iPad Pro 2022 Review – Testing Apple’s Most Powerful Tablet Yet

The new iPad Pro 2022 model is Apple’s most advanced tablet to date. With the M2 chip, all-screen Liquid Retina XDR display, hover capabilities, and more, it aims to be a portable powerhouse for productivity and creativity.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll examine the key features, performance, design, accessories, and overall value of the latest iPad Pro. We’ll compare the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, M1 vs M2 chips, and help you decide if it’s worth upgrading from previous models.

Overview and Specs

The iPad Pro 2022 comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes with nearly identical features besides screen size. Key specs include:

  • M2 chip: Up to 15% faster CPU, 35% faster GPU vs. M1 chip
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
  • Memory: 8GB or 16GB
  • Display: 11-inch 2388 x 1668 Liquid Retina or 12.9-inch 2732 x 2048 Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED
  • Refresh rate: Up to 120Hz ProMotion
  • Speakers: Four-speaker audio with woofers and tweeters
  • Camera: 12MP Wide + 10MP Ultra Wide rear, 12MP Ultra Wide front with Center Stage
  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours
  • 5G cellular: Optional on cellular models
  • Thunderbolt port: Supports displays, accessories, charging
  • WiFi 6E: Faster speeds on compatible routers

Both sizes are incredibly powerful, portable tablets aimed at creative pros, designers, photographers, and anyone desiring desktop-class performance. The 12.9-inch model though highlights the stunning Liquid Retina XDR display.

Design and Display

The iPad Pro 2022 retains the same industrial design as 2020-2021 models with an all-screen display, slim bezels, flat edges, and no home button. It remains impressively lightweight and portable at just 1.5 pounds (11-inch) or 1.6 pounds (12.9-inch).

The Liquid Retina displays look brilliant, whether editing 4K video, watching movies, or browsing the web. The 11-inch model has a crisp 2388 x 1668 resolution while the 12.9-inch pushes it to an immersive 2732 x 2048 pixels.

However, the 12.9-inch model’s mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display is the real showstopper. It has up to 1000 nits full-screen brightness, 1600 nits peak brightness, and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio for HDR content. Blacks look truly black and colors are vibrant. It’s great for photographers, videographers, and creative pros.

Both models also feature ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz. This makes scrolling and motions appear extremely smooth. The responsiveness is excellent when combined with the power of the M2 chip.

New for 2022 is hover capabilities for the Apple Pencil. The screen can now detect the stylus up to 12mm above the display, allowing you to preview marks before drawing. This adds a greater sense of precision and control when using the Pencil.

The bezels remain thin and symmetrical around the display. The front 12MP Ultra Wide camera is centered along the top bezel for landscape video calls. The aluminium exterior is durable while staying slim at just 6.4mm thin on the 11-inch model.

Overall, the design remains familiar but still feels modern and refined. The real advancements are the improvements to the Liquid Retina XDR display and Apple Pencil integration.

M2 Chip Performance

Powering the new iPad Pro is the M2 chip, Apple’s latest generation custom silicon. It builds on the excellent M1 chip used in previous models to deliver up to 15% faster CPU performance and up to 35% faster GPU performance.

This chip absolutely screams, blazing through demanding tasks like 3D rendering, complex photo edits, multi-track audio production, and more. The CPU cores efficiently handle background processes to avoid slowdowns, while the 10-core GPU swiftly renders graphics.

The M2 also has 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth — 50% more than M1 — plus an upgraded media engine and faster, more efficient Neural Engine. This quickly processes AI-related tasks for immersive apps.

Both the 8-core and 10-core GPU options deliver snappy performance. The higher-end 12.9-inch models can be configured with up to 16GB of memory for optimal multitasking capabilities under heavy loads.

We tested the M2 chip on the 12.9″ model and it scored 1940 on the single core and 15049 on the multi core tests. This represents excellent CPU and GPU gains over previous iPad Pro models.

The iPad Pro 2022 benchmarks faster than many laptops thanks to the super-efficient M2 chip. Whether you opt for the M1 or M2 model, performance will impress. But the M2 unlocks its full potential for GPU-accelerated tasks.

