New iPad Pro and new iPad Air tipped for imminent launch with huge upgrades

iPad Pro 2022
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Fresh from launching the MacBook Air M3 last week, Apple is believed to be gearing up to reveal a selection of updated iPad models along with new accessories. We didn’t see new iPads from Cupertino at any point last year, and speculation is heavy the tech giant will unveil several new models in the coming weeks.

This is likely to include a new iPad Pro and iPad Air along with a third-generation Apple Pencil and a redesigned Magic Keyboard. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, these new products are expected sometime “around the end of March or in April, as that’s when the accompanying iPadOS 17.4 software should be ready to go.”

The iPad Pro is expected to come in the standard 12.9-inch and 11-inch sizes but with the long-expected jump to OLED screens for the first time. Meanwhile, the Air will reportedly also now come in a larger 12.9-inch size for the first time, further blurring the lines between the two Air and Pro. The iPad Air 2022 currently tops our best tablet list, and the new Air could earn that top spot once more. 

In both cases, it’s believed Apple will relocate the FaceTime camera from the top of the device to the side, a la the iPad 10. This would give the new iPads a much more natural place for video calls when the device is being used in landscape mode with a keyboard for productivity.

The new iPad Air will reportedly come in a larger 12.9-inch size for the first time, further blurring the lines between the Air and Pro.

Of course, that could cause issues with the iPad’s current magnetic attachment for the second generation Apple Pencil. Whether Apple will engineer a way around this for the next version of the stylus remains to be seen. The company brought out a new USB-C Apple Pencil last year and will, at some point in the future, clearly stop supporting the old Lightning-based iPad and Apple Pencil models. 

The premium Magic Keyboard accessory is believed to be undergoing a slight upgrade to an aluminum finish that’ll more closely resemble the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. It will also result in a sturdier unit and the current rumors predict a larger trackpad. If these changes do come about, coupled with the realigned camera, it will aim to push the iPad even further into the realms of laptop replacement that Apple has been trying to bring about for years.

What else could we see from the new iPads?

iPad Air 5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Both the iPad Pro and the iPad Air will benefit from performance enhancements courtesy of new processors. It’s believed the Air will be upgraded to the Apple M2 while the Pro lines could be handed the new Apple M3 chip. Which will likely blow every other tablet out of the water when it comes to performance. 

We may also see a storage boost to up to 2TB and a very, very outside chance that MagSafe comes to the iPad after its reintroduction to the MacBook line. Personally, I’d be very surprised to see this and envision Apple will stick to USB-C. Of course, with a crisper and brighter OLED display as well, the new iPad Pro could become one of the hottest gadgets of 2024.

It could just be a matter of weeks until all these rumors are confirmed. Which just leaves us to cross our fingers and hope Apple finds some time to give us the iPad mini 7 I’m personally holding out for. 

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Jeff Parsons
UK Editor In Chief

Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.

A tech journalist for over a decade, he’s travelled the world testing any gadget he can get his hands on. Jeff has a keen interest in fitness and wearables as well as the latest tablets and laptops. A lapsed gamer, he fondly remembers the days when problems were solved by taking out the cartridge and blowing away the dust.