Apple iPad Pro (2022) and iPad (2022) – The best tablet after?

Apple iPad (2022)

Summary

With the iPad (2022), Apple breathes new life into the iPad-without-suffix with a renewed design. The tablet has a colorfast screen, good system performance, and extensive, long-supported software. Unfortunately, the battery life has deteriorated compared to its predecessor. Compared to more expensive models, it is also stripped down; the screen has lower contrast, poorer color coverage, and a non-laminated design for poorer viewing angles. The entry-level iPad also fits lesser accessories, such as the outdated first-generation Apple Pencil that has to be charged in an awkward way, and a less attractive keyboard. All that is so far if the iPad (2022) had remained a real entry-level model. However, the starting price of 589 euros rising to almost 1000 euros for the most expensive version is at odds with that.

Pros

  • The display is bright and colorfast…
  • New design with USB-C and stereo speakers
  • Wide range of tablet apps, long-term support
  • The good front camera in the long bezel

Cons

  • …but not laminated, so fewer viewing angles
  • Worse battery life than predecessor
  • Only supports first-generation Apple Pencil
  • Much more expensive than the predecessor

 

Apple iPad Pro (2022)

Summary

The iPad Pro (2022) 12.9″ is the best tablet you can buy right now, but the question is whether it’s a good buy. It’s much more expensive than the iPad Pro (2021), which is already very much in demand. price. In addition, the innovations compared to the old model are limited. The 2022 model has an even faster soc and the handy hover trick, which comes in handy if you use the Apple Pencil. Both are nice to have and can make a difference for certain users. The iPad Pro (2021) was also incredibly fast and had almost the same specifications, including the advanced mini LED screen with excellent HDR image quality. The new Stage Manager in iPadOS 16 with the ability to open apps in windows as well as extend the image to an external monitor will also come to the old device.

Pros

  • Fantastic mini led screen
  • Very fast M2 soc
  • Supports Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4
  • Excellent loudspeakers
  • Wide range of tablet apps, long-term support

Cons

  • Much more expensive than the predecessor, very pricey anyway
  • The front camera still next to screen in landscape mode
  • Moderate display response times

 

After the big iPhone introduction took place in September, Apple often uses the fall to introduce a few other products, just in time for the holidays. A bunch of new Macs based on Apple’s new M2 soc were expected this October, but things turned out differently. The fall of 2022 only brings two new tablets: the iPad (2022) and iPad Pro (2022).

The iPad Pro is the pinnacle of Apple’s tablet lineup, and in some ways so fast and advanced it’s almost ridiculous. The iPad Pro (2021) was already the fastest tablet on the market and in the 2022 model Apple has placed an even better soc: the M2, which you can also find in recent MacBooks .finds. The large 12.9″ model that is the subject of this review still has the ultra-progressive mini LED display with over 10,000 LEDs, superfast Wi-Fi 6E, 5G and Thunderbolt connections, and an almost insane 16GB of ram and up to 2TB of storage. All that hardware is processed in a slice of glass and aluminum that is super thin at 6.4 mm. That may cost a bit. The price increases that Apple is implementing in Europe this year have not passed the iPad Pro by either. last year you still had a 5G variant with the same storage capacity as a WiFi model this year. The most expensive top model even breaks the 3000 euro limit.

Better ‘budget model’

Despite the hardware power of Apple’s flagship tablet, the new suffix-less iPad is more interesting. The cheapest series of the fruit brand has led a bit of a languishing existence in recent years, with a dated-looking housing being patched up a bit with a slightly less old soc, some new software, and here and there a new feature from one of the more expensive models. The iPad (2021) was the very last Apple device to have a physical home button, an old-fashioned one that you can still really press. Another relic of the past is the 3.5mm connection, which you will only find on Macs.

With the iPad (2022), Apple finally brings its entry-level model up to date, by providing it with the new design that has been successively rolled out in the Pro, Air, and mini-series in recent years. That means a more compact and thinner housing containing a screen with nicely rounded corners. The panel is surrounded by a narrow, symmetrical screen border without a home button. At first glance, the iPad (2022) looks very similar to the iPad Air (2022)of this spring. Unfortunately, the price is also accordingly, which is a bit at odds with the positioning as an entry-level model. Even the cheapest iPad (2022) is sold for no less than 589 euros. If you order a more luxurious version and also a few accessories, for example the new Magic Keyboard Folio, you will easily lose more than 1000 euros.

