Flagship iPad head-to-head -- M4 iPad Pro vs M2 iPad Pro compared

in iPad edited May 15

After a year's gap, Apple has finally updated the iPad Pro, with a surprise M4 debut and OLED in the spotlight for 2024. Here's how the newest iPad Pro models compare against the previous generation.

2024 iPad Pro with M4 [left], 2022 iPad Pro with M2 [right]
2024 iPad Pro with M4 [left], 2022 iPad Pro with M2 [right]

The iPad was complete absent from 2023, with the only change being to add USB-C to the Apple Pencil. Instead, consumers had to purchase iPad Pro models that were introduced in October 2022.

That one-year gap has given Apple time to make quite a few changes to its highest-tier tablet lineup. The result is its 2024 releases.

This is beyond a typical spec-bump update. Apple has refined many aspects of the flagship tablet line, and made some unexpected changes.

This is what to look for when checking out the changes between the M2 and the M4 generation of iPad Pro.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Specifications

Specifications2024 iPad Pro2022 iPad Pro
Screen size (inches)11, 1311, 12.9
Base price$999, $1,299$799, $1,099
Resolution2,420 x 1,668,
2,752 x 2,064
2,388 x 1,668,
2,732 x 2,048
Pixel Density (dpi)264, 264264, 264
Brightness (nits)1,000 nits (SDR),
1,000 (XDR full-screen),
1,600 (peak brightness HDR)
600 (11-inch maximum),
1,000 (12.9-inch full-screen),
1,600 (12.9-inch peak brightness HDR)
Display typeUltra Retina XDR,
Tandem OLED,
True Tone,
Wide color (P3),
Fully Laminated,
Nano-texture display glass option on 1TB, 2TB
Mini LED-backlit (12.9 only),
LED-backlit (11 only)
Liquid Retina,
True Tone,
Wide color (P3),
Fully Laminated
Apple PencilApple Pencil Pro,
Apple Pencil USB-C
Apple Pencil Second Generation,
Apple Pencil USB-C
Smart ConnectorYesYes
Dimensions (inches)9.83 x 6.99 x 0.21,
11.09 x 8.48 x 0.20
9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23,
11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25
Weight (lbs)0.98, 1.281.03, 1.5
Capacities256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Rear camera (MP)12 wide, LiDAR12 wide, 10 ultra wide, LiDAR
Front camera (MP)12MP TrueDepth12MP TrueDepth
Video recording4K at 24/30/60fps (wide) and 60fps (ultra wide),
ProRes up to 4K 30fps (1080p30 on 256GB)
4K at 24/30/60fps (wide) and 60fps (ultra wide),
ProRes up to 4K 30fps (1080p30 on 128GB)
BiometricFace IDFace ID
PortThunderbolt 4 / USB 4Thunderbolt / USB 4

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Design and appearance

The 2022 iPad Pro consists of 12.9-inch and 11-inch models, much like the previous two generations. Combining a recycled aluminum enclosure with flat sides and an edge-to-edge display, it has an industrial aesthetic that is unmistakably iPad Pro.

Fpr 2024, the iPad Pro is still using pretty much the same core design. There are still some noticeable differences, such as the camera module layout on the back.

In terms of overall dimensions, the 11-inch iPad Pro from 2022 measures 9.74 inches long by 7.02 inches. The 12-inch is 11.04 inches long and 8.46 inches wide.

The 2024 editions are slightly different. The 9.83 by 6.99-inch footprint of the 11-inch model is marginally longer and narrower overall.

The 13-inch version is just a bit larger overall, at 11.09 inches by 8.46 inches.

The new iPad Pro looks a lot like the old model.
The new iPad Pro looks a lot like the old model.

You've probably already spotted that the name of the 13-inch model has slightly changed from the 12.9-inch of the previous generation. Functionally speaking, this is only a marginal difference.

The older models are 0.23 and 0.25 inches thick, respective of their sizes. The newer ones are quite a bit thinner, with the 11-inch at 0.21 inches and the 13-inch even thinner at 0.20 inches.

The 2022 models weighed the same as their 2021 counterparts, namely 1.5 pounds for the 12.9-inch model and 1.03 pounds for the 11-inch version.

Along with dimensional changes, Apple also put its 2024 models on a diet. The 11-inch weighs in at 0.98 pounds, with the 13-inch at 1.28 pounds.

While the 11-inch weight difference is small enough to be ignorable, the 13-inch change isn't. This will certainly help make the larger iPad Pro more portable for users.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Displays

Despite being the same product family, the 2022 iPad Pro models have very different displays, beyond the sizes.

The 11-inch Liquid Retina screen uses the traditional LED backlighting system, while the 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR uses mini LED backlighting. The difference of using thousands of mini LEDs and 2,596 local dimming zones gives the 12.9-inch OLED-like performance for a lower overall cost.

