New iPad, same iPad

Apple's new iPad Pro lineup is more of the same. More powerful, but the same.

New iPad, same iPad

Apple announced new iPad models today. The iPad Air now comes in two sizes – 11 and 12.9-inches – while the iPad Pro is now 11 and 13-inches.

In addition to new sizes, the iPad Pro lineup is the first device in Apple's entire computing ecosystem to get its new M4 processor, they now boast OLED displays, and are the thinnest devices Apple has ever made.

There's much more to the new iPad Pro line, of course, such as the front-facing camera is now on the centered on the landscape side of the tablet, and there's a new Apple Pencil Pro to match the upgraded Magic Keyboard.

Two years ago – maybe three – I would have been bouncing off the walls with excitement about just how big of a hardware upgrade the iPad Pro received today. It's without a doubt a huge upgrade to Apple's most expensive tablet after the company went an entire year since it last updated any iPad models.

But today, I'm frustrated.

I'm frustrated that once again the iPad Pro is one of (or in this case it is the) most powerful computer Apple sells, and yet, it doesn't really matter.


The iPad's Achilles Heel has long been its software, and that continues to be the case with the M4 iPad Pro. iPadOS didn't receive any big updates today, and we're not set to hear about any changes to its software until the middle of June during Apple's annual developer conference.

And even then, I've spent too many years telling myself (and others) that this is the year Apple will take the iPad seriously. This is the year it turns the corner and can take full advantage of the hardware Apple has given it.

And each year, I am disappointed.

I planned on upgrading this year, but I just built the model I'd want, along with a new Apple Pencil (because my current Apple Pencil is no longer compatible), and a new Magic Keyboard, 5G connectivity, AppleCare+, and 1TB of storage in order to get 16GB of memory and I'm looking at a whopping $2,746 before taxes or any trade in. Apple will give me $510 for my M1 iPad Pro, which does little more than cover the accessories. Every bit helps, I guess.

I haven't done enough mental gymnastics to convince myself it's worth upgrading this year.

Maybe after June. Or maybe after the next iPad. Or maybe next June with iPadOS 19 Apple will , finally, hypothetically, probably, potentially give the iPad lineup the software it deserves.