At 10.9″, the screen of the iPad (2022) is exactly the same size as that of the iPad Air (2022). So it is most similar, but there are a few smaller and larger differences, mainly to the detriment of the iPad (2022). The budget model is just a centimeter wider and just as much longer, because the edge around the screen is slightly wider. In real life, you only see it when both devices are next to each other. What you can also notice is the increased thickness. At 7mm, the iPad (2022) is certainly not a thick tablet, but Apple’s other tablets with the new design are thinner. It is positive that the tablet also feels a bit firmer. If you hold the iPad Air (2022) with both hands If you try to bend back and forth, you clearly feel that the device gives way and you even hear it creak a bit, which does not happen so quickly with the iPad (2022).

Apple iPad 2021 Apple iPad 2022 Apple iPad Air 2022
Screen LCD (ips), 10.2″
2160×1620, 265ppi (4:3)
60Hz, sRGB color gamut
Compatible with Apple Pencil 1
Unlaminated
LCD (ips), 10.9″
2360×1640, 264ppi (10:7)
60Hz, sRGB color gamut
Compatible with Apple Pencil 1
Unlaminated
LCD (ips), 10.9″
2360×1640, 264ppi (10:7)
60Hz, DCI-P3 color gamut
Compatible with Apple Pencil 2
Format (lxwxh) 250.6×174.1×7.5mm 248.6×179.5x7mm 247.6×178.5×6.1mm
Weight (Wi-Fi) 487g 477g 458g
Authentication Touch ID (home button) Touch ID
(side)
Touch ID
(side)
Loudspeakers stereo (portrait) Stereo (Landscape) Stereo (Landscape)
ports Lightning
Smart Conn. (side)
3.5mm jack
USB-C
Smart Conn. (side)
USB-C
Smart Conn. (rear end)
Front Camera 12Mp f/2.4 (your)
Short Edge
12Mp f/2.4 (your)
Long Edge
12Mp f/2.4 (your)
Short Edge
rear camera 8MP f/2.4 12MP f/1.8 12MP f/1.8

 

The reason for the thicker housing is the non-laminated screen of the iPad (2022). As with the previous budget iPads, there is again a bit of space between the glass on the front and the LCD panel below. Not only does that sound cheap, with a loud ‘tock’ when you tap the screen; the space between the glass and panel causes internal reflections, making the screen less readable in ambient light. Especially if you view the screen at an angle, the contrast decreases sharply compared to the iPad Air and other, more expensive iPads, where the screen is neatly laminated.

If we look at the buttons and connections along the edge, it is striking that the iPad (2022), like the other iPads with the new design, does not have a 3.5 mm connection, which the iPad (2021) does have. The familiar Lightning port has to make way for USB-C. At the top right, as with the iPad Air, is the power button with built-in Touch ID function, with the volume buttons at the top right. Like the iPad mini, Air, and Pro, the iPad (2022) have speakers on both short sides of the device for stereo sound in landscape mode. The iPad (2021) only has speakers on the bottom, so all the sound comes from one side if you hold it horizontally. The speakers of the iPad (2022) produce a great sound and can also be nice and loud. They are probably not as good as those of the Pro models.

The bezel around the screen continues uninterrupted, just like with the other iPads with the new design. There is a front camera hidden in it, the usual 12-megapixel copy with an ultra-wide-angle lens with an angle of view of 122 degrees. New is the position in the long side. As a result, the iPad (2022) gives you a better picture in video calls than the iPad Air and more expensive models, where the camera is in the short side. In addition, it seems to your interlocutor as if you are talking past him or her. On the back of the iPad (2022) is a 12-megapixel camera without flash, just like the iPad Air; the iPad (2021) has another 8-megapixel copy.

Clumsy pen, muggy keyboard

You’ve probably already seen it somewhere on the internet; where you can use the second-generation Apple Pencil with other iPads with the new design, which magnetically sticks to the side of those tablets and charges, with the iPad (2022) you are sentenced to the first-generation Pencil. It’s no less accurate than the second one, but with its smooth housing it’s just a little less nice to hold and if you drop it, it easily rolls away because it doesn’t have a flat side. You don’t store it that easy either.

