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New iPads are coming soon, and they may have a killer display upgrade

iPad Pro 2020 Screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It seems new iPads, rocking some notable tweaks, are right around the corner. In the latest edition of his PowerOn newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says an updated lineup of iPad Pro models will likely arrive towards the end of March.

Now, these new flagship slates could turn out to be special for multiple reasons. The new iPad Pro tablets could get a refined design language and, of course, a shift to the latest-generation M3 processor that is already providing its firepower to a handful of Mac machines.

New iPads, new screens

The iPad Pro (2022) with its display on.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The most notable upgrade, however, happens on the front. The iPad Pro is strongly rumored to get an OLED display upgrade this year, bringing its usual set of benefits such as improved saturation, higher contrast, better viewing angles, and increased energy efficiency.

Apple started its display upgrade journey with the iPad Pro, bumping it up from an LCD panel to a mini-LED screen, a tech that eventually made its way to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. However, that display update love was reserved for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro on the tablet.

It’s unclear whether the 2024 refresh will follow a similar pattern or whether Apple will put an OLED panel on both iPad Pro trims. Talking about size, it’s rumored that the 12.9-inch model will be phased out in favor of a 13-inch version.

Other changes for the iPad Pro

The iPad Pro (2022) sitting in the Magic Keyboard.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

To go with the hardware revamp, Apple is also said to introduce a new Magic Keyboard with a fresh design that apes the look of MacBooks. This updated model will reportedly switch to an externally visible aluminum chassis. However, more granular details are still under wraps.

Another major change that could happen is a shift in the position of the Face ID camera kit. Gurman suggests that on the new iPad Pro, Apple will move the front camera from a portrait to landscape orientation, positioning it along the longer edge of the tablet.

This is a change I am really excited about — and something Apple should’ve done a long time ago. The company markets the iPad Pro as no less of a computing powerhouse, selling pricey computer-wannabe accessories for it, including the excellent Magic Keyboard.

It would finally make sense to put the front camera in a place where the iPad Pro doesn’t have to make weird software-level adjustments to ensure that you don’t look normal in video calls or force you to manually adjust the tablet’s orientation.

The Bloomberg report calls it “the biggest revamp ever for the iPad Pro,” but we are not sure whether Apple is also tweaking other aspects like the camera array or even adding wireless charging support. But the Pro line-up won’t be the only Apple tablet that gets an overhaul this year.

An iPad Air refresh, too

iPad Air 5 back in hand.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple is reportedly considering expanding the iPad Air series, too. Specifically, the iPad Air could get a new 12.9-inch variant this year, aping its Pro sibling. The smaller 11-inch model will still be on board and will continue to be compatible with keyboard and folio accessories for the current iPad Pro models.

We are unsure whether a price hike is on the table, but given the extent of fundamental upgrades, it won’t be surprising to see a higher ask for the iPad Pro portfolio in 2024. Mass production of these next-gen tablets is reportedly underway, but so far, Apple has yet to make any official announcement for an upcoming event to reveal its new products.

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