Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
63,855
31,393


The M4 iPad Pro models are set to be delivered to customers starting on Wednesday, May 15, and ahead of that date, members of the media have shared their opinions on the device in official reviews.

m4-ipad-pro-purple.jpg


Written Reviews

With M4 chips, OLED displays, and a thin and light design, the new iPad Pro models mark a significant upgrade over the prior-generation versions.

M4 Chip Performance

The iPad Pro is equipped with Apple's next-generation M4 chip, and as Engadget points out, it offers "more power than almost anyone buying an iPad will know what to do with."

Gizmodo said the M4 "feels more like a fork of the M3 than real new hardware." As an example, an Octane X rendering test took 1 minute and 53 seconds with the M4, and the same test on a MacBook Air with M3 chip took 57 seconds.
If I run Octane X on the latest MacBook Air 15 with the same amount of RAM as my review copy of the iPad Pro, it will run down the screw scene in about 57 seconds. There aren't many ways to compare Apples to Apples from a tablet ecosystem to a full-fledged Mac. For one, the iPad doesn't have an easy, established way of tracking framerates in games. But for the sake of argument, I loaded up Resident Evil 4 on iPad Pro 2024, iPad Pro 2022, and the M3 MacBook Air. All ran with a relatively solid performance on the default low-to-mid settings. There are no graphics options on the iPad, but the two look identical across the older and new tablets.
According to The Verge, the M4 iPad Pro scored 50 percent higher than the M3 version in benchmark tests, but while it feels faster, it doesn't feel 50 percent faster. There likely isn't a way to tell the difference between the 9-core and 10-core M4 iPad Pro models.
Apps load and close a half-beat faster with the M4, even complex games run perfectly smooth (I still can't believe how good Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile looks on this device), and iMovie renders video noticeably more quickly than on the 11-inch M2 Pro I've been using for a couple of years. Individually, these aren't earth-shattering upgrades, but particularly if you're doing a lot of intense photo and video work or even love a long Warzone session, it's a real performance bump.
Software

Despite the incredible performance that the M4 chip brings, reviewers pointed out the shortcomings of iPadOS. Six Colors' Jason Snell said that the iPad Pro is able to "handle pretty much any task it's capable of executing," but that it's "let down by iPadOS limitations."

Longtime iPad user Federico Viticci of MacStories didn't share a full review of the new iPad, but he penned a piece pointing out the many shortcomings of iPadOS. It's well worth a read to see what it's like using an iPad as a main machine, with highlights on the pain points of multitasking, limited apps, and more.

The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said that using the iPad Pro is like "driving a Ferrari on a golf course" because the iPhone-based operating system hampers what the iPad could be capable of doing.

Gizmodo said that despite the creativity apps available on the iPad, it "still isn't direct competition for the versatility of a MacBook" and it's not a good platform for those who want to "multitask on multiple windows."

Almost every review mentioned the shortcomings of iPadOS as the major fault with the new iPad Pro models.

OLED Display

Engadget said that the new iPad Pro is "incredibly bright, sharp, and vibrant" regardless of task. Going from an LCD to OLED is a massive upgrade, but updating from the mini-LED model won't feel quite as impressive.
Everything is incredibly bright, sharp and vibrant, whether I'm browsing the web, editing photos, watching movies or playing games. I cannot stress enough how delightful this screen is -- I have a flight this week, and I can't wait to spend it watching movies. Watching a selection of scenes from Interstellar shows off the HDR capabilities as well as the contrast between the blackness of space and the brightness of surrounding stars and galaxies, while more vibrant scenes like the Shire in Fellowship of the Ring had deep and gorgeous colors without feeling overly saturated or unrealistic.
TechCrunch said that the optional nano-texture matte add-on brought an "extra level of tactility" and "welcome friction" to the iPad's display when using it with an Apple Pencil. The OLED display is noticeably brighter than the LCD display of the iPad Air, but it may not be an upgrade worth $500 for most users.

