Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Review: Big Tablet Moves toM2 Processor
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Review: Slim and Powerful
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Review: Apple’s Big Tablet Moves to M2 Processor
Slim and powerful. Apple has moved its largest tablet to a modern M2 processor. In general, the changes compared to its predecessor are minimal.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is a qualitatively different level among tablets. The 12.9-inch screen not only provides a maximum usable area for realizing the user’s ideas but also features state-of-the-art mini-LED technology. Add here a branded keyboard stand with a stylus and the tablet turns into a real laptop based on the powerful Apple M2 processor. True, all these advantages have their price – in the case of the new model of 2022, increased.
For review, we got the junior configuration, which costs $1099. The cost of all tablet configurations:
|Built-in memory||Price (Wi-Fi version)||Price (5G version)|
Apple iPad Pro 12.9:
CPU: Apple M2 8 x 2.4 – 3.5 GHz
Graphics adapter: Apple M2 10-Core GPU
RAM: 8 GB
Display:12.90 in. 4:3, 2732 x 2048 pix. 265 ppi, capacitive, Liquid Retina XDR Display, Mini-LED, 1.8% reflectivity, glossy: yes, HDR, 120 Hz
Data storage: 128 GB NVMe, 128 GB, 112.9 GB free
The weight: is 682 g, power adapter: is 70 g
Price: 1449 euros
Links: Apple – manufacturer’s website
Attention: Different samples of the same model often use different components! (AUO matrix instead of BOE, Hynix memory instead of Samsung, SATA storage instead of PCIe, …)
Design and Features
Despite its huge size, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) is very thin and therefore easy to handle. Among the rivals we have chosen, it is the heaviest, but in practice, it does not feel cumbersome at all. An interesting fact: six iPhone 14 Pro can fit on the screen of this model.
The quality of materials and assembly of the case is first-class. Aluminum gives the feeling of a premium device, there are no gaps at the joints of the parts. The tablet is slightly deformed when twisting and trying to bend, while the crunching of parts is barely audible.
The updated iPad Pro 12.9 lacks any protection against moisture and dust. Apple failed to optimize the production processes of the 6th generation of the model because the tablet did not become more environmentally friendly, like its younger compatriots. The report cited a reduction in output energy efficiency as well as an increase in carbon footprint for the 2TB model. At the same time, all other configurations have reduced carbon emissions. As with the new iPad 10, recycled gold is used in the production of internal components.
Apple has left many of the tablet’s specs unchanged, as the list is already impressive. The model supports USB 4 and Thunderbolt 3 with a bandwidth of up to 40 Gb / s, as well as a wired connection to external monitors.
The 2022 release now supports Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E. To connect a branded keyboard, the magnetized Smart Connector pad on the rear panel is still used. The branded stylus of the second generation is also attached to the body of the tablet using magnets (on one of the side faces).
The sixth-generation Apple iPad Pro 12.9 runs iPadOS 16.1 out of the box, and our sample was updated to version 16.1.1 during testing. Unfortunately, we are forced to state that the new operating system from Apple is not yet capable of completely replacing macOS. And although Apple itself is positioning the iPad 12.9 as a laptop replacement, in practice this is true only in some scenarios. Most of all, iPad Pro is convenient for drawing – together with a stylus for such tasks, it is much more convenient than a laptop.
The current iPadOS is still devoid of third-party apps out of the box, and the iPad Pro 12.9 itself will continue to receive updates for a long time. While Apple doesn’t state this officially anywhere, the standard update release cycle is 5 years.
Wireless and Navigation
One of the innovations in the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) is support for Wi-Fi 6E (6 GHz network). In tests with our reference Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 router, data transfer rates were significantly lower than expected – the younger iPad Pro 11 had a much better result.
The Wi-Fi model does not support GPS, so Wi-Fi signals, a digital compass and iBeacons are used to determine the location. Quite naturally, all this is not enough for an accurate and reliable determination of real coordinates.
The front camera of the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 received a 12-megapixel camera with a wide viewing angle (122 °), support for Smart HDR 4, and the ability to shoot Full HD video at a frequency of 60 fps.
On the back, there is a 12MP main camera and a 10MP ultra wide-angle camera. The white balance is adjusted so that the picture is warmer and the pictures look good overall. Detailing is at a fairly good level, without oversharp. However, when shooting from a long distance, the detail is significantly reduced, and noise is noticeable on large monochrome objects or against the background. An ultra-wide-angle camera has typical drawbacks: blurring at the corners of the frame, and not too wide a viewing angle. Be that as it may, by the standards of tablets, the camera is excellent and, like in the previous model, is supplemented with a LiDAR sensor.
The main camera supports shooting video in resolutions up to 4K at frame rates up to 60 fps, as well as in Apple ProRes format (up to 4K at 30 fps). Please note that Apple Enhanced Format shooting is limited to 1080p at 30fps on the 128GB model.
Interactive comparison of photo samples
How do different models shoot the same subject? Click (smartphone) or hover (computer) over the desired part of the picture to meticulously examine it in the windows below. By clicking on any of them, the corresponding frame can be opened in full size.
Under controlled lighting, the iPad Pro 12.9 camera delivers true-to-life colors. The white balance, as our subjective feelings suggested, is shifted towards warmer shades; black is more like grey.
In the picture of the test table, the sharpness is very high in the center of the frame but decreases closer to the edges.
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 provides good readability outdoors, however, in sunny weather, the visibility of the image may deteriorate as the SDR brightness is not high enough. Anti-glare coating significantly reduces the intensity of reflections on the screen surface.
The viewing angles of the mini-LED screen are excellent, even at the maximum deviation from the central axis, the image is not distorted.
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) is based on the Apple M2 chip and has 8 GB of RAM. Configurations with 1 and 2 TB of internal memory are equipped with 16 GB of RAM. That is, purely in terms of characteristics, the new iPad Pro corresponds to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
According to the benchmarks, the iPad Pro 12.9 is indeed similar to the two named laptops (including Geekbench). The performance increase over its predecessor is 11% in single-threaded workloads and 16% in multi-threaded workloads.
The new iPad Pro is in a different league when it comes to Android rivals.