Apple iPad Pro (2022) test: an impressive palliative |  Engadget

Apple iPad Pro (2022) test: an impressive palliative | Engadget

Apple just released two new iPads. One of them, the base 10th generation iPad, has been completely rebuilt. The new iPad Pro, on the other hand, is a much simpler update. The company took last year’s model, swapped out the M1 chip for the M2, made a few other small tweaks, and called it a day. The iPad Pro is still ridiculously fast, and it’s still extremely expensive, starting at $799 for the 11-inch model and $1,099 for the 12.9-inch.

However, I can’t really blame Apple for this approach. Even though the basic iPad Pro design was first introduced in 2018, it’s still a wonderfully crafted piece of hardware. It features one of the best displays Apple has ever made, and I’m still amazed the company can pack so much power into such a compact frame.


  • The M2 chip is incredibly powerful
  • Great battery life
  • Screen and industrial design are still best in class
  • Handy New Apple Pencil Hover Feature

The inconvenients

  • Misplaced front camera
  • Stage Manager is not yet fully cooked

Although this year’s model closely resembles what Apple was already selling, it comes at a significant time in the evolution of the iPad. That’s thanks to iPadOS 16, which launched last week. For most iPads, it’s the expected collection of useful enhancements, but for the iPad Pro, it offers an all-new multitasking system called Stage Manager. It’s a clear answer to the question we tech reviewers (and many iPad Pro owners) have been asking for years: when will we have software that lets us harness the power of the iPad?

Gallery: Apple iPad Pro (2022) test photos | 10 Pictures


First, a little reminder. The iPad Pro is still available in two sizes: 11 and 12.9 inches. Storage options range from a modest 128GB to a truly outrageous 2TB, and you can configure it with an optional 5G radio for when there’s no WiFi. And when you’re at home, it supports WiFi 6E, whereas last year’s model was limited to WiFi 6. As usual, we testers can play with an iPad near the top of range: the 12.9-inch model. with 1TB of storage and Verizon’s 5G service. This iPad Pro is a jaw-dropping $1,999, and that’s before you add the $129 Apple Pencil and the $349 Magic Keyboard. We’re well into MacBook Pro or Mac Studio territory at this point.

At least the iPad Pro still looks like a device worth that kind of money. (that he is is a different matter.) The fit and finish remains exceptional, and although the 1.5 pound weight makes it a bit heavier to hold compared to smaller and lighter iPad models, I’m still impressed by Apple’s ability to cram such performance into such a compact device. There are other well-designed tablets on the market, but I still don’t think anyone has caught up with the iPad Pro.

The 11-inch model still has to make do with the same Liquid Retina LCD display it’s had for a few years now, but the 12.9-inch version has the Liquid Retina XDR panel that was first introduced on the iPad Pro M1. as of May 2021 This display uses a mini-LED backlight to deliver 2,596 local dimming zones to deliver wide dynamic range and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. It also has up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and a peak brightness of 1,600 nits when playing HDR content, which can really make movies pop.

Apple iPad Pro (2022)

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

There’s nothing new about the screen this year, but it’s worth pointing out how good it is. Both iPad Pro models also have the ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate; P3 wide color gamut support; a fully laminated screen on the front glass; and an anti-reflective coating.

Just like last year, the iPad Pro has an ultra-wide 12-megapixel front camera that supports Face ID authentication. This wide-angle camera supports Center Stage, which crops and zooms around your face to keep you in the middle of the frame during a video call. That’s all well and good, but unfortunately the iPad Pro still has its front-facing camera on the portrait edge of the screen, which means you’ll still be a little off center and not looking directly at the screen if your iPad is in a keyboard docking station. This has been true for all iPads for years already, but now that the base model has a landscape-facing camera, we’ll be looking forward to Apple implementing it across its entire lineup.

The rear cameras are also the same: there are 12-megapixel wide and 10-megapixel ultra-wide options, as well as a flash and LIDAR scanner. However, the M2 processor unlocks a new video trick, as the iPad Pro can now record video in Apple’s ProRes codec in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, a feature first introduced in the iPhone 13 Pro. . This is admittedly a niche feature, but it shows the improvements of the M2 over its predecessor.

Apple iPad Pro (2022)

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget


Accessories-wise, the iPad Pro uses the same 2nd-generation Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard that have been available since 2018 and 2020, respectively. The Magic Keyboard still offers the best typing experience you’ll find on an iPad, although the whole package is quite heavy. It’s also crazy expensive, as I mentioned before. And now that the base iPad’s new Magic Keyboard Folio offers a row of function keys and a slightly larger trackpad, I really miss those features here. But if you make your living with words, like me, it’s still an essential tool.

The Apple Pencil remains a tool I’m not particularly good at evaluating, as I’m sorely lacking in visual arts skills. I really wish I could sit down and draw and doodle and make the wonderful creations I’ve seen others do, but I just can’t. If you’re a visual artist, chances are you already know how well the pencil works.

The new iPad Pro M2 has also enabled a new trick called Hover. If the pen is within 12mm of the screen, icons and interface elements may react to it. The simplest example is how app icons increase in size when you hover over the pencil, showing you what you’re about to type. It works system-wide, at least in Apple apps. Third-party developers will need to integrate Hover functionality into their apps, but it should be a nice new tool in the Pencil’s arsenal. One place I was able to demonstrate this was in the Notes app; when using the new watercolor brush, you can swipe the pencil across the screen to see how the color will react with other elements you’ve already drawn.

I found another cool implementation of Hover in the excellent image editing app Pixelmator Photo. Hovering and moving the pencil over a strip of different filters at the bottom of the app automatically applies them as a preview. It’s incredibly fast and a fun way to see what your photo will look like. That said, it’s something you could already do with the trackpad and pointer; Many hover actions I’ve seen so far are direct clones of what you can do when hovering over an interface element with the trackpad. I can’t wait to see what the developers come up with in the future, though.

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