It is simpler to evaluate the new iPad Pro than it is to review the basic iPad. The iPad has been changed. The M1 chip was used to power the minor iteration of the iPad Pro. With M2 Macs out in the wild, Apple decided its best tablets needed one as well.

The most significant change here is the new chip. The design, screen, cameras, storage options, and price are the same. The iPad Pro was already an outstanding device and the display Apple introduced on last year's 12.9-inch model is still an outstanding display. There are a couple new tricks here, like the Apple Pencil and the ability to shoot video in Apple's ProRes codec, but by and large this iPad Pro isn't geared towards people who purchased the M1 model. It was just a case of Apple flexing its muscles by making the most powerful, spare-no-expense tablets that it could.

I can say that the new iPad Pro is much more responsive than my personal 11-inch iPad Pro from 2020 and the new iPad I have been testing. The M2 power of the iPad Pro makes it respond to everything in less than a second. The same thing can be said about the M1 iPad Pro.

Apple iPad Pro (2022) with Magic Keyboard

In a demo last week, Apple showed how the new iPad Pro can handle applications like the upcoming DaVinci Resolve and Octane X. It was easy to see how responsive the new iPad Pro was in the demo when it was used to edit frames from an 8K video.

I can tell you that the new Stage Manager multitasking feature in iPadOS 16 is working better on the new iPad Pro than it did on the previous model. My needs are modest, but I never had an app crash where I was thrown back to the Home Screen. Stage Manager was turned off by default in iPadOS 16 but was enabled out of the box in a sign that Apple was confident.

I feel like the experience of using it on any iPad smaller than the 12.9-inch Pro is not going to be much better because of how Stage Manager decides what apps show up on the left side switcher. It is a welcome change, but I am not sure if that is due to software or hardware.

If you own an Apple Pencil, the M2 will let you use a new feature called hover. The name suggests that the iPad Pro can detect when the Pencil is less than 12mm from the screen. If you hold the Pencil over the apps in your dock or on the home screen, the one that the Pencil is over will zoom in to show you what you want. The same thing happens when you use the trackpad to move the pointer over an app. It is not the most important trick, but it is an example of what can be done. This trick doesn't really change the experience of the iPad, it's just a trick that needs to be built into the apps for it to be useful.

Apple iPad Pro (2022)

I was able to see a few uses for it. When you hover the pencil over the screen, you will get a preview of the color you want. You can see how the watercolor interacts with your existing sketch by hovering the pencil over it. In a demo of Procreate, hovering the pencil over a project brings the animation to life or shows a 3D view of your creation. I am curious to see how developers implement it since it doesn't have an essential use case yet.

Most of what we said about the iPad Pro is still applicable here. The screen is one of the best we have seen on any device, the Pencil and Magic Keyboard are great add-ons, but iPadOS 16 still feels like it sometimes holds back the hardware here. I will be doing more detailed performance testing over the next few days to see how the M2 compares to the M1, and we already have a good idea of how that will play out. I'm pretty sure that people who own the M1 iPad Pro don't need to upgrade. If you push your iPad Pro to the limit, these new models will offer a significant upgrade.