iPad Pro (2022) review: I’m cautiously optimistic. Or foolish


  • A new feature of iPadOS 16.1’s multitasking
  • Solid performance


  • A new feature of iPadOS 16.1’s multitasking

The 2022 iPad Pro is powered by Apple’s most powerful Silicon processor, has a new Apple Pencil feature for creators and note takers, and has the same starting price of $799 or $1,099 as its predecessor the 11-inch iPad or 12.9-inch. Pro, respectively.

But, as has been the case with the flagship offering in Apple’s tablet lineup for several years now, the real story here is the software. There’s even more pressure for Apple to deliver this year with the addition of Stage Manager, a completely new way to multitask on the iPad with the launch of iPadOS 16.1.

For the past few days, I’ve been using the 12.9-inch version of the new 2022 iPad Pro, complete with 1TB of storage, 16GB of memory, and Apple’s M2 Apple Silicon. I need more time to grasp the full picture here (it’s complicated), but I have some initial thoughts.


iPad Pro (2022)
The processor Apple Silicon M2
Show 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion and True Tone
Memory 8GB or 16GB
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Rear cameras 12MP wide, 10MP ultrawide
Front camera 12MP TrueDepth FaceTime
Battery 10 hours
Communication USB-C Thunderbolt/USB-4
Operating system iPadOS 16.1
Colors Space gray, silver

Apple iPad Pro 2022 in wooden case

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but…

iPad Pro hardware continues to outpace software. Although, with the addition of Stage Manager in iPadOS 16.1 and real support for external monitoring due before the end of the year, iPad Pro users are more hopeful than ever that the iPad is about to turn around.

In my first look at iPadOS 16, I wrote that the update fundamentally changed the way I use my iPad Pro. For the better; and I stand by that. I admit that I gave Apple the benefit of the doubt that any issues I encountered during early testing were bugs in the small beta and that by the time the official release came, those bugs would have been resolved. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

For those unfamiliar, Stage Manager brings resizable windows and the ability to have four apps open simultaneously on the iPad Pro and iPad Air.

Support for external monitoring doubles the number of active applications to eight, four on each screen, but it was removed from the official release of iPadOS 16.1 so that Apple could focus on fixing all the strange and strange problems Stage Manager suffered from the beginning.

I’ll hold off on giving you any more thoughts about Stage Manager for now, but I will say that Stage Manager is full of little moments of genius, where you realize and see an idea of ​​what Apple was going to do.

Also: Apple’s worst product has become one of its best

For example, when I use the Mail app to check my inbox and hit Command-R on the keyboard to reply to a message, a new window pops up in my inbox, floating above the Mail app, ready for my input. I can move that window around, close or minimize it, just like an app window on my Mac.

However, there is no doubt that Stage Manager is far from perfect in its current form. I have high hopes that Apple will fix it, though.

But I’m sorry. So far, the M2 processor in the iPad Pro has handled Stage Manager and my normal workflow without problems. That being said, I had no performance complaints about myself M1 iPad Proto work. Actually, sometime during the last few days, I took my iPad Pro by mistake thinking it was an M2 iPad Pro (same in design) and used it for an hour or so, all the while questioning its performance. boost I just realized it was a placebo effect or not.

Turns out it was.

Apple iPad Pro 2022

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The rotation feature of the Apple Pencil is neat

Apart from the iPad Pro now coming with the M2 Apple Silicon processor, there isn’t much new for the 2022 model. That said, if you’re an Apple Pencil user, you’ll notice a trick that has, by far, been the most subtle addition during my usage.

There is a new coprocessor on the M2 chip dedicated to handling the interaction with the second generation Apple Pencil. It monitors the tip of the Pencil to get closer to the iPad Pro display, and if it’s within 12 millimeters, parts of the interface come to life in apps that support the new hover feature.

In the Notes app that means you’ll see a small preview of what the selected tool will look like once you’ve positioned the pencil title on the screen. In my case when I use the pen tool to write notes, a small black dot shows the movement of the pencil above the display. In apps that support this feature, you can even move the Apple Pencil across the screen and use the double-tap gesture to perform additional actions.

Sometimes, scrolling up is obvious — like when you’re in the Notes app — but other times, I didn’t notice it at all. For example, if you use the iPad’s Scribble feature the text field should be large as you write with the Pencil, then shrink back to its original size after you’re done writing and it’s converted to text. I’ve only seen that happen in the Messages app, but not in places like Safari’s address bar where it would help. Maybe I made a mistake. I’ll keep trying, though.

More to come

I really want to spend more time with the 2022 iPad Pro and the M2 chip to see if there are any noticeable differences between it and last year’s M1 iPad Pro. A few days of testing isn’t enough time to pass full judgment on the hardware and software that many, including yours truly, hope will set the pace for iPad travel for years to come.


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