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iPad Pro M2 (2022) vs iPad Pro M1 (2021): More than a chip upgrade

iPad Pro M2 vs iPad Pro M1: Apple has released the iPad Pro M2 (2022), boosting its best tablet with its most advanced computing processor. But is there anything more to the update?

The 2022 iPad Pro models are only the third devices to launch with the Apple Silicon M2 processor, after the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models released earlier this year.

The 11-inch and 12.9-inch models are the most advanced iPad tablets Apple has ever released, but how big of an upgrade is it compared to last year’s iPad Pro models running the still-awesome M1?

Let’s delve deeper…

M2 vs M1: What’s the difference?

Just how big of an upgrade is the M2 processor vs the first-generation Apple Silicon M1 processor? Well our Apple M1 vs Apple M2 explainer would be a great place to start.

Apple says the 8-core CPU is up to 15% faster than the M1, while the 10-core CPU offers 35% graphics performance boosts compared with the M1. Sounds good right? CPU and GPU combined can process 40% more operations per second, which offers machine learning benefits.

Apple also says that the M2 on the new iPad Pro features 100GB per second unified memory bandwidth, which is 50% more than the M1. Will all of this be noticeable enough for a current iPad Pro owner to upgrade? Probably not. Will it be important to someone choosing between an iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard folio or a MacBook Air/Pro with M2? Absolutely.

Cameras also boosted by M2, but not much else

The M2 also enables iPad Pro M2 owners to capture ProRes video footage for the first time and transcode it up to 3x faster for editing purposes. This lines the iPad Pro M2 up against the MacBook Pro as a device for editing and publishing video with the added bonus that it can capture it in 4K. Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s ProRes video capture feature.

Other than that, there doesn’t appear to be any significant changes to the 12-megapixel cameras on the front and back of the iPad Pro.

iPad Pro 2022 2

Exclusive new Apple Pencil hover feature

Also powered by the M2 processor, the Apple iPad Pro debuts a new Apple Pencil hover feature. The dependence on the new chip, rather than just Apple’s iPadOS 16.1 software, means it’s unlikely the feature will ever come to the M1 model.

Apple explains it as follows: “Apple Pencil is now detected up to 12 mm above the display, allowing users to see a preview of their mark before they make it. This also allows users to sketch and illustrate with even greater precision, and makes everything users do with Apple Pencil even more effortless. For example, with Scribble, text fields automatically expand when the pencil gets near the screen, and handwriting converts to text even faster. Third-party apps can also take advantage of this new feature to enable entirely new marking and drawing experiences.”

Design appears to be identical

Apple has stuck with the iPad Pro design for the fourth straight year, so if you were hoping for an overhaul you may be waiting for a while yet. However, it means that any existing keyboard case you use will be compatible with either model. Again, they come in 11-inch and 12.9-inch display sizes (with the same spec display) and the same Silver and Space Grey colourways

The latest connectivity standards are here

Apple has confirmed both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2 models support the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard, with downloads as fast as 2.4Gb/s. That’s twice as fast as the M1 model, provided you have supporting broadband connections. There’s still 5G on the Cellular models, but it now supports more 5G networks around the world.

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