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iPad Pro (2022): What we know about the next flagship Apple tablet

The iPad Pro 2022 is expected to launch this year, and could support wireless charging and be upgraded with a new chip.

Apple has been paying a lot more attention to its iPad range over the past year; the iPad Mini 6 was launched in 2021, and we’re already checking out the rumours for the iPad Mini 7.

The iPad Pro 2021 is the model to beat, coming packed with the M1 chipset and up to 2TB of storage, so the iPad Pro 2022 will have to work hard to take the throne.

We have some high hopes for the next iPad Pro tablet, so read on to find out everything we know about it so far.

Price and availability

There haven’t been many reliable rumours about the iPad 2022 so far, so we can’t make too many guesses as to how much the iPad Pro 2022 will cost. That said, we can look at Apple’s history for a better idea.

The last iPad Pro came in two variations, at 11-inches and 12.9-inches. The smaller model started at £749 when paired with the smallest storage, at 128GB, but jumped up to £1749 if you splashed out for the 2TB configuration. The bigger tablet starts out at £999, with the largest storage variation costing £1999, which suggests that this year’s model won’t be a cheap device.

Rumours of Mini-LED screens coming to the smaller 11-inch model will also cause fears of a significant price bump, as will upgrades to a more powerful chipset. Apple unveiled the more powerful M1 Pro and M1 Ultra chips last year, which currently power its MacBook Pro laptops. Based on our experience reviewing the MacBook Pro 2021 laptops, both chips would offer a significant performance, and likely further price boost for the iPad Pro, if they are utilised.

In terms of when the tablet will launch, Apple doesn’t have a strict timetable on when it announces its iPads. Respected tipsters and analysts, like Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo, have claimed that the iPad Pro will come out in 2022.

There’s a potential we’ll have to wait until the iPhone event in September or October, although we’ve got our fingers crossed that it will arrive sooner. Apple doesn’t always announce hardware at WWDC – likely taking place in June – but it’s not unheard of.

Design and screen

While there is some chatter going around about a massive 15-inch iPad, a move we would be very much onboard with after reviewing the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the 2022 Pro range is expected to stick with the 11 and 12.9-inch variations.

One rumour that has popped up a few times is that the next iPad Pro would have a glass back for wireless charging. In Gurman’s Power On newsletter, he mentions that a wireless charging system will be introduced. However, a 9to5 Mac report suggested the glass back might have been canned already, possibly due to its delicate nature. Fitting in wireless charging is tricky without a glass back, so it’ll worth keeping an eye on how this unfolds in the months leading up to release.

Other rumours suggest that the iPad Pro 2022 will take it a step further and introduce reverse-wireless charging, which will allow the device to charge up other devices, such as your Airpods, Apple Watch or iPhone. However, it is possible that these features – especially reverse-wireless charging – will be saved until 2023.

iPad Pro 2022 render notch
Credit: MyDrivers

Another design choice that have been rumoured include a notch, in a similar fashion to the MacBook Pro 2021 and iPhone 13.

Chinese site MyDrivers published new renders (seen above) of the next Apple tablet, with the inclusion of a notch. Considering that the iPad Pro already uses FaceID for authentication, it does make a bit more sense that it would be included, seeing as that requires a sizeable camera on the front of the screen.

However, in reality, we can’t imagine Apple sticking a notch like this on a tablet. You need decent bezels to grip a tablet properly and we’re not crying out for thinner sides on the current iPad Pro. 2022 could also be the year Apple starts to phase the notch out on its phones, so it would be odd to add it to the iPad Pro when it doesn’t need to be there.

Specs and Features

It has emerged recently that the iPad Pro 2022 could be powered by the M2 chipset, the long-awaited next-gen Apple Silicon chip that should power the upcoming MacBook Air refresh. While this chip hasn’t even been confirmed yet, it would make complete sense to see it inside the iPad Pro as the current model is powered by the M1.

We’d also suspect the iPad Pro 2022 will be powered by the M2 as the recent iPad Air refresh added in the M1 there and we can’t imagine Apple will want its Pro tablet to be powered by the same chip as the mid-range option for too long.

Little has leaked about the M2 yet and Apple has so far been focussing on the multiple versions of the M1, however we’d expect a launch this year. It has been said the M2 could be built on a more efficient 4nm process with a focus on upping the skills of the GPU, though that has yet to be confirmed. The M1 is currently the fastest chip inside any tablet and so we have high expectations for the M2.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that the smaller 11-inch tablet will pack Mini-LED screen tech, marking a switch from the current LCD.

This move wouldn’t be too surprising as the feature is already available on the 12.9-inch version of the current iPad Pro and it wowed when we reviewed that tablet. Mini-LED is a bit like OLED (that’s the screen tech on the iPhone 13 series) and the vast array of dimming zones allows for it to recreate HDR video far more accurately than a regular LCD. The colours are punchy and the brightness levels are wonderful. We said the following about the Mini-LED on the iPad Pro in our review:

“The result is a stunning display for watching back HDR content. Blacks are now properly black and this is especially obvious in those chunky bars that sit above and below most videos. These now just about match up with the black rim of the iPad Pro, instead of looking grey.”

Depending on when the iPad Pro 2022 is formally announced, it should run either iOS 15 or iOS 16. Apple tends to announce new versions of its software at WWDC in June, with a full release coming towards the end of September. If this iPad Pro launches after that, it’ll come with iOS 16 installed.

That’s all we know about the iPad Pro 2022 right now, but we’ll make sure to update this article as soon as hear more details. Keep this page bookmarked for more updates.

Trusted Take

Putting faster and faster chips inside tablets is fine – what I really want to see from Apple though is software that can properly utilise it.

iPad OS is great on the cheaper iPads, yet it feels hamstrung on these more powerful machines. I’m not asking for Mac OS on a tablet, just a comfortably middle-ground where more ‘Pro’ focussed apps can fully take advantage of what’s on offer. Hpefully we’ll get something like this with the iPad Pro 2022 and iOS 16.

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