Compared: M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro

Posted:
in iPad edited October 2022
Apple's 2022 update to the iPad Pro lineup introduces its newest Apple Silicon chip to its tablet range. Here's how the latest iPad Pro models compete against Apple's 2021 generation.

M1 iPad Pro vs M2 iPad Pro
M1 iPad Pro vs M2 iPad Pro


As anticipated by analysts and leakers, Apple launched the 2022 editions of the iPad Pro on Tuesday, albeit via press releases and an online store update rather than a full-blown event.

Apple's refresh to the line introduces one extremely major change, that of the switch over from M1 to M2. The change in chip should provide a considerable performance boost for those buying it over the previous generation.



The update to the chip isn't the only thing Apple changed in its fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and third-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. There are other improvements and changes, but the headline item drowns them out.

This is what Apple has altered in its premium tablet lineup, compared to the previous generation introduced approximately a year and a half previously.



2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Specifications

Specifications2022 iPad Pro2021 iPad Pro
Screen size (inches)11,12.911,12.9
Base price$799, $1,099$799, $1,099
ProcessorM2M1
Resolution2,388 x 1,668,
2,732 x 2,048
2,388 x 1,668,
2,732 x 2,048
Pixel Density (dpi)264, 264264, 264
Brightness (nits)600 (11-inch maximum)
1,000 (12.9-inch full-screen)
1,600 (12.9-inch peak brightness HDR)
600 (11-inch maximum)
1,000 (12.9-inch full-screen)
1,600 (12.9-inch peak brightness HDR)
Display typeMini LED (12.9 only),
Liquid Retina,
ProMotion,
True Tone,
Wide color (P3),
Fully Laminated
Mini LED (12.9 only),
Liquid Retina,
ProMotion,
True Tone,
Wide color (P3),
Fully Laminated
Apple PencilSecond GenerationSecond Generation
Smart ConnectorYesYes
Dimensions (inches)9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23,
11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25
9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23,
11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25
Weight (lbs)1.03, 1.51.03, 1.5
Capacities128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Rear camera (MP)12 wide, 10 ultra wide, LiDAR12 wide, 10 ultra wide, LiDAR
Front camera (MP)12MP TrueDepth12MP TrueDepth
Video recording4K at 24/30/60fps (wide) and 60fps (ultra wide)4K at 24/30/60fps (wide) and 60fps (ultra wide)
BiometricFace IDFace ID
Speakers44
PortThunderbolt 4Thunderbolt 4

2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Physical Appearance

Apple has kept to a formula for its tablets. Many external elements have stayed fairly static over the last few generations.

The 2021 iPad Pro has 12.9-inch and 11-inch displays, as did the previous two iterations. They're encased in a recycled aluminum enclosure, with flat sides and a distinct aesthetic that screams iPad Pro.

Given the internals-only upgrade, the 2022 iPad Pro designs are practically identical to the 2021 versions.

There is no relative difference in physical dimension and weight between the 2021 and 2022 iPad Pro models.
There is no relative difference in physical dimension and weight between the 2021 and 2022 iPad Pro models.


On size, both vintages have the same overall dimensions. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures 11.04 inches tall, 8.46 inches wide, and 0.25 inches thick for each. The 11-inch versions are 9.74 inches tall, 7.02 wide, and 0.23 inches thick.

Except for the 12.9's thickness, these dimensions haven't changed since the 2018 iPad Pro.

On weight, the 2021 releases measured in at 1.5 pounds for the 12.9-inch model, 1.03 pounds for the 11-inch version. The 2022 models are, again, the same.

2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Displays

In the 2021 refresh, Apple introduced a big change to its 12.9-inch model, adding mini LED backlighting and turning it into a Liquid Retina XDR display. This included using 10,000 mini LEDs, creating 2,596 local dimming zones, and an OLED level of boost to performance.

The 11-inch version languished with an LED backlight system, and there was a considerable difference on display.

