While Apple took the opportunity to completely redesign the basic iPad in 2022, the company chose not to make a splash on the iPad Pro lineup. Instead, Apple upgraded the internal specs of both iPad Pros, with the 11-inch iPad Pro starting at $799 and the 12.9-inch version priced at $1,099.
The new iPad Pro lacks any major design upgrades (it looks the same as the 2021 iPad Pro), but it makes up for it in terms of more power. Apple swapped the M1 processor for the M2, making it the most powerful and responsive iPad in the entire range.
The 2022 iPad Pro offers a familiar pro-grade experience and premium features, including a new hover mode for the second-generation Apple Pencil. It might be worth checking out for professionals who want to get their hands on the most powerful iPad yet. But if you’re a casual user, you and your wallet may be better suited to look at the 2021 Pro model.
More for the same, but still top of the line
The main storyline of the 2022 iPad Pro is more of the same hardware. It is still available in two sizes, 11-inch and 12.9-inch, with the same display, camera, storage options (128GB to 2TB), speakers, battery life, and color scheme.
But even though Apple has adopted a modern design language on all iPad models, including rounded display corners, uniform bezels around the screen, flat edges, and a flat back, the iPad Pro still stands out for its incredibly thin and light design.
The uniform bezels of the iPad Pro are slimmer than those of the iPad Air and 10th-generation iPads, which helps create a more advanced look. The 11-inch model is lightweight at 1.03 pounds, while the 12.9-inch model weighs 1.5 pounds, but that’s to be expected for such a big iPad.
Both iPad Pro models have the same display as the 2021 Pro models. The 12.9-inch version of the screen is still better than the 11-inch because it uses Apple’s Mini-LED backlight-based Liquid Retina XDR display for a more accurate, bright, and clear visual experience. Each model includes Apple’s 120Hz high refresh rate ProMotion display, which produces smooth animations when swiping on iPadOS.
In terms of cameras, the hardware of the 2022 iPad Pro is the same as the 2021 and 2020 models: rear 12 mega wide and 10 mega ultra-wide cameras, as well as support for 12 mega ultra-wide front cameras. Facial ID.
Unfortunately, the iPad Pro’s front-facing camera is still on the top edge of the screen, which means you’ll be awkwardly positioned in a video call if you’re using the tablet in landscape mode, given that the Pro works perfectly with Apple’s Magic Keyboard.
While Center Stage—the feature that lets you center the frame—can help solve the problem of awkward side placement in landscape mode, we look forward to the day when all iPads will have a landscape camera just like the base iPad.
As for battery life, the iPad Pro is the typical battery life of an iPad – it can play videos at full brightness for about 5.5 hours.
The biggest upgrade is the M2 chip, but the ones who benefit the most are professionals
The 2022 iPad Pro runs on Apple’s M2 chip, the same processor as the 2022 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Aside from a few small details, the iPad Pro brings computer-grade power in a thinner, lighter package.
The big question for professionals isn’t whether the 2022 iPad Pro is powerful enough – it’s the most powerful tablet you can buy. Instead, it’s whether the iPadOS version of the app they use is as comprehensive as the desktop version.
Even though Apple claims that the upgrade from M1 to M2 has increased speed by 15% and graphics performance by 35%, in casual everyday use, the difference is minimal. For those streaming video and running basic apps like social media, gaming, web browsing, etc., the iPad Pro’s power is excessive.
Professionals can justify an upgrade, but for most people, it’s hard to do. If you want to extend the life of the product you buy, it might be worth it – the iPad Pro could last a few years longer than the tenth-generation iPad, or even a year or so longer than the M1 iPad Air.
The second-generation Apple Pencil, now more useful
The iPad Pro’s M2 processor doesn’t just provide power. It gives the second-generation Apple Pencil a new levitation feature, making it the ultimate tool for note-takers, artists, or those who need a tool that’s more precise than your fingers.
The hover feature lets the iPad Pro detect the pencil’s tip from 12mm above the screen, which allows you to preview exactly where the tip is. In the preview, you can see the size of the marker you want to make and even preview the mix of different colors.
It enhances the accuracy and precision that Apple Pencil has become known for. If you’ve ever felt like the Apple Pencil doesn’t always land exactly where you want it to be on the iPad screen, or if you’ve chosen the right brush size or the right color, Hover will help you with that.