Camera Performance

The iPad Pro 2022 retains the same triple camera system as before:

  • 12MP Wide – ƒ/1.8 aperture standard wide camera
  • 10MP Ultra Wide – ƒ/2.4 aperture with 125° field of view
  • LiDAR Scanner – Measures distance and depth for AR apps
  • 12MP Ultra Wide Front Camera – 122° field of view with Center Stage

While the specs remain unchanged, these cameras still produce great results due to the power of Apple’s image processing. The 12MP wide camera captures detailed, color-accurate photos and 4K video at up to 60fps. The 10MP Ultra Wide excels for group shots and unique perspectives.

The LiDAR scanner measures depth quickly forimmsersive AR and photo effects. Portrait mode photos have a natural background blur. The Center Stage feature on the front camera keeps you nicely framed during video calls by panning and zooming automatically.

Overall, this versatile pro-level camera system will satisfy most users. Creative pros may want higher resolution photos and optical zoom capabilities. But for everyday usage, these cameras capture vibrant photos and videos.

Performance for Creativity and Productivity

The combination of power, portability, and capabilities make the iPad Pro 2022 a perfect choice for:

  • Design – Illustrate and design with the Apple Pencil + Procreate or Affinity Designer. The hover features add nuance.
  • Photo/video editing – Edit high-res photos and videos smoothly with apps like Lightroom and LumaFusion. View/export in HDR.
  • Music creation – Produce pro-sounding music with GarageBand, Ampify Studio, or other audio apps.
  • Presentations – Use the Apple Pencil to annotate keynotes and documents. Connect to a projector.
  • Writing and blogging – The keyboard case transforms it into a capable writing device with apps like Ulysses.
  • Gaming – Enjoy immersive high-graphics games and Apple Arcade. The 120Hz display is super fluid.
  • Business productivity – Manage email, documents, spreadsheets, and more with business apps.
  • Education – Annotate lecture slides or textbooks. Use augmented reality apps to engage students.

It has desktop-class performance in a thin tablet form factor, making it super versatile for work, creative projects, gaming, and more. The Apple Pencil expands its capabilities for digital artists, content creators, and business users even further.

iPadOS 16 Features

The iPad Pro 2022 ships with iPadOS 16 installed. This includes several key new features:

  • Stage Manager – Automatically organizes apps and windows, allowing you to run 8 apps simultaneously on up to 4K external displays.
  • Reference Mode – Puts the display in a consistent color balanced state for tasks like color grading video.
  • Display Scaling – Makes on-screen elements smaller or larger to fit your needs.
  • New weather app – Takes full advantage of the display with animated backgrounds.
  • Collaborate in Freeform – Allows you to brainstorm on an infinite virtual canvas with others.
  • iCloud Shared Photo Library – Share photos seamlessly with family or colleagues.

The multitasking improvements in Stage Manager plus seamless external display support in iPadOS 16 make the iPad Pro more capable as a real computer replacement. Reference Mode benefits creative pros color correcting photos/videos.

While iPadOS 16 brings welcome additions, there’s still room for deeper pro app capabilities. But the gap between tablet and desktop continues to narrow with each iPadOS update.

Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil

Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio and 2nd generation Apple Pencil remain excellent accessories for the 2022 iPad Pro models.

The Smart Keyboard Folio magnetically attaches to the back and folds into a front case. It provides responsive, backlit keys and convenient viewing angles. The fabric exterior protects the iPad Pro when traveling. It’s thin, light, and doesn’t require charging.

For creative pros, the Apple Pencil 2 is an essential tool for drawing, illustration, note taking, marking up documents, and other tasks. It magnetically attaches to the side for pairing, charging, and easy access. New hover features let you preview pencil marks thanks to the distance sensing capabilities.

Both of these accessories feel naturally integrated and transform the iPad Pro into a more capable 2-in-1 device. They are expensive add-ons but key to unlocking the full potential for productivity and creativity.

Battery Life and Charging

Battery life on the iPad Pro 2022 remains excellent. Apple claims up to 10 hours of web browsing or watching video. Our testing showed the iPad Pro lasting nearly a full workday on a single charge.

Standby time is equally impressive, letting it last for days without being touched. This lets you pick up your iPad Pro whenever inspiration strikes without worrying about battery life.

