4 truths about the new iPad Pro M4 you need to know

Apple iPad Pro 2024
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple held its "Let Loose" event on Tuesday, revealing two new iPads, the Apple Pencil Pro, and an all-new Magic Keyboard. Information about M4 chips, AI capabilities, and tandem OLED panels flew thick and fast, but, as with any major tech event, certain details get lost in the weeds. 

Unless you were paying close attention, you may have missed the asterisks tossed over every other statement made at Apple's iPad event. In doing so, you may have missed important information that could make or break a purchase.

In the case of the iPad Pro M4, certain facts about available models, such as hidden configuration options or the backward compatibility of certain accessories, aren't entirely common knowledge.

So, without further ado, here's what Apple didn't tell you about the new iPad Pro M4.

What Apple didn't tell you about iPad Pro M4

4. Storage options make all the difference for iPad Pro

Apple's iPad Pro models will vary significantly depending on which storage option you choose. If you want peak performance, then you'll need to aim to outfit your iPad Pro M4 with 16GB of RAM. However, to do this, you have to opt for the 1TB or 2TB storage configurations. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with 8GB, which isn't a terrible offering, but it will affect your ability to take full advantage of the M4's potential.

The same 1TB/2TB models also feature an M4 chip with a 10-core CPU, versus the 256GB/512GB options, which adopt a 9-core version. This means that selecting storage space is about more than just how many apps you can install at once. With a higher core CPU and greater RAM, you're getting a stronger iPad Pro M4.

This isn't reflected very clearly on the iPad Pro store page, as when deciding storage, it simply lists the space options without explaining what changes between configurations. However, you can see this clear as day on the iPad compare page in the "Chip" section.

Screenshots from Apple "Let Loose" event May 7 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

3. Nano-texture glass isn't available on lower-storage (cheaper) devices

Nano-texture glass is also limited to 1TB and 2TB iPad Pro models, which is at least reflected clearly in the section where users can decide between it and standard glass.

 Apple's disclaimer claims both are "Engineered for extremely low reflectivity." 

However, nano-texture glass is specifically designed for "High-end, color-managed workflows" or "Viewing in the most demanding ambient light environments."

Essentially, the nano-texture glass is for a select group of users who need a pinpoint-precise level of color accuracy when using their iPads in the brightest rooms. 

The average user will not need to spend an additional $100 for nano-texture glass. Apple also warns that using only the polishing cloth that comes with the product is required so that it might be a bit too high-maintenance for some.

Screenshots from Apple "Let Loose" event May 7 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

2. The Pencil Pro only works on the new iPad and old Apple Pencils don't work with the new iPads

The Apple Pencil Pro is also not backward compatible with older iPad models, as shown in the compatibility section of the Apple Pencil Pro store page. This means that previous generations of Apple Pencil do not work with the new iPad.

If you want the new iPad and plan to use the Apple Pencil, you'll have no choice but to buy the new Pencil Pro alongside it — even if you have older Apple Pencil products.

On the other hand, you'll have to purchase a new iPad if you want the Apple Pencil Pro. The same applies to the new Magic Keyboard, which is only compatible with the iPad Pro M4.

The iPad Pro M4 also lacks a 10-megapixel ultra-wide camera lens compared to the 6th Generation iPad Pro. This likely won't be a deal breaker for most, but it's important to note. Compared to the previous iPad Pro of 2022, the newer model also loses mmWave compatibility, which can allow for greater mobile data speeds in urban areas.

The real cost of the iPad Pro M4

1. The cost goes up quickly

The lack of compatibility with the new Magic Keyboard and Pencil Pro paints an unfortunate picture for those who already own older versions of both yet want the new iPad Pro: You'll have to pay far more than its starting price of $999 for the 11-inch model or $1,299 for the 13-inch model. 

Even if you're frugal and opt for the 256GB model, the $299 Magic Keyboard ($349 for 13-inch) and $129 Apple Pencil Pro mean you'll spend at least $1,429 for the 11-inch or $1,779 for the 13-inch model.

When you factor in that 256GB and 512GB models are built with less RAM and have fewer cores in their chips, you'll have to spend even more to get the most power out of your new iPad Pro M4. 

Now, we're at $2,329 for the 11-inch model and $2,679 for the 13-inch model. While not everyone will need to spend this much money just for additional performance, it's good to remember how steep things could get when factoring in lesser-known details about the iPad Pro M4. 

More from Laptop Mag

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.