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iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) Review

With a satirical edge and undertones of technology, gadgets and accessories, I aim to make my writing both informative and entertaining.

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iPad Pro 12.9 (2022)

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) is not a significant improvement over its predecessor, as it only adds more processing power to a tablet that was already capable of extreme processing power and hover-detection for the Apple Pencil. This latter feature is a nice addition that has been very well implemented, and it firmly establishes the iPad Pro as the go-to option for drawing tablets. Because of these updates, it will continue to be the most powerful tablet on the market, thanks in part to a screen that is still the best in its category, as well as a variety of software that is superior to anything else available on the market in terms of how well it fits the form factor.

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Price and Availability

  • Released on 26 October, 2022
  • Prices start from $1,099

The new iPad Pro 12.9-inch begins at $1,099 for the base model, which offers only 128GB of storage and no 5G wireless capability.

For a 'Pro' laptop, that's shockingly little storage space, but if you want additional space or to add 5G for lightning-fast wireless connectivity everywhere, you'll have to pay extra.


The Pro is available with several amounts of storage space, from 128GB to 2TB.

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Display and Apple Pencil

  • 2732x2048 12.9-inch mini-LED display
  • 1600nits peak HDR brightness; 1000nits fullscreen brightness
  • New 'Hover Over' feature for Apple Pencil 2nd Gen

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch is still the only Apple tablet with a mini-LED display. The term "XDR Display" is used by Apple to signify that the screen is similar to an HDR (high dynamic range) panel, but even more extreme.

The XDR Display is a high-contrast, high-resolution (2732x2048, 264 ppi) work of art that boasts stunningly vivid colors (thanks to support for the DCI-P3 color space) and brilliant contrast in HDR applications, as well as stunningly deep blacks regardless of the display technology being used.


With 1600nits of peak HDR brightness and 1000nits of fullscreen brightness in HDR applications, the iPad Pro's screen is far brighter than even the greatest OLED TVs, let alone OLED tablet displays.

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Camera

  • Same cameras as iPad Pro 2021
  • Center Stage is still a great feature

The only difference between this model and its predecessor is the addition of ProRes video recording. You get a 12MP wide-angle camera and a 10MP ultra-wide camera on the back, along with a LiDAR sensor for rapid auto-focus and 3D scanning in various apps.

This back camera is quite adequate, producing photographs with adequate brightness, contrast, excellent colors, and adequate detail.

The front-facing 12MP ultra-wide lens camera is used for Apple's Center Stage function. That implies the camera takes a narrower, more concentrated shot of the scene than it would have gotten with its full ultra-wide angle. As long as you stay within the ultra-field wide's of view, the camera will follow you wherever you go. It's a neat trick that detects when there's more than one person in the frame and makes the necessary adjustments.

In addition to taking Portrait Mode images (like the rear camera), the front-facing camera can also be used to unlock your iPad thanks to its built-in Face ID sensor.

The back camera can record at 4K 60 fps, but not in Dolby Vision HDR like more current iPhones. The front-facing camera can only record in 1080p HD at 60 frames per second. Still, the configuration doesn't feel as truly "pro" as the iPhone Pro models, even though the front camera looks amazing for video calls, especially when compared to practically all laptop cameras.

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Design

  • No real design change
  • Elegant and premium design
  • Positioning of Face ID camera is poor

Design-wise, the iPad Pro 12.9 hasn't evolved much from its predecessor. Space Grey and Silver are the only available colors; the iPad Air and iPad 10.2 no longer exist in any other vibrant hues .

It's still a beautiful piece of engineering; the huge display and slim chassis give it a light, airy sensation in the hands, and the quality of construction is flawless, as one would expect from Apple.

The bezels around the screen and the sides of the device aren't too wide, but we don't mind that they're slightly thicker than the bezels on the iPhone 14; after all, it's nice to have something to grip on such a big tablet.

The corners themselves are ever-so-slightly rounded, so even though the flat sides and right angles look like they could be difficult to hold, they actually aren't.

In addition to the volume controls, the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation magnetically attaches to one of the flat edges, denoting the charging spot. There is a charging USB-C port on one of the shorter sides, as well as two speaker vents indicated by dots.

The sleep/wake button (which may also be activated by pressing the screen) and two more speaker vents are located on the other short edge.

The only significant issue we have with the design is the front-facing camera, which also houses the Face ID technology, being located on this narrow edge. Having the iPad Pro's camera on one of the shorter edges makes it difficult to perform Face ID when holding the tablet because it is typically under your hand when you are in landscape orientation. Either that, or the arm reaching over to touch the screen covers it up.

The iPad's position is ideal when it's propped up in a holder, like the Magic Keyboard case, on a desk, but it's inherently awkward for any other kind of tablet use. Apple repositioned the camera on the new low-cost iPad 10.2 (2022) so that it would be more effective in landscape orientation, but for some reason decided to leave it in the same place here.

