For the past few days, I’ve been putting Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad Pro through its paces. It will be available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes when it hits stores on October 26.
The M2 chip, which is faster than the M1 processor used in last year’s Pro model, is the most significant upgrade. It also supports Apple’s new Pencil Hover feature. That means the screen can now detect the tip of the Apple Pencil up to 12 millimeters above the screen’s surface, which may appeal to digital artists who frequently sketch on their iPads.
Unlike the entry-level iPad, the price of the iPad Pro has not increased from last year’s model. The 11-inch iPad Pro costs $799, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro costs $1,099.
If you have a 2021 iPad Pro, it may be difficult to justify upgrading to this year’s model because there aren’t many noticeable improvements. And if you’re a typical iPad user who streams reads, plays simple games, and surfs the web, spending $800 or more on the Pro is probably overkill.
This is primarily for video and photo editors, as well as those who simply want the best iPad with the largest screen available.
Here’s the lowdown on Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The M2 processor is quick, as you’ll notice when editing videos or running multiple complex applications at once. I attempted to edit a video on the Pro. When I added filters to specific frames and rendered the video, it imported large video files quickly and without hiccups. My video file was also exported quickly. This was simply a video of highlights from a trip to Europe; it was not a difficult video project.
The screen is enormous, and the picture quality is excellent, but it is not an improvement over last year’s model. If you choose the 11-inch model over the 12.9-inch Pro, you’ll notice that the picture isn’t as good. The 11-inch model lacks a “Liquid Retina XDR” display, which is simply a fancy way of saying it uses mini LEDs that become extremely bright and colorful.
This image compares the 12.9-inch Pro to the 10.9-inch entry-level iPad.
The screen on the 12.9-inch Pro was brighter than any other iPad I’d used before. I often have to go into a dark room to see everything while watching HBO’s “House of the Dragon” on my TV at home because the show is shot in dark locations and it’s often difficult to see if there’s too much light reflecting on the screen. When I watched the show on the new iPad Pro, however, I noticed that the details on the screen were much easier to see, even in a bright room.
The iPad Pro’s large screen also makes multitasking easier. I enjoyed reading the news while watching YouTube TV at the same time.
If you’re drawing on your iPad, the Apple Pencil Hover experience comes in handy. Assume you want to mix colors. In the image below, I’m hovering red paint over a blue circle to demonstrate. Before I tap my Apple Pencil on the screen, the iPad Hover mode shows what the purple color will look like.
The speakers are clear and loud, and they are superior to those on any other iPad I’ve used. I tried streaming music from the Pro while blow-drying my hair in the bathroom, and I could easily make out song lyrics.
The camera on the iPad Pro is excellent, but it is not an upgrade over last year’s model.
The M2 chip and the Apple Pencil experience are the two major improvements in the iPad Pros. New iPad models typically receive camera upgrades or an increase in screen brightness, but this year’s models did not.
The front-facing camera on this year’s entry-level iPad has a new location. It’s now on the tablet’s long side rather than the short side, which helps you look more centered on the camera during video chats and is more flattering. I’m not sure why Apple didn’t do the same with this year’s iPad Pro.
Because I have to look off to the left to look at the camera, it appears as if I’m not looking directly at someone else during a video chat. It’s annoying.
I love the Magic Keyboard because it turns the iPad Pro into a laptop. However, the keyboard depletes the battery faster. I started watching “The Stranger” on Netflix with a 78% battery. I kept my keyboard attached the entire time, and my battery was at 19% by the end of the movie.
Should you purchase it?
Choose the 2022 iPad Pro if you want more power and a better screen than other iPads. It’s very fast, the screen display and speakers are great for relaxing and watching movies, and it’s an excellent tablet for creatives who need extra power for video or photo editing. It becomes prohibitively expensive at the upper end. If you choose the 12.9-inch iPad with Wi-Fi and cellular and the maximum storage capacity of 2TB, you’ll pay $2,400, which doesn’t include the $129 Apple Pencil (2nd generation) or the $350 Magic Keyboard.