Apple recently launched the 2022 iPad Pro in 11-inch and 12.9-inch configurations via press release on October 18, 2022, instead of an event, as well as a slew of new releases such as the 2022 Apple TV 4K, 10th Gen iPads, and the release date for iPadOS 16 (now available). After we look into it, the 2022 iPad Pro has only four new features: an M2 chip, Wi-Fi 6E, Apple ProRes video recording, and an exclusive Apple Pencil hover experience (through the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil).
However, it retains all of its predecessors’ standout features, such as the mini LED display (on the 12.9-inch model), a 120-Hz refresh rate, quad speakers for richer sound, Face ID, and a lidar sensor. Even though the starting prices remain the same—$799 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $1,099 for the larger model—there isn’t much new here.
The iPad Pro continues to be the best tablet money can buy. After all, Apple is the world’s only trillion-dollar company. It could’ve included some of the same upgrades as the new 10th-generation iPad ($449), such as the landscape selfie camera, support for the revamped Magic Keyboard Folio, and possibly some fancier color options. A MagSafe charging port, similar to the one found on the new MacBook Air.
If you have an iPad Pro from 2020 or 2021, there is no need to upgrade to this machine. Even if you have a 2018 model, features that were supposed to be exclusive to the M-series chips, such as Stage Manager, are now available for older iPad Pro models. However, new members with money will be more than pleased.
Apple considered the iPad Pro in the same way it addressed this year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro, replacing the M1 processor with the new M2. So basically, it is now a next-generation tablet. There are no physical differences between it and its predecessor, which is good news because older accessories like cases and folio keyboards are still compatible.
Some of the features, such as ProMotion support, 5G connectivity if you choose the cellular model, and the dual-camera setup with the lidar sensor for augmented reality (AR) apps, are also the same.
And so is customary, two iPad Pro models are available: an 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation) and a 12.9-inch model (6th gen). The latter uses a mini LED display, which is a significant difference. Because of the thousands of LEDs packed into the display panel, it provides much deeper blacks, better contrast, and brighter colors.
It’s confusing that Apple couldn’t bring this better screen to the smaller iPad Pro model for feature similarity after introducing it last year. After all, you’re still paying a premium for a Pro tablet.
A new Hover Mode feature with the second-generation Apple Pencil is exclusive to these two M2-powered slates. When you move the stylus a few millimeters away from the screen (according to Apple, it’s up to 12 mm away from the screen), you’ll be able to see what will happen before touching the screen. When using Scribble, the feature that converts your handwriting into text, hovering the Pencil over the screen expands the text field before you write.
Hovering allows you to cycle through presets in the third-party graphic editing app Pixelmator to see a live preview, or you can hover over a cropped photo to see the original image.
Under the hood
According to reports, the sixth-generation iPad Pro is more powerful than its predecessor. Apple claims that the CPU on the M2 chip is up to 15% faster than the M1, and the 10-core GPU is up to 35% faster than the M1.
It easily handled my daily work tasks, such as web browsing, word processing, sending emails and Slack messages, and taking Zoom calls. Games like Genshin Impact ran extremely smoothly thanks to the 120-Hz refresh rate, but I guarantee that you won’t notice much of a difference compared to last year’s iPad Pro. The ability to adjust app windows and group them together—as well as easily switch between them—has revolutionized my tablet multitasking.
Some iPad features, such as Stage Manager, are only available on certain iPad models, such as the iPad Air and older iPad Pro tablets. However, it’s worth noting that Apple’s less expensive iPads perform nearly identically to its flagship slates. Yes, that includes the $329 9th-generation iPad.
You must really want the new Hover Mode feature for the Apple Pencil, Wi-Fi 6E support (which is only available if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router), and ProRes video capture with the M2 models. The latter allows you to record videos in this format for improved color quality and reduced compression.
If neither of the new changes interests you, you’ll be pleased to know that the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro with M1 is currently available on Amazon for $899. If you don’t already have one, use your savings to purchase an Apple Pencil. If you’re debating the 11-inch iPad Pro, I’d recommend the cheaper M1-powered iPad Air, which is frequently on sale for $519.
Buying options for the 2022 iPad Pro
2022 iPad Pro with M2 chip (Late 2022)
- 11-inch 2022 iPad Pro, reg. $799 (Wi-Fi) Apple / Amazon / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
- 12.9-inch 2022 iPad Pro, reg. $1,099 (Wi-Fi) Apple / Amazon / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
- 11-inch 2022 iPad Pro, reg. $999 (Wi-Fi+Cellular) Apple / Amazon / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
- 12.9-inch 2022 iPad Pro, reg. $1,299 (Wi-Fi+Cellular) Apple / Amazon / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
2021 iPad Pro with M1 chip (Still best choice)
- 11-inch 2021 iPad Pro, reg. $799 (Wi-Fi) Amazon / Best Buy ($699) / Adorama / TigerDirect
- 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Pro, reg. $1,099 (Wi-Fi) Amazon ($899) / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
- 11-inch 2021 iPad Pro, reg. $999 (Wi-Fi+Cellular) Amazon / Best Buy ($899) / TigerDirect
- 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Pro, reg. $1,299 (Wi-Fi+Cellular) Amazon ($1,099) / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
2022 iPad Air with M1 chip (Early 2022)
- 2022 iPad Air, reg. $599 (Wi-Fi) Apple / Amazon ($519) / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
- 2022 iPad Air, reg. $749 (Wi-Fi+Cellular) Apple / Amazon ($669) / Best Buy / Adorama / TigerDirect
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