May 7, 2024 - Technology

Apple debuts new iPad Pro powered by M4 processor

New iPad in use as a user adjusts a multicolor illustration of a woman in fantasy garb

Screenshot: Apple

Apple on Tuesday debuted a more powerful iPad Pro using a next-generation M4 processor, along with updates to the midrange iPad Air line, including a larger screen option.

Why it matters: While Apple has not announced new artificial intelligence features, the company touted the potential for the tablets to handle AI tasks.

"This is the biggest day for iPad since its introduction," CEO Tim Cook said in a pre-recorded product announcement Tuesday morning.

M4 chip

  • The 10-core chip, built using thin 3-nanometer wiring, is making its debut with the iPad Pro, but it's expected to come to the Mac, too.
  • It has four performance cores and six high-efficiency cores, which can be used to deliver higher total performance or more performance while using less power. Apple says it can deliver the same performance as the M2 using half the power.
  • Apple also touted an improved neural engine — which supports the type of processing needed for AI — that's capable of performing 38 trillion operations per second.

iPad Pro

  • In addition to the improved processor, the redesigned iPad Pro is thinner and lighter than prior models and features a new kind of display that uses a pair of OLED panels in tandem.
  • The iPad Pro comes in both 11-inch and 13-inch models, with Apple billing the 13-inch model as the thinnest product it has produced.
  • The 11-inch model will start at $999, while the larger screen option starts at $1299.
  • Apple also debuted a new $129 Apple Pencil Pro and updated its Magic Keyboard accessory to accompany the new iPad Pro.

iPad and iPad Air

  • The redesigned iPad Air adds a larger, 13-inch screen option in addition to the standard 11-inch option. It boasts an M2 processor (up from M1 on the prior model) and double the storage in the base model. The 11-inch model starts at $599, with the 13-inch model priced at $799.
  • The new iPad Air and iPad Pro models will be available next week.
  • Apple also cut the starting price of its entry-level iPad to $349.
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