Apple’s old Pen has a Lightning connector for charging it, hidden under the easy-to-lose cap opposite the tip. That will be difficult since the iPad (2022) no longer has it. The solution is an adapter from Lightning to USB-C, which you can possibly buy for a tenner if you already have the Pencil. If you now purchase a new pen, the attachment is included as standard. To charge the Pencil, first plug the charging cable into your iPad, followed by the adapter to which you can then connect the Pencil again. For a brand that prides itself on sleek design, that looks downright clumsy. The Pencil, disappointingly, cannot be used while charging.

Like the other iPads of recent years, except for the iPad mini, the iPad (2022) has a keyboard connector. It fits the Magic Keyboard Folio, a new accessory, especially for the iPad (2022) that costs no less than 299 euros. In addition to the Magic Keyboard for Apple’s more expensive tablets, with its beautiful design where the tablet seems to float above the keys, the ‘magic’ Folio cover has a much more Muggle -like feel . When unfolded, the tablet simply rests on its side, with a fold-out kickstand on the other part of the cover to prevent it from tipping over. When closed, the cover and tablet can easily slide relative to each other. The Magic Keyboard has a much firmer hinge and therefore stays in place better.

Although the keys of the Magic Keyboard Folio are not backlit, they provide the same feedback as the “real” Magic Keyboard. That feedback is comparable to that of a laptop and a lot more pleasant than with the keyboards that Apple sold with the iPad (2021) and earlier models. The cover also has an integrated touchpad, which can be slightly larger than the Magic Keyboard due to the lack of a floating construction. For that reason, the Folio cover also has an extra row of function keys.

Screen with downgrades

The new design of the iPad (2022) fits a new display, which, as mentioned, has the same diagonal as the iPad Air (2022). The resolution of 2360×1640 pixels and the refresh rate of 60Hz of the IPS LCD is also the same, although the screen of the budget iPad has somewhat rounder corners to match the thicker screen edge. In addition to the lesser pen support and the non-laminated design, Apple has given the iPad (2022) a further downgrade compared to more expensive iPads; the color gamut remains limited to about 96 percent of sRGB. This is particularly striking because almost all other current Apple equipment with a screen in it supports the larger DCI-P3 range and therefore also offers full sRGB coverage.

With our X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter and Portait Displays Calman Ultimate analysis software, we measure a maximum brightness of just over 500cd/m², neatly within specifications. The contrast of about 1000:1 is in line with what you can expect from this panel type, but it is a lot lower than that of the iPad Air (2022). Together with the lesser viewing angle and lower color coverage, this results in a visibly duller image. Apple has fine-tuned the screen as well. The exemplary low average color and gray error indicates a deviation that is not visible to the human eye.

Like all other current iPads, the iPad (2022) supports True Tone. By means of a color sensor, the screen can automatically adjust its color temperature to the ambient light, which is nice to have. Reading a book or web page with a white background makes the screen look a bit more papery.

iPad Pro (2022): case and screen

Little had changed in the design of the iPad Pro (2021) compared to its predecessor and with the iPad Pro (2022) nothing changes at all on the outside. There are still an 11″ and 12.9″ models, of which we have only tested the largest version. Both are exactly the same size as their predecessors, weigh the same, have the same ports and connections, and you can use the same accessories. Even the colors available are no different from last year. Where Apple’s cheaper iPads come in a range of cheerful pastel shades, the Pro iPads have a more sober color scheme: dark gray or silver.

Although there are rumors that Apple is preparing an even larger tablet , the 12.9″ iPad Pro is also a nice whopper. Not that there is much empty space around. The screen bezel of the Pros is even slightly narrower than that of the iPad Air. That is also the reason that the 11″ model of the iPad Pro can offer a 0.1″ larger screen diagonal within an equally large housing as the Air. The tablets are also very thin, even only 5.9 mm at the 11″ model and still 6.4mm on the 12.9″ variant. While the thing doesn’t feel fragile, it seems better not to bend it too hard.

At 682g, the iPad Pro 12.9″ is clearly heavier than the average tablet. It’s also significantly lighter than the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 , which weighs around 880g. Windows convertibles are often much heavier, but that comparison isn’t quite right. honestly, because they often also have a built-in keyboard. If you put the iPad Pro 12.9″ in the accompanying Magic Keyboard, which costs another 430 euros on top of the tablet, the total weight is 1380g. That’s comparable to a light Windows convertible and it’s even more than Apple’s own MacBook Air M2 , which weighs 1230g. As mentioned, the Magic Keyboard is a clearly nicer and sturdier keyboard than the Folio keyboard on the iPad (2022). It also has an extra USB-C port.

