Apple has unveiled its latest iPad Pro, which is powered by the company's M2 silicon chipset. The tablet will offer faster connectivity thanks to WiFi 6E support and it has a new "hover" experience for Apple Pencil.
The M2 offers up to 15 percent faster performance than M1, according to Apple, thanks to the newer chipset's eight cores. The company also claims that the 10-core GPU will deliver up to 35 percent faster graphics performance as well. The M2 can carry out 40 percent more operations per second than the M1 and it has 50 percent more unified memory bandwidth.
Apple notes that there's a new media engine as well as an image signal processor. The company says that these features allow it to support ProRes video capture on an iPad for the first time. It added that the tablet will be able to transcode ProRes footage up to three times faster than in the past too. The company says you'll be able to "capture, edit and publish cinema-grade video from a single device out in the field." There are five "studio-quality" mics, so you should be able to record sharp audio. The quad-speaker setup has Dolby Atmos support too.
As was rumored, the new iPad Pro comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions. The larger model's display has 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak HDR brightness, as well as a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The 11-inch iPad Pro has 600 nits of brightness. Both have ProMotion support with an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz.
Like the 2021 iPad Pro, this model has a 12-megapixel ultra-wide front-facing camera with Center Stage support. Unfortunately, Apple has kept the sensor on the shorter edge instead of moving it to the longer side. The rear cameras don't seem to have changed — there's a 12MP wide sensor and a 10MP ultra-wide camera. As for battery life, Apple claims you'll get up to 10 hours of web browsing and video use over WiFi on both sizes of the tablet. You'll get up to nine hours of web browsing usage over a cellular connection, Apple says.
This iPad Pro is the first Apple device with WiFi 6E (though models on sale in mainland China and Japan will not have WiFi 6E support). Apple says you'll be able to reach download speeds of up to 2.4Gb/s, which is twice as fast as the previous generation iPad Pro. Moreover, models with cellular connectivity will work with more 5G networks around the globe. Support for mmWave frequency bands will only be available in the US and Puerto Rico, however.
The tablet has a nifty trick up its sleeve when it comes to the second-gen Apple Pencil. The iPad Pro will detect the peripheral when it's up to 12mm away from the display. Apple says this will allow you to see a preview of any mark you want to make before you actually apply it. The company claims this will offer greater precision and add some extra functionality. When you place Apple Pencil near the Scribble app, text fields will expand automatically. Apple says handwriting will be converted to text more quickly too.
The new iPad Pro will have all the features of the delayed iPadOS 16, which Apple will release on October 24th. In the past, the company has released major iPadOS versions at the same time as iOS updates, but it pushed back the release of this year's iPad firmware. Reports suggest the company needed more time to refine the Stage Manager multitasking feature. The company is actually skipping a public release of iPadOS 16 in favor of iPadOS 16.1.
Stage Manager brings overlapping windows to iPad for the first time. Later this year, Apple will update the feature to include external display support for resolutions of up to 6K. You'll be able to see four apps on your iPad and four apps on the external display simultaneously, which should offer more of a desktop-style experience. Elsewhere, iPadOS 16 finally brings the Weather app to iPad, along with major updates to Mail, Safari, Messages and other core apps. There are new features centered around collaboration too.
The new iPad Pro is available in silver and space gray with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for WiFi only and $999 for Wi-Fi and Cellular. The 12.9-inch models start at $1,099 for the WiFi variant and $1,299 if you want cellular connectivity. Education pricing is available, as are some accessories. Orders are open now and the new iPad Pro will be available in stores on October 26th.