iPad Pro 2022 review: Impressively fast and capable

If you’re a fan of the Apple Pencil, someone who shoots or encodes a lot of photos and videos on the iPad, or someone who’s upgrading from an older and slower iPad, the new iPad Pro 2022 has plenty for you. It offers a solid CPU/GPU upgrade to what is already the fastest and most capable tablet. But if there was ever a way to hold out for the next Pro model, this would be it.

The iPad Pro has the same Apple-designed system on a chip as the latest Mac, the M2. Compared to the M1-based iPads or even the older A12X and A12Z models, the M2 isn’t a revolutionary upgrade. There’s more speed here, especially for those working on editing, rendering, and compiling, but most people won’t feel like it – it was really a slick, fast slab.

There are some big new window management and workflow ideas in iPadOS 16, including Stage Manager, which is exclusive to mid- to top-tier iPads and mostly found on Apple’s latest chipset. It’s a nice feature, but it hasn’t been honed enough to be fully useful. And there are some frustrations carried over from previous models, including the fact that the front camera is on the wrong side for video calls in landscape mode.

Let’s dive into what’s noticeable, new, and still impressive about this feature-packed model.

Note: We only had access to a 12.9-inch 2022 iPad Pro with 1TB of storage for this review. Almost every aspect of the 11-inch model is the same, minus the dimensions, weight, and screen.

Determine

The 2022 iPad Pro has much of the same internal hardware as the 2021 models, including the display, cameras, storage options, memory, microphones, speakers, battery, and a single USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port. It even retains a Nano-SIM slot despite Apple’s no-SIM style with the iPhone 14. Put it next to last year’s iPad Pro and you won’t be able to tell the big difference until you install the benchmark app.

Specifications at a glance: 2022 Apple iPad Pro
Monitor 2,388 x 1,668 11-inch touch screen or 2,732 x 2,048 (264 ppi)
The operating system iOS 16.1 (beta)
CPU Apple M2 CPU
RAM 8 GB or 16 GB
GPU Apple M2 GPU
storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
Networks Wi-Fi 6 E, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, 5G
camera 12MP and 10MP rear cameras, Lidar ToF sensor, 12MP front camera
ports 1 Thunderbolt 3 / USB-4 / USB-C
size 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 in (247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm) for 11 in; 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.23 in (280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm) for 12.9
Weight 1.03 pounds (466 g) for 11-inch Wi-Fi and 1.5 pounds (682 g) for 12.9-inch Wi-Fi
Battery life Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
Initial price $799 11-inch, $1,099 12.9-inch
Price as reviewed $2,128 for 12.9-inch with 1TB, Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard
Other perks Thunderbolt cable, Face ID

However, there are some small changes within the glass and aluminum.

This iPad Pro is the first Apple product to feature Wi-Fi 6E support, allowing it to use a smaller but less crowded 6GHz spectrum. If your router supports it, it provides some nice future proofing.

Bluetooth also got a bump from 5.0 to 5.3 this year. Changes in Bluetooth 5.3 are things like “cyclic ad optimization” and “connection subsystems”. If you notice a difference in the reliability of the coupling and connection, the sweet smiled at you.

That’s really about that, internally, so let’s dive into the biggest cross-sectional upgrade: the M2.

M2: More reliable chip

It seemed impossible a couple of years ago, but now it’s just a fact: The best general-purpose computing platform isn’t just inside all of Apple’s computers; It’s also found in the company’s mid-range to high-end iPads. With the exception of some memory and other small configurations, your iPad Pro is just as capable as some of the most efficient laptops available today. We saw it when we compared the M1 in the iPad Pro to last year’s M1 MacBook Air – they both had roughly the same performance and heat output.

Apple suggests that upgrading from M1 to M2 in this device provides an 18 percent increase in CPU speed, 35 percent in GPU speed, and twice the memory bandwidth (50Gbps to 100Gbps). Both iPad Pro sizes get 8 CPU cores, 10 GPU cores, and 16 neural cores in their M2 packages. That’s two more GPU cores than the iPad Pro (and Air) M1 models.

Unsurprisingly, the M2 is faster in many benchmarks, and it definitely delivers better performance if you’re doing GPU-intensive tasks. The M2 puts the iPad ahead of any other tablet in terms of performance, but that title has already been set. In everyday use, you will have a hard time feeling the difference with this new chip. Everything responds quickly, nothing is taxing the system, and battery life is impressive for this type of fluid. But you can say that about the M1 as well.

You put M2 through at least one prolonged challenge in the real world: gameplay Jinshin effect For a few hours (we suffer with our coverage at Ars). At no point did the device stutter or even feel snug at its center, which is where the M2 package is located.

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