With the 2022 models, neither has undergone a major change, with the 11-inch frustratingly not gaining mini LED.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro continues to use mini LED, while the 11-inch gets left behind.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro continues to use mini LED, while the 11-inch gets left behind.


While the 12.9-inch had up to 1,600 nits of peak brightness using HDR content and 1,000 nits for full-screen content, the 11-inch could only manage 600 nits. The 12.9 also boosted its contrast ratio to 1 million to one, as well as providing far better color representation.

These figures remain the same in 2022.

On other display elements, the resolutions are the same across the board, at 2,388 by 1,668 for the 11-inch models, 2,732 by 2,048 for the 12.9-inch. All screens have a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch.

All models also have support for Wide color (P3), Pro Motion, True Tone, and are fully laminated.

Hover preview effect of Apple Pencil
Hover preview effect of Apple Pencil


One difference in the display is the Apple Pencil support. Both use the second-generation Apple Pencil, but now the M2 versions boast of "Apple Pencil hover" in detecting the tip up to 12mm away from the display.

2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Performance

As expected for 2022's update, Apple has incorporated the M2 chip, moving on from using the M1 in the previous year's releases.

The M2 has the same 8-core arrangement as the M1, including four performance cores and four efficiency cores, but Apple claimed at launch the M2's CPU is 18% faster than the M1.

Then there's the GPU, with the 8-core version used in the M1 competing against the M2's version, which is claimed to be better.

The 16-core Neural Engine in the M2 is still a 16-core version, but one that operates at up to 15.8 trillion operations per second, 40% better overall than the M1's version.

The M2 Media Engine will make video editing and playback better on the 2022 iPad Pro
The M2 Media Engine will make video editing and playback better on the 2022 iPad Pro


Of course, the Media Engine in the M2 is a big plus for those who deal with video. Consisting of a dedicated video decode engine, encode engine, and ProRes encode and decode engines, the Media Engine helps keep video running as fast as possible without taxing the CPU.

In typical fashion, we pit the last-gen devices against the current-gen in a series of benchmarks. On Geekbench 5, we saw the single-core score jump from 1711 to 1904.

Geekbench 5 benchmarks
Geekbench 5 benchmarks (M1 iPad Pro left, M2 iPad Pro right)


That's just about spot on with the 15 percent faster CPU that Apple had promised. We saw more than a 15 percent boost on the multi-core test, going from 7100 to 8577 year-over-year.

Running the Geekbench 5 Compute graphics benchmarks with Metal, we saw a substantial boost, going from 20928 to 33313. That's nearly a 60 percent graphics boost.

In Core ML testing, the Geekbench ML test went from 997 to 1233 displaying a notable improvement on machine learning performance.

Geekbench ML benchmark results
Geekbench ML benchmark (M1 iPad Pro left, M2 iPad Pro right)


Lastly, we tried out the comprehensive Antutu benchmark. This long test stresses various parts of the system and provides a cumulative score.

Our total score went from a 1245660 to a 1453870. The biggest gains were in the graphics and the CPU with the UX and memory scores showing only modest gains.

Antutu benchmark results
Antutu benchmark results (M1 iPad Pro left, M2 iPad Pro right)

2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Cameras and Audio

On the back of the 2021 iPad Pro models, you'll find a 12-megapixel f/1.8 Wide camera and a 10-megapixel f/2.4 Ultra Wide sensor. Combined, this provides a 2x optical zoom out and a 5x digital zoom in.

For video, you could create a 4K recording at 60fps, with extended dynamic range for up to 30fps, and Slo-mo 1080p video at up to 240fps.

This is exactly the same for the 2022 models, except that they can also handle ProRes 4K video recording at 30fps on all storage capacities bar for the 128GB, which can do 1080p.

