iPad Pro 2022 (M2) hands-on review

We take an early look at Apple's newly updated flagship tablet, the iPad Pro 2022.

Someone holding an iPad Pro 2022 over a wooden desk
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (M2) builds on its predecessor in terms of power and outstanding display. Add iPadOS 16 to the mix and you've got something very special. Question is, is it enough to warrant an upgrade?

For

  • Incredible display
  • Amazing Apple Pencil experience

Against

  • Most expensive Apple tablet

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Well before the iPad Pro 2022 arrived, back in May 2021, Apple wowed us with its all-new M1 iPad Pro. The release saw the tech giant's flagship tablet boast the power of a desktop PC and a new mini-LED-powered XDR screen, both of which have helped cement it as arguably the world's most flexible creative tool. So when I heard news of a 2022 version coming, I had to wonder how on earth Apple could top it. 

But this is Apple, right? And they've done just that, upgrading the silicon chip from an M1 to an M2 (more on what that means later), and upgrading the screen to, unbelievably, something even better. Sounds impressive, right? As the most expensive tablet in the Apple range, it should be. The real question is whether all the improvements are enough to make you part with your hard-earned cash. 

I've only had my hands on the iPad Pro 2022 for a couple of days now, so am still working to discover its full potential. What I will say, is everything I've seen so far is a significant step up from the 2021 model, and there are already some standout features I want to talk about. The score rating here is an initial assessment, and may well change over the next week when I will be updating this article regularly –  so stay tuned for a more in-depth review coming soon.

If you're already certain this is the device for you, it's available to pre-order today. Find out how in our guide to the best iPad Pro 2022 prices and deals article. Think you need a different model? Head over to our iPad generations guide for details of every tablet in the Apple range. 

iPad Pro 2022 review: Price and power

The iPad Pro 2022 12.9-inch model starts at $1,099 / £1,249. While the starting price hasn't changed in the US, there is a pretty significant price jump in the UK in comparison to the 2021 model, which last year started at just £999. 

In terms of performance, this is where it seems the bulk of the focus lies with, once again, the biggest change happening under the hood. I'll be honest, I'd be lying if I said I fully understood the capabilities of Apple's M2 chip (does anyone, really?). One thing I do know, however, is it's wild and if it was possible (or even needed, one might argue) the new iPad Pro is capable of even more when it comes to performance. Now enabling support for ProRes video capture, it's basically like having a complete film studio with you wherever you go.

iPad Pro on a desk with a drawing of an eye on the screen

The iPad Pro 2022 offers a truly astounding visual experience. (Image credit: Future)

iPad Pro 2022 review: Liquid Retina XDR display

I could sit here and write down all the technical information about the new iPad Pro 2022 Liquid Retina XDR display, but if you're anything like me, what you want to know is what does all that techy stuff translate to when you're using it. Well, my friends, let me tell you that it's a thing of beauty, truly. 

I spent time working in Procreate, taking photos and watching movies with the new iPad Pro over the last few days, and it offers a truly astounding visual experience. The accuracy is impeccable, and colour quality and high resolution enables you to work with and see the tiniest of details. 

If you're a creative professional, it's hard to think of another device that would be better suited to you. The iPad Pro 2022 has all the power (and more) of a high-end laptop, a camera built, the most beautiful and responsive canvas for artwork, a battery life that will easily last you all day and is modest enough in weight that it's still very comfortably portable.

someone holding Apple Pencil over iPad Pro

iPad Pro's new Apple Pencil hover function shows exactly where the stylus will touch down on the display. (Image credit: Future)

iPad Pro review: Apple Pencil hover

As expected, the new iPad Pro supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, and the dynamic duo has an entirely new feature – Apple Pencil hover. Move the stylus with 12mm and electromagnetic signals emitted from the tip are detected by the screen. M2 then interprets those signals to determine the position of the Apple Pencil. Clever stuff indeed. But how does it work in practice? 

It's actually quite hard to judge this right now because for it to work with a lot of third-party apps will require developer support. I can't see that this will take long, certainly with the likes of Procreate and other creative apps, and if it works as it should, there are some really obvious benefits here. 

At the moment, the hover function responds well to system elements, such as app icons, buttons and menu lists, but Apple will need developers to jump on board with this (which we're sure they will) in order to do more specific tasks, such as controlling brush size in Procreate. Right now, it doesn't add a huge amount of value, however, it's a feature that offers a lot of opportunity so I'm excited to see how it evolves over the next 12 months.   

Over the next week, I will test the new iPad Pro 2022 further and will update this article with more details, so be sure to bookmark this page to find out exactly what Apple's latest flagship tablet is capable of. 

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The Verdict
8

out of 10

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2022)

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (M2) builds on its predecessor in terms of power and outstanding display. Add iPadOS 16 to the mix and you've got something very special. Question is, is it enough to warrant an upgrade?

Kerrie Hughes is Editor at Creative Bloq. One of the original CB crew, Kerrie joined the team back in 2013 after moving from her role as staff writer on 3D World. Since then she's written regularly for other creative publications. Kerrie's work for Creative Bloq involves managing the team and the site's content, developing and maintaining commercial partnerships, and finding innovative ways to bring Creative Bloq's audience the content they're looking for.