Why I Spent $3,600 on the iPad Pro M4

I’ve never been much of an iPad person, but today, I’m hovering over the buy button for Apple’s latest iPad Pro, a device that costs an eye-watering $3,600 once fully specced out. Despite my initial skepticism about tablets, the new iPad Pro’s features and capabilities have me reconsidering my stance.

### The Allure of the New iPad Pro

The 2024 iPad Pro lineup boasts a major redesign. These tablets are astonishingly thin, with the 11-inch model measuring just 5.3 mm and the 13-inch model even slimmer at 5.1 mm. Holding one feels surreal, like wielding a full-fledged computer in an incredibly light package. The 13-inch model, for instance, weighs just 579 grams. For comparison, my black and white 10-inch writing tablet, which does little more than facilitate note-taking, weighs over 400 grams. The iPad Pro’s thinness and lightness make it practical for on-the-go use without sacrificing performance.

### More Than Just a Tablet

What truly sets the new iPad Pro apart is its potential to replace not just my writing tablet but also my laptop. The new M4 chip inside these iPads promises performance comparable to high-end laptops. This is the first time since 2013 that a tablet feels like it could replace multiple devices in my tech arsenal. 

The accompanying accessories, like the new Pro Pencil and Magic Keyboard, enhance the iPad’s versatility. The Magic Keyboard, though it looks like a standard folio case from the outside, transforms the iPad into a device that feels remarkably similar to a MacBook. The keyboard is solid, the trackpad is larger, and it even has a charging port and another USB port for added functionality. The second you snap the iPad into the case, it behaves just like a Mac, with all the swiping gestures and shortcuts instantly familiar to any Mac user.

### Enhancements and Innovations

The new Pro Pencil has several upgrades, including a barrel roll feature and a squeeze function to bring up menus, making it more intuitive and efficient to use. A vibration motor adds tactile feedback, and you can now locate the pencil using the Find My app, which is a lifesaver for someone as forgetful as me.

Under the hood, the iPad Pro’s M4 chip offers significant performance improvements. While Apple’s performance metrics can be frustratingly vague, the leap from the previous M2 chip to the M4 is substantial, particularly with better thermal design allowing for sustained performance. This makes the iPad Pro a formidable competitor to current high-end tablets from other brands, many of which still use phone chips.

### Real-World Applications

Using the new iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard and Pro Pencil has made me rethink my tech setup. This iPad is powerful enough to handle tasks I typically reserve for my MacBook, such as video editing with Final Cut Pro, photo editing with Pixelmator, and managing my smart home setup. Mobile apps on the iPad often surpass their desktop counterparts in usability and design, particularly for tasks like photo and video editing, gaming, and even productivity apps like Google Docs.

The iPad Pro’s OLED screen, touted by Apple as the best they’ve ever made, enhances the viewing experience with deep blacks and high brightness, perfect for HDR content. This screen is a dual-layer OLED, offering both contrast and brightness, making it ideal for watching movies or editing photos and videos.

### Potential Drawbacks

There are a few concerns, though. Battery life is an unknown factor, especially with the new dual-layer OLED display. The storage options, while going up to 2 TB, might not suffice for someone like me who relies on an 8 TB MacBook. iPadOS, based on iOS, is simpler and might not offer the same file management capabilities as a full-fledged computer. Also, Apple doesn’t want the iPad to cannibalize MacBook sales, so there might be artificial limitations on the iPad’s capabilities.

### Conclusion

Despite these concerns, the new iPad Pro feels like it could simplify and enhance my tech setup by replacing multiple devices. If it performs as well as it promises, this could be one of the most freeing tech decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re interested in seeing how this plays out, subscribe to my channel for updates. And yes, I realize my iPad puns are getting worse.

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