Apple M4 Chip, 2024 iPad Air, iPad Pro and Pencil Pro

Earlier today (May 07), Apple unveiled its latest M chip, along with the first device to be powered by it. Also announced is a new lineup of iPad Air, and a new Pencil. Yup. M4 chp. Already. I know right? Somehow, it does feel like tech companies are holding back technology because the 3-nm process M3 chip was revealed only last October.

The M4 Chip

Apple M4 Chip

The new M4 chip, which powers the new iPad Pro, is built using second-generation 3-nanometer technology and boasts a new 10-core CPU and GPU, the fastest Neural Engine ever (38 trillion operations per second!), enhanced power efficiency, and supports the Ultra Retina XDR display for remarkable color accuracy and brightness.

Graphics and gaming also get significant boosts with this chip which introduces advanced graphics capabilities like Dynamic Caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and mesh shading on the iPad. That’s the first for iPad, btw.

The iPad Pro

2024 Apple iPad Pro with M4 Chip
iPad Pro

Speaking of the iPad — specifically, the Pro which is rocking the M4 chip — it has a similar aesthetic as the last-gen iPad Pro but it is now lighter and thinner. There are two sizes to choose from: 11-inch and 13-inch.

The new model is 5.3 mm (0.21 inches) thin and weighs just 446g (0.98 lbs) for the WiFi + Cellular model. In contrast, the 2022 model was 5.9 mm (0.23 inches) thin, and 480g (1.04 lbs) for the WiFi + Cellular model.

There was no 13-inch model; it was 12.9-inch but still, Apple is killing it in weight and profile. The new 13-inch iPad Pro is so much lighter at 582g (1.28 lbs) for the WiFi + Cellular model while the 2022 iPad Pro 12.9-inch is a heavy 685g (1.51 lbs).

The 12.9-inch 6th generation was 6.4 mm thick and the new model is just 5.1 mm (0.20 inches) which is thinner than the new 11-inch model and that, my friends, is pretty impressive. Meanwhile, the last generation 12.9-inch model was a pretty chunky 6.4 mm (0.25 inches).

The new iPad Pro is going to kill the textured screen protector market because Apple is offering a new nano-texture glass option. Nano-texture glass is precisely etched at a nanometer scale allowing the display to maintain image quality and contrast while scattering ambient light for reduced glare.

2024 Apple iPad Pro with M4 Chip
iPad Pro

Other highlights of the new iPad Pro include 8 GB RAM, a breakthrough Ultra Retina XDR display with state-of-the-art tandem OLED technology, an entirely new display engine, ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates from 10Hz to 120Hz, supports Pencil hover, a 12 MP wide camera with up to 5x digital zoom, a landscape 12 MP Ultra Wide camera (front-facing), four-speaker audio, studio-quality four-mic array, Wi-Fi 6E with 2×2 MIMO, simultaneous dual-band, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G (sub-6 GHz) and Gigabit LTE (for WiFi + Cellular model), eSIM (for WiFi + Cellular model), Face ID, and LiDAR scanner.

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The new iPad Pro is outfitted with a Thunderbolt/USB 4 port. The 11-inch model gets a 31.29 Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery while the 13-inch packs a 38.99 Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery.

Starting May 07, you can order the new 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro models, equipped with the M4 chip, in silver and space black. These are available in configurations ranging from 256GB to 2TB, with prices beginning at US$999 for the 11-inch Wi-Fi model and US$1,299 for the 13-inch.

Orders can be placed through the Apple Store online and the Apple Store app across 29 countries, including the U.S., with in-store availability starting May 15. Further details, including options for nano-texture glass, are available online.

The Apple Pencil Pro

2024 Apple Pencil Pro
Apple Pencil Pro shown here attached to the new iPad Pro

As for the new Apple Pencil Pro, it features a squeeze sensor, custom haptic feedback, a gyroscope for precise control, and hover functionality to preview tool orientation. In addition, it supports the Find My feature and a new magnetic interface for pairing and charging on the iPad Pro.

The Apple Pencil also works with the iPad Pro. So you do not need to drop US$129 for one if you already own an Apple Pencil.

The Apple iPad Air

2024 Apple iPad Air 11-inch and 13-inch
iPad Air

Apple Pro is never cheap since it is geared toward professional usage so if you are looking for an iPad device that is a tad more affordable, you may want to check out the new M2-powered, redesigned 11-inch and a new 13-inch iPad Air.

These models offer enhanced portability and increased display size, respectively, and come in new blue and purple finishes, in addition to starlight and space gray.

Featuring improved performance capabilities with a faster CPU, GPU, and a more advanced Neural Engine, the iPad Air is equipped for superior AI tasks.

It includes a landscape-oriented front-facing camera for better video calls, supports faster Wi-Fi and 5G, and works with the new Apple Pencil Pro and Magic Keyboard. Key features include Liquid Retina display (LED-backlit multi-touch display with IPS technology), Apple Pencil hover support, M2 chip (8-core CPU + 10-core GPU + 16-core Neural Engine), 8 GB RAM, a 12 MP Wide camera with up to 5x digital zoom and AF, a landscape 12MP Ultra Wide front camera, landscape stereo speakers, dual mics, Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO, simultaneous dual-band, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G (sub-6 GHz) and Gigabit LTE (for WiFi + Cellular model), Touch ID, and USB-C (USB 3).

2024 Apple iPad Air 11-inch and 13-inch
iPad Air

The new iPad Air 11-inch has a 28.93 Wh rechargeable lithium‑polymer battery and the new iPad Air 13-inch gets a 36.59 Wh rechargeable lithium‑polymer battery.

The iPad Air starts at US$599 for the 11-inch model and US$799 for the 13-inch model, with orders starting on May 07 and availability from May 15, 2024.

2024 Apple iPad Air 11-inch and 13-inch
iPad Air
2024 Apple iPad Pro with M4 Chip
iPad Pro
2024 Apple iPad Pro with M4 Chip
iPad Pro

All images courtesy of Apple, Inc.