2022 iPad Pro review: Impressively, awkwardly fast and capable

If you’re an Apple Pencil devotee, someone who shoots or codes a lot of photos and videos on the iPad, or someone who’s upgrading from a much older and slower iPad, the new 2022 iPad Pro has a lot for you. It represents a solid CPU/GPU upgrade to what is already the fastest and most capable tablet in the world. But if he ever had to wait a year for another Pro model, it would be this one.

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 is more speed, especially for those working with editing, rendering and compilation, but most people won’t feel it – it was already a smooth and fast panel.

There are some big new ideas for managing windows and workflows in iPadOS 16, including Stage Manager, which is exclusive to mid- to high-end iPads, which are mostly on Apple’s newer chips. It’s a nice feature, but it’s not yet polished enough to be completely useful. And some frustrations have carried over from previous models, including the fact that the front-facing 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 iconic model.

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


The 2022 iPad Pro has much of the same internal hardware as the 2021 models, including the display, cameras, storage and memory options, microphones and speakers, battery, and a single USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port. It even retains a Nano-SIM slot despite Apple’s SIM-free approach cards on the iPhone 14. Put it next to last year’s iPad Pro and you won’t know much of a difference until you install the comparison app.

Also Read – 11 Gotham Knights Tips To Kick Criminal Ass And Clean The Streets In Style

However, there are a few small changes inside the glass and aluminum.

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

Bluetooth will also be upgraded from 5.0 to 5.3 this year. Changes in Bluetooth 5.3 are things like “periodic advertising improvements” and “connection underestimation”. If you notice a difference in your pairing and connection reliability, you’ve been blessed.

That’s really about it for the guts, so let’s dive into the biggest marquee upgrade: the M2.

M2: An even more reliable chip

It seemed impossible a few years ago, but now it’s simply a reality: The best universal computing platform isn’t just inside every Apple computer; it’s also in the company’s mid-to-high-end iPads. Without some memory and other small configurations, your iPad Pro is basically as capable as some of the most powerful laptops available today. We saw this when we compared the M1 in the iPad Pro to the M1 MacBook Air last year – they had almost exactly the same performance and thermal performance.

Apple suggests that upgrading from M1 to M2 in this device will provide an 18 percent increase in CPU speed, a 35 percent increase in GPU speed, and double the memory bandwidth (50 GB/s to 100 GB/s). Both sizes of iPad Pro have 8 CPU cores, 10 GPU cores and 16 neural cores in the M2 packages. That’s two more GPU cores than the M1 iPad Pro (and Air) models.

Also Read – Apple Confirms It Will Add USB-C Ports to iPhones After New EU Law

Unsurprisingly, the M2 is faster in many benchmarks and certainly delivers better performance if you’re doing GPU-intensive tasks. The M2 puts the iPad even further ahead of any other tablet in terms of performance, but that title has already been settled. In daily use, you will have trouble feeling the difference with this new chip. Everything responds quickly, nothing puts a strain on the system, and the battery life is impressive for this kind of fluidity. But the same can be said about the M1.

I subjected the M2 to at least one protracted real-world challenge: playing Genshin Impact for several hours (we suffer for our coverage at Ars). At no point did the device stutter or even feel that much heat in its center where the M2 pack lives.

Displays: Still using the Liquid Retina XDR name, huh?

Both the 11- and 12.9-inch iPads have the same displays as the 2021 M1 models: a standard IPS “Liquid Retina” display for the 11-inch display and a “Liquid Retina XDR” display for the 12.9-inch. Translation: The 11-inch model has an LCD screen that can’t produce the same kind of rich, deep blacks as modern OLED screens, while the 12.9-inch model has a mini-LED screen with 10,000 points of light. more specific lighting levels – and therefore deeper shades of black. Disappointingly, Apple continues to use its own arcane terms for screen technology, confusing customers who might want to make a direct comparison.

As with the 2021 models, we’re impressed with how close the mini-LED screen comes to the kind of richer dynamics possible with OLED. There’s still some bloom around bright objects on dark backgrounds, but it’s significantly better than standard LCD displays. Most people not holding an OLED screen next to this screen will feel like they’re experiencing a bright and rich upgrade from a standard tablet screen.

Each screen has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a density of 264 pixels per inch. We don’t have the 11-inch model for comparison this year, but the screen on the 12.9-inch model remains impressively bright and sharp.