Tandem OLED helps create a great picture for the 2024 iPad Pro
Tandem OLED helps create a great picture for the 2024 iPad Pro

For 2024, Apple changed both iPad Pro displays to the often-rumored OLED Ultra Retina XDR screens. Referred to as Tandem OLED, Apple stacks a pair of OLED panels on top of each other.

This allows the new iPad Pro models to have sensational brightness and a considerable dynamic range.

The 2022 11-inch manages 600 nits of brightness, with the 12.9-inch getting up to 1,000 nits for full-screen content, 1,600 at peak for HDR content. There's also better color representation on the larger screen.

Thanks to its new system, Apple claims the 2024 versions can go to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness for HDR content. It also does do by doubling the contrast ratio from 1,000,00:1 to 2,000,000:1.

The 2022 models also had fairly standard resolutions of 2,388 by 1,886 and 2,732 by 2,048 for the two sizes respectively, which works out to be a pixel density of 264ppi apiece.

That 264ppi is maintained for 2024, but with marginally higher resolutions. The 11-inch shifts up to 2,420 by 1,668, and the 13-inch goes to 2,752 by 2,064 pixels.

All of the models also have support for Wide Color (P3), True Tone, and ProMotion.

"Hover," a feature of the Apple Pencil 2 that allowed the iPad to detect the tip up to 12mm away, resurfaces in both generations. However, the newer models also include support for the Apple Pencil Pro's new features, including a squeezing gesture and a barrel-roll gesture (the Apple Pencil Pro can be ordered at Amazon).

Both generations also support the Apple Pencil with USB-C. At this price level though, you'd probably want the ones that magnetically attach and wirelessly recharge.

In a move borrowed from the Pro Display XDR, Apple is also offering 2024 iPad Pro users an optional chemically-etched Nano-texture display on the 1TB and 2TB-capacity models. Apple says that it scatters ambient light to reduce glare, improving the overall picture quality.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Performance

Last time the iPad Pro had an update, it upgraded the core of the chip from M1 to M2. Using the same 8-core arrangement as the M1, consisting of four efficiency cores and four performance cores, the M2 was claimed to run 18% faster than the M2.

The onboard GPU of the M2 is an 8-core version, which again was claimed to be better. The 16-core Neural Engine offered a 40% boost over the M1's version.

Like most other Apple Silicon chips, there's the M2's Media Engine, which includes a dedicated video decode engine, encode engine, and ProRes decode and encode engines. This made the M2 iPad Pro more attractive to video editors.

Apple jumped to M4 for its 2024 iPad Pro models
Apple jumped to M4 for its 2024 iPad Pro models

For 2024, Apple skipped over the M3 and went straight for the M4, which uses a second-gen 3-nanometer construction. It now means the iPad Pro is the only hardware Apple currently sells that uses that particular chip generation.

The M4 consists of a nine-core CPU with three performance cores and six efficiency cores in the 256GB and 512GB configurations. Opting for 1TB or 2TB nets the ten-core CPU, with four performance cores and six efficiency cores.

Both chip versions include a 10-core GPU with hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and a 16-core Neural Engine.

Memory on the 2024 models consists of 8GB on the lower-two capacities, 16GB for the upper two tiers. This mirrors the M2 models, which gave 16GB to the terabyte-class models, 8GB for the lower ones.

Memory bandwidth has increased over the year, moving from 100GB/s to 120GB/s. The Media Engine is also refreshed, with it now supporting AV1 decodes on the M4.

The Neural Engine continues to be a 16-core component, across the board, but it's been given a considerable boost. While the M2's version managed to execute 15.8 trillion operations per second, the M4 raises the count to 38 trillion.

This certainly makes the M4 more capable of handling Apple's long-rumored AI feature updates.

While benchmarks for thew new models will arrive when they release to the public, leaked benchmark results do give an idea of what to expect.

The two leaked M4 single-core benchmarks versus the M2
The two leaked M4 single-core benchmarks versus the M2

The leaked results put the ten-core version of the M4 at 3,767 and the nine-core at 3,630 for Geekbench's single-core benchmark. The M2 in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro manages 2,540 in contrast.

On the multi-core side, the M2 is listed at 9,630. The nine-core M4 is said to reach 13,060, while the 10-core scores 14,677.

Leaked M4 benchmarks against M2 in multi-core testing
Leaked M4 benchmarks against M2 in multi-core testing

Apple claims the M4 is capable of 1.5 times the CPU performance of the M2. At least here, that claim seems to be pretty accurate.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Cameras and Audio

Around the back of the 2022 iPad Pros is a pair of cameras, including a 12-megapixel f/1.8 wide camera and a 10-megapixel f/2.4 ultra-wide version. A LiDAR sensor is included, which is used both to assist with low-light shooting and focusing, as well as 3D applications.

