Key Takeaways

  • New OLED displays bring vivid colors & larger size to 2024 iPad Pro models for better user experience.
  • Thinner design, landscape front-facing camera, & laptop-like Magic Keyboard make upcoming iPad Pro sleek & improved.
  • Updated Magic Keyboard with larger trackpad & possible function keys expected for improved iPad Pro experience.

Ever since its redesign in 2018, the iPad Pro hasn’t seen a lot of change. Yes, there have been meaningful updates to its camera hardware, processor, display, and even input/output hardware. But, the overall design has remained largely unchanged for the past five years. However, in 2024, the iPad Pro lineup might break this pattern of minor upgrades with three significant improvements. Here, let’s take a look at the upgrades for the 2024 iPad Pro, which is set to launch as early as late March or early April, according to reliable reporter Mark Gurman.

1. New OLED Displays for 2024 iPad Pro


If you look at the iPad Pro lineup today, the 11-inch iPad Pro still uses the same Liquid Retina LED display introduced with the redesign in 2018, boasting 600 nits of typical brightness and 120Hz refresh rate due to Pro Motion. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro featured a similar panel until 2021, when it switched to mini-LED, boasting increased brightness for HDR workflows — typical brightness remains 600 nits — and a better viewing experience.

So, if you look at the lineup, there currently exists a divide between the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, but in 2024, with a shift to OLED panels, Apple will bring the two models back on level terms. We’ve seen OLED tech on iPhones since 2017 when Apple launched the iPhone X, and we’re glad to see it make its way to iPad.

For those who use their iPads for creative workflows, this will bring a huge upgrade as the increased color contrast will improve the user experience. Plus, it will also make viewing content more enjoyable for casual users. Moving to OLED will also bring about slightly larger 11.1-inch and 13-inch displays.

2. Sleeker and Improved Design

ipad cad renders

According to the leaked CAD renders, Apple’s 2024 iPad Pro will be significantly thinner compared to the previous models. The current 11-inch variant measures 5.9mm thick, while the new model is expected to slim down to 5.1mm. Similarly, the upcoming 12.9-inch model could see a reduction from 6.4mm to 5.0mm. Other rumored changes include the possibility of the new models featuring a landscape front-facing camera like the 10th iPad, which is a more suitable placement for video calls.

3. Updated Magic Keyboard for 2024 iPad Pro

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Another essential part of the iPad Pro experience is its companion accessories. And it looks like the Magic Keyboard is up for its first update since its introduction in 2020.

It’s reported that the redesign will bring changes that make the iPad Pro and keyboard combination look more like a laptop, and it will also allow for a larger trackpad to be designed into the chassis of the Magic Keyboard.

I’ve been using the Magic Keyboard with my 2018 iPad Pro for over a year now, and while the trackpad is usable — due to its great tracking and even click surface — its size does feel quite comical when I swap back to my iPad from my MacBook for on-the-go writing. So, I’m sure the increased size is something all future buyers will greatly appreciate.

I also hope Apple can add a row of function keys to the Magic Keyboard. They’ve done it on the Magic Keyboard Folio, which makes it one of the best keyboards for the iPad (10th generation), and it’s about time the iPad Pro gets the same treatment.

4. New Apple Pencil to arrive alongside the 2024 iPad Pro

Apple is also expected to launch a new Apple Pencil alongside the 2024 iPad Pro models. The current second-generation Apple Pencil is due for an upgrade, and the new version is rumored to bring a new design, glossy finish, and a better, deeper magnetic tip. There are also speculations about the new Apple Pencil supporting color-sampling capabilities, although details remain uncertain at this time.

5. Next-generation M3 Processor for Even Better Performance

The last upgrade detailed in Mark Gurman’s report is a shift to the next-generation M3 processors from the current M2. Of all the rumored upgrades coming to the 2024 iPad Pro, this is the most likely change that will happen.

The improvements that the M3 processor will provide stem from TSMC’s shift to a 3-nanometer fabrication technology — moving from the 5-nanometer fabrication used for the M1 and M2 processors. The new technique will help increase the processor’s transistor density, bringing more performance to the board while increasing efficiency. In terms of estimates, it is rumored that a 35 percent efficiency upgrade is on the cards. So, if the M3 processor does make its way to the 2024 iPad Pro, we might finally see it break the 10-hour barrier.

Arriving Late March / Early April

In the latest Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman said that Apple is looking to launch the new iPad Pro and iPad Air models around the end of March or in April. The company is even planning a special iPadOS 17.4 update for the new iPads, according to the report. However, don’t expect a launch event for the new models. Apple is expected to announce the new iPads directly via the newsroom, similar to the M3 MacBook Air release, rather than hosting a separate event.

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