Apple iPad Pro 2022/2021 (11″) Apple iPad Pro 2022/2021 (12.9″)
Screen LCD (ips), 11″
2388×1668, 265ppi (10:7)
120Hz, DCI-P3 color gamut
Compatible with Apple Pencil 2 +hover*
MiniLED LCD (ips), 12.9″
2732×2048, 265ppi (4:3)
120Hz, DCI-P3 color gamut
Compatible with Apple Pencil 2 +hover*
HDR display (1600cd/m² peak)
Format (lxwxh) 247.6×178.5×5.9mm 280.6×214.9×6.4mm
Weight (Wi-Fi) 466g 682g
Authentication FaceID FaceID
Loudspeakers Stereo (landscape and portrait) Stereo (landscape and portrait)
ports Thunderbolt 4
Smart Connector (back)
Thunderbolt 4
Smart Connector (back)
Front Camera 12Mp f/2.4 (your)
Short Edge
12Mp f/2.4 (your)
Short Edge
rear camera 12Mp f/1.8
10Mp f/2.4 (your)
Lidar
12Mp f/1.8
10Mp f/2.4 (your)
Lidar

*2022 model only

For those who missed the reviews of recent years, a small recap of the buttons and connections all around. The power button and volume buttons are in the same places as on the iPad (2022) and iPad Air (2022), but a fingerprint scanner is missing. In addition to the same 12-megapixel front camera with ultra-wide angle lens, the bezel of the iPad Pro also contains the necessary hardware for facial recognition. Face ID works the same as it does on your iPhone, except you may have to be careful that your finger isn’t in front of the lens when you hold it horizontally. For that reason too, it would have been nice if Apple had moved the front camera to the long side, just like with the iPad (2022). That will probably happen in the next generation.

Just like the cheaper iPads, there are four openings for the speakers around the edge of the iPad Pro (2022), but the Pro model produces a louder, nicer sounding sound with much more bass and spaciousness. The single USB-C port supports Thunderbolt 3, so you can connect an external monitor to your iPad or use the iPad itself as an external monitor with your Mac, via Apple Sidecar. Support for external monitors in iOS and apps has expanded over the years, from simply cloning the tablet screen to apps that can show something different on the second screen than the tablet screen. An example is the preview of a video you are editing. With iOS 16 you can now also show a windowed desktop on the second screen via the new Stage Manager feature. More about that on the page ‘Software: iOS 16’.

There are two cameras on the back of the iPad Pro (2022), with a 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera in addition to a 12-megapixel primary camera. A lidar scanner is also available for AR applications. New are the improved Smart HDR implementation (version 4, as with the iPhone 13 series) and the ability to record videos in the ProRes format, thanks to the new encoder in the M2-soc. The question is why you would want to do that on a tablet that has significantly worse camera hardware and is less easy to hold than a phone. It is also salient that you still need a third-party app to be able to record videos in Apple’s own codec.

Mini LED screen that recognizes your pen

Last year, with the iPad Pro (2021) 12.9″, Apple introduced the innovative mini LED screen that is illuminated by more than 10,000 LEDs, divided into 2596 independently dimmable zones. The Liquid Retina XDR display is still one of the most advanced screens available and is of course also present on this year’s model. Unfortunately, with the 11 “iPad Pro 2022 you still have to make do with a normal IPS LCD without mini LEDs, which is not suitable for HDR.

Whether you have an 11″ or 12.9″ iPad Pro 2022, they both have the only screen innovation this year. Via a new coprocessor in the M2 chip, they already recognize the Apple Pencil 2 when it hovers up to 12 mm above the screen. That is nice to have for certain applications. For example, in a drawing program, you can see a preview of the size of your brush stroke so that you can adjust it before you start drawing. Similar to the mouse cursor, you see icons and buttons interacting with your pen throughout the interface.

HDR content literally and figuratively looks stunning on the mini-LED screen of our 12.9″ test model. This is due to the fine-meshed local dimming, which enables a particularly high contrast, but the panel also offers a high peak brightness: 1600cd/m² on a small part of the image and 1000cd/m² if the entire screen should be white. You can argue whether an OLED panel is even better for HDR reproduction because of its pixel-perfect dimming, where you sometimes see some blooming on the iPad screen However, OLED panels of this size do not achieve such a high brightness.

