M2 vs M4 iPad Pro Full Comparison

How much better is the new M4 iPad Pro compared to the M2 iPad Pro? Well, today we’re going to compare everything from the design, the quality, the new cameras, the Apple Pencil, the keyboard, performance, and of course, the screens. The M4 iPad Pro costs $200 more than the M2.

Design and Battery Life

M2 مقابل M4 iPad Pro: التصميم والبناء

Now from the top, it’s hard to tell a difference in both iPad. Apple made a big deal about the new thinness and lightness, and can I tell in the hand? Honestly, not really. The 13-inch is the one that got really lightweight, but it is a little bit thinner: 5.3 mm compared to 5.9 mm. The weight difference is very tiny. But with that, Apple actually got rid of the ultrawide camera, so you’re missing that now, but honestly, I didn’t really use it.

M2 11-inch iPad Pro10 hours
M4 11-inch iPad Pro10 bours
Rated Battery Life (Web browsing) (Hours – Higher is Better)

Now, even though it’s a little thinner, it actually has a 9% larger battery inside, but the battery life ratings have stayed the same.

Display: LCD vs OLED

M2 vs M4 iPad Pro: Display: LCD vs OLED

One of the things that I’m noticing looking at this is that the new iPad with the M4 has better antireflectivity. Reflections look a little bit more muted on the M4 Pro compared to the M2 iPad Pro, and that is nice.

Now, the 11-inch iPad Pros have been stuck on LCD for a while, and with the M4 iPads, we have the new tandem OLED technology that Apple showed off and made a huge deal about. So let me show you that right now. I have the brightness roughly matched, and you guys see they look kind of similar. The OLED is a little bit more yellow even with the True Tone turned off.

But the crazy thing is, if we go ahead and crank the brightness all the way up, that’s probably blown out. We have roughly 500 nits compared to 1,000. For normal everyday use, you don’t have to have HDR to make use of this brightness, and this, along with the better anti-reflectivity, is going to make a big difference using it outside or in bright environments.

Now with that, if you’re watching videos, movies, HDR content, I mean, the difference is massive. Here we might even still be blowing up that top camera that I turned down. I mean, this looks dark; it looks gray, a lot more flat where this is so vibrant. We went from having the mini LED on the 12.9 and still LCD to the best tech in the world on an 11-inch iPad. You guys see that brightness difference? Both are running in HDR, just literally looks fantastic. The blacks are perfectly black, not gray and just looks crazy good.

And if you’re watching a movie at night, my goodness, this is crazy. I don’t know if our cameras can capture everything, but with the LCD, you have the gray bars on the top and bottom. Anything black looks gray compared to with the tandem OLED, blacks are pure black. The bars on the top and bottom of content are pure black. The brights are so much brighter; they might be blowing out our camera, but in reality, what I’m seeing, you’re going from tech that’s been around for 10, 15, 20 years to the best tech in the world. This looks so good. Not only the contrast, but also the colors are very vibrant, so rich. This looks like this drink is right in front of me, and I want to grab it.

Now, the new iPad Pros also offer a nano texture for 100 bucks, but you have to buy a 1 TB or higher model, and based on what we’ve seen online, it actually ruins this beautiful tandem OLED screen, gets rid of those pure blacks.

Apple Pencil 2 vs Apple Pencil Pro

Apple Pencil Pro

Speaking of the Apple Pencil, the new M4 iPad Pro launched alongside the Apple Pencil Pro, which you have to buy. You can’t use the old one because of their new landscape cameras, but thankfully, it is the same price and it is way better.

Right here we have this pop-up showing the new squeeze feature. I love this new feature where you just squeeze and you get a haptic feedback so you feel when you actually activate it. Then you can go in and select what you want, and just by pressing again, it gets rid of that menu. You’re going to get such smooth performance with new Apple Pencil.

Apple Pencil 2

If you didn’t know, with the IPS screen on here, it had 54 milliseconds of delay even though the Apple Pencil 2 had nine. You were not getting all the performance, whereas now with the tandem OLED, it’s only 5 milliseconds. With the Apple Pencil 2, you can tap to switch between two tools, but you still have to go into this menu to access your settings. It does have hover here so you can see what’s going on, but with the Pro, it’s crazy that there’s actual fake reflection showing you the angle and where you are working.