In an unusual move, Apple did away with the 10-megapixel ultra-wide camera in its 2024 iPad Pro. It did retain the 12MP wide version, complete with its features and specifications, and LIDAR.

There's only one camera on the back of the 2024 iPad Pro
There's only one camera on the back of the 2024 iPad Pro

For video, the 2022 models could handle 4K recordings at 60fps, with extended dynamic range at up to 30fps, and 240fps Slo-mo for 1080p footage. They can even manage ProRes 4K video at 30fps on all models except the 128GB version, which can do 1080p.

The 2024 models can do the same things, except the ProRes 1080p limitation is only on th 256GB models. Also, borrowing from the iPhone 15 Pro, if users use an external USB-C drive, they can record at up to 4K 60fps.

The front of the 2022 iPad Pro has the traditional TrueDepth camera array, which includes an Ultra Wide 12-megapixel f/2.4 sensor with a 2x digital zoom out. In use, it has Depth Control for Portrait mode shots, Portrait Lighting, and 1080p video capture with cinematic video stabilization.

The depth-mapping elements also provide support for Animoji, Memoji, and Face ID security.

The 2024 versions have exactly the same features for the front-facing camera, except it's been repositioned. Instead of being on the short edge, it's on one of the longer sides, which lends itself to landscape FaceTime usage.

Audio-wise, the 2022 iPad Pro models include a four-speaker audio system, using speakers in each quarter to provide stereo sound regardless of orientation. Audio capture is handled by five "studio-quality" microphones.

The 2024 models are largely unchanged in this regard, except the mic count goes down from five to four.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Connectivity and Battery

Both the 2022 and 2024 iPad Pro models have a Thunderbolt/USB 4 port as its main physical connection. It's used to handle charging, as well as connecting to external drives, docks, and other accessories.

The connection's also useful for connecting the iPad Pro to an external display, allowing you to work beyond the confines of the iPad screen itself.

On the back of both is a smart connector, which is meant to work with accessories like the Magic Keyboard, without requiring Bluetooth nor occupying the Thunderbolt port.

On the edge with the volume control buttons is a section made to magnetically attach an Apple Pencil 2. This section also handles recharging and pairing with the stylus accessory.

The wireless side for the 2022 and 2024 iPad Pro is Wi-Fi 6E support and Bluetooth 5.3, which are useful if you have the requisite network infrastructure or accessories that use the standards.

Cellular connectivity has always been an attractive element of the iPad Pro. On the 2022 model, there's an option for 5G support, covering both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands, along with Gigabit LTE.

However, unlike the previous generation, the 2024 iPad Pro's 5G support extends only to sub-6GHz connectivity. There's no mmWave this time.

The Apple Pencil Pro, attached to the side of the 2024 iPad Pro
The Apple Pencil Pro, attached to the side of the 2024 iPad Pro

Another change is Apple's continuing march to push consumers over to eSIM. While the 2022 and 2024 models both support eSIM, you can only use physical nano-SIM cards with the 2022 editions.

If you're using the Apple Pencil 2 or Apple Pencil Pro, there's still wireless charging on one side. Thankfully the stylus is held in place magnetically, as there's now less side to balance on for the 2024 models thanks to their weight loss.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Capacity and Pricing

The 2022 11-inch iPad Pro started from $799 for the Wi-FI model with 128GB of storage, in either Space Gray or Silver colorways. It costed $999 for the 256GB model, $1,099 for 512GB, $1,499 for 1TB, and $1,899 for 2TB.

The 2022 12.9-inch model was $1,099 for 128GB, rising to $1,199 for 256GB, and $1,399 for 512GB. Upgrading to 1TB brought the price up to $1,799, and 2TB is $2,199.

Adding cellular added an extra $200 to the price, making the 11-inch range from $999 to $2,199, and the 12.9-inch from $1,299 to $2,399.

For 2024, the 11-inch iPad Pro started at $999 with 256GB of storage, matching the 2022 model. For 512GB, it's a higher $1,199, with 1TB at $1,599 and 2TB at $1,999.

The 13-inch version's base price is $1,299 with 256GB of capacity, up from its 2024 counterpart. The 512GB upgrade is $1,499, the 1TB is $1,899, and 2TB is $2,299.

Cellular costs consumers an extra $200 once again, putting the 11-inch 2024 model ranging from $1,199 to $2,199. The 13-inch goes from $1,499 to $2,499.

Then there's the Nano-texture glass for the terabyte-level 2024 models. That's another $100 regardless of size or capacity.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Should you upgrade?

