Everything Apple announced at its big iPad event

It may not be as important as WWDC or the annual fall iPhone event, but Apple's May 7 "Let Loose" event is still something to be excited about. The company made some highly anticipated iPad announcements in particular, launching new versions of the iPad Pro and iPad Air and launching updated accessories for both products.

Don't forget about the Apple Vision Pro and new MacBook Air

Apple gave a brief narration of the Vision Pro, talking about the devices' use by companies like Porsche, filmmakers like Jon M. Chu, and doctors who use the headset for health care. Tim Cook also highlighted the M3 MacBook Air, announcing that it has become the best-selling 13-inch and 15-inch laptop models in the world.

Oh, are we looking for actual news about the Vision Pro or Mac, not just marketing? sorry.

New iPad Pro ultra-thin

In pure Apple form, the new iPad Pro is thinner than before. The Pros come in 11-inch and 13-inch designs, with thicknesses of 5.3mm and 5.1mm respectively. Apple says it's thinner than the iPod Nano. The previous iPad Pro design was already quite thin, so does this one feel... too thin? Either way, you can still choose between silver or space black.

As expected, Apple has added OLED displays (Apple calls the technology "Tandem OLED") to two iPad Pro models, marking the first time the company has used the display technology in any type of iPad. Previously, the 11-inch had an LCD display with a large backlight, while the 12.9-inch had mini-LED, which used local dimming zones to give better control over which areas of the display light up at the same time. With OLED, individual pixels can be completely on or off, making it the best display format for contrast: dark parts of an image or video can be completely black because the display turns them off completely. iPad Pro has a typical maximum brightness of 1,000 nits and a peak HDR of 1,600 nits.

The rumors about the iPad Pro SoC are also correct: these Pros use the M4, the first Apple device to feature the chip. The M4 has four performance cores and six efficiency cores, and Apple says it can achieve 50% higher CPU performance than the M2. (Apple likes to skip two generations to compare its chips.) It has a 10-core GPU that supports ray tracing, a demanding process that renders realistic lighting in video games and other graphics-intensive programs. Apple also touts the M4's energy efficiency, but actual testing will show how those specs translate to real-world use.

Apple also wants you to know how serious it is about artificial intelligence: While the company didn't announce any generative AI features it says it's developing, it did focus on the M4's Neural Engine (NPU), which is specifically designed for artificial intelligence. It has a 16-core design and can perform 38 trillion operations per second. (Apple says it's 60 times faster than its first NPU.) The company also says these iPads have better thermal performance, even with their thinner designs.

Interestingly, the new iPad Pro appears to have only one rear camera. This time, there's a more powerful lidar scanner that uses artificial intelligence to better detect documents. One welcome change is that the front-facing camera is now on the landscape portion of the iPad, as you'd expect. This matches the camera placement on the 10th generation iPad. No more weird angles during video calls.

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $999 (wifi) and $1,199 (cellular). The 13-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,299 (wifi) and $1,499 (cellular). Both models are available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB configurations. You can order it starting today, and the tablet will be available starting May 15th.

The iPad Pro (11-inch) is also available in a 13-inch version.

iPad Air equipped with MacBook-level chips

Two years after the last update, Apple's new iPad Air is finally available. This year's model updates Apple's smallest non-Mini iPad with the same M2 chip used in the 2022 MacBook Air and introduces a new, larger size.

iPad Air is available in 11-inch and 13-inch sizes for the first time. While making a larger iPad Air might sound counterintuitive, the idea is to give users the same extra screen real estate as the Pro without requiring them to pay more for it. Specifically, Apple promises "30% more screen space" on the 13-inch iPad Air. (In contrast, the new iPad Pro line launches with an 11-inch model to go with the existing 13-inch models — Apple wants you to be happy with the size of your device, no matter how much you spend.)

Those hoping for an OLED display in the new iPad Air will have to wait. While the iPad Pro finally adopted OLED, the iPad Air sticks with the Liquid Retina display proven in previous models.

What you get is an M2 chip, which, while it's a generation behind the chips found in the latest MacBooks, is still promised to be powerful enough to run AI features in programs like Photoshop and modern games like Assassin's Creed Phantoms. The M1 chip in previous models was no slouch either, but Apple claims the new iPad Air is 50% more powerful, three times as powerful as the 10th-generation iPad running the A14 Bionic chip.

Video calls should get a little better, too, with the camera and speakers eventually moving to the edge of the landscape.

The new iPad Air starts at $599 for the 11-inch model and $799 for the 13-inch model, and is available in four colors: blue, purple, starlight (gold), and space gray (gray-black). Storage options range from 128GB to 1TB. You can start ordering today and they'll be available from May 15th.

The iPad Air (11-inch) is also available in a 13-inch version.

iPad 10 generation is getting cheaper

The 10th generation iPad remains the same, but the price has dropped. The entry-level iPad now starts at $349, down $100 from its previous price.

iPad 10th generation

Final Cut Pro 2 and Logic Pro 2 get AI features

Apple also launched new versions of its iPad apps for Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. These apps focus on some new artificial intelligence features that take advantage of the M4 chip in the new Pro.

Apple says the new Final Cut Pro renders final output twice as fast on the M4 iPad Pro. The new live multicam feature lets you connect and preview up to four cameras simultaneously, while the new Final Cut Camera app also lets you control all of them remotely, including functions like exposures. Finally, you can edit projects from an external hard drive.

Logic Pro 2 also gets a few new features: "Session Player," which expands the app's drummer options with new bass and keyboard players. "ChromaGlow" lets you use AI to add "hyper-realistic" sounds to your tracks. Stem Splitter splits a combined track into its different components, at least into drums, bass, vocals, and other instruments.

Logic Pro 2 will be available as a free update for existing users on May 13, and will remain priced at $4.99 per month or $49 per year. Final Cut Pro 2 has the same pricing plan but will be available "later this spring."

Apple Pencil Pro comes with some new sensors and haptic feedback

Apple finally put the "Pro" on the Apple Pencil. The upgraded Apple Pencil features a new sensor that lets you squeeze to bring up a new palette of tools. As rumored, the Pencil has a haptic engine for tactile feedback, so when you squeeze it, you'll feel a slight vibration. You can also tilt the pencil to adjust pencil strokes in real time.

Apple Pencil also supports Find My: next time you're scrolling under the couch, just turn on Find My on your iPad or iPhone to find it.

Apple's new Apple Pencil Pro is priced at $129 and will go on sale on May 15.

Apple Pencil Pro

Magic Keyboard will provide a more laptop-like experience

In order to match the new iPad Pro, Apple has upgraded the Magic Keyboard to provide users with a more laptop-like experience. Most notably, the trackpad is larger and now has a full row of function keys, and the palmrest is now made of aluminum.

Apple's website doesn't mention specific trackpad dimensions, but it does confirm that the new trackpad will provide full tactile feedback throughout, helping it stay on par with the MacBook. Unfortunately, the new Magic Keyboard doesn't work with the new iPad Air models, which means only Pro users will have access to the aluminum palm rest and new 14-key function row.

The 11-inch Magic Keyboard is priced at $299, and the 13-inch Magic Keyboard is priced at $349. It's available in two colors: black and traditional apple grey. You can order it today and it will be available starting May 15th.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro (11-inch) also works on the 13-inch iPad Pro.