When it’s time to recharge, the Thunderbolt 4 port provides incredibly fast charging speeds. You can charge up to 50% battery in just 45 minutes with a compatible adapter. The battery charges rapidly whether connected to the included 20W USB-C power adapter or up to 140W with separately sold chargers.

The battery life is fantastic given the power inside such a thin device. Fast charging capabilities make it easy to top up battery between uses.

Pros and Cons

iPad Pro 2022 Advantages:

  • Blazing fast M2 chip performance
  • Brilliant Liquid Retina XDR display on 12.9″ model
  • Excellent ProMotion adaptive refresh rate
  • Great versatility for work, creative arts, gaming, and more
  • Future-proof power and capabilities
  • Great battery life + fast charging
  • Elegant, durable design with thin bezels

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Very expensive, especially with accessories
  • iPadOS 16 still not a complete laptop/desktop replacement
  • No major camera upgrades
  • Limited to two Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • No Touch ID (Face ID only)

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021

The iPad Pro 2022 models are only incremental upgrades over the previous generation. Here’s how they compare:

iPad Pro 2022

  • Faster M2 chip
  • Hover capabilities with Apple Pencil
  • WiFi 6E compatibility

iPad Pro 2021

  • M1 chip still blazing fast
  • Identical design and display
  • Matches most features besides above

For most users, the iPad Pro 2021 models still deliver excellent performance and value. Unless you really need the fastest speeds for creative workloads or future-proofing, the M1 models are likely sufficient.

However, the iPad Pro 2022 makes sense for power users who need ultimate performance and plan to keep it for 3+ years. The M2 chip and Pencil hover features provide a bit more headroom to grow. But both generations are fantastic pro tablets.

Conclusion – Still the Pinnacle of Tablets

The new iPad Pro 2022 maintains Apple’s position at the cutting edge of tablet technology. It delivers desktop-class performance, versatility, and a stunning display in a portable package.

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The blazing fast M2 chip keeps it future-proof for years to come. iPadOS 16 brings helpful productivity enhancements like Stage Manager. Visually stunning games and apps shine on the Liquid Retina XDR display. The Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard make it a capable digital canvas for creative pros.

It is very expensive, especially with pro-level accessories. And iPadOS 16 still has room to grow as a true desktop/laptop replacement. But the sheer performance and capabilities make the iPad Pro 2022 the best tablet available by far for work, creative arts, gaming, and more. It’s beloved by professionals and casual users alike.

For most buyers, the 2021 iPad Pro with M1 chip still provides excellent value and power. But the M2 model undoubtedly pushes the envelope for those who need the absolute best tablet technology has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which iPad Pro 2022 model is best?

The 12.9-inch model is best for creative pros, photographers, designers etc. thanks to the stunning Liquid Retina XDR display. Go for the 11-inch model if you want to save money or need maximum portability.

How much storage should I get?

128GB is adequate for light use. 256GB provides flexibility for most users. Photographers, video editors, and games should consider 512GB or 1TB.

Is the M2 worth the upgrade over M1?

For most users, the M1 in the 2021 models is still extremely fast. But M2 delivers more headroom for GPU accelerated tasks like video editing, 3D modeling, gaming, etc.

Does it replace a laptop or desktop?

It can fully replace a computer for some users with its performance and accessory capabilities. But power users may still need a Mac or PC to complement it running specific software.

Is the Apple Pencil 2 worth it?

Absolutely – it transforms the iPad Pro into a capable digital canvas for illustration, note taking, design work, marking up documents, and more. The new hover feature adds precision as well.

How long will an iPad Pro last?

Thanks to having the M1 or M2 chip, the 2021 and 2022 models should easily last 4-5 years or longer. These deliver desktop-class performance in a tablet that won’t feel outdated nearly as quickly.

In Summary

The iPad Pro 2022 upholds Apple’s standard of excellence by packing desktop-class performance into a thin, portable tablet. Creative pros, business users, and casual users alike will appreciate the power and versatility. If you need the absolute best tablet technology available, the latest iPad Pro delivers – especially for graphics-intensive uses. But most buyers will be well served by the 2021 models with M1. Either way, the iPad Pro remains the gold standard for tablets.

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