Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well.
The iPad Pro M2 appeals to a small segment of the population this year – those who have an older iPad or who want to add more portability to their working lives, but the majority of people are probably wondering “Is that it?” when it comes to this year’s iPad Pro.
After 200 hours with this iPad Pro M2, and working from it alongside my MacBook, here’s my full review and honest opinion on who will benefit the most from this new iPad.
Let’s start with a rundown of everything new on the iPad Pro M2.
We have a new M2 chip that is said to be 15% faster than the M1 chip.
We now have Wi-Fi 6E with speeds of up to 2.4Gbps, which means that if you have a fast internet connection at home, the iPad Pro will be able to fully utilize it.
We also have this cool new Apple Pencil Hover trick, which is both fun and useful.
Then, for the first time, but very controversially, it now supports ProRes video recording. I couldn’t even use this feature natively in the camera app, and after some research, it appears that we currently require a third-party app to use ProRes video recording.
I believe this is a bug that will hopefully be fixed in future iPadOS updates, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt here!
We don’t get touch ID like on the iPad Air, but if the iPad Pro is the only iPad with face ID, I suppose having both would be redundant.
Because of the small number of changes, I believe it would be far more interesting to compare the new iPad Pro M2 to previous generations of the iPad rather than the previous iPad Pro M1.
Everyone knows the new 8-core M2 Processor is fantastic in Macbooks, and the new iPad Pro is no exception.
It scored 1,886 on the single-core test and 8,451 on the multi-core test on a GeekBench 5 test. So, for the most part, Apple’s claims about performance are accurate!
In comparison, the iPad Pro 5th Generation with A12X Chip scored 1,126 for single-core testing and 4,678 for multi-core testing. As a result, there has been a significant generational leap in performance from the A12.
The 2022 iPad Air, which has the M1 chip, scored 1,711 single core points and 6987 multicore points.
The new iPad Pro delivers top-tier performance as well as significantly improved graphical performance.
It’s worth noting that my base MacBook M2 Air scored 1,899 on the Single Core CPU test and 7651 on the Multicore CPU test. In terms of this specific benchmark performance, it’s really interesting to see that the MacBook M2 Air is almost at par with the iPad Pro M2 itself. This also begs the question of whether users should purchase the MacBook Air M2, which I’ll address later.
And, while this is great for professionals who rely on their iPads for work, the incremental performance boost is not a game changer.
iPad OS 16
And this brings me to iPad OS16, which, as good as it is, does not take advantage of the insane M2 power.
Even with its hiccups during beta, Stage Manager shows the potential of the iPad OS16 in taking it to the next level, as well as its multitasking capability if the iPad OS is transformed.
I’d prefer to see a bespoke operating system designed specifically for the iPad and iPad only, rather than one based on iOS. That’s when I believe we’ll see it perform as a true multitasking experience comparable to most laptops.
The M1 chip is already an extremely powerful chip, with only a few people utilizing its full potential. The M2’s increased power is a nice-to-have, not a must-have.
This would be drastically different if we had a custom operating system capable of running desktop-level apps like Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, or even Blender on an iPad Pro.
That being said, there’s no denying the M2 processor is powerful, and those coming from previous generations of the iPad Pro or even other lines of the iPad will be impressed.
It’s worth noting that there have been no visual changes to its form factor this year. It’s still as premium as ever and looks fantastic.
The 12.9-inch model has a brighter and higher contrast Liquid Retina XDR mini LED display, while the 11-inch model has the same display but with 120Hz ProMotion refresh capability.
If you have to choose between the two, go with the 12.9-inch model, especially if you’re working with apps like ProCreate on the iPad Pro. The brighter display is going to make a difference in your workflow.
Apple Pencil Hover
The Apple Pencil Gen 2 is unquestionably the must-have accessory for the iPad Pro M2.
It costs $129 but is well worth it.
Yes, it’s aimed at creatives and digital artists, but you can use it to mark up documents and jot down notes if you prefer a traditional notepad and pencil setup.
Although there are no changes to the Pencil itself, we do get a cool new feature called Apple Pencil Hover, which is extremely useful for graphic designers and illustrators.
It shows you where you’re pointing your Apple Pencil without touching the screen, as the name suggests.
We can now write, sketch, and illustrate with greater freedom because we can anticipate how watercolors will mix, for example.
You can even see widgets and apps expand on the home screen as you move your cursor over them.
It works by emitting an electromagnetic signal from the tip of the Apple Pencil, and as long as it’s 12mm away from the screen, it’ll be detected in a hover state.
It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a very useful tool for creatives, if a little gimmicky for everyday users.
iPad Pro M2 or MacBook?
With the addition of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, you have an incredibly powerful portable device that, if not for the operating system, rivals a laptop.
It begs the question for those considering an upgrade: iPad Pro M2 or MacBook?
I believe it’s a no-brainer: if you’re an illustrator or graphic designer who relies solely on an iPad and ProCreate, the new iPad Pro M2 is the iPad to get.
If you’re like everyone else, I’d recommend getting a MacBook Air M2 if you want M2 power in a portable package just for the dedicated keyboard and the Mac operating system.
This is especially true when you consider that the price difference between the base MacBook Air M2 and the iPad Pro M2 12.9 inch is only $100.
There’s not much else to say about the new iPad Pro M2.
It’s excellent for what it is, and it’s the best overall.
However, at a time when Apple’s new processors are so capable, people can find more long-term value in them than ever before. There aren’t many people who need to upgrade every year.
If you already own an M1 device or an iPad Pro M1, your mileage may vary with the iPad Pro M2.
If you’re upgrading from a significantly older iPad, such as my 4th Generation iPad Pro with the A15 chip, then I’d say now is a great time to do so.