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Apple Unveils New iPad Pro, Its Thinnest Product Ever with “World’s Most Advanced” OLED Display

Image credit: Apple

The new iPad Pros are here and they are, without a doubt, some of the most Appley Apple devices that Apple has ever Appled. You’ll see what we mean. Let’s dig in.

So thin. Much light

These new iPad Pros are ridiculously thin. The new 11-inch model is only 5.3mm thick while the 13-inch model is an even thinner 5.1mm thick. How thin is this? During the keynote Apple said that these new iPad Pros are the thinnest products they’ve ever made—even thinner than the iPod nano.

Image credit: Apple

The new models are also lighter than before, with the 11-inch model weighing just under a pound and the 13-inch model weighing just over 1 pound.

The obvious objections to going even thinner than before would be three-fold: frame strength, thermal performance, and battery life. However, Apple says, the frame of these new iPads remain as strong as their predecessors, meaning that they should not be any more susceptible to bending.

Plus, even though the new iPad Pros are way thinner, Apple says it has actually improved thermal performance in this new design by 20% over the previous generation Pro models. And as for battery life, Apple made no claims about battery life in its announcement, but we assume the new models will still be able to last 8-10 hours as the current models do. (Though, lets hope they figure out a fix for whatever is draining battery like crazy in standby.)

New Tandem OLED Ultra Retina XDR Display

Image credit: Apple

Because this is the thinnest device Apple has ever produced, that presented new challenges to Apple’s display team. The solve was two fold: a new Tandem OLED display technology and the introduction of the new M4 chip.

As “Tandem OLED” suggests, the display in the new iPad Pro models is actually two OLED panels combined to provide full-screen brightness of up to 1,000 nits for SDR and HDR content, and up to 1,600 nits peak for HDR.

Thanks to this new display technology, Apple says iPad Pro delivers extreme dynamic range and sub-millisecond control over color accuracy and luminance to provide brighter specular highlight, more details in the shadows and more responsiveness to content in motion.

Plus, for the first time on iPad, Apple is offering nano-texture glass. Similar to what the company offers on its Pro Display XDR and Studio Display, nano-texturing etches the display glass to reduce ambient light glare.

Introducing M4

All of this display performance is made possible by the inclusion of the new M4 chip. As we detailed in our writeup on this new chip, the improvements on M4 seem solely related to the chip’s new Display Engine and its new 16-core Neural Engine.

Image credit: Apple

The M4 in iPad Pro features 10 CPU core and 10 GPU cores, boosting CPU performance 1.5x over the previous-generation M2 iPad Pro. Plus, the GPU brings dynamic caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading to iPad for the first time.

New front-facing camera location

Finally acknowledging that most people use the front-facing camera on their iPad in landscape orientation, Apple has moved the camera from the portrait edge of the new iPad Pros (and Airs!) to the landscape edge.

As far as other camera news on these new models, there’s not much else to report aside from improved document scanning. During the keynote, Apple detailed a new AI-powered feature on iPad that allows the device to identify a document in the Camera app, take multiple exposures of the document with a new adaptive flash and then stitch those exposures together to create a shadowless scan of the document.

New Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil Pro

Image credit: Apple

Alongside the thinner and lighter design of the new iPad Pros, Apple also introduced a new version of the Magic Keyboard. Like the iPad Pros they hold, the Magic Keyboard is thinner and lighter as well.

To be clear, this new Magic Keyboard model is only compatible with the new iPad Pro models. But it does feature some very welcome improvements.

Image credit: Apple

To start, the keyboard itself now features a more premium aluminum palm rest giving the whole package a more Mac-like feel. Plus, Apple has implemented a larger glass trackpad and an honest-to-goodness function row!

Apple also introduced a new Smart Folio for iPad Pro that now supports multiple viewing angles.

Plus, as detailed in a previous dedicated post, Apple also introduced the new Apple Pencil Pro. Compatible with both the new iPad Airs and the new Pros, the new Apple Pencil pro contains new sensors to create a more versatile stylus for creative use.

Pricing and availability

The new iPad Pro starts at $999 for the 11-inch model and $1,199 for the 13-inch model. Pre-orders are available today with devices fully available starting May 15.

OWC Wayne G
the authorOWC Wayne G
Tech lover, multimedia creator, and marketing manager for OWC's Rocket Yard and Mission Control blogs.
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  • Apple just doesn’t get it. The last iPad was thinner and had a better screen than its predecessor and sales went down. Just like the ones prior that touted the same lame features. Make Siri better. Give me a better battery. How about something new and exciting like being free of bugs. Having an os that doesn’t take most of your hard drive space. Be innovative. Stop living off of Steve’s ideas and how is talking about the thickness and weight of keyboards. That just sit on your desk.

  • I’m one for saying I’d rather not have my tech super thin, instead just make it robust. Meaning, doesn’t bend easily, doesn’t break easily, has a ton of power and amazing battery life! Yes, no one wants an unwieldy portable device, so let’s be realistic, but battery life and performance will always be more important!

  • Well, it seems to be a nifty tablet and all, but frankly this boasting of thin-ness has jumped the shark. Until they offer an iPad that is as thin as a few sheets of paper and can be rolled up for storage or transport (which I realize may well be in the future roadmap), proclaiming a “savings” of a fraction of a millimeter smacks of one muscle car manufacturer boasting their engine produces 900HP when their paltry competitor only puts out 850HP…in other words, a distinction without a difference.
    There may well be valid reasons to buy the newest iPads, for sure, but because they are super duper thin ain’t one of them. Unless it’s for boasting rights, which of course might be a thing.