We performed our measurements using standard dynamic range test patterns. The color reproduction is neatly adjusted, just like with the iPad (2022). Local dimming is always active with our test model equipped with mini LEDs so that the contrast is infinitely high; where the image should be black, the lights are off. In SDR, Apple promises a maximum brightness of 600cd/m² and the tablet also achieves this. Perhaps the next version could also be even brighter for SDR content, but it’s not like the competition is doing much better. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra shows small white areas in SDR brighter but drops back below the iPad Pro 2022 for a completely white screen.

As in years past, the iPad Pro 2022 has support for a 120Hz refresh rate in both sizes, which Apple calls ProMotion. That’s all well and good, but response times are noticeably slow, with a trail of fading pixels behind objects moving across the screen. Unfortunately, iPads and Macs have suffered from that problem for years. With a better overdrive adjustment, a motion should be able to look a lot sharper on an LCD. Or with any kind of overdrive at all, judging by how the iPad screen looks.

Software: iPad OS 16

The iPad (2022) and iPad Pro (2022) both run the new iPadOS 16.1 out of the box. That will also be available again for many of the older iPads. The oldest is the very first generation iPad Pro, which dates back to 2015. The 2017 model of the ‘regular’ iPad still receives the new software. Based on the same support period, you can expect updates with the new devices until 2027 and 2029. Samsung gives its 2022 high-end tablets four OS upgrades and five years of security updates, doing almost as well as Apple, but other tablet manufacturers often don’t give updates for that long. Among them is even Microsoft, where you must have at least a Surface Pro 6 (2019) to be able to run Windows 11, at least officially.

iPadOS 16 offers some of the same features as its smartphone counterpart iOS 16. The nicest one is the ability to automatically cut out the subject from a photo with a simple long tap. You can then copy the image directly to another app to, for example, insert a picture in your digital notepad or use your funny face as a sticker in WhatsApp. Also new is the Weather app, which iPhones have had for a long time, but not the iPad. It offers all the functions that you can also use on your smartphones, such as a ten-day forecast, rain radar, and air quality index. Smaller novelties are the shared iCloud photo library and the ability to retrieve messages and emails after sending and changing them.

Compared to Android, iPadOS offers a more extensive software ecosystem with apps that can take full advantage of the possibilities offered by Apple’s tablets. For example, there are some good drawing programs and video editing program DaVinci Resolve coming later this year, which can really put your device’s SOC to the test. Compared to Windows and macOS, the app offering is not necessarily better.

Stage Manager: windows on your iPad

The biggest change in iPadOS 16 is one that’s only being made available for the more expensive tablets: the ability to view apps in windows for easier multitasking. Apple calls it Stage Manager. The function is built around virtual desktops (stages) on which up to four app windows can be displayed at the same time. Via the strip, a 3d bar on the left side of the screen, you can switch stages and if you drag windows to it, they disappear from the scene.

Stage Manager works exclusively on iPad Pro tablets from 2018 and the iPad Air 2022. The iPad Pro 2021, iPad Air 2022, and iPad Pro 2022, which have an M1 or M2 soc, can also extend the image to an external monitor, to show up to eight programs side by side at the same time. Showing Stage Manager only on the second screen and not on the iPad screen doesn’t seem possible.

On a suitable iPad, for example our iPad Pro 2022 test model, it is also still possible to use the old multitasking interface in iOS, where apps can be displayed in split screen or slide-over view. It will also remain available on iPads without Stage Manager, such as the iPad (2022). If you have the right device, you can switch on the new display via an icon on the control panel. If you then open an app, only the dock remains, the bar with stages appears on the left and the rest of the interface becomes a vague blur.

Stage Manager works differently than the Windows or macOS window environment, and “different” doesn’t always mean “better.” For example, apps in Stage Manager do not have a traditional title bar with the familiar three buttons, but a menu for closing or maximizing, which is opened with the three dots in the top center. Closing an app, therefore, requires an extra action each time. For some reason, dragging a window larger or smaller can only be done from one of the bottom corners, with the ever-changing ‘correct’ corner being helpfully indicated with a small arc.

Where it is crystal clear in Windows and macOS what happens when you drag or resize a window, with Stage Manager it is always a surprise what happens to your workspace. You have little freedom to choose how large windows are and where they are placed. Stage Manager arranges the windows in a row, possibly moving other windows for you. A further complication is the strip, which sometimes accidentally swallows a window and minimizes it towards a new stage when you only wanted to put it on the left side of your existing workspace. Obvious combinations are not possible. For example, you can’t put four windows in a grid with one app in each corner. The interface wastes quite a lot of space on padding. It is not possible to place windows tightly against each other and with several windows next to each other, the edges of the screen must also remain empty. The dock and strip can be hidden if desired. If you also want to display it, even the spacious panel of Apple’s largest iPad feels cramped.

