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7 iPad Pro features that would make me instantly upgrade to Apple’s next model

iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple is expected to announce new iPad Pros at any given moment, with rumors and leaks pointing to a number of upgrades for iPad users. And I’m proud to announce that in the year 2024, I will be upgrading my own iPad Pro after six years.

Also: iPad Pro (2022) review: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but…

Yes, folks, I’m one of those people who has been using the 2018 iPad Pro — the very first iPad with USB-C and Face ID — since it came out. And guess what? It’s still running perfectly fine. Sure, it tends to hiccup occasionally, and my unit only has 64GB of storage (which is by far my biggest issue with it). But other than that, this iPad serves me just fine every day I use it; I type articles, sign documents, watch Netflix, and even occasionally edit photos in Lightroom on it.

That being said, I’m a sucker for new tech, and it sounds like this year’s iPad Pros will be pretty sweet, so I’m planning on picking one up. Of course, they aren’t officially here yet, so that’s left me to wonder what kind of upgrades they’ll offer and create a wish list of my own for what I’d like to see. Here are the seven things I’d like to see the most.

1. OLED displays with higher brightness

It’s the biggest rumor of them all: two new iPad Pros with OLED displays. Almost every leak, report, and projection indicates that Apple will swap to OLED for the iPad Pro’s display, ditching the aging LCDs of yesteryear and abandoning the mini-LED panel on the larger 12.9-inch model.

I’ve been waiting for this change for years. I like the quality of Apple’s LCD panels (especially when it comes to color accuracy), but OLED is far superior in terms of contrast, black levels, and vibrancy. Every time I pick up my current iPad, I wish it was OLED, so here’s to hoping that wish is fulfilled with the newer models.

Also: The Apple products you shouldn’t buy this month: March 2024 edition

I’d also like to see improved brightness. The current iPad Pro maxes out at 600 nits with normal usage and up to 1,600 nits when watching HDR content (but only in certain areas). I’d love to see the next version of the tablets reach somewhere around 1,000 or 1,500 nits with normal usage and over 2,000 nits when viewing HDR content. The iPhone can do it, so why not the iPad, right? 

2. Longer battery life

The current line of iPad Pros is rated for about 10 to 12 hours of battery life per charge, which is decent if you aren’t using your tablet for work. If you’re like me and spend five hours staring at Google Docs, Slack, and Spotify, you may only have two hours left before you have to recharge.

iPad Pro 11-inch in hand

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

In the next iPad Pros, I’d love to see Apple either increase the battery size or somehow optimize the system so that battery life is improved in a meaningful way. I’d love for my iPad to last nearly as long as my MacBook Pro, which regularly gets me through a full day of work. If that happens, I can just bring my iPad Pro when traveling to get all my work done, a dream come true.

3. More baseline storage

As more people start to use the iPad Pro as their main computer, it’d be nice to see Apple increase the amount of baseline storage you get. Don’t get me wrong, 128GB is probably enough for some people, but this is a “pro” tablet and 128GB isn’t very “pro,” or at least not enough for your primary computer.

Also: Why the iPad Mini is still the best iPad for me in 2024

Double that to 256GB and we’ll be talking. Not only will you have enough room for all your apps and files, but it also means you won’t have to pay an extra arm or leg for a higher storage tier.

4. Repositioned webcam

With the 10th-generation iPad from 2022, Apple finally listened to customers and moved the webcam to where it belongs: the horizontal top. That way, when you have it sideways docked in a keyboard, the webcam is centered at the top instead of awkwardly to the left side.

For some reason, Apple has yet to introduce this change to the iPad Pro, which makes no sense since a majority of iPad Pro users probably use their tablets sideways all day. I’ve heard some rumors that Apple might move the webcam to the correct side on the next iPad Pro, but just in case that isn’t true and they still have time for a last-minute change, consider this my plea to Apple to move it to the right side. We’ll all be thankful for it.

5. A better Magic Keyboard

When the original Magic Keyboard came out in 2020, I was among the first people to place a preorder. After all, it was the first time Apple had shipped a keyboard for the iPad that I could really get behind; it didn’t have an awkward folding design, the keys looked comfortable to type on, and it even had a trackpad.

iPad Pro 11-inch with keyboard

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

While expensive, the Magic Keyboard is a solid accessory for your iPad. But I have some problems with it. You’re severely limited in terms of the angles you can prop your iPad up, which can make for an uncomfortable viewing experience. You also don’t get a row of Function keys, which would come in handy nowadays considering how robust iPadOS has become. Plus, it adds a lot of thickness and weight to your iPad, something you feel especially if you own the 12.9-inch model.

Also: The best iPad Pro keyboard cases of 2024

For the next iPad Pro, I’d love to see Apple redesign the Magic Keyboard to an extent where my issues with it dissipate and it retains the same characteristics that made it such a great accessory to begin with. Oh, and if the next version could not be covered in silicone, that’d be great, too.

6. “Midnight”

A Midnight iPad Pro would look way cooler than the current Space Gray model, which is more of a dark gray than anything. With the Midnight version of the MacBook Air, you get a deep, dark finish with a slightly blue tone that only appears in the proper lighting. If that color was brought to the iPad Pro, I’d lose my mind. Granted, Apple likely won’t add that color to its lineup since it’s not considered a “pro” color, but hey, a guy can dream.

7. Long shot: A second USB-C port

Speaking of dreaming, I’d love to have a second USB-C port on my next iPad Pro. Yes, I realize this will never happen since it’s Apple we’re talking about, but I think it’d be great nonetheless. You could connect more accessories to your iPad, access files from a flash drive while you charge it without having to buy an adapter, swap your charging cable to the other side if you’re sitting on a couch near the armrest (assuming the ports were on opposite sides), and more.

If you use the Magic Keyboard, you technically get two USB-C ports since there’s one included for passthrough charging, but I want two proper Thunderbolt ports instead. If Apple did that, you could truly take advantage of the sheer power of the iPad Pro.

Stay tuned to ZDNET over the next couple of weeks — rumor has it the next iPad Pros could drop at any moment, and we’ll be working hard to cover them the second they arrive.


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