The iPad Pro's gap year has certainly paid off for it in many ways. It's finally shifted over to OLED, and on both sizes too instead of just the larger model.

This is probably the biggest change of all, since the lack of backlighting allowed Apple to shrink the thickness of both sizes. The addition of Nano-texture glass also offers an extra boost to an already premium tablet family.

The 2024 iPad Pro continues to be available in Space Black and Silver
The 2024 iPad Pro continues to be available in Space Black and Silver

The move to M4 is entirely unexpected, since Apple did skip an M3 release entirely. But even so, it doesn't matter as it's generally accepted newer iPad models are faster than the ones they replace.

While there's a lot of good here, there is the oddity of the loss of one camera from the rear. It does mean that older iPad Pro models have a bit more photographic choice.

That said, external recording of 4K ProRes video at 60fps could be a good trade-off for content creators.

Overall, the 2024 iPad Pro is a considerable jump forward for the product line. It is the one to get if you need a premium-grade tablet.

It may not necessarily provide enough for M2 iPad Pro owners to make the upgrade. But for new buyers or those moving to Apple's premium line, there's a lot here to love.

2024 iPad Pro vs 2022 iPad Pro - Where to buy

Apple's M4 iPad Pro can be ordered from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video and Adorama.com, with a roundup of the latest prices available in our Price Guides.

Closeout iPad Pro deals are also in effect on M2 models, with discounts of up to $150 off in our iPad Price Guide.

Read on AppleInsider



  • Reply 1 of 8
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 907member
    The reduction in weight on the 13" model, especially, is impressive. Any word on the weight of the new Magic Keyboard? The current one tips in at 1 lb 9 oz -- heavier than the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, itself -- would love to see then get the whole package in at under 2.5 pounds. 
  • Reply 2 of 8
    slow n easyslow n easy Posts: 355member
    A big reason why I’m upgrading is for the camera placement. I never use my iPad in portrait mode and my hand sometimes gets in the way of FaceID which I find frustrating. The lighter and thinner aspect is also nice. I probably won’t notice any difference in the processor.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,212member
    Having just given up my old work M2 IPP, and wanting to be careful with my dollars, I am debating between the M2 iPad Air, a run out M2 IPP, or the M4 IPP.  

    One thing I find a bit strange. If the M4 iPad Pro  has an e-sim, why the split model range? I would like the GPS but don’t plan on needing a mobile service.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    kdupuis77kdupuis77 Posts: 114member
    A big reason why I’m upgrading is for the camera placement. I never use my iPad in portrait mode and my hand sometimes gets in the way of FaceID which I find frustrating. The lighter and thinner aspect is also nice. I probably won’t notice any difference in the processor.
    Absolutely! Like 80% of the time I have my finger right on top of the FaceID camera constantly trying to sign into stuff when web browsing it's so irritating lol. I kinda wish they'd just stick a TouchID power button on to the Pro line of iPads. I got super used to the iPad mini's TouchID button regardless of the orientation held (though realistically was always landscape also because of the gnarly "jelly scroll" lol).

    Don't get me wrong, FaceID on the iPhone is fantastic but I never hold it in a manner that obstructs the camera/sensors and it's so natural for unlocking the device whenever you pick it up. For iPad, not as much. Also looking forward to less awkward FaceTime video in the future too, without it looking like I have a 1000 yard stare lol.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,212member
    Yes I often have the camera obscured by my thumb
  • Reply 6 of 8
    jellybellyjellybelly Posts: 126member
    entropys said:
    One thing I find a bit strange. If the M4 iPad Pro  has an e-sim, why the split model range? I would like the GPS but don’t plan on needing a mobile service.
    The eSIM is used to help GPS accuracy by using cell tower triangulation.  This works even if you don’t get a phone line activated. 
    I’ve always gotten cell capable models (one exception) along with GPS even when there was a choice of GPS without cell capability.  I’ve had a lot of iPads going back to first one.  The one time I skipped cell capability I found GPS to be a lot less accurate.  
    Apple confirmed my guess on that exception of GPS w/o cell, that cell capability was added accuracy on GPS. 
  • Reply 7 of 8
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 979member
    Did they strengthen the aluminium housing or reinforce the structure at all considering they made it substantially thinner?  I guess JerryRigEverything will find out...
    edited May 9 williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 8
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 2,210member
    I like the new IPP, but as it stands right now, there's no compelling reason for my to upgrade, as expected.  For one thing, for what I do, OLED is nice, but overkill. My current one is already fast enough for what I do, so that's no real benefit.  Also, since my current Pencil apparently won't work with the new one, I'd have to replace that as well.

    If I hadn't just bought mine in September, I'd certainly do it.
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