The first reviews for Apple’s updated iPad Pro lineup have arrived, and while the M2 and Hover have received the most attention, reviewers have noted a lack of other updates.
On October 18, Apple issued a press release announcing the 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro with M2. The main changes are a processor upgrade from M1 to M2, the addition of WiFi 6E, and the addition of an Apple Pencil hover feature.
On Monday, Engadget published a sneak peek, calling the 2022 models a “minor iteration” of their M1 counterparts. Aside from the chip, “the design, screen, cameras, storage options, accessories, and price are all the same” as in previous models, but that’s not a problem because it was already “an outstanding device.”
With the switch to M2, the iPad Pro became “far more responsive” than reviewer Nathan Ingram’s personal 2020 11-inch iPad Pro. “Those other devices aren’t slow by any means,” he writes, “but the M2-powered iPad Pro responds to everything almost instantly.”
Hover is described as a “pretty cool new feature,” but it still required developers to incorporate interactions into their apps.
Finally, according to the preview, “most of what we said about the iPad Pro in 2021 still applies here,” with “outstanding performance, a great screen, and the Pencil and Magic Keyboard deemed great but expensive add-ons.”
Sofia Pitt of CNBC was impressed by the M2’s processing, which she said will be noticeable for video editing and “running multiple complex applications at the same time.”
The screen’s picture quality is “excellent,” but it’s “not an upgrade from last year’s model.” The 12.9-inch mini LED was praised for being brighter “than any iPad I’ve used before,” with watching a video in a bright room being a highlight.
While the M2 and Hover additions are welcome additions, the lack of other changes was not. There is a reference to the front camera placement in the new iPad, which the reviewer believes could have happened to the iPad Pro as well, but Apple did not implement it.
The 2022 models are recommended, “if you want more power and a better screen than other iPads.”
ZDNet emphasized the software experience, with Stage Manager for external monitor support and multitasking handled “without any issues” by the M2 chip.
However, because of the similarity in design, reviewer Jason Cipriani picked up the “identical in design” M1 and used it for an hour, questioning “whether the performance boost I suddenly perceived was a placebo effect or not.” It turned out to be true.”
Hover is also mentioned, a “very subtle addition” that is noticeable in some apps, such as Notes, but not in others.
The reviewer wished to spend more time with the iPad Pro to determine whether there are “any notable differences” between it and the M1 model. “A couple of days of testing simply isn’t enough time to form an opinion,” he admits.
According to Mashable’s Stan Schroeder, it is not an upgrade for people who “want to flaunt their brand new iPad Pro.” M2 and Hover’s major changes are mentioned, “if you stretch the term major” for the latter.
Schroeder refers readers to the 5th-generation 12.9-inch iPad review “for all of the basic aspects” of the tablet due to the small number of differences.
“It’s past time Apple changed something – anything – about the iPad Pro’s design because three generations of virtually no changes are too much,” he writes, before suggesting that changing the position of the iPad’s front camera could be a good idea for the next time.
The M2 iPad Pro is “basically in the same league” as Apple’s MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, but the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard are unlikely to replace a computer. “If you want to give it a shot, you’ll need to be willing to learn new things, and make a lot of sacrifices, and it’ll still be heavily dependent on your daily workflow.”