Steve Jobs would be absolutely proud of how far the new iPad Pro M4 has come

Here’s a snapshot of the new iPad Pro – an industry-leading M4 Chipset, Tandem OLED screen technology, a design thinner than any other Apple device ever made, nano-textured glass, studio-quality mics, graphite-sheet-infused hardware and copper-infused logo for better thermals, and an absolutely game-changing Apple Pencil Pro. It’s almost as if Apple is operating with alien technology.

I’ve mentioned this in the past that the iPad Pro really has no true competitor. It’s left Android tablets so far behind that almost every Galaxy, Pixel, or OnePlus tablet is just a budget competitor with Apple’s regular iPad. The iPad Pro has always been in a league of its own, and truth be told, I entered the Apple event thinking we’d get an incremental iPad Pro M3 update… because why does Apple really have to blow minds any more than it already has? Turns out I was absolutely wrong, because the more-than-one-year wait for a new iPad Pro was absolutely worth it.

The tablet PC itself was a category that Jobs pioneered, ushering in a new era of handheld devices that would go on to become the intermediary between a phone and a laptop. Jobs introduced the iPad as a multimedia device back in the day, but today the iPad Pro is much more. In fact, it’s so ridiculously powerful that it could dethrone even Apple’s own MacBook. The landscape camera and Magic Keyboard with the function row are just two small updates that put the iPad Pro more and more in MacBook territory… except with an XDR touchscreen, a brilliant stylus, a flawless front-facing camera with LiDAR, and with FaceID – all features that the MacBook currently lacks.

Yes, I sincerely believe that if Jobs were around today, the iPad Pro M4 would have blown his mind because I’m pretty sure the CEOs of Samsung, Google, OnePlus, Huawei, and Microsoft are all mighty pissed at how much Apple has leapfrogged their own tablet efforts. There’s really no comparison between tablets the way there is between phones and even to some extent between smartwatches. No Qualcomm chipset matches the M4’s capabilities, neural engines (NPUs) on tablet chipsets aren’t that common or powerful (to our knowledge, only Microsoft’s Surface Pro has them), and the fact that the iPad is so good it could potentially eat into Chromebook sales is probably really irking some companies right now.

So what makes this iPad so ground-breaking? Well, for starters, pretty much all of us entered into this keynote expecting the usual – a chip upgrade, the shifting of the camera module, and maybe some Pencil tweaks. However, what Apple served up instead was miles ahead of what anyone could think. The first iPad Pro was touted as a magical piece of glass, given how thin and compact it was – this new iPad Pro, even with its new almighty M4 chip, is thinner than any iPad ever made. At 5.3 and 5.1 millimeters respectively (the 11 and 13-inch models), the new iPads are thinner than the thinnest iPod. Heck, they’re a full 40% thinner than an AirTag. AN AIRTAG.

That isn’t all, Apple’s new design is a combination of incredible engineering and borderline futuristic material sciences. The new screen gets bumped up from Retina to Tandem OLED, a technology that Apple developed in-house, merging two OLED panels together to bring screen brightness up to a peak of a whopping 1600 nits. Meanwhile, a nano-textured glass helps cut glare while refracting ambient light perfectly without causing any clarity issues. A better screen, an M4 chipset, and a radically thinner design obviously means the iPad Pro is prone to immense heating (it doesn’t have a fan the way laptops do either), but that’s where Apple’s ingenuity shines again. Instead of simply relying on machined aluminum, the new iPad Pro’s housing has graphite sheets incorporated into it… and that Apple logo on the back, that also has copper infused into it too, helping turn the iPad’s body into a much more efficient heat sink to dissipate heat.

The iPad Pro’s nano-textured glass

The new iPad Pros also have better speakers, a set of studio-grade microphones, and a repositioned landscape camera that manages FaceID as well as functions as the perfect video-conferencing camera with CenterStage capabilities. The camera sits right where the wireless charging coil for the Apple Pencil would otherwise sit, so the fact that Apple’s managed to squeeze both of those in, while still making the iPad Pro thinner than before seems like a borderline miracle.

The new iPad Pro is also complemented by a redesigned Magic Keyboard that’s slimmer, and has an all-new function key row and a pressure-sensitive trackpad… and a Pencil Pro that’s so ground-breaking it puts other styluses to shame (fun fact, the Pencil Pro got 5 full minutes of coverage in a 44 minute keynote, including an in-depth breakdown by Procreate CEO, James Cuda), but more on that in a separate article. Despite its radical redesign, the iPad Pro doesn’t get a price-bump. Instead, it still starts at $999 for the 256Gb model (the 128Gb model is now discontinued), and $129 for the Pencil Pro. Even by Apple’s own standards, that’s a massive technological leap for the same price each year. Like I said, Jobs would be absolutely chuffed.