Perhaps the typical behavior of Stage Manager is an expression of Apple’s habitual urge to take users by the hand. He was also probably born out of necessity. IPadOS never supported windows before, and apps weren’t designed to be freely scalable. Apple apparently didn’t feel like asking its developers to update apps specifically. This way you can only choose from a number of predefined heights and widths for each window, which also depends on the app you happen to use. We encountered apps that barely rescalable, while most of Apple’s own system apps offer about five different heights and widths.

In addition to window management, the way you open new apps and find open apps can also be improved. As far as the second is concerned, the 3D overview of the comic looks nice, but it is not so clear and also requires an unnecessary amount of space on the screen. Apparently, Apple itself has also recognized this. Tapping an icon in the dock will show you where all open windows of that app are located on all different stages. If you still want a new window, it can work to drag the icon to the desktop. However, if the app is already open somewhere, you may get that open window in front of you.

Another instinct: the option ‘Add new window’ in the menu of each window is not primarily intended to open an extra window of the same app, but instead you can add any window to your current stage. What is also striking is what happens when you close all windows of a certain workspace. You will then not be redirected to another stage that is still open but will return straight to the home screen, from where you will first have to open another app to return to the Stage Manager overview.

In short, Stage Manager is a concept with a lot of potentials. It’s about time Apple’s Pro iPads got such a window management system that brings the experience closer to a laptop. The possibility to make full use of a second screen is also significant. However, the interface seems unfinished at this point. Apparently, it’s quite something that the feature made it at all for this release; iPadOS 16 only came out a month after iOS 16, where both normally appear at the same time. The cause is rumored to be the extra work that Stage Manager generated. During the beta period that took place this summer, Stage Manager was heavily criticized for its limited compatibility with older models of iPads, and for the lack of stability and other bugs that existed at the time.

More screen space

A slightly hidden new feature that goes nicely with the Stage Manager is the ability to adjust the display scaling. It works on all models that also support Stage Manager, so not vice versa, for example, on the iPad (2022). You can find the function in the display menu, where you can choose from ‘More space’ and ‘Larger text’ in addition to the standard view. Only the first option is available on eligible iPads with an 11″ or 10.9″ screen. Although the iPad warns that it must restart when switching modes, this is not the case. Only the apps need to be reloaded.

Funnily enough, ‘More space’ doesn’t actually offer more space for app icons on your home screen, for example. In the Stage Manager view or within apps, the function does what it promises. All text and UI elements appear smaller, fitting more on the screen. This makes working with different windows feel less cramped. Despite the space-wasting interface, two windows fit comfortably next to each other on the large screen of the 12.9″ iPad. The sharpness of course decreases slightly in this view, also because the interface is no longer scaled exactly 2x to the physical resolution of the screen.

System performance and battery life

The iPad (2022) has an A14 Bionic soc, which is equipped with six CPU cores, two of which are fast and four of which are economical. The GPU has four computing cores. The A14 is a generation newer than the A13 in the iPad (2021), while the iPad Air (2020) and the iPhone 12 series have exactly the same chip. So it’s not exactly the latest news. Nevertheless, the performance is good. With an eye on the scores in benchmark apps, the performance of the GPU part is about the same level as that of the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which powers Samsung’s Tab S8 series. The CPU is even a bit faster. With the exception of Windows tablets with an Intel processor, other tablets often have an even slower soc. The iPad (2022) therefore mainly faces competition from Apple’s more expensive tablets.

Unlike the iPad Air (2020) and also the iPad (2021), the iPad (2022) optionally has 5G. All versions have 4GB of ram, a gigabyte more than the iPad (2021). There are again two storage variants, with a disappointingly tight 64GB as an entry. Even budget tablets nowadays often have 128GB storage and the iPad (2022) is not exactly that. The table below lists all prices, with the additional price compared to the iPad (2021) next to it. Apple’s new entry-level model is much more expensive than its predecessor. That even applies in the US, and here in Europe there will be a sharp exchange rate correction on top of that.

Perhaps because the new iPad is so much more expensive, Apple is keeping the 2021 model in its range. At the same time, the suggested retail price of the old model has also increased. That is why there are always two additional prices in the overview. The last of which is relative to the current suggested retail price.

