Apple’s new iPads bore me, and I’m tired of pretending otherwise

iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch)
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple has announced a live stream event for May 7, and that can only mean one thing: new iPads are on the way. The ‘Let Loose’ event is likely to focus heavily on a new selection of Apple slates, notably missing from Apple’s uber-busy 2023, with a new Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil set to spearhead the next generation of iPad accessories.

So, mark your calendars, readers. The iPad landscape is about to dramatically shift, and this could be the best selection of iPads we’ve ever seen. They’re slimmer, faster, brighter, bigger, and ultimately… Just as boring.

Not quite earth-shattering

Stay your pitchforks and torches. It’s an opinion, not the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I’d like to take this moment to assure you that no, I’m not bought and paid for by Samsung Electronics, and I’m not a vital slice of the looming AI monopoly, so Microsoft has no interest in investing in me either.

In fact, I’m an iPad Pro owner. One who believes Apple’s slate to be the best tablet on the market by far. I’m just tired of being drip fed with minor iterations every few years and bloviating about the power of Apple’s latest chipset when the vast majority of people are using their iPad to watch YouTube videos and browse the internet.

Keeping up with iPad releases is a lot like plonking down a lawn chair and staring at the San Andreas Fault. You know that one day something groundbreaking is coming, but until then it’s all just twiddling your thumbs and waiting to see California go sailing across the Pacific.

From what we have heard so far, the iPad Air should be receiving an M2 refit with a miniLED display and the iPad Pro will be granted an M3 upgrade and a brighter, OLED panel for the first time. Both tablets will also shift the front camera to the wider horizonal side of the device, and there'll be a general tightening up of bezels and chassis size.

Don't get me wrong, these additions are more than welcome. But from my seismological lawn chair perch, I barely felt a rumble.

 M2/M3 iPads: More power to ya'

Apple’s tablets are already overpowered, so the thought of bumping up the iPad Air or iPad Pro’s processor to the M2 or M3 is a bit like dumping gallons of gasoline onto a campfire only for you to toast your marshmallows eyebrow-less over a raging inferno. But, hey, more power to ya'.

If shaving a fraction of a second off of the speed of loading up your Apple Mail app tightens your trousers, then right on. But we’re approaching the point of having the power of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Deep Thought in the palm of our hands and all we really need is a device capable of running a handful of tabs in Safari and getting us through the daily onslaught of Evony: The King’s Return ads.

It’s one of my most hated tech trends but it speaks volumes that the internet is awash with videos of people opening and closing iPhone and iPad apps as fast as possible to showcase their performance and animation smoothness.

Just look at it, what does that prove? I'm not entirely sure if videos like this are showcasing iPad performance or I'm baring witness to the worst case of ADHD I've ever come across. You could put an M4 chip in the newest iPad Pro and barely a soul would notice beyond it looking pretty when you switch between apps and widgets.

Yes, there are those out there who make the case for the iPad Pro being a viable desktop/laptop replacement—especially with more professional-grade apps like Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro having made their way to iPadOS within the last year.

However, not everyone agrees. Personally, I think the right accessory can make or break the experience entirely. Which is why I’m far more interested in Apple’s rumored Magic Keyboard than slightly slimmer bezels on my next iPad. 


Having seen nothing of the iPad in 2023, I was hoping for more—but well prepared to face more of the same. In fairness to Apple, it's not like there's a striking amount of competition forcing it to excel on the tablet-front. For every complaint I might have about the iPad, there are 20 Android tablets that nobody is interested in buying.

However, when it comes to the iPad, it's not the hardware I'm holding out hope for. WWDC 2024 is right around the corner, and I'm keen to see some interesting features surface when it comes to the upcoming iPadOS 18 reveal.

Hopefully, this is where we'll see the iPad have its moment in the spotlight, and not just receive the hand-me-downs of last year's iOS 17 update. However, those are welcome too. Stand By mode would be nice, for example. Especially if it can offer a little more to do thanks to the iPad’s larger display. 

They say optimism is the best way to end articles, and I, if nothing else, am a fount of upbeat vibes and good cheer. Which is why I'll let go of my hang-ups and 'Let Loose' on May 7 to give Apple a fair shot at changing my mind. Until that time, the only thing on Stand By mode will be my enthusiasm.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.