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I don’t think Apple wants me to buy the new iPad Pro

Someone using the new M4 iPad Pro with a creator app.

There are days when I am proud of the things I create, and then there are days like today when I watch an Apple iPad Pro reveal event. Seeing what the new 2024 iPad Pro can do made me feel like the things I’ve creatively achieved are the equivalent of holding a piece of chalk in my clenched fist and scratching a stick figure onto a cave wall.

I simply would not get close to what it’s capable of, band there’s still a tiny, slightly mad part of me that really wants one of these spectacular new tablets, particularly as it’s still the only way I can get a personal must-have tablet feature. Except, if I also want all the kit with it, the top-spec iPad Pro model will definitely cost me more than $2,000, potentially even up to $3,000. Am I mad enough to spend that much on an iPad?

Go Pro or go home

A person holding the iPad Pro 2020.
Andy Boxall / DigitalTrends

I have a 2020 iPad Pro with a Magic Keyboard, which I love. It saw me through the early days of the pandemic and essentially replaced my television for the following years until I moved home. It was “Pro” in the way it came with higher specs, more ability, and a better screen than the cheaper model — and I’ve always felt like it could do everything I want with just a bit of power to spare. But after years of use, the battery isn’t as strong as it used to be, and as it’s the 11-inch version, a larger screen would be nice on any replacement.

Could the new iPad Pro be it, I wondered as Apple CEO Tim Cook said the May 7 event would be the biggest day for the product since its introduction? But from that moment on, I started to feel rather inadequate because Apple went all-out in showing off the new iPad Pro’s impressive professional ability — and completely lost me while doing it.

From achieving incredible artistry using the Apple Pencil to syncing multiple iPhone and iPad cameras together to make movies in Final Cut Pro, the iPad Pro suddenly seemed to rival a Mac Pro as a tool for creatives. I know I don’t need a Mac Pro, as I certainly don’t need to spend Mac Pro money to type my words into Pages and frown at Microsoft Teams when it does something annoying. It’s a good thing then that there are other Mac devices for me, like the Mac Mini.

Not for me?

Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 editing.

But there doesn’t seem to be that same happy middle ground if I want to buy a new iPad. The new iPad Pro was presented as the ultimate portable tool for creative folk to get things done, and only the best musicians, artists, and filmmakers should apply. I’m none of those things, but I do have a pair of eyes that thank me when I stare at the 120Hz ProMotion screen on my 2020 iPad Pro, and once again, the new iPad Air only has a 60Hz screen, making me reluctant to pay nearly $1,300 for the 13-inch version with a Magic Keyboard.

And because the iPad Pro and its ProMotion 120Hz screen also packs in the new M4 chip, the Tandem OLED screen, and is wrapped in the impossibly thin aluminum case, even if I only want a modestly specced version with a Magic Keyboard, it will cost $2,048. That’s a massive premium to pay to get the extra display smoothness, and although I love the shadow removal feature for when you taking photos of documents that was demonstrated at the event, I don’t think I can make the math work to justify spending so much. And I would really try, believe me.

I’ve recently complained about the Google Pixel Tablet’s price cut to $400 not being enough to make it tempting due to it not including the best thing about it, but now we’re going in the entirely opposite direction. The iPad Pro is now so Pro that the price has become unfathomable, and unless you’re out ther directing multi-camera movies or intimately familiar with all the features in the Procreate app, it’s surely overkill of the highest order.

I don’t have a better choice

Official photo of the 2024 iPad Pro.

I asked the question of whether I was so mad that I would spend more than $2,000 on a new iPad Pro, knowing I wouldn’t use a huge percentage of its power and ability? I didn’t think I was, but the problem is, as my 2020 iPad Pro gets older, there isn’t another comparable alternative that I could happily buy instead. The aforementioned Pixel Tablet can’t keep up with the iPad (any of them), and the same goes for all Android tablets — even decent, versatile, low-cost ones like the Amazon Fire Max 11.

The iPad started life as a media-consumption device, and that’s still a big chunk of what I do with my iPad Pro today, right down to it replacing my Kindle Paperwhite after its battery died. But I know I’d miss the ProMotion screen if I changed to an iPad Air, and going down in spec when “upgrading” to a new model seems like a silly idea. If I were as fantastically creative and talented as the people using the iPad Pro during the Apple event, perhaps it would be easier to spend so much on it, but I’m simply not.

Today, I’ve learned that I’m not Pro enough for an iPad Pro, my eyes are too spoiled for the 60Hz iPad Air, and that — to truly upgrade my existing iPad to a 13-inch model — I’ll have to spend twice the amount I did on one four years ago. I’m not mad enough to do that, and because there doesn’t seem to be an iPad for me anymore, I’ll stick with what I’ve got until either it stops working or I become a multitalented artist overnight, one who is keen to use one, single, expensive device to create my masterpieces. It seems like that person is well-catered for.

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Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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