Wi-Fi only Wi-Fi+5G
64GB € 589 (+ € 200 / + € 150)* € 789 (+ € 260 / + € 180)
256GB € 789 (+ € 230 / + € 150) € 989 (+ € 290 / + € 180)

*Additional price compared to introduction price / currently recommended price iPad (2021)

Perhaps even more interesting than the price difference between the iPad (2021) and iPad (2022) is what you pay compared to the iPad Air (2022) or iPad Air (2020). Before the recent price increase, the Air (2022), depending on the variant, was only about 100 euros more expensive than what the iPad (2022) costs now. According to the current suggested retail price, the price difference is around 200 euros, but you can still find it for less. The iPad Air (2020) is also available here and there and in some variants, it costs only a tenner more than the iPad (2022). Although the Air (2020) is a lot older, cannot support 5G and has a lesser front camera, it has the same A14 soc as the new iPad. The further version is more luxurious, with a thinner housing, a laminated and more colorful display and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil.

iPad Pro: M2’s tablet debut

With the iPad Pro (2022), Apple’s new M2 soc makes its debut in a tablet. It was previously found in this year’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Like the M1, the M2 has eight CPU cores, with the same configuration of four fast and four slower efficient cores. These are reportedly based on the same microarchitecture as the A15 processor in current iPhones, where the M1 was based on the A14 soc. The M2 in the iPad Pro is configured with the fastest possible 10-core GPU.

The M1 soc in the iPad Pro (2021) was already ridiculously fast. The M2 is a bit faster, but the difference isn’t as big as that between the M1 and the A-socs that were in the previous generations of iPad Pro. Judging by the more extensive tests we previously ran on the MacBook Air and Pro, the CPU part is about 10 percent faster and the GPU performance increases by about 35 percent. The M2 also has some specific upgrades that come in handy in certain situations. For example, the hardware encoder supports 8k and ProRes material. If you work with that, the iPad Pro (2022) will be able to work both much faster and much more economical than its predecessor. If you do not have such a specific task in mind, then the M1 will soon be fed up.

The iPad Pro, as mentioned earlier, is available in two sizes. Both have storage variants ranging from 128GB to 2TB. As with the other iPads, there are WiFi-only versions (6E, with the Pro 2022) and models with a 5G modem. As a result, there are twenty different configurations for sale, the prices of which are shown in the table below. You will notice that the 1TB and 2TB variants are also equipped with a generous 16GB of RAM. You’ll have to do your best to fill that up since apps have only been able to use more than 5GB of RAM since iPadOS 15. In addition, iPadOS 16 has the new option to allocate part of the storage memory as a swap, so that the 8GB models can also use more memory if necessary. Exceptions are the 128GB models, which also have another hidden limitation; as with the 128GB iPhone Pro devices, ProRes video recording does not work in 4k resolution on these devices.

11 inches 12.9 inches
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi+5G Wi-Fi Wi-Fi+5G
128GB/8GB €1069 € 1269,- € 1469,- € 1669,-
256GB/8GB € 1199,- € 1399,- €1599 € 1799,-
512GB/8GB € 1449,- € 1649,- € 1849,- € 2049,-
1TB/16GB € 1949,- € 2149,- € 2349,- € 2549,-
2TB/16GB € 2449,- € 2649,- € 2849,- € 3049,-

As with the iPad (2022) and other Apple equipment from this year, prices have risen sharply. That means, for example, that the 128GB entry-level models without 5G cost the same as the 5G variant of the same model last year. Higher storage variants have become extra expensive, so in the case of the absolute top model, the 2TB iPad Pro 12.9 “with 5G, the magical limit of 3000 euros is exceeded.

Apple immediately removed the iPad Pro (2021) from the range of its webshop when it introduced the iPad Pro (2022). Although stocks are decreasing, you can still buy certain storage variants of the old model from other parties. You pay the then-recommended retail price or sometimes even a little less, which saves hundreds of euros compared to a new iPad Pro (2022).

Battery life and charging

The iPad Pro (2022) has the same battery capacity as last year in both screen sizes: 28.65 and 40.88 Wh for the 11″ and 12.9″ variants, respectively. The iPad (2022) has the same size battery as the small iPad Pro and the iPad Air (2022). It is therefore slightly smaller than the previous model, which has a 32.4 Wh battery.

