This afternoon, Apple hosted their latest event, presenting new editions of the iPad Air and iPad Pro. Here’s my take on the event and what was featured.

iPad Air

Let’s start with the price, £599 for the 11 inch version is still very reasonable, not least because the new generation of Air comes with a bunch of features that were previously on the iPad Pro. The larger, 11inch Air comes in at £799.

It’s clear to me, the new iPad Airs will be the most reasonable choice for the everyday consumer, performing daily tasks from surfing the web, checking emails, dealing with business accounts and such. If you’ve currently got an iPad Air, the upgrade might be beneficial for you, if anything just for the faster processor upgrades.

iPad Pro

The new iPad Pro looks absolutely amazing, with a really thin form factor, available in 11inches or 13inches at 5.3mm thin and 5.1mm thin respectively. Apple cites the new iPad Pros as being the thinnest Apple Product EVER, being even thinner than the iPod nano back in the day.

The new iPad Pros also bring in OLED for the very first time, supporting 1000 nits of full screen brightness thanks to Apple’s own Tandem OLED functionality, which enables millisecond control over the colour and illuminates of each screen.

If you’re looking to ditch the MacBook or have a secondary display that’s pretty close to your Apple Studio or XDR displays in terms of colour, brightness and relevance, then this new range of iPad could be ideal for you.

The iPad Pros are clearly aimed at professionals in creative working environments, but if you’re looking for extra internal storage and an Ultra Retina XDR display, then this is the one for you.

Software

After debuting on the iPad last year, Final Cut and Logic Pro are having major upgrades, to take advantage of the new M4 chip the new iPad Pros have built in. Introducing, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro 2. There are great functionality changes to both apps, including the ability to monitor multiple live cameras on Final Cut Pro, while AI will enable on-device separation of vocals and instruments of a single track, allowing them to form a multitrack.

The cameras are getting an update, moving from the portrait side of the iPad to the landscape side. I hear you, I also said ‘finally’ rather loudly. This should make having video calls much nicer for those taking the call and those presenting.

Accessories

The Magic Keyboard has had an update and now includes function keys right at the top, making the iPad even more like a portable laptop. Just having that extra functionality I’m sure see some people ditch their MacBooks if they don’t need them.

If you hadn’t guessed from the logo of the event, there’s a reimagined Apple Pencil, called Apple Pencil Pro. The Pencil Pro can now be squeezed to bring up new tool pallets on appropriate apps, a gyroscope is now built inside to make smoother angles and transitions, but perhaps my favourite feature of the new Apple Pencil Pro is the FindMy capability. Personally, this should have been included from the get-go, but at least it’s here now (and you watch, I won’t lose my pencil again now!).

Overall

Apple has really made efforts to upgrade the iPad range from consumers to pro users. With several mentions of artificial intelligence, it’s clear that the AI features in these iPads are just the start of some exciting developments which could be announced at WWDC in June. It’s also great to see the camera on both the Air and Pro moving to the landscape section.

The pricing of the iPads are reasonable for what they are and offer. I currently have a 2020 iPad Air, but while I’m still trying to figure out how this fits in with my current workflow, I won’t be rushing to buy a new one anytime soon. The naming conventions could be changed a little, to help consumers and professionals navigate which ones are from this year, last year, the year before etc., but as advancements go for any Apple product in one hit over recent years, having a really thin iPad Pro, a reasonably priced consumer model in the iPad Air (and two sizes) and the original iPad still being available, this is a range that’s not just expanding, but evolving.

See you (virtually) at WWDC24 in June!