Apple iPad Pro review (2022): An impressive stopgap

Apple simply launched two new iPads. Considered one of them, the fundamental Tenth-generation iPad, was rebuilt from the bottom up. The brand new iPad Professional, alternatively, is a a lot less complicated replace. The corporate took final 12 months’s mannequin, swapped the M1 chip for the M2, made a number of different small tweaks, and known as it a day. The iPad Professional remains to be ludicrously quick, and it’s nonetheless extraordinarily costly, beginning at $799 for the 11-inch mannequin and $1,099 for the 12.9-inch.

I can’t actually fault Apple for this strategy, although. Although the fundamental design of the iPad Professional was first launched in 2018, it’s nonetheless a marvelously engineered piece of {hardware}. It options among the best screens Apple has ever made, and it continues to shock me that the corporate can pack a lot energy into such a compact body.

Apple iPad Pro (2022)


  • M2 chip is extremely highly effective
  • Nice battery life
  • Display screen and industrial design are nonetheless best-in-class
  • Helpful new Apple Pencil Hover function


  • Awkwardly positioned entrance digicam
  • Stage Supervisor isn’t totally baked simply but

Whereas this 12 months’s mannequin carefully resembles what Apple was already promoting, it does arrive at a major time for the iPad’s evolution. That’s due to iPadOS 16, which launched final week. For many iPads, it’s the anticipated assortment of helpful enhancements — however for the iPad Professional, it presents a wholly new multitasking system known as Stage Supervisor. It’s a transparent response to the query we tech reviewers (and plenty of iPad Professional house owners) have been asking for years: When will we get software program that lets us benefit from the iPad’s energy?

Gallery: Apple iPad Professional (2022) evaluate images | 10 Photographs


First, a fast refresher. The iPad Professional remains to be out there in two sizes: 11 and 12.9 inches. Storage choices vary from a modest 128GB as much as a very outrageous 2TB, and you may configure it with an optionally available 5G radio for when there’s no WiFi. And for if you’re at dwelling, it helps the WiFi 6E, whereas final 12 months’s mannequin was restricted to WiFi 6. As regular, we reviewers get to play with a close to top-of-the-line iPad: the 12.9-inch mannequin with 1TB of storage and 5G service from Verizon. This iPad Professional prices a jaw-dropping $1,999, and that’s earlier than you add on the $129 Apple Pencil and $349 Magic Keyboard. We’re effectively into MacBook Professional or Mac Studio territory at this level.

A minimum of the iPad Professional nonetheless seems like a tool value that type of cash. (Whether or not it is is a special query.) The match and end stays distinctive, and whereas the 1.5-pound weight makes it a bit extra of a burden to carry in comparison with smaller and lighter iPad fashions, I’m nonetheless impressed at Apple’s capability to cram such efficiency into a tool that’s so compact. There are different well-designed tablets in the marketplace, however I nonetheless don’t assume anybody has caught as much as the iPad Professional.

The 11-inch mannequin nonetheless has to make do with the identical Liquid Retina LCD show it’s had for a number of years now, however the 12.9-inch model has the Liquid Retina XDR panel that was first launched on the M1 iPad Professional in Might of 2021. This display screen makes use of mini-LED backlighting to supply 2,596 native dimming zones to supply a large dynamic vary and a 1,000,000:1 distinction ratio. It additionally has as much as 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits peak brightness when enjoying again HDR content material, which might actually make motion pictures pop.

Apple iPad Pro (2022)

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

There’s nothing new concerning the display screen this 12 months, however it’s value highlighting simply how good it’s. Each iPad Professional fashions even have the 120Hz ProMotion refresh price; assist for the P3 extensive shade gamut; a display screen that’s totally laminated to the entrance glass; and an anti-reflective coating.

Similar to final 12 months, the iPad Professional has an ultrawide 12-megapixel front-facing digicam that helps Face ID authentication. This wide-angle digicam helps Heart Stage, which crops and zooms round your face to maintain you in the midst of the body on a video name. That’s all effectively and good, however sadly the iPad Professional nonetheless has its front-facing digicam on the portrait fringe of the display screen, which implies you’re at all times going to be considerably off-center and never wanting straight on the display screen in case your iPad is in a keyboard dock. This has been true of all iPads for years already, however now that the fundamental mannequin has gotten a landscape-oriented digicam, we’re going to be ready impatiently for Apple to implement that throughout its whole lineup.

The again cameras are additionally the identical: There are 12-megapixel extensive and 10-megapixel extremely extensive choices, together with a flash and LIDAR scanner. Nevertheless, the M2 processor unlocks a brand new video trick, because the iPad Professional can now file video in Apple’s ProRes codec in 4K decision at 30 frames per second, a function first launched within the iPhone 13 Professional. That is admittedly one thing of a distinct segment function, however it reveals off the M2’s enhancements over its predecessor.

Apple iPad Pro (2022)

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget


From an equipment standpoint, the iPad Professional makes use of the identical 2nd-generation Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard which were out there since 2018 and 2020, respectively. The Magic Keyboard nonetheless gives the perfect typing expertise you’ll find on an iPad, although the entire package deal is fairly heavy. It’s additionally loopy costly, as I already talked about. And now that the fundamental iPad’s new Magic Keyboard Folio presents a row of operate keys and a barely greater trackpad, I’m actually lacking these options right here. However in the event you make your dwelling with phrases, as I do, it’s nonetheless a necessary software.

The Apple Pencil stays a software that I’m not notably nice at evaluating, as a result of I’m sorely missing in visible arts expertise. I positive want I might sit down and sketch and doodle and make the great creations I’ve seen others do, however that’s not taking place. If you happen to’re a visible artist, likelihood is you already know the way effectively the Pencil works, although.

The M2 on the brand new iPad Professional additionally enabled a brand new trick known as Hover. If the Pencil is inside 12mm of the display screen, icons and interface parts can react to it. The most straightforward instance is how app icons enhance in dimension if you hover the Pencil over, displaying you what you are about to faucet on. This works system-wide, at the least in Apple apps. Third-party builders must construct Hover options into their apps, however it ought to be a pleasant new software within the Pencil’s arsenal. One place I used to be in a position to demo it was within the Notes app; when utilizing the brand new watercolor brush, you’ll be able to hover the pencil over the display screen to see how the colour will react with different parts you’ve already drawn.

I discovered one other cool Hover implementation within the wonderful image-editing app Pixelmator Photograph. Hovering and transferring the Pencil throughout a strip of various filters on the backside of the app robotically applies them as a preview. It’s wickedly quick and a enjoyable technique to see what your image will appear to be. That mentioned, it’s one thing you might already do with the trackpad and pointer; thus far, a whole lot of Hover actions I’ve seen are straight up clones of what you are able to do when hovering over an interface aspect with the trackpad. I’m wanting ahead to seeing what builders give you going ahead, although.

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