from the portrait edge to the landscape side. Here, the benefits are twofold: You’ll look better in a video chat, and you’ll be able to more easily authenticate yourself using Face ID when holding the tablet in landscape mode.

The storage capacity now starts at 256GB, with options for 512GB, 1TB and 2TB. Available colors include Space Black and Silver. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $899, while the 13-inch model starts at $1,299. You can order the model of your choice as of May 7, with availability beginning on May 15.

Magic Keyboard

There’s a new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro. Designed to be thinner and lighter than previous models, the new version offers a dedicated function row, a palm rest and a larger trackpad with haptic feedback.

Starting at $299, the new Magic Keyboard is up for order now and will be available as of May 15.

Apple Pencil Pro

Finally, a new Apple Pencil — dubbed the Apple Pencil Pro — will work with the 2024 iPad Air and iPad Pro. The new pencil offers haptic feedback, so you can feel and sense your actions. Taking advantage of a new sensor in the barrel, you can squeeze the Pencil Pro to perform certain tasks. Plus, you can roll the pencil to trigger specific functions, such as changing brushes, activating shortcuts and recording actions.

Priced at $129, the Apple Pencil Pro can be ordered now and will be available starting May 15.


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