With its smaller battery, it’s no surprise that the iPad (2022) doesn’t score as well as its predecessor in battery tests. That was a model with above-average battery life in the line-up and the 2022 model scores below average. The difference in our three tests ranges from 12 percent in the video test to over 20 percent in the other two benchmarks. The endurance of the iPad (2022) is therefore back to about the level of the iPad (2019). In view of the Android tablets in the graph, the run time is not bad if you look purely at the browsing time. For video, the compared Android tablets last a lot longer, because they have an OLED screen that uses less power under those circumstances.

The iPad Pro 12.9″ (2022) scores about the same as its predecessor in the 4G browsing test. It does slightly better in the video test, but a lot worse in the WiFi browsing test. You can still use it for light tasks, such as simulated by these tests, it will last for a while. If you kick the iPad Pro on its tail, the battery life could be shorter. In the reviews of the MacBook Air and Pro with M2, it appeared earlier that the new chip can be less economical The iPad Pro 12.9″ also contains a beautiful mini LED screen that invites you to view HDR content, which also consumes extra power.

To recharge, both iPads come with a 20W charger and a nice, braided USB-C cable, which is very short at 1m. The loading speed is not impressive compared to the average smartphone, but not bad for a tablet. It is striking that, despite its much smaller battery, the iPad (2022) needs exactly the same 2 hours and 20 minutes as the iPad Pro (2022) before it is full. The new entry-level iPad also doesn’t load any faster than the 2021 model.

Conclusion

The iPad (2022) and iPad Pro (2022) are both beautiful and capable tablets. They have a thin housing with a modern look, a bright screen with excellent color reproduction, and offer excellent system performance within their weight class. Add to that iPadOS with its extensive app ecosystem for tablet use and long updates, a battery life of about 10 hours with light use, and good speakers, cameras and accessories. The iPad (2022) is therefore the best entry-level iPad Apple has ever made, and the iPad Pro (2022) is even the best tablet you can buy right now, which is why it deserves our Ultimate award, just like its predecessor. Still, both products have a pretty big problem. They are very expensive compared to previous iPads, with the iPad (2022) even experiencing competition from existing alternatives in the range.

With the iPad (2022), Apple is giving the entry-level iPad a new start. Secretly, the new model is a cross between the iPad Air (2020) and iPad Air (2022), but then further stripped down on a few strategic points. You can see that especially on the screen; not only does it have lower contrast and poorer color coverage, resulting in faded colors, but it is also unlaminated. For example, the viewing angles in high ambient light are also worse. Lesser accessories also fit the ‘cheap’ iPad. You have to make do with support for Apple’s outdated first-generation Pencil, which has to be charged in a ridiculous way with a cable and an adapter. The Magic Keyboard Folio also falls short of the Magic Keyboard on the more expensive iPads. Positive is the moved front camera, which is located on the long side of the iPad (2022), which gives a better perspective for video calls. Hopefully, that will follow soon with more iPads.

Due to the starting price of 589 euros rising to almost 1000 euros for the most expensive version, you can hardly call the iPad (2022) an entry-level model. If you just need a simple iPad, it is better to buy the old model. If you do want a more luxurious device, it is much more interesting to go for an iPad Air (2022) or Air (2020) if you can still find it somewhere. Both have a better screen, somewhat more compact housing, and support for better accessories. The 2020 model has the same A14 soc as the iPad (2022), a lesser front camera and no 5G option, and costs about the same. Compared to the iPad (2022), the Air (2022) is about 100 to 200 euros more expensive and does have 5G and a good camera, plus a twice as fast soc, which also enables the new Stage Manager view.

The Stage Manager is one of the attractions on the new iPad Pro (2022), although it is not exclusive to this device; you can also use it with previous iPad Pros. The ability to use apps in windows, as well as extend the view to an external monitor, offers great potential for the future. Traditionally, the powerful iPad Pro has been held back mainly by limited software. Stage Manager brings the future closer in which a tablet like this can really serve as a laptop replacement. We’re not there yet; the current interface feels far from complete.

In addition to new software, the iPad Pro (2022) has an even faster soc compared to its predecessor and the handy hover trick, which comes in handy when you use the Apple Pencil. Both are nice to have and can make a difference for certain users. However, considering the whole, they do not add much. The iPad Pro (2021) was also incredibly fast and had almost the same specifications, including the progressive mini-LED screen with its excellent HDR image quality. Given the price difference of a few hundred euros, we would buy the old model while it is still in stock.