Apple is rarely content to leave well enough alone. A year ago, I thought each of the four Apple iPad tablets was well differentiated from the others, and it was fairly easy to see what features you got as you paid more. However, the new 10th-generation iPad throws a wrench in the works. It’s a complete redesign from last year’s model, borrowing heavily from the iPad Air while also introducing a few compromises in order to upsell potential customers on Apple’s more expensive tablets.
Apple’s latest Apple iPad Pro has one improvement over last year’s model: a new processor. This enables a new feature for the Apple Pencil while also being technically faster than the previous one.
Existing Apple iPad Pro owners can happily keep what they have and not miss much; if you’re thinking about buying a Pro this year, I recommend looking for a deal on last year’s models before committing to the cost of a brand-new one.
The iPad is, in fact, a computer. No, it is not yet a perfect laptop replacement. Even as the paths of the iPad and Mac continue to converge, the latest 2022 iPad Pro makes no attempt to be more laptop-like. Instead, the Pro, which was released alongside the new 10th-generation iPad, is positioned to be a better tool for artists who rely on the Apple Pencil stylus.
I’m not one of those artists, but I appreciate your offer. The new iPad Pro is essentially a spec bump, with a new M2 processor replacing the previous M1, as well as faster connectivity with Wi-Fi 6E and optional 5G now supporting faster mm-Wave bands than last year. I’ve only recently begun testing the new iPad Pro, so consider this a work in progress, and I’ll update it as testing progresses.
Unlike last year’s iPad, which resembled the basic tablet Apple has been selling since 2017, this year’s model has been completely redesigned. The Home button has been removed, Touch ID has been relocated to the lock button, the bezels have shrunk, the display has grown in size, the edges have been squared off, and the front-facing camera has been relocated to the iPad’s landscape edge. It’s a significant set of changes if you haven’t seen an iPad Pro or Air in the last few years.
Since 2018, Apple has been producing tablets with the majority of these design elements, so it’s not exactly a new look. While it is slightly thicker and larger than the iPad Air I reviewed earlier this year, it feels almost identical in the hand and has the same screen size.
The iPad Pro lineup is still priced the same as before, but it is expensive: The 12.9-inch model I reviewed starts at $1,099 (£1,249, AU$1,899) for 128GB of storage and goes up to $2,199 (£2,499, AU$3,829) for 2TB. The 5G version costs an extra $200, and accessories such as the Pencil 2 and keyboard cases raise the price even further. The most affordable 12.9-inch iPad Pro costs more than two 10th-generation iPad.
To be clear, the iPad Pro is a wonderful device. It’s lightning fast, has a slew of cameras, and its front and rear cameras have depth sensors that could be used for AR or 3D scanning if you’re into that sort of thing. The speakers and display are excellent, particularly on the 12.9-inch model.
The larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro is still the only new Pro with the nice Mini-LED display technology found in Apple’s latest MacBook Pros, so the 11-inch model may not be worth considering (the iPad Air, after all, also has an M1 processor). The iPad Pros, like the iPhone 13 Pro and 14 Pro, have 120Hz displays that use Apple’s ProMotion variable refresh rate technology, which feels really nice to scroll through and use — it’s just so smooth.
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