The iPad Pro 2024 is the tablet I've been dreaming about for years

Apple iPad Pro 2024 new OLED screen displaying a mountain in front of a colorful meadow.
(Image credit: Apple)

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a piece of technology more than the new iPad Pro 2024 the crew at Cupertino just revealed. In what has proven to be the worst-kept secret in recent tech history, Apple finally announced the latest model of its high-end tablet at its “Let Loose” event. And said announcement has made me happier than a clam… on Christmas Day… that’s just won the lottery.

The new 11- and 13-inch versions of the company’s iPad Pro models have a whole lot going for them. The M4 chip! A new Apple Pencil Pro! A thinner, updated Magic Keyboard! This display-obsessed nerd hasn’t just bought himself a first class ticket on the fastest hype train around for those features, though. What’s really getting my motor running is the fact Apple is at long last giving me the chance to buy an OLED iPad.

Of course, Apple being Apple, the tech giant isn’t officially branding these new versions of the Pro as OLED models. The technical moniker is “Ultra Retina XDR." Up until the iPad Pro 2021, a device I still own and adore to this day, the company would routinely use the term “Liquid Retina Display” to semi cover up the fact users who bought one of its tablets was picking up a product with a LCD screen. In fairness, the 2021 Pro lineup introduced mini-LED into the equation — an upgraded panel format that introduces a far greater number of dimming zones to produce more convincing black levels compared to a regular IPS screen.

As much as I appreciated this major screen overhaul three years ago (and I still do… to an extent), I’ve been pining for an OLED iPad Pro for over 18 months now. Is mini-LED a strong display technology that continues to evolve? Absolutely. Can it get close to the image quality that the best OLED TVs output? Absolutely not.

I’ve been pining for an OLED iPad Pro for over 18 months"

You can throw all the dimming zones in the world at even the best current mini-LED panel and you’ll still be left with a degree of “haloing." This is a fairly nerdy A/V term I use way too much, so me put the phrase into real-world speak: it’s a slight screen defect whereby bright parts of an image exhibit a slight glowing effect — something eagled-eyed viewers will be able to pick up on the iPad Pro 2022 when black borders appear on-screen when watching 16:9 content on its 16:10 display.

Is this something you can spot during the day? Nope. Is it an “issue” you can make out in the wee hours when watching the best Netflix movies in a dark room? If you’re obsessed with screens to even half the degree that I am, that would be a firm “yes”.

An eye-opening upgrade

Apple iPad Pro new OLED screen showing colorful plant

(Image credit: Apple)

That’s why I’m so excited for these upgraded iPad Pro models. Apple is touting Ultra Retina XDR as “the world’s most advanced display," and it’s not difficult to see why. Though we’ve yet to put the 2024 tablets through our own rigorous testing, Apple claims these state-of-the-art screens support 1,000 nits and 1,600 nits of peak brightness when watching SDR and HDR content respectively.

Both of those quoted numbers are incredibly exciting, but it's the latter figure that really blows my teeny mind. If that HDR figure is accurate, it would mean the 11- and 13-inch version of the iPad Pro 2024 are brighter than my LG G3 OLED (that can reach around 1300 nits in HDR). Not only is the South Korean firm’s “Gallery Design” display the best TV I’ve ever owned, it’s also the most vivid panel LG Display has ever manufactured — though the new LG G4 OLED will probably be brighter. Still, the fact Apple’s latest premium tablet is potentially going to outshine my incredible television is a hugely impressive feat.

The fact Apple’s latest premium tablet is potentially going to outshine my incredible OLED TV is a hugely impressive feat"

To end this gushing geek screen rant, I can’t not mention “Nano-textured” glass. Apple says these screens are “etched at a nanometer scale, maintaining ambient light for reduced glare”. And make no mistake, combating TV glare (or in this case, “tablet glare”), is a big deal for screen snobs like myself. My current iPad Pro gets super reflective in a bright room, so introducing a new glass type that helps slay reflections gets the nerdiest of thumbs up from me — although sadly it looks like this material will only be available for the 1TB and 2TB version of the new 13-inch iPad Pro at launch.

A further catch? The super-sized version of the iPad Pro 2024 I’ve got my eye on starts at $1,299. While I don’t think that’s an outrageous amount of cash considering the eye-rubbing display stats Apple is putting out there, it’s not a sum of money I currently afford.

I’m going to start squirrelling my pennies away from this moment forth, though, as my eyes need an OLED iPad Pro.

More from Tom's Guide

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.