The Verge said that the OLED display "works beautifully" and that colors can even look like they have too much HDR. It can also have more glare and reflection than expected.
All of the traditional upsides of OLED are immediately apparent: since OLEDs control each pixel individually, you get much richer blacks, so the letterboxes above and below a video just disappear into the bezel, and photos look much more dynamic. Colors are incredibly vibrant -- to the point of occasionally looking too contrasty and HDR-y to my eyes. The Pro's peak brightness is significantly brighter than the new Air, too, which is tough to pull off with an OLED.

Design

Jason Snell of Six Colors said that while the iPad Pro's internals have been updated, it looks a lot like a "thinner version of the 2018-era design." It's a "good design" that didn't need to be updated, but the lighter weight makes it less awkward to hold in one hand.

There continues to be just one Thunderbolt 4 port that limits connecting external devices and charging at the same time without a dock.

Engadget went further and said that the thinner design and lighter weight "radically" changes the experience of holding the 13-inch iPad Pro, and... Click here to read rest of article

Article Link: M4 iPad Pro Reviews: Incredible Speed and Display Hampered By Software
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: schneeland

Crowbot

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2018
1,725
3,999
NYC
As someone who's not a boomer pining for a desktop OS on a tablet, this revision sounds amazing and I can't wait for mine.
You're not going to make friends here with that attitude. I'm a boomer who is quite happy with the iOS interface and appreciate the differentiation of desktops and pads/phones. I even like the virtual keyboard on my iPad.

I'll agree with you in looking forward to my new iPad. I pick it up Friday.
 

carswell

macrumors member
Mar 27, 2023
51
173
In an iPadOS context, the M4 is overkill for all but the most demanding users.

What might have induced me to upgrade from my M2 iPad Pro would have been turning iPadOS into a touch version of the MacOS, turning the iPad Pro into a truly two-in-one system like (otherwise inferior) Windows tablets.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Penryn
Nov 14, 2011
24,376
31,612
All the reviews are basically the same: amazing hardware let down by software. I ordered a new Pro because of the screen but mostly because I could afford to get one now and it will hopefully lasts me at least 5 years. According to Greg Joswiak it seems the Pro exists to push the boundaries of hardware and then eventually have that trickle down to the other models. But if the software remains basic what’s the point of all this powerful hardware?
 

CookItOff

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2023
71
283
Is the OS the problem though? It sounds like the Octane example is an issue with the Octane app not being on par with the desktop app, and not an OS issue.
Did the developers spend as much time on the iPad app? Has it been in development as long? Does Octane iPad app subscription sales warrant prime developer time?
Is Octane built from the ground up and fully featured like the ZBrush developers tweeted out recently? Or is it just a patch To get by on iPads OS?
Are these journalists/bloggers really qualified to test high end apps that artist spent years learning and perfecting?

It’s hard for me to trust some of the review sites using high end artist DCCs when too often I see them proclaiming a device as slow when they are making serious errors with the DCC’s settings. Most don't even know CPU rendering is enabled instead of GPU or how to even enable it until someone mentions it in the comments.

EDIT: Don’t get me wrong, I would love iPads OS to be even more robust but Jerry rigging and shoe horning a non-touch OS like MacOS doesn’t seem like the right direction.
 
Last edited:

tonywalker23

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2003
459
1,284
SC
Call me a 40-year-old boomer but...

This would be a perfect scenario for Steve Jobs to give a live keynote and at the end say that there's "One More Thing…"

And then he says, "In a secret area of our offices, in that building, we have been creating a version of macOS that runs on iPad. We have done it with every release. And with macOS 15, we think we have it right. Introducing macOS on iPad."

And then the crowd starts cheering.

And I would also guess that only people roughly my age or older can truly appreciate this dream as it reminds us of the PPC transition Keynote and the reality that the Mac and the Mac OSes are what's made all this possible. Those who don't understand, I humbly predict, never had a Macrumors account pre-iPhone or stared in appreciation at a pulsing Aqua blue OK button when Mac was awake and a pulsing white light when Mac was asleep.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.