Another year, another iPad update, and this time Apple skipped the M3 chip and opted to go up to the newer M4 and in their own words this machine ‘delivers outrageous performance for pro workflows and all-day battery life’. There were several well-placed rumours that they would skip the M3 and adopt the M4 and feature the neural engine which gives some level of future-proofing with planned AI capabilities just around the corner. And sure enough, they released the ultra-fast M4. The iPad Pro feels like an unnecessary upgrade in most cases with few apps able to utilize that level of raw processing power. Are we about to see a new wave of software capable of using the new M4 and its neural engine capabilities?

After spending months with my fingers crossed for a 16-inch iPad, Apple released an M4-based iPad Pro, an M2-based iPad Air and the new Apple Pencil Pro all at once. I didn’t get my wish but these new shiny machines are being touted as magical additions to the iPad range with new screen technology, lots of new Pencil features and even the new cases and folios getting a bit of an upgrade. I am a professional 2D and 3D artist and I use iPads daily with a wide range of creative apps covering painting, drawing, sculpting, 3D modelling and even video editing. I took the highest spec machines and their new cases for spin hammering them over a couple of weeks to see if they were a worthy successor to the M1 and M2 machines of recent years.

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Chipset: Apple M4, 10-core GPU
RAM: 8-16GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Dimensions: 281.6 x 215.5 x 5.1mm
Weight: 579g (Wi-Fi), 582g (Wi-Fi + Cellular)
Connection type: USB-C
Battery life: 10h with basic use, less with heavy rendering
Screen: Ultra Retina XDR display, 2752x2064p, 1,600 nits peak brightness, 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
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iPad Pro (M4, 2024) Geekbench 6 benchmark scoring
Header Cell – Column 0 CPU single-core CPU GB multi-core GPU Metal score
iPad Pro M4 16GB 3,656 14,662 53,252
iPad Air M2 8GB 2,622 9,172 30,563
iPad Pro M1 16GB 2,385 8,780 33,104