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A new iPad Pro is coming: Here are four things to expect

Apple is gearing up to refresh its entire iPad lineup this year, starting with the iPad Pro as soon as this month. Here are four things to expect if you’re planning to buy a new iPad Pro this year…

OLED screens

The biggest change to the new iPad Pro models will be a switch to OLED screens. Currently, the 11-inch iPad Pro uses an LCD screen with conventional backlighting. In fact, the 11-inch iPad Pro has used the same display panel since it was first introduced in 2018.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro, meanwhile, has used mini-LED backlighting since 2021. This is an upgrade over the conventional backlighting used by the 11-inch iPad Pro, allowing for significantly higher brightness and better contrast.

This year, the entire iPad Pro lineup will unify on OLED displays for the first time. This will also mark the first time that Apple has used OLED displays outside the iPhone and Apple Watch. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro might also get slightly bigger this year, with the screen size increasing to 13 inches.

When the first 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED was released in 2021, many of the reviews referenced something called “blooming.” OLED screens should solve this problem for the iPad Pro this year.

In comparison to mini-LED displays, OLED screens offer significantly better black levels. This is because the pixels themselves are the things producing the light, so when those pixels need to be black, they can be turned off entirely.

New Magic Keyboard

The new Magic Keyboard will “make the iPad Pro look more like a laptop and include a sturdier frame with aluminum,” according to Bloomberg. This will mark the first time that the Magic Keyboard has been updated since its introduction in 2020.

The idea of a new Magic Keyboard that makes the iPad Pro more like a laptop sounds very intriguing to me. While I generally enjoy the current Magic Keyboard, there’s no denying that the fabric material doesn’t match the premium price tag.

Apple is also reportedly working on a new Apple Pencil that will pair with the new iPad Pro. According to a few different rumors, the new Apple Pencil could feature Find My integration as well as magnetically swappable tips that simulate different writing and drawing instruments.

M3 chip

The new iPad Pro models will also, undoubtedly, be more powerful than their predecessors. Apple is expected to upgrade both the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pros to the M3 chip.

What will this mean in practice? Will iPadOS actually be able to take advantage of this added power? That’s up in the air for now. My hope is that Apple will at least remove some of the limitations and guardrails that currently impeded Stage Manager. Hopefully.

A much thinner design

While the iPad Pro form factor and design has largely stayed the same since 2018, things are set for a change this year. According to leaked dimensions obtained by 9to5Mac, the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner than their predecessors.

  • 11-inch iPad Pro (current): 247.6 mm x 178.5 mm x 5.9 mm
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (new): 249.7 mm x 177.5 mm x 5.1 mm
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (current): 280.6 mm x 214.9 mm x 6.4 mm
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (new): 281.5 mm x 215.5 mm x 5.0 mm

As you can see, both sizes of the new iPad Pro are significantly thinner than the previous generation. This is primarily due to the new OLED display, which is far thinner and has fewer layers than the current LCD panels.

Wrap up

The new iPad Pro lineup is expected to be introduced this month. Bloomberg has reported that the devices are already in mass production and on track for a release at the end of March.

While the idea of a new iPad Pro with an OLED screen and M3 chip inside may sound appealing, it also might be drastically more expensive than current iPad Pro models. One sketchy rumor even suggested that Apple is currently targeting a $1,500 starting price for the 11-inch iPad Pro with OLED and a $1,800 starting price for the 12.9-inch version.

More recently, however, it was reported that the new iPad Pro models will be around $160 more expensive than their predecessors. That is certainly more palpable than the earlier rumors said.

What are your plans for the iPad this year? Are you planning to upgrade to a new iPad Pro? Let us know down in the comments.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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