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


  • iPadOS 16.1’s new multitasking feature
  • Strong performance


  • iPadOS 16.1’s new multitasking feature

The 2022 iPad Pro is powered by the most powerful Apple Silicon Processor, the new Apple Pencil brand for creatives and note-takers, and the same starting price of $799 or $1,099 as its predecessor for the 11-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro, resp.

But, as has been the high-end offering in Apple’s tablet line for several years now, the real story here is the software. There is even more pressure on Apple this year, adding Stage Manager, a new approach to multitasking on the iPad with the launch of iPadOS 16.1.

A few days ago, I used the 12.9 inch version of the 2022 edition iPad Pro, complete with 1TB of storage, 16GB of memory, and the Apple M2 Apple Silicon. I need more time to get the full picture here (it’s complicated), but I have some initial thoughts.


iPad Pro (2022)
Processor Silicon Lake M2
To show 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with Promotion and True Tone
Memory 8GB or 16GB
I store it 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
back cameras 12MP wide, 10MP ultrawide
In front of the camera 12MP TrueDepth FaceTime
Fight 10 hours
Connectivity USB-C Lightning/USB-4
Operating system iPadOS 16.1
The colors Space gray, silver

Apple iPad Pro 2022 in wood floor

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

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

The hardware for the iPad continues to dominate the software. However, with the addition of Stage Manager in iPadOS 16.1 and real external monitor support due before the end of the year, iPad Pro users have more hope than ever that the iPad will be cornered.

In my first hands-on preview of iPadOS 16, I wrote that the update has fundamentally changed the way my iPad Pro works. For the better; and I stand by it. I promised Apple the benefit of the doubt that the issues I experienced in the first test were bugs in the young beta and that by the time the official release arrived, those bugs would be ironed out. Until it was not said.

For those who aren’t familiar, Stage Manager brings resizable windows and the ability to have four apps open simultaneously with the iPad Pro and iPad Air.

External monitor support doubles the number of running apps to eight, four on each screen, but it was pulled from the official release of iPadOS 16.1 so Apple could focus on fixing all the weird and flaky issues Stage Manager was hit with in the first round.

I’ll hold off on more thoughts about Stage Manager now, but I will say that Stage Manager is full of little moments of brilliance where you get to know and see the vision of what Apple is all about.

Also: Apple’s worst product is one of its best

For example, when using the Mail app, I triple click on my inbox and hit Command-R on the keyboard to reply to a message, a new window pops up from my browser, floating over the browser app, ready for my input. I can move around that window, close it or minimize it, just like windows apps on my Mac.

However, there is no doubt that Stage Manager in its current form is far from perfect. I think Apple will take it on a cautious foot, though.

But I digress. So far, the M2 handles iPad Pro, Stage Manager and typical tasks without any issues. That said, I had no personal complaints M1 iPad Properformance s. Actually, at one point in the last couple of days, I mistakenly picked up an iPad Pro thinking it was an M2 iPad Pro (identified on the design) and used it for an hour or so, the whole time wondering whether the boost effect was suddenly a placebo effect or not.

Turns out, it was.

Apple iPad Pro 2022

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The Apple Pencil is a nice feature

Aside from the iPad Pro now coming with Apple’s M2 Silicon Processor, there’s not a whole lot that’s new with the 2022 models. And if you’re an Apple Pencil user, you’ll notice that caution has been the subtlest addition yet in my experience.

There is a new coprocessor on the M2 chip that is dedicated to handling the interactions of the second generation Apple Pencil. Monitors approach the end of the Pencil to the iPad Pro display, and since it’s within 12 millimeters, parts of the interface come to life in apps that support the new hovering feature.

In the app’s features that means you’ll see a small preview of what the selected device will look like once you put the tip of the pencil to the screen. In my case, when using the pen tool, a small black dot wraps around the Pen movement above the display. In apps that support this feature, you can also hover the Apple Pencil over the screen and double-tap gestures to take additional actions.

Sometimes it was obvious to me – like when in the notes app – but other times, I didn’t notice it at all. For example, when writing on the iPad using Scribble, the text field is supposed to get bigger 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 things happen in the Attachments section, but not in places like Safari’s address bar where it would be useful. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong. I’ll keep the experience, 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 significant differences between it and the M1 iPad Pro last year. A couple of days of just testing time isn’t enough to pass a full judgment on the hardware and software that many, including yours truly, hope will endure on the iPad for years to come.


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