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Is It Time to Upgrade? Comparing the 2018 and 2024 iPad Pro

Debating an upgrade from the 2018 iPad Pro? Here's how the new 2024 model compares in design, performance, and more


Tablets tend to have a longer shelf life compared to other devices, meaning we often find ourselves using the same tablet for many years before considering an upgrade. If you’re still hanging onto a tablet from the mid to late 2010s, you might be wondering if the time has finally come to invest in a newer model. Enter the 2024 iPad Pro, Apple’s latest powerhouse, available in 11-inch and 13-inch versions. This new iPad Pro boasts an ultra-slim design, incredible processing power, and compatibility with top-tier accessories like the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil. But the real question is: should you upgrade your trusty 2018 iPad Pro for this new model? Let’s dive in to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Display: Evolution or Revolution?

While the basic design of the iPad Pro hasn’t drastically changed over the years, the 2024 model is a testament to Apple’s philosophy of incremental innovation. Both the 2018 and 2024 models feature sleek aluminum backs, glass fronts, and slim bezels. However, the newer iPads are noticeably thinner and lighter, making them more portable.

The most significant leap, though, is in the display technology. The 2024 iPad Pro sports an Ultra Retina XDR display with Tandem OLED technology, offering deeper blacks and more vibrant colors than the 2018’s Liquid Retina display. The new models also boast a peak brightness of 1600 nits in HDR mode, which makes them much easier to use outdoors in bright sunlight compared to the 600 nits of the older model. Additionally, Apple has repositioned the front-facing camera to the landscape orientation, making it more practical for video calls when using the iPad like a laptop.

Performance: A Quantum Leap

Performance is where the new iPad Pro really shines. The 2018 iPad Pro was no slouch, powered by the A12X Bionic chip, which still holds its own for many tasks today. However, the 2024 iPad Pro is equipped with the Apple M4 chip, a laptop-grade processor that significantly boosts performance. This makes the new iPad Pro not just a tablet but a full-fledged productivity machine capable of handling intensive tasks like video editing and 3D rendering with ease.

Both models run on iPadOS 17, ensuring a seamless software experience. However, the longevity of software updates is an essential factor to consider. The 2018 model is closer to the end of its update cycle, while the 2024 model will continue receiving updates for many years, ensuring you stay up-to-date with the latest features and security patches.

Camera and Battery: Incremental Improvements

When it comes to battery life, both the 2018 and 2024 models promise around 10 hours of usage. However, after several years of use, the battery performance of the older model is likely to have diminished. The new model’s battery is fresh and likely more efficient, maintaining its performance longer.

Camera improvements are subtle but meaningful. The new iPad Pro features a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera, compared to the 7MP camera on the 2018 model. This enhancement, along with the better positioning of the camera, makes a significant difference for video calls and selfies. On the rear, the new model maintains a 12MP wide camera but with better software support for more advanced photography and video capabilities.

Accessories: The Ecosystem Advantage

Accessories can greatly enhance your tablet experience, and here, the 2024 iPad Pro takes the lead. The newer model supports the Magic Keyboard and the latest Apple Pencil Pro, making it a more versatile tool for productivity and creativity. While the 2018 model supports the Smart Keyboard and the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil, these accessories are not as advanced or feature-rich as those available for the 2024 model.

Price and Availability: A Worthwhile Investment?

Let’s talk numbers. The starting price for the 2024 iPad Pro is $999 for the 11-inch model and $1,299 for the 13-inch model. These prices are indeed higher than what the 2018 models were at launch. However, considering the advancements in technology and the extended longevity of the newer device, this investment can be justified.

Finding a new 2018 iPad Pro at its original price is nearly impossible now, and purchasing a used one doesn’t provide the same value given its age and wear.

Should You Upgrade?

So, should you upgrade from the 2018 iPad Pro to the 2024 iPad Pro? If your current tablet is still meeting your needs and running smoothly, you might not need to rush into an upgrade. However, if you’re noticing slowdowns, battery degradation, or simply want to take advantage of the latest technology, the 2024 iPad Pro is a significant step forward.

The new iPad Pro offers a slimmer design, superior display, vastly improved performance, and better accessory support, all of which contribute to a more powerful and versatile device. If you’re ready to invest in a tablet that will likely serve you well for many years to come, the 2024 iPad Pro is worth considering.

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