When Tim Cook described last week’s Apple Event as the biggest day for iPad since the original iPad you’d have to assume he had lost his mind – but having used the iPad Pro now since the launch, I’ve gotta say, I can see his thinking.

Hard to beat that original iPad, but if you think about everything we’ve seen since, we’ve seen size changes, design changes and a host of internal component changes, but bring all that together and you might yet create an important day for the category. Leaving aside the iPad Air size increase, which could likely boost Apple iPad Sales in a way we haven’t seen in many years, today I want to focus on the iPad Pro – this thing is remarkable.

Let’s first talk about the thickness of this thing. Apple’s thinnest product ever? Well, leaving aside the Apple Stickers (That no longer come in the box!!) it’s a remarkable thing to behold at just 5.1mm – that’s 1.3mm thinner than the previous generation iPad Pro!

It’s more than 100grams lighter too!

With a full 13 inch screen, the real highlight for most users will be just that – the screen. It’s so stunning to look at, bright colours, fantastic contrast between the blacks and colours. Capable of peak brightness of 1600 nits, 1000 across the screen, it’s not your average OLED screen.

OLED – for those who’ve been living under a rock, or just afraid to ask – is a technology that allows each and every pixel to light itself up, rather than relying on a light behind the LCD panel shining through it so you can see it.

Problem is, OLED is famously a tough technology to get the right levels of “brightness” from. Apple’s solution – get two OLED panels and sandwich them together and you get more light!

And it works.

Now I’d hazard to guess most of you who’ve used an iPad from the last five years would think any screen is impressive, they really are – so you do need to be side by side to get a real true sense of it. It matters when you’re watching a movie, it matters when you’re editing content, it matters when you’re working on Photos, and it matters when you’re designing stunning digital art. And those are core use-cases for the iPad Pro

Interestingly, one of the most frowned upon uses of any iPad is taking photos. Honestly, please don’t do it. The iPad needs a camera for application usage, be it capturing a design, a room, or a landscape to use in your digital apps. Add in the LiDaR sensor and you then have the capability to do a full scan of a room or object.

But what you don’t need is an Ultra-Wide camera. You don’t need a dual lens camera.

Apple removing that from the iPad will be seen by some as a step back, but honestly, well done, get rid of it, I don’t care, haven’t noticed, I think I’ve taken 100 photos in my life using an iPad:)

Removing the Apple stickers from the packaging is a far more controversial move.

Under the hood is where the real standout for the iPad Pro lives.

The all-new M4 Apple Silicon chip offers up to 10 core CPU and 10 Core GPU along with a 16 core Neural Engine. All that is to say this thing has some grunt.

How do I know – well, I don’t for sure, because I really believe that the best use cases for iPad Pro are yet to be demonstrated or available to use. Apps that will be built to take advantage of that will come, there’s a real build it and they will come kinda approach here.

Apple say the M4 Silicon was created because the M3 wasn’t capable of powering the Tandem OLED display. M4 features a display driver specifically for that purpose – what that means for the M4 in a laptop environment I’m not sure – we’ll have to wait and see.

Here’s what I can tell you. On Logic Pro for iPad, a music creation and editing tool – I was able to drop a single Mp3 track, which was created off a 30 year old Cassette recording of three teenagers in their parent’s lounge room singing and playing instruments. That Mp3 sounded ok.

Run it through a STEM Separation process, on the iPad and within moments I had four tracks. Vocals, Guitar, Drums and “Other”. I was able to isolate the horrible singing (me) from some ripping bass guitar and cracking keyboards. It would be legitimately possible for me to re-record the vocals alongside the music of my mates from 30 years ago.

This is Peter Jackson/Beatles kinda stuff – happening on an iPad for crying out loud.

That happening on device, and not just on “device” but ON AN IPAD is wild. Utterly wild.

Numbers wise, comparing Apples to Apples, on Geekbench the results are remarkable. Single Core CPU runs at 3696, up from 2534 on the M2 iPad Pro and that was up from just 2265 on the M1. The generational leap is huge.

Multi-core numbers are even more impressive. M1 iPad Pro was 8160, M2 iPad Pro took that to 9622. The M4 iPad Pro is a staggering 14370. There’s no mucking about here.

As a corporate device, iPad Pro now has an adaptive true-tone flash that allows you to simply point at documents to scan them. Scanning documents on iOS devices isn’t new, but Apple has brought it right into the camera. It detects a document, offers a “scan document” prompt (not unlike the QR Code link option) and boom, clicks an image, gets rid of shadows and happy days.

Speaking of cameras, Apple has moved the front-facing camera from the short side to the long side of the device – because let’s be honest, we’re doing video calls in landscape mode – always.

Problem is, it’s off centre, and if you’re a bit OCD it will drive you wild.

I’ve no doubt that the camera “module” is centred, but that includes the FaceID sensor as well – the actual camera lens which is quite obvious, looks about 1cm off centre to the left. When you see it you see it.

I’ll write about the Apple Pencil Pro separately, but it’s a cracker – and you should know that ONLY the new Apple Pencil Pro and the older Apple Pencil with USB-C are compatible with the new iPad Pro (and Air), this is thanks to the redesign of that magnetic charging mount.

Overall

The weight is something you notice day to day.

The thickness is remarkable, but perhaps not noticed as much when you pair it with a keyboard case or folio.

Performance is unsighted but for those who are exporting videos, or doing detailed edits in audio, video or photography – until some more games and apps are released to really harness it

The OLED screen is impressive every time you turn it on.

It’s a fantastic upgrade to the Pro range, anyone with an O.G. iPad Pro will love love love this.

For those with the previous one or two generations of iPad Pro will probably love the screen, but will rejoice with the weight change.

This is far from the common man device, but if you can use it to replace having multiple devices like a laptop you start to see the value.

Starting at $1,699 for the 11 inch version, the iPad Pro goes on sale tomorrow.

If you want the 13 inch, you’ll start that price at $2,199. My 1TB test model is $3,249, add the nano-texture glass for lower reflections and you’re up for an additional $200.

And by the way, go 2TB, Nano Texture, with WiFi and 5G and you’re up for $4,479.