Now with it, you guys see this barrel roll. I can start drawing like this, roll it for a skinny one, and roll back. If you’re a good artist unlike me, that is going to be very useful. The coolest part is that the Apple Pencil Pro has Find My support. I have lost these pencils so many times, but now you can easily find it.

New Magic Keyboard

Old vs new magic keyboard

Now let’s talk about the Magic Keyboards. Because of the new magnets, you also can’t use the old Magic Keyboard with the new iPad Pro; you have to buy the new one, which sucks to spend the money.

Now, if I go and line these up, you guys can see how much further the screen is away from me. That’s because the whole design is lighter, and they added the function row right over here. Having that Escape key right here—let me make sure you guys can see it—is so nice to have. Along with brightness, you have your speaker controls and all these functions, instead of having to raise your hands from the keyboard and access the touchscreen.

Now with that, you guys can see the trackpad is also a little bit larger, and it is a magnetic force trackpad. This one wasn’t bad, but also not great. It’s very clicky, whereas this is just like having a MacBook. The new Magic Keyboard also allows the screen to tilt back more than the old one, which I would constantly try to push just a little bit more. That is because we have a whole new hinge on the back here; it is all aluminum, and that is really nice.

With that, the old one would limit charging to 20 watts, whereas with the new one, I got over 30 watts. Apple quotes up to 60, but you’re no longer limited in performance compared to plugging into the actual iPad itself. Another big selling point is that the top is aluminum as well. That is so nice; it feels so much more premium. Overall, this is just a much nicer keyboard.

Camera Comparison

And the front-facing camera on the M2 iPad Pro. One of the biggest issues is that it looks like I’m not paying attention, even though I’m looking right at the display, where you would look if you’re on a conference or recording a video.

And the M4 iPad Pro’s landscape camera. I’m using the keyboard right now, looking up makes it just so much better than what we had before. Because of the new software, Smart HDR 4, it looks better as well.

Now, like I mentioned, the M4 iPad Pro no longer has the ultrawide, but I almost never use that. Apple also said that with the new flash, you get better quality document scans, so let me know if that actually looks better to you guys.

SSD Jazz Disc Performance

I want to start out with the storage. The nice thing about the new one, even though you pay more, is it starts out with 256 GB instead of 128 GB. So let’s go ahead and see the performance difference.

M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core1,615
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core1,635
JazzDisk SSD BENCHMARK (Read Speed) (MB/s – higher is better)

Now, in terms of read speed, you guys can see it’s almost the same, but in terms of write speed, it’s almost double the performance, which would have been the same if you had upgraded the M2 iPad Pro.

Geekbench 6 CPU

Now, as far as the processors, in Geekbench, you see both have 8 GB of RAM. If you spend more money and get at least a terabyte, you will get 16 GB. The M2 runs at 3.49 GHz compared to 4.4 GHz—that is a big difference. I’m going to go ahead and start our CPU test right here and let you know that this is the 9-core model. The M2 was an 8-core CPU; now we have two extra efficiency cores, but you get one less performance core unless you get a 1 TB, which is just crazy expensive.

M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core2,601
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core3,710
Geekbench 6 single-core CPU Score (higher score is better)
M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core10,032
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core13,251
Geekbench 6 Multi-core CPU Score (higher score is better)

All right, we have our performance numbers, and man, this is insane. With the M4, for single-core, it is 42% faster—actually slightly faster than that. The M4 beats out everything, including the fastest overclocked Intel water-cooled processors. In multicore, it is 32% faster even though we only have three performance cores compared to four of them.

Geekbench 6 Metal GPU

Now, as far as graphics, let me run this test. The core count is pretty much the same; we have 10 cores on both of these. However, we are now using a second-gen 3-nanometer process compared to the M2, which is pretty much 5 nm, slightly better.

M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core46,586
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core53,978
Geekbench 6 Metal GPU (higher score is better)

In terms of graphics, the difference isn’t as big. We have a 16% difference because we have the same amount of cores, but it is more efficient. This is for general compute.

