iPad Pro 2022 — 3 reasons to buy and 2 reasons to skip

iPad Pro M2
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple recently unveiled the iPad Pro 2022 alongside the iPad 2022. While this new flagship tablet looks virtually identical to its predecessor, the iPad Pro 2021, it’s the first iPad powered by the Apple M2 chip. Its enhanced processing power, coupled with new iPadOS 16 features like Stage Manager (and the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil hover feature, currently only available on iPad Pro 2022) should make it easier to be more productive on Apple's latest Pro slate.

Though the iPad Pro 2022 may not be a revolutionary tablet, it could still be a worthwhile purchase for folks who want to take advantage of current and future M2-specific features. However, those who mainly use their current iPad to consume streaming content or play simple mobile games may not need the new tablet.

So, should you buy the new iPad Pro 2022 or skip it? Read on to find out.

Reasons to buy the iPad Pro 2022

M2 power

We can’t say anything definitive about the iPad Pro 2022’s performance until we’ve tested it. Still, if the performance boost seen between M1-powered iPads and their previous iterations is anything to go by, the iPad Pro 2022 will likely be Apple’s most powerful tablet yet.

The company claims the M2’s 16-core Neural Engine can process 15.8 trillion operations per second, which is 40% faster than M1. This means better performance for machine learning tasks. You get 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth, which is 50 percent more than M1. The new also iPad Pro supports up to 16GB of fast unified memory. All this power is designed to help with pro-level workflows, including photography, designers, video editors and more.

Apple M2 chip

The iPad Pro 2022 could be Apple's most powerful tablet yet, thanks to the M2 processor. (Image credit: Apple)

In short, the M2-powered iPad Pro 2022 should be one heck of a performant tablet. It should also last you for many years and handle whatever cool new M2 features Apple cooks up.

Stage Manager

macOS Ventura's Stage Manager feature is making its way to iPadOS 16. Stage Manager allows you to resize windows as you would on a Mac (or PC) and has a visible dock on the screen that makes it easy to access apps. You can switch between open apps, with unused apps being moved to the side.

Stage Manager's best feature is how it lets you plug your iPad into an external display so that you can effectively have two screens. You can create groups of three or four windows on each display and have a total of eight apps running on your iPad and external display. This feature will no doubt be useful during presentations.

iPadOS 16 - Stage Manager

Stage Manager on iPad Pro could help you be more productive. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Originally, Stage Manager was only available on M1-powered iPads. While, admittedly, Apple explained why only M1 iPads can run the feature, it was still disappointing. However, the latest developer beta of iPadOS 16.1 is expanding the feature to four older iPad Pro models.

iPad Pro M2 Pencil Hover

The Apple Pencil hover feature could be a game changer. (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil hover

Using the Apple Pencil to write and draw on the iPad Pro should be more seamless and intuitive than ever.

The iPad Pro can detect the Apple Pencil up to 12 mm above the display. This allows you to see a preview of your mark before they make it. According to Apple, this feature makes using the pencil more precise and “effortless.” The company explained how, in Scribble, text fields automatically expand when the pencil gets near the screen and that handwriting converts to text faster. Apple also says third-party apps can also take advantage of this feature.

One of the major draws of using an iPad (and tablets in general) is the ability to write or draw on them. Using the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro was always a solid experience and, if Apple’s claims are true, the experience should see a significant improvement.

Reasons to skip the iPad Pro 2022

You don’t need increased performance

The M2 chip inside the iPad Pro 2022 allows it to utilize features like the aforementioned Apple Pencil hover. Creative endeavors such as video editing and 3D modeling should also be a breeze on the powerful tablet.

However, if you’re mostly interested in watching YouTube videos or reading novels and comic books on an iPad, then you don’t necessarily need the additional power provided by the M2 chip. The new iPad 2022 could be a better choice, even if its display is surprisingly worse than the iPad Air.

The iPad Pro 2021 is still a great tablet

The iPad Pro 2021 comfortably resides on our best iPads and best tablets lists. Thanks to its speedy M1 processor, mini-LED display, 5G connectivity and overall fetching design, it’s legitimately one of the best tablets around.

iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) review

The iPad Pro 2021 (pictured above) is still a great tablet. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Because last year’s iPad Pro is still great, it’s understandable that some may not want to upgrade to the shiny new model. Sure, it doesn’t appear that Apple Pencil hover works on the M1-powered tablet (for the moment), but if you don't care about that feature, then it’s a non-issue.

We’ve yet to put the new iPad Pro through our benchmark tests, but we don’t see it suddenly rendering the iPad Pro 2021 obsolete. Because of that, you may not need to upgrade right away.

Should you buy the iPad Pro 2022?

Based on what we’ve seen, the iPad Pro 2022 seems like it could be Apple’s best tablet yet. It retains the modern design we’re familiar with while tossing in the beefy M2 chip to allow features not possible on older models. However, if you own the iPad Pro 2021 or even the latest iPad Air and only use tablets to watch videos, then you probably don't need the new iPad Pro. 

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.