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    The new iPad Pro is spectacular


    Apple takes the iPad Pro to a level that the competition can only dream of. Equipped with the new M4 chip and a magnificent display, it is extremely powerful, but at the same time so efficient that it can be extremely thin and light.

    Apple says it is the most comprehensive update since the first iPad. That's probably a bit of an exaggeration, but with the new iPad Pro you actually have the impression that you're holding a completely new device in your hands and not just an upgrade. This particularly applies to the variant with a 13-inch display that received for testing. In the cheapest version with 256 gigabytes (GB) of flash memory it costs around 1550 euros, with 512 GB 1800 euros. For the slightly better equipped models with 1 or 2 terabytes of memory, Apple wants around 2280 or 2760 euros.

    Incredibly easy

    When you take the large new iPad Pro out of the box, the first thing you notice is how light it is. At around 580 grams, it weighs 100 grams less than its predecessor. Nevertheless, the tablet is only 5.1 millimeters thick. This means you can easily hold the device in your hands for a long time and it is hardly noticeable in hand luggage.

    You shouldn't sit on it, but even though it looks fragile, the iPad Pro 13 is surprisingly stable and can hardly be twisted. Tests have shown that it can withstand brute force for quite a long time. However, like its predecessors, the device is not waterproof.

    The fact that Apple can once again implement the concept of “stronger, but thinner and lighter” is largely due to the new M4 chip, which is celebrating its premiere in the iPad Pro. Although it is extremely powerful, it is so efficient that a large battery is not necessary. The running time is still roughly the same as that of its predecessor.

    Magnificent display

    In comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max almost seems chubby. In comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max almost seems chubby.

    In comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max almost seems chubby.

    (Photo: kwe)

    In addition, the Pros now have a completely new display. It consists of two OLED panels lying one on top of the other, which is why Apple dubbed it “Tandem OLED”. The advantage of the doubling is that the screen not only offers the typical strong contrasts and brilliant colors of OLED displays. It also uses less power during normal operation and can shine particularly brightly.

    For HDR content, up to 1600 nits are possible in some cases, meaning the new iPad Pro supports HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLDG. Films look great on the screen, and the sound from the four speakers can also be heard.

    During the test, it was pleasantly noticeable that the display not only has very stable viewing angles, but also reflects comparatively little. This is ensured by nano-texture glass, which is only available in models with 1 or 2 TB of storage. The prices for these variants are probably more willing to pay for professionals who may also be able to take advantage of the M4 chip's vast resources.

    Extremely powerful

    In the Geekbench 6 benchmark test, the main processor (CPU) with all ten cores achieved 14771 points. The predecessor with the M2 chip achieved 9622 points, the brand new MacBook Air around 10,000 points. For devices with less than 1TB of memory, the CPU only has nine cores, but that probably doesn't make too much of a difference. What could be more problematic for professional use is that the two cheaper models only have 8 instead of 16 GB of RAM.

    Benchmark tests for the graphics processors (GPU) are also clear, and the M4 also delivers top performance in applications with artificial intelligence (AI). The specialized processor (Neural Engine) is about twice as powerful as the previous chip.

    Applications that can ride out the M4 are rare or, more precisely, do not yet exist. Upcoming apps that do this will probably be mainly in the professional sector. The question then arises as to whether professionals actually want to work with an iPad – no matter how good it is. Because there is still no corresponding iPadOS. For most people, a Mac computer will continue to be the better choice for work.

    Greatly improved pen

    A dot shows exactly where the tip of the Pencil will hit the display. A dot shows exactly where the tip of the Pencil will hit the display.

    A dot shows exactly where the tip of the Pencil will hit the display.

    (Photo: kwe)

    An exception could be graphical applications. With the new iPads, Apple has also released a new Pencil Pro that enables more professional work. Among other things, a tool palette opens in compatible apps when you press the pen in the front area. If you do this twice, you switch between tools. You can also select other functions for the gestures in the settings; developers also have free choice.

    Also very practical: If you turn the pencil, the brush stroke changes or you can rotate objects in programs. Haptic feedback from the pen, as well as artificial shadows corresponding to the tool tip, enable intuitive working with the pencil.

    You can also be more productive with the iPad Pro if you use Apple's keyboard cover, the “Magic Keyboard”. In the new versions, plastic has been replaced by aluminum, there is a row of function keys and the touchpad is larger. However, you have to shell out around 400 euros for it, which makes the iPad Pro even more expensive. Together with a Pencil Pro (150 euros) it costs at least 2100 euros.


    The new iPad Pro offers extremely powerful, future-proof technology that is also good enough for professionals. However, they can largely only let off steam in individual apps; despite some multitasking functions, iPadOS cannot replace the macOS of Mac computers. Apple may announce innovations at the upcoming WWDC developer conference that will change that.

    For average users, the iPad Pro is tempting, but clearly overpowered. Apple has a more attractive offer in its portfolio with the new iPad Air. It is powered by the M2 chip and is available with a 13-inch display starting at 950 euros.

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