Comparison of screens
Let’s start with the screens. With the iPad Pro 2022 as with the iPad Pro 2021, Apple offers us two diagonals here. The most compact is limited to 11 inches against 12.9 inches for the largest. Apart from this? That’s all there is to know, because the manufacturer has no not at all improved the slab of its flagship tablets with the new generation. Too bad, but another asset still awaits users.
Processor and RAM
Indeed, the main difference between the iPad Pro 2021 and the iPad Pro 2022 is their chip. The first is equipped with an M1 processor, less efficient on paper than the M2 of the second. This is due to the addition of 100 GB/s of memory bandwidth, only on 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th generation) and 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation). No comparison possible between the RAM, however: it will be 8 or 16 GB of RAM under the hood with the four models.
In multicore benchmark with Geekbench 5, the iPad Pro M2 reaches 8,411 points against 7,300 points for the iPad Pro M1. The difference is also subtle with the single-core mode: 1,887 points for the iPad Pro 2022 against 1,708 points for the iPad Pro 2021.
With this, you should know that the iPad Pro M2 are the only ones to benefit from a hardware acceleration for ProRes formats and ProRes RAW. Therefore, professional shots are better with 2022 iPad Pros, regardless of size. Especially since an encoding and decoding engine dedicated again to ProRes is in the game. This is also not the case with the 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation).
No noticeable difference in terms of battery. Compared, those of the 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro obtain scores almost identical. Admittedly, we are quite far from the results obtained in the laboratory by Apple (up to ten hours). But without pushing the machine to its maximum and taking breaks, you will easily last half a day no matter which version you choose.
Connectivity and network: iPad Pro 2022 VS iPad Pro 2021
The 2022 iPad Pros are faster than the iPad Pro M1s when it comes to connecting to the web. And for good reason: their modem is compatible WiFi 6E, unlike the 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation). On the other hand, with the iPad Pro M2 you will not be able to surf without a box if only the networks GSM or Edge are accessible. Indeed, these two standards are no longer supported.
So of course, it is rather rare to come across areas that are not covered with 4G antennas, but it’s good to know. Especially for nomads who enjoy working in the countryside.
What about cameras?
Beyond the image processing features seen above, there are other camera hardware and software differences between iPad Pro M2 and iPad Pro M1. Smart HDR, in particular, goes from the third to the fourth generation. Moreover, it should be known that the ProRes videos in 4K on the back are only available with the iPad Pro 2022. Moreover, the technical specifications of the photo sensors are identical. To compare the front camera and the one installed on the back, here are the official figures (no difference between the 12.9-inch format and the 11-inch iPad Pro):
In the front
- twelve megapixels
- ƒ/2.4 aperture
- feature Centered frame for FaceTime
- portrait mode (bokeh effect)
- video stabilization
In the back
- Twelve-megapixel wide-angle with ƒ/1.8 aperture
- ten-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with ƒ/2.4 aperture
- 5x digital zoom
- LED flash
Of course, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 11-inch iPad Pro, whether models with M1 chip or M2 chip, are also equipped with a LiDAR radar. This measures distances and makes it possible to manage calculations for augmented reality more efficiently than without.
Few design differences
The 11-inch iPad Pro of 2022 loses two small grams on the scale. This is the only noticeable design difference with the 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation). Moreover, whether on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro or on the small model, the colors are the same, as are the mass and the dimensions. We also note that the antenna on the back of the iPad Pro 2022 is a little less visible than on the iPad Pro M1, but this is a detail that is not really important. Indeed, penetration remains at similar levels.
Durability of the 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro
Unfortunately, Apple still didn’t want to offer water-resistant tablets with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th generation) and 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation). Note also that the hull is made of aluminum and therefore quite malleable, so that it will always be necessary to protect it with silicone to avoid shocks on the M2 edition.
A bonus with the Apple Pencil on iPad Pro M2
Apple offers a branded accessory to go with your iPad Pro M2 or iPad Pro M1: the Apple Pencil. This stylus allows you to draw lines like on a real sheet of paper, with different pressure levels and perfect integration with iOS apps. However, only the second generation is compatible with iPad Pros, whether 11-inch or 12-inch.
