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iPad Pro 2022 — 4 biggest rumored upgrades

A concept render of the iPad Pro 2022
(Image credit: MyDrivers)

The iPad Pro is the most desirable of all Apple’s tablets, and the good news is that's due another upgrade for 2022. Since the premium tablet was introduced alongside the Apple Pencil in 2015, a new version has appeared every year except 2019, and it looks like 2022 will be no exception.

But what upgrades can we expect from the iPad Pro 2022? Currently, there are four main areas that have been reported as getting a boost compared to the 2021 tablet, though there’s likely a lot more to come. 

We've sifted through the latest rumors to give you an overview of what you can expect from Apple's next iPad Pro.

Mini-LED for all 

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch

(Image credit: Future)

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro from 2021 introduced mini-LED screen technology, but the 11-inch version didn’t get the upgrade and persisted with the same IPS LCD as previous generations. It’s good, but it’s not as mindblowing as the panel on the larger model, especially when it comes to high-contrast HDR content.

That will change this year, according to the legendary Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who says that both models will adopt mini-LED this time around

As the name suggests, mini-LED tech works by reducing the size of the LEDs to around 200-600 micrometers across — or around a fifth of the size of a standard LED. That not only means more LEDs, but also tightly controlled lighting zones that can be independently brightened or dimmed, leading to incredible contrast and higher brightness.

However, there is a downside to this, which may be why Apple is apparently set to provide…

A bigger battery 

Our tests of 2021’s 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch model revealed something interesting. Despite the former’s smaller 7,540mAh battery, it managed to outlast the 10,758mAh cell in the latter — and by some distance: 13:42 to 10:48. Granted, some of that will be down to just having a smaller panel to power, but it seems clear that the fancy new screen tech is more demanding on the battery however you slice it.

It looks like Apple is set to address this. According to 9to5Mac’s sources, the 2022 iPad Pro will feature a larger battery than before. How much larger hasn’t yet been revealed, but hopefully this, combined with other efficiency savings, can squeeze a few extra hours out of the 2022 tablets. 

A new, faster chipset

Apple M2 chip

(Image credit: Apple)

A tablet’s efficiency, of course, partly comes down to the chipset involved, and the same source claims that the 2022 iPad Pro will feature a brand new chip. This will most likely be the M2 SoC rumored to also appear in the upcoming MacBook Air 2022, but an early report also suggested we may be getting a 3nm chip of some description.  

A faster processor isn’t the most surprising news when it comes to a new tech product, but Apple Silicon has got off to a flying start since it arrived at the end of 2020. The M1 Pro and M1 Max that power the new MacBook Pro 14 (2021) and MacBook Pro 16 (2021) have pushed performance levels to new heights, while pushing battery drain down. 

We’re hopeful that whatever powers the 2022 iPad Pro will follow suit, and while rumor has it that the M2 will feature the same eight CPU cores as the M1, a 10-core graphics processor is tipped — which would certainly make the tablet perform better in graphically intensive tasks.

Wireless charging at last 

Finally, it looks like the 2022 iPad Pro will be Apple’s first tablet to feature wireless charging. While wireless charging has been a feature on the company’s smartphones since the iPhone 8, it has yet to make the jump to any iPad.

Originally, the plan was apparently for this feature to be delivered via a glass back, but Apple has apparently decided to think again due to it making the tablet a bit too fragile. 

Instead, the current prototype reportedly has a larger Apple logo than usual, made of glass to allow conductivity to the charging points inside. Apple is said to be working on a new MagSafe wireless charger to work with this, with bigger magnets included to prevent any unfortunate mishaps. 

It might not be long before we find out for sure whether these rumors are accurate (and discover what other treats the iPad Pro 2022 has in store for us), because the new models could arrive as soon as March or April. 

We're expecting an Apple Spring event to take place in one of those months, and there's reason to think that an iPad Pro could be among the new devices on show. March is the most common month for the iPad Pro (2016 and 2020), while the 2021 model was launched in April 2021. We'll be crossing our fingers that we do get a new Apple super-tablet in just a couple of months — and that it gets all of the above upgrades.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.