Apple Lets Loose with New M4 iPad and Accessories

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Apple Lets Loose With New M4 IPad and Accessories

Despite what's already been a very busy year for Apple, the tech giant showed no signs of slowing down today at its special spring event. During the presentation, Apple announced plans to "Let Loose" several new iPad models and accessories, including an updated iPad Pro featuring a crisp new OLED display and Apple's next-generation M4 chip.

iPad Air with M2 Chip

Apple iPad Air

Apple kicked things off with a brand-new iPad Air. This is the first update to the Air lineup in almost two years and Apple made sure it was a noteworthy one. For the first time, the iPad Air will be available in both 11- and 13-inch form factors. Both models will be running Apple's M2 silicon, which is a significant upgrade from the previous generation's M1 chip.

Apple iPad Air

Other updates to the Air include faster Wi-Fi 6E, enhanced 5G support, and compatibility with the newly announced Apple Pencil Pro and first-generation Magic Keyboard. Best of all, the front-facing Ultra Wide 12MP camera is now on the landscape edge—finally!

The updated iPad Air comes in four different finishes: space gray, starlight, purple, and blue. The 11-inch model starts at $599, while the 13-inch version opens at $799. Both base models come with 128GB of storage. 512GB and 1TB storage options are also available.

iPad Pro with OLED Display and M4 Chip

Apple  iPad Pro with M4

The iPad Pro didn't receive any new screen-size options, but it did get dramatically thinner. The new models measure a super-slim 5.3mm for the 11-inch version and a barely there 5.1mm for the 13-inch model. According to Apple, this staggering size reduction means the new iPad Pro is the "thinnest Apple product ever."

Apple  iPad Pro with M4

Slender silhouette aside, the bigger news is that the updated Pro will feature not one but two OLED panels, a groundbreaking advancement Apple sparingly described as "Ultra Retina XDR display with state-of-the-art tandem OLED technology." Combining the light from both panels, the iPad Pro can deliver enhanced brightness levels up to 1000 nits for SDR content and 1600 nits for HDR . There's also an option to get the Pro with nano-texture glass for professional users working on color-managed workflows or under challenging lighting conditions.

Performance-wise, Apple surprised many of us with the reveal that that the new iPad Pro will feature Apple's next-generation M4 silicon. Apple claims the next-gen CPU makes the new iPad Pro 50% faster than the previous model, which was already insanely fast and efficient thanks to its M2 chipset. 

Apple M4 chip

In light of the powerful new screen and hardware, Apple took time to highlight how the new iPad Pro will be able to better handle and support AI-enabled tasks, as well as running productivity apps like Copilot and Adobe Firefly.

The new iPad Pro is available in silver and space black, along with storage options of 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. The 11-inch base model starts at $999, while the 13-inch version will run you $1299.

Apple Pencil Pro and Magic Keyboard

Apple showed off a couple of new accessories that pair nicely with today's devices. Directly after the iPad Pro reveal they took some time to show off a redesigned Magic Keyboard and an all new Apple Pencil Pro.

The Magic Keyboard features a complete redesigned aluminum clamshell-esque design that seems to exist for the sole purpose of reigniting the "can the iPad replace your laptop?" discourse. This time around the keyboard has a function row and a larger glass trackpad. 

Apple Magic Keyboard
Apple Magic Keyboard

The Apple Pencil Pro marks the most significant update this line of accessories has received in a while (sorry but adding a USB-C port doesn’t count). Apple showed off some quality of life updates, including new haptic-feedback features and the ability to "squeeze" and pull up contextual features depending on the app. Apple also added the ability to track the Pencil Pro which is great for those of us prone to losing anything that isn't bolted down.

Apple Pencil Pro
Apple Pencil Pro

New Versions of Final Cut and Logic Pro

Apple also took time to demonstrate updated versions of Final Cut Pro for iPad and Logic Pro for iPad, as well as the new Final Cut Camera app for iPhone and iPad.

Logic Pro for iPad 2 arrives first, hitting the App Store starting on Monday, May 13. The updated version of the app adds two new AI-generated "Session Players" to the mix, a bassist and keyboard player, expanding the the roster of artificial instrumentalists to three (there's an automated drummer as well). Additional AI features were also announced, including Stem Splitter, which, according to Apple, uses AI to separate vocals and instruments from a single audio recording in order to work on each individual part separately, and ChromaGlow, a machine learning-powered effect designed to "instantly add warmth to tracks." 

Arriving later this spring, Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 takes full advantage of the Pro's M4 chipset, allowing users to integrate professional-level, multi-camera editing. When paired with a new sister application, Final Cut Camera, the iPad Pro is now capable of advanced production and post-production workflows. The multi-cam features should make major waves in the event capture space, as users will be able to connect, preview, and control up to four cameras at a time, adding titles, effects, music, and transitions on their iPad to build out dynamic video deliverables.

Logic Pro
Logic Pro

Final Cut Camera will be the capture point for your camera feeds, allowing you to record high-quality footage from connected iPads and iPhones. With the new app comes full control over settings like white balance, manual focus, ISO, frame rate, and shutter speed, as well as monitoring tools like zebra stripes, focus peaking, and audio meters. The app is free to download and can be used independently or in tandem with Final Cut Pro.

Live Multicam
Live Multicam

Both the Final Cut Pro for iPad and Logic Pro for iPad updates will be free for existing users, and available on a monthly or yearly subscription plan for new users. The Final Cut Camera app can be downloaded for free.

Expect today's product announcements to start shipping sometime next week with availability to preorder on B&H available now. What are your thoughts on today’s announcements? Let us know what you're most looking forward to in the comments below and be sure to be on the lookout for more in-depth coverage once we’re able to spend more hands-on time with today’s announced devices!

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