Third-party app developers can also integrate Hover into their apps. For example, hovering over a project thumbnail in ProCreate will play a timeline of your work. You can also combine on-screen finger gestures with Hover to make adjustments, such as changing the size of the brush.
Hover is already useful in its current iteration, and with the increasing functionality of Hover, it does have the potential to become an indispensable tool for digital professionals using the Apple Pencil.
Despite impressively, the iPad Pro in 2022 is still not a replacement for a laptop
Even when paired with Apple’s Magic Keyboard, which includes trackpad and keyboard, the 2022 iPad Pro doesn’t offer the benefits of tablets and laptops, nor is it a replacement for laptops. It’s definitely a tablet.
Before considering the iPadOS vs macOS comparison, it doesn’t make economic sense to use the iPad Pro as a laptop. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is only $100 cheaper than the M2 MacBook Air, while a case with a keyboard and trackpad would make it more expensive.
Not to mention that Apple’s Magic Keyboard combination with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is much heavier and thicker than the M2 MacBook Air or the 14-inch MacBook Pro. On top of that, Apple’s laptop’s keyboard and trackpad are significantly better than the Magic Keyboard.
As for iPadOS, it’s still largely a mobile operating system that simply can’t match the versatility of a full desktop operating system like macOS. Apple has three different features to help with multitasking, including the Stage Manager, Swipe View, and Split View — and it desperately wants to be your laptop. However, multitasking on the iPad is still not as smooth or intuitive as a laptop, and I find myself painfully craving my laptop while working.
Your camera and editing workstation in one device, maybe
The iPad Pro distinguishes itself from other iPad products with a dual-lens camera setup, including a 10-megapixel ultra-wide angle and a 12-megapixel main lens.
They take better photos and videos than any iPad, and you can edit them from the iPad Pro. They’re also the only iPads that support lidar sensors, a scanning technology that can add depth to photos — useful for applications such as 3D and augmented reality.
However, the recent iPhone will still be a better choice for taking photos and videos – the iPhone 14 Pro boasts superior video recording capabilities, support for Dolby Vision, a 3x zoom lens, and Apple’s Cinematic mode for focus transition. What’s more, you can easily transfer photos and videos taken with your iPhone to your iPad Pro through AirDrop.
The 2022 iPad Pro’s camera records video in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, supports ProRes, and has video stabilization, which may be enough for video enthusiasts and some professionals for video projects. The iPad Pro also has stereo recording, but you’ll probably get better sound with the wireless microphone setting.
But video experts and photographers are more likely to use the iPad Pro as a mobile workstation to complement their external camera than the one’s built-in camera. While it may not be a suitable laptop replacement, the iPad Pro is ideal for these professionals who need something lightweight – their camera device will weigh enough – yet powerful enough to edit photos and videos quickly.
Should you buy the 2022 iPad Pro?
If you like to handle power-hungry professional-grade apps with the Apple Pencil, then the iPad Pro is unbeatable. If you’re looking for the biggest screen for the Apple Pencil, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is your best bet. It is also ideal for professionals such as videographers and photographers who need a powerful workstation but want to reduce weight as much as possible.
For Apple pencil lovers who don’t need that much power, consider the iPad Air with an 11-inch screen in 2022. It runs on Apple’s M1 processor, but its performance isn’t far behind the iPad Pro’s M2 processor. Just note that while the 2022 iPad Air supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, it doesn’t support the new levitation feature, which is exclusive to the M2 processor.
But the iPad Pro is not a replacement for a laptop, as the iPad OS is limited in this regard, even if you add a keyboard box and trackpad or mouse. If you need a thin and light workstation that offers a true computing experience, buy the M2 MacBook Air or the 14-inch MacBook Pro.
As for casual video streaming using basic apps, the iPad Pro will have a few more years of smooth and fast performance than the entry-level tenth-generation iPad — it’s hard to say how many years exactly. And, the ProMotion display is really good to use.
However, the 11-inch iPad Pro costs twice as much as the 10th-generation iPad; It’s also $200 more expensive than the iPad Air. Before recommending the iPad Pro, I would recommend either of these two models for more casual users.