3DMark Solar Bay Ray Tracing

M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core32.4 FPS
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core58 FPS
3DMARK Solar Bay Unlimited (Ray Tracing) (higher score is better)

Now, one big difference is that we now have ray tracing and we have a lot of other improvements. So I’m going to test out Solar Bay here in 3D Mark, which is going to use ray tracing. Not only should it be faster but also way more efficient instead of just using software ray tracing. And look at this, guys, the difference is 58 FPS compared to 32.4. That is 80% better performance when you’re doing ray tracing, and it uses way less battery life.

3DMark Wild Life Extreme

Now, if you are going to be gaming, that is where we’re going to test out Wildlife Extreme. This is the 20-minute stress test to see if we’re going to get any more thermal throttling with the extra performance.

M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core6,358
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core8,557
3DMARK Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (best Loop) (higher score is better)
M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core4,294
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core6,241
3DMARK Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (Lowest Loop) (higher score is better)

And here, the performance differences are much bigger. Instead of 16% in metal, this is a 35% difference in performance for our best score, 6358 compared to 8557. But if we look at our lowest score after these are thermal throttled, we actually have a 45% difference in graphics performance. So even though this thing is thinner and has better performance, it actually does not throttle as much as the M2 version does. It is better in every single way, and that is a relief. And it’s using less battery at the same time.

Here I have Lightroom Mobile with 50 42-megapixel images that are downloaded to the device. These are raw; they all have effects that are applied to these photos. We know that the M4 is faster.

Seek Thermal Camera

So let’s go ahead and see what kind of difference we get, and we’re almost done with the exports here. So I busted out my thermal cam, and you guys can see we’re at 38°C on the M2, 39°C on the M4, and the circle of heat being spread out is actually much wider. That shows us the better dissipation system that Apple actually put effort in with the M4, so that heat is being pushed out throughout the chassis instead of being stuck.

M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core3 minutes 24 seconds
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core2 minutes 34 seconds
Lightroom Mobile 50x 42MP Export (min.sec – Lower is better)

And the M2 took 3 minutes 24 seconds compared to 2 minutes 34 seconds. So the M2 took about 34% longer to do this task.

Final Cut Pro For iPad Export

And now I have Final Cut Pro opened up right here. I know a lot of you guys asked for this, and here I have almost an 8-minute project. This has a bunch of different clips in it, and I have effects and corrections on all of these clips.

Now, we know the compute graphics performance only had a 16% difference. That’s not a lot of extra overhead for titles and effects, but we want to see if Apple changed the encoders or decoders on the new M4. So we have our 4K project; all the settings are the same.

M2 iPad Pro 128GB 8-core3 minutes 29 seconds
M4 iPad Pro 256GB 9-core3 minutes 02 seconds
Final Cut Pro For iPad (8 Min 4k with Effects) (min.sec – Lower is better)

We have our time, and I was hoping for a little bit of a better difference, but we have 3 minutes and 2 seconds compared to 3 minutes and 29 seconds. So, the M2 iPad took 15% longer. I don’t think the encoders got updated as far as speed, but we do have a little bit of extra graphics performance; we saw 16% compute, so it could be that.

But I also do want to mention that with the new iPad, we can finally edit HDR videos on an 11-inch device. With an LCD, you can’t do that properly, and the color accuracy is way better as well. So, if you’re doing video work, it’s not going to be a lot faster but going to be a lot more capable if you need high-quality video editing that is accurate.

Which iPad Pro Should You Get?

So with that said, how much better is the M4 iPad Pro compared to the M2? Well, I think you guys saw for yourselves, it is a lot better in almost every single way. And I know a lot of people held out and they kept their 2018 iPad Pros because not much really changed, especially on the 11-inch that stuck with the LCD. But now, we actually have a solid reason to update.

Now, it sucks having to buy a new Apple Pencil or a new keyboard and spending more money. But if you’re going to keep this device for three, four, five years like you did with your previous one, it is well worth the extra money compared to buying a discounted M2 iPad Pro. So I would highly suggest getting the new M4 version; it’s great and it’s going to last a long time.

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