Apple finally fixed my biggest issue with the iPad Pro

Someone holding the 12.9-inch version of the iPad Pro (2022).
The iPad Pro 2022 Joe Maring / Digital Trends

After a year of no new iPad models, Apple finally gave us what we were hoping for (and then some) during its Let Loose event on May 7. Apple revealed a new 13-inch size for the iPad Air (in addition to the standard 11-inch model), plus brand new iPad Pros.

I typically prefer having the best specs possible with any device, and for the iPad, that means the iPad Pro. However, one problem that has plagued the iPad Pro for years is that Apple has punished those who prefer the smaller 11-inch model over the larger 12.9-inch one.

What’s the problem I’m referring to? Previously, the 11-inch iPad Pro always had a lesser display, as Apple only put the more advanced Liquid Retina XDR display on the 12.9-inch version. Previous 11-inch iPad Pros only had the regular Liquid Retina display that is on all the other iPad models — resulting in a compromised viewing experience.

Thankfully, Apple has finally fixed this with the new iPad Pro lineup.

Lots of love for the small iPad Pro

Official photo of the 2024 iPad Pro.

Now, you may be wondering why anyone would prefer the 11-inch iPad Pro over the larger 13-inch one. Well, I’ve used a 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the past, and I’ve also used gigantic Android tablets, such as the Lenovo Tab Extreme. There was always one thing I hated about these big tablets: they were simply too damn big.

When it comes to tablets and laptops, I prefer devices that are more compact and portable. Especially if you’re going to carry it around in a backpack or something, those bags can get quite heavy when you have larger machines in there. And tablets that are basically as big as large laptop screens are just uncomfortable and unwieldy to hold and use as a tablet without additional accessories that turn it into a pseudo-laptop.

That’s why I always preferred the 11-inch iPad Pro. It was a good, portable size and it had that peak performance I wanted. But for some reason, Apple always treated the 11-inch iPad Pro like a lesser device by giving the better display tech to its larger sibling. Because I liked the smaller size, I was being punished and not given all of the “Pro” features.

I’m happy to see Apple change its mind about this. The 11-inch iPad Pro has the same Ultra Retina XDR display as its larger 13-inch sibling, making both models equal in terms of specs and features. So, if you’re like me and prefer the smaller, easier-to-manage size, you’re not being punished this time around.

The new display sounds mighty impressive

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

I’m glad that Apple finally allowed the 11-inch iPad Pro to get the same new display as the 13-inch version. This is especially important this year because the new display tech sounds impressive.

Previously, iPad Pros used mini-LED technology, but now Apple has switched to Tandem OLED display panels. This is the first time an iPad has an OLED display, and it’s exciting. I remember when the iPhone first switched to OLED, and the difference between that and LCD was like night and day. With OLED, colors are much more bright and vivid, and blacks are inky and deep.

With these new OLED displays, you’ll get per-pixel precision brightness and even greater contrast. This equates to much better immersion when viewing content and even creating it. The iPad Pro also gets up to 1,000 nits of SDR brightness (up from 600 nits before) and max full screen, with up to 1,600 nits for supported HDR content.

Official photo of the 2024 iPad Pro.

Another new feature of the OLED display is the new matte finish, which Apple calls “nano-texture coating.” This is only available on the 1TB and 2TB models, however, but it greatly reduces glare while maintaining image quality and contrast. I prefer getting matte displays whenever possible, so I’m excited to see how this new matte finish display looks in person.

Finally, while I doubt I need the performance of the new M4 chip, I know that it does make the tablet more appealing for professionals and digital artists. Even if you don’t fall into those two categories, the M4 is absolutely going to improve your iPad gaming, among other things.

An exciting update for the iPad Pro

A person gaming on the M4 iPad Pro and playing Diablo Immortal.

I was definitely getting a little bored with the current state of the iPad, but this update does breathe some new life into the product line, at least for me.

More than anything, I’m glad to see Apple give some much-deserved love to the 11-inch iPad Pro after many years of making it the inferior option. Finally, we won’t be punished for choosing the smaller model over the larger one. It took a while to get here, but I’m glad we finally made it.

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