The physical cameras on the iPad Pro models are the same as last year (and the same as the 2020 model): 12MP wide-angle (ƒ/1.8 aperture) and 10MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.4 aperture) on the back, and a LIDAR scanner and 12MP ultrawide on the front, with a central scene to help alleviate awkward side placement in landscape mode.

New this year, the Pro models can capture ProRes video from their cameras and then transcode the ProRes footage up to three times faster, according to Apple. In particular, the M2 package can play multiple 4K and 8K ProRes video streams simultaneously. This is perfect for those who edit video on the iPad or, as often shown in Apple promotional videos, those who capture stunning nature footage at a professional level while choosing to take only one Apple product with them. If you’re one of them, you’ll see real gains in this model based on our benchmarks.

While this is more of a software problem than a hardware one, it’s worth noting that the iPad Pro’s front-facing camera still pauses when you switch from the conferencing app. Like the camera placement, it’s an issue that’s been around throughout the pandemic, and it’d be nice to see it go away when the Pro gets another major redesign.

Apple Pencil, now with cursor placement

Apple has long touted the precision of its Apple Pencil, which is capable of etching even the occasional “Great job!” annotation on a slide, and is the primary tool for skilled artists creating complex works. Combined with the 120Hz display on the iPad Pro, it’s an accurate, low-latency tool.

New on the iPad Pro 2022 is a “hover” that shows you the exact spot your pencil touches, from 12mm above the display. The feature works by using electromagnetic signals sent from the tip, which the new iPad essentially triangulates to a precise point, taking into account your tilt and distance. In most apps, hovering will show you the exact width, color, and style of stroke you’re about to make, and let you change it by pinching and zooming with your other hand. Otherwise, hover can animate or highlight UI elements, preview videos or animations, automatically expand text areas for typing, or just signal which button you’re about to press.

I’m not an artist, and my handwriting is lousy, but for those who draw, paint, and edit photos by hand, the pixel-level accuracy of hovering should be useful, though probably in a small, nice way. For me, navigating the iPad with a pencil in pocket mode is a bit more feasible.

Fits the same Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio or third-party cases

The compatibility of this new iPad Pro with all the devices that would suit its last three generations does not change, and that’s a good thing. You can use the full Magic Keyboard and its trackpad, the lighter Smart Keyboard Folio, or any case/keyboard combination from Logitech or another manufacturer.

Notably, iPad Pro accessories seem to have taken a backseat this year to the Magic Keyboard Folio, a keyboard/trackpad combo that provides dedicated function keys and front and back coverage for the base iPad model. You can read more about that in our full iPad 2022 review. It’s strange that the Pro tablet doesn’t have the most Pro-like keyboard, but that’s the lineup this year.


We tested the M2 chip twice already in the M2 versions of the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Their reference numbers hung pretty close to each other. Does the iPad Pro keep up with the M2 bearing?

In short, yes. We compared its performance in synthetic CPU, GPU and browser tests against the 2021 iPad Pro models – 11-inch and 12.9-inch (M1) – iPad Air 2020 (A14), iPad Air 2022 (M1), 2022 MacBook Air (M2), iPhone 14 Pro (A16) and 27-inch iMac 2020 (3.6 GHz 10-core Intel Core i9).

As we saw in 2021, there isn’t much difference in performance between the M2 in the iPad Pro and the M2 in the MacBook Air, at least in most tests. We saw between 5 to 11 percent CPU speed increases over the M1 generation in single-core CPU tests, but 16 to 30 percent in some multi-core tests. In the Geekbench Compute tests, our iPad Pro soared, outperforming even the M2 MacBook Air and significantly outperforming the previous generation. In the 3DMark graphics test, we saw a 40 percent increase over last year’s iPad Pro with the M1, easily hitting Apple’s own proprietary metrics.

However, these are abstract tests and most people won’t really notice the difference in web browsing, chat applications and other non-intensive tasks. For those who need the best iPad available to crunch a lot of data, it remains a remarkably powerful tool.

Software (and Stage Manager)

Most of the new features in iPadOS 16 are the same things that are new in iOS 16, plus a few delayed items like a dedicated Weather app. Two things are really new for the iPad in iPadOS 16: real support for using the monitor as a second, separate display on Apple-Silicon-based iPads (now delayed until summer 2023), and Stage Manager, an optional multitasking overhaul for the newer ones. iPads.

You can read about the ideal version of Stage Manager that mostly works in our detailed macOS Ventura review. Stage Manager has been heavily criticized by Apple experts and the press, and has been cited as the main reason behind the iPadOS delay.

Leave a Comment