Home / iOS / Apple ‘Let Loose’ iPad event recap: M4 iPad Pro, 13-inch iPad Air, Apple Pencil Pro, more

Apple ‘Let Loose’ iPad event recap: M4 iPad Pro, 13-inch iPad Air, Apple Pencil Pro, more

Apple Let Loose event

Apple

During what Tim Cook called “the biggest day for the iPad since its introduction,” Apple this week announced new updates to its iPad lineup, including a new OLED iPad Pro, a new iPad Air, a new Apple Pencil Pro, and a new Magic Keyboard. For months now, we’ve heard rumors that Apple was planning to release a new OLED iPad Pro and new iPad Airs this spring, and now they’ve finally been confirmed.

Also: I’ve used every iPad since the original. Here’s my buying advice for the new 2024 models

Tim Cook kicked off the event by speaking about how the Apple Vision Pro has been making an impact in health care, retail, and filmmaking, and how the MacBook Air is the world’s best-selling 13- and 15-inch laptop. He then let his employees follow up with all the details on the latest iPads and iPad accessories.

Everything announced at Apple’s ‘Let Loose’ event

Apple’s “Let Loose” was a virtual product launch event that took place on May 7, at 7 am PT/10 am ET. It lasted about 35 minutes and was live-streamed on Apple.com, YouTube, and via the Apple TV app. 


1. iPad Pro, now with OLED displays and M4

iPad Pro

Apple

A new line of iPad Pros was the main attraction. The 2024 iPad Pro’s display has a Tandem OLED panel, which gets brighter than most OLED panels thanks to a stacked architecture. The thinner, more powerful display delivers true blacks and more detail in shadows and low light, earning Apple’s latest branding moniker: “Ultra Retina XDR.”

Although initially rumored to include Apple’s M3 chip, the new iPad Pro boasts a new M4 processor, built on second-generation 3nm technology, with support for a new display engine powering the Ultra Retina XDR display, a 10-core CPU, and a 10-core GPU. Apple claims the GPU is four times faster than the M2 in the previous iPad Pro and the CPU is capable of delivering the same performance as the M2 but with half the consumption power.

Also: iPad Pro (2024) vs. iPad Air (2024): Which Apple tablet should you buy?

The iPad Pro’s M4 chip boasts a neural engine (what everyone else calls a neural processing unit, or an NPU) dedicated to AI workloads, with a 16-core design to deliver 38 trillion operations per second. Apple calls the M4 an outrageously powerful chip for AI, saying the neural engine in the M4 is more powerful than any processing unit in any AI PC.

The new iPad Pro also has graphite sheets in the main housing as well as copper that improves its thermal performance by 20%. The rear camera array includes a LiDAR scanner, the screen features a Nano-texture Glass option that scatters ambient light to reduce glare, and the front-facing camera has now moved from to the landscape side, allowing for a more natural camera angle when you’re on video calls.

Apple

Like previous generations, Apple is making the latest iPad Pro available in 11-inch and 13-inch sizes. This iPad Pro is the thinnest Apple product ever, the company says. The 11-inch model is 5.3mm thick, while the 13-inch model is 5.1mm thick, making it thinner than even the iPod Nano.

The iPad Pro starts at $999 for the 11-inch model and $1,299 for the 13-inch model. It’s available in Silver and Space Black, with storage sizes ranging from 256GB to 2TB. You can available to preorder now, with orders shipping next week.

2. iPad Air gets a new, larger size

Apple iPad Air

Apple

The new iPad Air is available in 11-inch and 13-inch display sizes, with the latter being a first for the device. Though iPad Air users like the portability of the 11-inch form factor, the larger 13-inch display provides 30% more screen real estate.

Also: iPad Air 6: These 4 best new features make for one tempting tablet

Both iPad Air models feature Center Stage, the same front-facing landscape camera as the iPad Pro, and landscape stereo speakers with spatial audio. The larger iPad Air model has double the bass, however, Apple says.

Apple

Unlike the M4-equipped iPad Pro, the iPad Air comes with an M2 chip, making it almost 50% faster than the previous model with M1 and three times faster than the A13 Bionic model. The faster processor supports AI editing in photos with a single tap on the screen, as well as Apple Pencil hover, whether you use the lower-cost USB-C version or the new Apple Pencil Pro.

The new iPad Air is available in Blue, Purple, Starlight, and Space Gray, with prices starting at $599 for the 11-inch iPad Air, and $799 for the 13-inch model.

3. Apple Pencil Pro

Apple Pencil Pro

Apple

Apple launched an entirely new Apple Pencil, the Apple Pencil Pro, at its Let Loose event. You can squeeze the Pencil Pro to quickly open a tool palette, select an item, or open a floating menu without touching the screen. The Pencil Pro can also give you haptic feedback after a squeeze gesture.

Also: Apple Pencil Pro vs. Apple Pencil 2: Which model works best for your iPad?

You can also roll the pencil to change the orientation of your brush, switch the tool you’re using, or rotate an object. Furthermore, developers can now create their own custom interactions for the stylus. The Apple Pencil Pro works with both the new iPad Pro and the new iPad Air.

The Apple Pencil Pro’s new squeeze gesture.

Apple

The Apple Pencil Pro costs $129 and supports Apple’s Find My service, letting you track the location of the accessory should you drop or misplace it. You can purchase the Apple Pencil Pro today, and it will start shipping next week.

4. Magic Keyboard

Magic Keyboard

Apple

The iPad event also included a new, more durable Magic Keyboard, featuring a larger trackpad and a function row along the top. The Magic Keyboard’s new look and upgraded aluminum construction is meant to make the iPad Pro look and feel more like a laptop, rather than a tablet with an optional keyboard case.

Why would Apple host an event before WWDC?

Although Apple is hosting its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10, that event is reserved for new iOS, iPadOS, visionOS, and macOS announcements, plus Apple’s new AI strategy. The Let Loose event was focused on the latest hardware offerings, with the OLED iPad Pro being the main star.

Did the Let Loose event cover iPadOS 17.5 or iPadOS 18?

While Apple typically reserves iOS and iPadOS announcements for WWDC, some iPad-specific software features were revealed during the Let Loose event. That said, these features will likely be part of iPadOS 17.5 or an upcoming version. We expect Apple to cover iOS 18 features, particularly those that lean heavily on AI, in June during WWDC.

Apple unveiled new versions of Final Cut Pro 2 and Logic Pro 2 for iPadOS. Apple showed a Final Cut Pro that now lets you record, edit, finish, and share professional-grade videos right on an iPad Pro. A Live Multicam feature can turn your iPad into a multicam production studio, letting you preview up to four iPhone or iPad cameras at once on your screen, possible with the new Final Cut Camera app.

Also: After 14 years, the iPad will finally get a built-in Calculator app, sources say

Logic Pro 2 introduces Session Players, an AI-created Bass and Keyboard player available alongside the Drummer feature. The ChromaGlow feature adds sound effects to tracks. Logic Pro 2 also offers a Stem Splitter feature that can split recordings into voice, bass, drums, and other instruments.

iOS 17.5 doesn’t have many exciting new features outside of the European Union, where iPhone users can now download apps directly from websites. The new devices are expected to ship with iPadOS 17.5, but these features are available for iPadOS 17.4.

How do I watch Apple’s Let Loose event?

The Apple Let Loose event was a pre-recorded video but is still available for streaming on YouTube, Apple.com, and in the Apple TV app.


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Apple ‘Let Loose’ iPad event recap: M4 iPad Pro, 13-inch iPad Air, Apple Pencil Pro, more

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