If we compare the use on iPad Pro 2022 and on iPad Pro 2021, we notice that a functionality of the Pencil is only available on the new models. It’s about overview, which displays a small circle-shaped preview just below the pen tip before it hits the screen. Practical, especially to avoid errors or during a live presentation to remote colleagues. Before painting, the hover also allows you to see the watercolors mixing.
Hover is also not offered with the new tenth generation iPad which arrived at the same time as the iPad Pro M2. It is therefore a really differentiating advantage also against other Apple tablets.
No difference in keyboards either. You can choose a Magic Keyboard or a Smart Keyboard Folio on both iPad Pro M2 and iPad Pro M1. To compare the two modules, which connect via the Smart Connector, just look at them: the Smart Keyboard Folio does not offer any touchpad, while the Magic Keyboard has one.
Protect your iPad Pro
When we compare the protective covers of the iPad Pro M1 and the iPad Pro M2, we see above all that the products are compatible with both models Everytime. And for good reason: the dimensions, as we saw above, do not show any significant difference with the new generation. The price is around a hundred euros at Apple but you can find more affordable at the competition.
The same features
Photo processing differences aside, Apple hasn’t added any features on the iPad Pro M2 compared to the iPad Pro M1. Be aware, however, that the updates will in theory be supported longer with the iPad Pro 2022 because these are more recent. Presumably the 11-inch iPad Pro (4th Gen) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th Gen) will be safe this way until 2027 at worst, 2029 at best. For 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd Generation) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th Generation), maybe patches will be unavailable after 2026.
iPad Pro M1 VS iPad Pro M2: different prices
The prices of iPad Pro M2 and iPad Pro M1 really differ and according to several criteria. The first is the storage capacity: it starts at 128 GB for the most affordable models. We reach 2 TB in maximum configuration. The price is gradual: from 1,009 euros for an iPad Pro 2021 in 256 GB to 2,109 euros for the same model with 2 TB. With the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation) and 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation), we move on to even more expensive memory options. For example, to go from 256 GB to 2 TB, you have to add 1,250 euros to the bill here with the 12.9 inch.
This brings us to the second price criterion to compare: connectivity. Obtaining an iPad Pro M1 or an iPad Pro M2 with 5G costs 170 euros more on the 2021 editions. will not always be worth that of a second mobile hotspot. Finally, on the side of the size, idem: the price increase between iPad Pro M2 and iPad Pro M1 reaches 250 euros in 12.9 inches or 170 euros with 11 inches.
Conclusion: our opinion
For fairly slight differences between their two technical sheets, the iPad Pro 2022 are only not a measured investment compared to the iPad Pro 2021. In general, therefore, no need to upgrade to the M2 if you already have an M1 at home. But the ProRAW skills of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th Gen) and 11-inch iPad Pro (4th Gen) that are missing from older tablets are excellent. However, we know that some professionals appreciate the compact format of the iPad Pro to be able to edit their images on the fly.
As part of a search for the perfect shot, an iPad Pro M2 can therefore prevail against certain MacBooks. We also know that photographers need an up-to-date machine to support the latest processing software, which the iPad Pro M1 could miss more quickly. There are also applications that are no longer supported on iPad Pros released before the Apple silicon program, i.e. whose sale stopped less than two years ago. We are therefore not immune to other risks of this kind.
It is enough Too bad Apple didn’t boost battery life this year, so a possible iPad Pro M3 could be a game-changer with perhaps wireless charging. The iPad Pro M2 thus seem to pave the way for even more powerful tablets next year, which should also welcome many other assets expected for several months. These will ultimately not see the light of day. But a slimmer iPad Pro, an even faster power supply or even a 15-inch display should surely delight customers.
Finally, note that the M2 processor certainly offers higher performance, but with a new model, you will have to go for it with benchmarks to get to the bottom of it. It is therefore unlikely to see a data analyst or a designer pour out on such criteria unless he is looking for a more robust device, in which case a laptop will do.