It’s been a good few years since I’ve tried to use an iPad for productivity/work purposes, with my iPad Mini (2021) being largely used for media viewing, light browsing and travel, but I was really impressed to see just how far the Apple iPad Pro has come with this year’s iteration.
The last time I tried to properly use an iPad Pro would have been 2-3 years ago, and whilst it was an extremely impressive device, I remember having to defer to my MacBook for certain things, whether it be Photoshop or having to upload anything, but now, due to advances with iPad tech and also iPadOS 16 as well as apps like Photoshop being available on the iPad Pro, I was able to pretty much work solely off my iPad Pro without it feeling weird or like I had to come up with workarounds to make it happen.
Whilst I didn’t spend a lot of time with the last model, I know that not a lot has changed when it comes to form-factor. The iPad Pro (2022) still has a gorgeous 12.9″ Liquid Retina XDR display (on the model I’m using) that is powered by over 10,000 Mini-LEDs and is capable of 120Hz refresh rates and 1,000 nits of brightness (1,600 peak). It goes without saying that this is still one of the best screens that you’ll find on any device. Any content or photos looks absolutely gorgeous and it’s just a genuine joy to use. The same goes for four speakers on the device, where even if you’re not using AirPods or other headphones, you’re still going to have a fantastic listening experience.
Not much has changed with the cameras either, with the 2022 model having a 12MP front facing TrueDepth camera that can be used for Centre Stage with FaceTime, and is also used for FaceID unlocking. On the back, there’s a 12MP wide camera and a 10MP ultra wide camera on the back. Something that is new to the 2022 model is ProRes video capture, and the power provided by the M2 chip is enough to edit it as well.
Speaking of that M2 chip, it’s crazy to think that the chip that is in this device is technically more powerful than what it is in my 14″ MacBook Pro. I’m not the biggest user of labour-intensive programs of DaVinci Resolve or Ocane X, but everything from exporting photos or videos to zipping around apps was just incredibly smooth. Obviously, if you’re not using this device for labour-intensive tasks, then it might be a little bit overkill, but it’s hard not to be impressed by what else is there.
THE MAGIC KEYBOARD + APPLE PENCIL (2ND GEN)
The iPad Pro (2022) is still compatible with the same 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, but it’s an even better experience now. Thanks to that M2 Chip, the iPad Pro can now detect when the Apple Pencil (2nd gen) is 12mm (or less) away from the screen. This allows you to see exactly where your stroke or cursor will tap on before you make the connection with the screen.
For instance, in drawing apps, you’ll be able to see exactly where you’ll make your mark. When just zipping around the regular Apple UI, your app icons will wiggle as you move around the screen. It’s not something most people will need to run out to upgrade for, but it does make that Apple Pencil experience even better.
This was also my first experience with the Magic Keyboard, and despite it’s hefty price tag, it really does take the iPad Pro from being just a powerful table to a 2-in-1 computing experience. The way that it seamlessly connects to your iPad Pro magnetically and pops the screen up to a viewable level, just makes it a joy to use the iPad more productively. The fact that it’s charged by the iPad Pro is obviously still genius as well.
The keyboard is great to type on, and the trackpad, whilst on the smaller side, is a great experience and reflected really well on-screen with a little cursor. I always dreamed of having a MacBook with a touch screen, but I feel like this mostly delivers on this dream, and truly does provide the best of both worlds. The only thing worth mentioning is that obviously, unlike a laptop, because all the internals are in the iPad, it does make the experience top-heavy, meaning it’s a lot harder to use in bed or on your lap.
All-in-all, though, the Magic Keyboard is a really fantastic accessory and of such a high-quality. Apple really thought of everything, even allowing you to charge your iPad (and keyboard) through a secondary USB-C port that is in the actual keyboard itself.
The iPad has always been a phenomenal experience since the first iteration, but it’s no secret that it’s really been held back on the software side, but that’s finally been turning in the last few years, and iPadOS 16 really pushes this forward even further.
There’s a lot of the same improvements that are featured in both iOS16 and MacOS Ventura, such as an improved photo experience, improvements to iMessage such as un-sending and editing messages and also improvements to Mail such as undoing a send and scheduling emails, but the real hero is Stage Manager.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Stage Manager in MacOS Ventura as I feel that the Mac multitasking experience is fine, but on iPad, with a screen this big, I actually feel like it does enhance the experience. basically, Stage Manager allows you to have multiple workspaces on the go at once, which are reflected on the left side of the screen, from there, you can have multiple apps in each stage and easily re-size them and even overlap them, which to my knowledge is the first time you’ve been able to do this on iPad.
You can even connect your iPad Pro to an external display to allow even more stages that can display independently on your external monitor, which adds even more to the productivity piece, and that M2 chip really allows you to do all of this without a huge fuss. I wouldn’t say that Stage Manager is a perfect experience, and I think we’ll see changes and improvements over the coming years, but I do think like the multi-tasking, computing experience is really getting better on iPad.
GAMING ON IPAD PRO
Obviously, thanks to that gorgeous display and great speakers that I touched on earlier, gaming on the iPad Pro is a fantastic experience, especially when paired with a controller (which can be any of the PlayStation/Xbox/Nintendo variety).
Playing games using the touch screen can be a little bit awkward given the size of the screen, but it’s not a heavy device and obviously you’ll feel extremely immersed given how large and vibrant the screen is.
Surprisingly, Stage Manager also works with most games, so you can quickly flick to another app to answer an email or a message, then flip straight back without any issue.
As I’ve touched on so many times before Apple Arcade is well worth the price of omission with a wealth of fantastic indie games or more well-known franchises such as the NBA 2K franchise or the several household names such as Sonic or Pac-Man in Apple Arcade exclusive adventures.
All-in-all, picking an iPad has never been a harder decision, because they all really feel like they’ve been moved into this next generation of iPad, in which all of these devices are great for productivity and leisure. What I can say for sure though is that if you’re somebody who is doing a lot of 3D modelling, or working with ProRes video, then the iPad Pro (2022) is going to be more than capable.
The Apple iPad Pro 2022 model puts even more of a distance between Apple's high-end offering and other tablets on the market. iPadOS 16 helps cement iPad Pro as a fantastic productivity device. It's probably not an essential upgrade to those that own the last model, and those that don't need the full power, should maybe look towards other iPads in the range, but everything that it does, it does incredibly well.
The Screen Is Still Insanely Gorgeous
Even More Powerful
Apple Pencil Hover Is Useful
Magic Keyboard Makes It Feel Like A Genuine 2-in-1