The iPad's Smart Connector, which allows it to be attached to certain types of keyboards, is located on the back alongside a little hump for the camera (which is shallow enough that it doesn't matter much when the iPad is laid flat; it doesn't rock when you're sketching or writing on it).

Even now, if you're willing to spend as much on a keyboard case as you would on an entire (cheaper) iPad, the Magic Keyboard by Apple is the best option. The iPad can be propped up at a variety of angles while being held securely by the Magic Keyboard, making it feel like you're typing on something of the highest quality (though we wish it offered a wider range of angles). However, it tends to pick up scuffs on the outside somewhat too easily in bags and the such, so it can end up looking much less quality over time.

However, the Magic Keyboard is quite bulky and hefty, doubling the dimensions and weight of the iPad. The iPad's weight advantage over the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) drops significantly as you add it.

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Specs and Performance

  • Massively powerful Apple M2 chip
  • Almost impossible to make it stutter
  • Cameras are good, but no real upgrade

It should come as no surprise that the M2 chip is the primary topic of discussion here; it is an incredible beast. It has an eight-core central processing unit, with four cores optimized for high speed performance and four cores optimized for low energy consumption.

This is accompanied by 8GB of RAM in the version with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage space, and 16GB of RAM in the version with 1TB or 2TB of storage space. And there is a 10-core GPU that can access all of that memory as if it were its own, with a massive memory bandwidth of 100 gigabytes per second.

This new faster Wi-Fi variation actually hides its data from the rest of the network, to ensure stable and incredibly fast rates. The addition of Wi-Fi 6E is a great touch, for those working in a wireless environment that supports it. In addition, there is support for 5G, which has the potential to reach hundreds of megabits per second, just like the 2021 Pro.

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Software

  • iPadOS 16 comes pre-installed
  • Stage Manager works well on large iPad Pro screen
  • Apple Pencil hover feature is impressive

iOS 15.1 is preinstalled on the new iPad Pro. Stage Manager is the most noticeable update to iPadOS, but before we dive in, it's important to note that it's not the default and can only be enabled via the Settings > Home Screen & Multitasking menu.

Stage Manager appears to be an attempt to bring iPadOS closer to the windowed multitasking of macOS, where programs are not as limited in position and size as they are in the Split View and Slide Over multitasking modes that iPadOS formerly employed (or still does, if you don't use Stage Manager). Applications can coexist in several, overlapping windows, which can be adjusted to any size within a predefined range determined by an invisible snapping grid.

Several excellent new minor features have been included in iPadOS 16. The Weather app and its forecasting capabilities are also much-appreciated additions, as is the Mail app's ability to send messages at predetermined times (and accompanying weather widgets selection).

If you use iMessage for work in addition to personal communication, you may find the option to edit and unsend messages very helpful.

Apple Pencil 'Hover' functionality has been included in iPadOS 16. And in the near future, Apple will release Freeform, a novel collaborative note-making tool.

Despite this, iPadOS remains a fascinating blend of impressive strengths and irritating weaknesses. Its app store is far ahead of the competition, with a wide variety of high-powered, touch-friendly apps that make the most of the tablet's screen real estate.

And the iPad's operating system is still quite polished and trustworthy (barring Stage Manager's quirks). Handoff (which lets you shift a task you're in the middle of between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac) and Sidecar are just two examples of the seamless connection with Apple's services and other devices (which enables your iPad Pro to be a second display for your Mac, with touch controls).


I continue to believe that iPadOS is a fantastic platform in general; nevertheless, I would advise anyone interested in using it for professional purposes to do so with their eyes wide open.

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Battery Life

  • Up to 10 hours, officially
  • Around 6 hours of HDR video in our tests
  • Any hard use will drop it much faster

As is customary for Apple, the company claims that the iPad Pro (2022) will have a battery life of up to ten hours when used for basic tasks such as watching videos and browsing the internet. In the past, we have stated that Apple's projections are on the low end of the spectrum.

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Verdict

The new iPad Pro 2022 has left me with mixed feelings. From an objective standpoint, it's a well-made tablet that lives up to Apple's high standards for its premium iPads. Video viewing, gaming, online conferencing, web surfing, content creation, and creation of other media are all as effective as ever. The tablet's M2 processor should make it reasonably future-proof. You can't really find any fault with the iPad Pro, and it's a fantastic choice for those looking to upgrade to a Pro tablet for the first time.

This tablet, however, is not standalone. If you already have the iPad Pro from the previous year, you don't have to upgrade unless you plan on doing professional-level design or video editing. In addition to the iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2022 is a fantastic choice for many people because of its high performance and low price.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Maina Wilson