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Apple iPad Pro (2022) review: The best iPad gets even bit better

Published Oct 24th, 2022 9:00AM EDT
Apple iPad Pro
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

The iPad Pro is getting even better than it already was. Supercharged by new multitasking performance in iOS 16, new pro-level apps like the forthcoming DaVinci Resolve, and more, the M2 chip in the 2022 models of the iPad Pro is set to have more on its hands than ever.

The addition of the M2 is really the only major upgrade to the iPad Pro — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering the fact that the device keeps the same price point as before. Iterative updates are important too, and while those with a 2021 iPad Pro need not upgrade, those already in the market for Apple’s best tablet now get better performance than before. We’re reviewing the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with 1TB of storage and cellular connectivity.

Apple iPad Pro (2022)

Rating: 4.5 Stars
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Pros

  • Great design
  • Incredible performance
  • Stunning display
  • Good battery
  • Support for excellent accessories

Cons

  • Expensive

Apple iPad Pro (2022) design

The 2022 iPad Pro takes the already-premium design from last year’s model, and I’m fine with that. The iPad Pro looks and feels excellent, with a large display and just the right amount of bezel to hold the tablet while you’re using it. It’s still available in either Silver or Space Gray, and we’re reviewing the Silver model.

On the back of the device can be found the square camera module, with the dual camera found in previous models. On the sides, you’ll get the volume rocker, with the window for charging the second-generation Apple Pencil. On the bottom can be found the Thunderbolt 4 port. and on the top is the power button.

Apple iPad Pro DisplayImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Like before, the iPad Pro feels great in the hand. It’s clearly built from premium materials, and the 12.9-inch model is huge. Since getting it, I’ve been using it instead of my laptop, especially on the couch. There’s something to be said about having the floating display that much closer when using the tablet with the Magic Keyboard.

Apple iPad Pro (2022) display

Speaking of the display, it’s stunning. As mentioned, we’re reviewing the 12.9-inch model, which means that the device has a Liquid Retina XDR display, with Mini LED backlighting. I would have liked to see the Mini LED backlighting bleed down to the 11-inch model this year, but alas, buyers of the smaller tablet will have to do without it. It’s possible Apple will skip bringing Mini LED to the 11-inch model entirely, and simply jump to OLED screens on the iPad Pro. That would be great.

Regardless, the display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is bright, beautiful, and vibrant. Black-levels are very deep thanks to Mini LED, and doing anything on the device is a joy.

Apple iPad Pro (2022) performance

Performance is the biggest area in which the 2022 iPad Pro improves, jumping from the M1 to the M2. Now, in general jumping from the M1 to the M2 isn’t a huge improvement, but it is still notable.

Apple iPad Pro PortImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

To be clear, the last-generation iPad Pro was already a performance dream, and in day to day use, you won’t notice much of a difference on the new model over the last one. Apps still load incredibly quickly, multitasking is a breeze, and so on. Playing Genshin Impact was easy, and the game loaded quickly and without issues.

It seems as though the added performance is bringing some developers out of the woodwork too. DaVinci Resolve is coming to the device (but not Final Cut Pro), and at this point Adobe has brought most of its apps to M-series-equipped iPads.

Apple iPad Pro (2022) battery

The iPad Pro boasts an excellent battery life, too. The device was able to last through a full eight-hour workday with 23% to spare, and while I’m admittedly not the heaviest of users, mostly sticking to the browser, I still think that the device will offer more than enough battery for most. Apple claims the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will last 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or watching video, and that seems about right to me.

Apple iPad Pro BackImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The device can charge relatively quickly, and if you buy a faster charging brick than that in the box, you’ll get even faster charging. It still has a huge battery, so still can take a while to charge.

Apple iPad Pro (2022) camera

The cameras in the iPad Pro remain unchanged from last year. That means that you’ll still get the dual camera setup on the back, with one 12-megapixel main camera and one 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. On the front, you’ll get a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with support for Center Stage. That camera is still in the short edge, which isn’t as natural as it would be on the longer edge like on the standard iPad. But it’s possible that would impact charging for the Apple Pencil.

Regardless, the camera system on the iPad Pro is great. The device captures vibrant and bright images using the rear-facing camera, however they’re not quite as impressive as those on recent iPhone models. The front-facing camera works great for video calls, and Center Stage is good at tracking the subject of the image even with relatively heavy movement.

Apple iPad Pro CameraImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Apple iPad Pro (2022) software

The 2022 iPad Pro comes pre-loaded with iPadOS 16, which brings a number of new features to iPadOS — like support for the new Stage Manager feature. This feature has been somewhat controversial, thanks largely to its bugginess during development. In using a stable release of iPadOS 16 on the iPad Pro, I’ve found the feature to be much more stable when used on the main display of the iPad, and Apple has removed support for external displays beyond the mirrored and preview modes that it had before. It’s expected that it will bring extended display support to the iPad down the line at some point, but we don’t know when just yet.

On the M2 iPad Pro, you’ll also get a new feature called Apple Pencil Hover. This allows the device to know when your Pencil is close to the display, allowing you to do things like see previews of brush size, see where you’ll be writing on the display, and more. I’m not much of an artist, but it seems like a pretty sweet feature.

Overall, iPadOS is getting increasingly productive, and I hope that Apple continues to improve how it helps customers work on their devices.

Conclusions

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The 2022 iPad Pro may not be a huge improvement over last year, but it does still represent a step forward thanks to the inclusion of the M2 chip. If you have an M1 iPad Pro, you don’t need to upgrade to the M2 model — but if you were already in the market for an iPad Pro, then you can now get a more powerful one.

The competition

The biggest competition to the iPad Pro comes from the iPad Air, and the newly launched 10th Gen iPad. Most people do not need an iPad Pro. If you just want an iPad for basic day-to-day tasks, like watching videos and light gaming, the standard iPad is good enough. If you want some of those Pro features, like support for the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard, then the iPad Air is great. Only those that really want that extra bit of performance from the M2 chip should buy the iPad Pro.

Should I buy the Apple iPad Pro (2022)?

Yes, but only if you need the ultimate in iPad performance.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper was born in Canberra, Australia, where he lived until the age of 14. After his father got a job in Paris, France, Christian lived there for five years, after which he moved to Minnesota for college. During college, Christian developed a passion for consumer technology by writing for tech blogs. Christian now lives in sunny Santa Cruz, California.