iPad Pro 2022 review: Impressive, clumsily fast and capable

iPad Pro 2022 review: Impressive, clumsily fast and capable

Whether you’re an Apple Pencil devotee, someone who takes or encodes a lot of photos and videos on an iPad, or someone upgrading from a much older, slower iPad, the new iPad Pro 2022 you have a lot going for you. It features a solid CPU/GPU upgrade to what is already the fastest and most capable tablet out there. But if there was ever a year to wait for the next Pro model, this would be it.

iPad Pro has the same Apple-designed system-on-a-chip as the latest Macs, the M2. Compared to M1-based iPads or even older A12X and A12Z models, the M2 is not a revolutionary upgrade. There’s more speed here, especially for those working on editing, rendering, and compiling, but most people won’t notice: it was already a smooth, fast slab.

There are some great new ideas for managing windows and workflows in iPadOS 16, including Stage Manager, which is exclusive to mid- to high-end iPads found mostly on Apple’s newer chips. It’s a nice feature, but it’s not yet perfected 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 remarkable, new, and still impressive about this spec-upgraded model.

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

specs

The 2022 iPad Pro has much of the same internal hardware as 2021 modelsincluding the display, cameras, storage and memory options, microphones and speakers, battery, and a single USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port. It even keeps the Nano-SIM slot despite Apple’s SIM-less approach with the iPhone 14. Put it next to last year’s iPad Pro and you won’t be able to tell much of a difference until you install a benchmarking app.

Specs at a glance: 2022 Apple iPad Pro
Screen 11-inch 2388 × 1668 touch screen or 2732 × 2048 (264 PPI)
operating system iOS 16.1 (beta)
CPU Apple M2 processor
RAM 8GB or 16GB
GPU Apple M2 GPU
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
networks WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, 5G
Camera 12 MP and 10 MP rear cameras, ToF lidar sensor, 12 MP front camera
ports 1x Thunderbolt 3/USB-4/USB-C
Size 9.74 × 7.02 × 0.23 inches (247.6 × 178.5 × 5.9 mm) for the 11-inch; 11.04 × 8.46 × 0.23 in (280.6 × 214.9 × 6.4 mm) for the 12.9
Weight 1.03 lbs (466 g) for 11-inch Wi-Fi, 1.5 lbs (682 g) for 12.9-inch Wi-Fi
Battery duration “Up to 10 hours” on Wi-Fi
starting price $799 11 inches, $1,099 12.9 inches
revised price $2,128 for 12.9-inch with 1TB, Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard
Other advantages Thunderbolt cable, FaceID

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

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

Bluetooth also gets a bump from 5.0 to 5.3 this year. the changes in bluetooth 5.3 It’s things like “periodic ad boost” and “connection undercutting.” If you notice a difference in the reliability of your pairing and connection, the favor has been upon you.

That’s really it, internals-wise, so let’s dig into the biggest marquee upgrade: the M2.

M2: an even more tremendously reliable chip

It seemed impossible a couple of years ago, but now it’s just a reality: The best general-purpose computing platform isn’t just inside every Apple computer; it’s also on the company’s mid-to-high-end iPads. Minus some memory and other small-scale configurations, your iPad Pro is about as capable as some of the most efficient laptops available right now. We saw this when compared the M1 in the iPad Pro to an M1 MacBook Air last year, they had almost exactly the same performance and heat output.

Apple suggests that upgrading from M1 to M2 on this device provides an 18% increase in CPU speed, 35% increase in GPU speed, and double 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 certainly offers better performance if you’re doing GPU-intensive tasks. The M2 puts the iPad even further ahead than any other tablet in terms of performance, but that title was already decided. In everyday use, you’ll have a hard time feeling the difference with this new chip. Everything responds quickly, nothing strains the system, and battery life is impressive for that kind of fluidity. But you could also say that about the M1.

I put the M2 through at least one extended real-world challenge – playing Genshin Impact for a couple of hours (we suffered from our coverage in Ars). At no point did the device stutter or feel all that warm in its center, where the M2 package lives.

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