The new iPad Pro smokes the $3,999 Mac Studio in one key test

A new iPad Pro (2024) alongside the Mac Studio M2 Ultra.
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I never thought I’d live in a world where an iPad could smoke the Mac Pro and Mac Studio when it came to Geekbench results, but here we are. In his iPad Pro 2024 review, my colleague Tony Polanco described Apple’s latest tech slab as “the best premium tablets in years.” However, you probably shouldn’t try to use the new iPad Pro as a laptop for a week.  

The fact the latest iPad Pro and its gorgeous OLED display can post some impressive wins over Apple’s computers is purely down to the fact the Mac Pro and Mac Studio won’t get the M4 chip treatment until the middle of next year. That’s according to Bloomberg’s ever-reliable Mark Gurman, who made this latest chip update in his Power On newsletter (Thanks, The Verge). And we’ve also reported on these long-rumored Mac Studio M4 timeframes before. 

Considering that the Mac Pro and teeny yet terrific Mac Studio M2 are both stuck with M2 chips for the time being, Crew Cupertino’s new high-end iPad has the power of M4 that gives it the edge when it comes time for Geekbench testing.

It's the power of the M4 chip in the new iPad Pro that gives it the edge when it comes time for Geekbench testing"

During our Mac Studio M2 Ultra review, we got a Geekbench single-core CPU score of 1,380. By contrast, the iPad Pro 2024 notched up a gobsmacking 3,700. That’s a colossal jump, even if you’re unlikely to do the sort of demanding computing tasks the Mac Studio is obviously more suited to because, hey, it’s a proper desktop PC that benefits from the added functionality of macOS; something iPadOS simply can’t compete with when it comes to getting productivity tasks done.

Obviously the latest Mac Studio and Mac Pro models are far more powerful than the latest iPad Pro thanks to them housing all of the RAM to allow prosumers to produce videos in a flash. If nothing else, though, the jumbled approach Apple has taken to rolling out its chipsets is creating pretty funny scenarios like these, where a tablet that starts at $999 can outdo a $3,999 Mac Studio M2 Ultra that boasts a 24-core CPU, 60-core GPU and a 32-core Neural engine under the right testing scenarios.

And despite my telling you to forget the new iPad Pro 2024 because this OLED laptop is even better — I took the plunge on one yesterday. If I can sell a couple of non-vital organs and get a decent price for my iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch), I should just about be able to keep the wolves from the door a little longer.

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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.