Cameras on the M2 and M1 iPad Pros
Cameras on the M2 and M1 iPad Pros


Around the front of the 2021 models, the TrueDepth camera sports an Ultra Wide lens, with a 12-megapixel f/2.4 shooter capable of a 2x digital zoom out. This camera helps provide Portrait mode shots with Depth Control, Portrait Lighting, 1080p video at 60fps, Cinematic video stabilization, and support for Animoji, Memoji, and Face ID.

Again, there's no difference in specification for the 2022 model's TrueDepth camera.

For audio, the 2021 and 2022 iPad Pro models all include the product line's signature quad-speaker system for "four-speaker audio." It's a neat trick that uses a speaker in each corner to provide stereo sound, regardless of orientation.

The microphones in each consist of five "studio-quality" microphones.

2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Connectivity and Battery

If you want to physically connect something to the 2021 iPad Pro models, you could do so in two ways. The main one was via the Thunderbolt/USB 4 port, a USB-C connection at the base that was also used for charging and to attach to USB-C accessories like external drives or to DisplayPort displays.

There's also a smart connector on the rear, designed to work with accessories like the Magic Keyboard without occupying the Thunderbolt port or using wireless connectivity components.

As you can probably guess by now, Apple didn't mess around with this at all for the M2 iPad Pro range.

External displays can be used via the included Thunderbolt port.
External displays can be used via the included Thunderbolt port.


For wireless connectivity, the 2021 models both have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. The 2022 models benefit from upgrades to Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, but this will only be useful if you have the network infrastructure or supportive peripherals that can take advantage of the newer standards.

On to cellular, and again there's no change. They have 5G support, including both sub-6GHz and mmWave bands, as well as Gigabit LTE.

Wi-Fi 6e and Bluetooth 5.3 on the 2022 M2 iPad Pro
Wi-Fi 6e and Bluetooth 5.3 on the 2022 M2 iPad Pro


While Apple has moved to eliminate physical SIM cards in its iPhone 14 for the U.S., you will still be able to use a physical nano-SIM or an eSIM in the 2022 iPad Pro, just like the class of 2021.

The battery capacities of 28.65Wh and 40.88Wh for the 11-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro carry over from 2021 to 2022, along with the claimed battery life. As usual, it's 10 hours of viewing video or web surfing on Wi-Fi, 9 hours on cellular.

2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Capacity and Pricing

The 2021 iPad Pro range started from $799 at launch for the 11-inch Wi-Fi model, which got you 128GB of storage. Going to 256GB raised the price to $899, 512GB cost $1,099, 1TB was $1,499, and 2TB was $1,899.

The 12.9-inch version started from $1,099 for 128GB, with the capacities priced at $1,199, $1,399, $1,799, and $2,199 respectively.

For both models, going for the Wi-Fi + Cellular version cost an extra $200, making the starting prices $1,099 and $1,299, depending on the size.

The most expensive 2021 iPad Pro model was the 12.9-inch Wi-Fi + Cellular 2TB version, priced at $2,399.

Apple hasn't changed the pricing for the 2022 iPad Pro models, with each configuration priced exactly the same as its 2021 counterpart.

2022 iPad Pro vs 2021 iPad Pro - Should you upgrade?

It is always hard to recommend users to upgrade their Apple products between sequential generations when there's very little difference between them. For the 2022 iPad Pro, the spec-bump problem has arrived once again.

Except for the change to the M2 chip, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth improvements, and sensing when the Apple Pencil is close to the display, there are no other material changes to concern those who bought the M1 version.

The lack of mini LED in the 11-inch model is a bit of a miss from Apple, but understandable if the company is trying to keep the 12.9-inch model a bit special compared to its stablemate.

These are the 2022 M2 iPad Pro, but they do look a lot like the M1 models.
These are the 2022 M2 iPad Pro, but they do look a lot like the M1 models.


For people on older non-M1 generations of iPad Pro, or those looking to shift their working life onto a tablet, the 2022 iPad Pro models are still a great option to purchase.

Existing M1 owners probably won't see much to warrant an upgrade, even with the M2 performance bump, though content creators may still make the leap.

The M2's inclusion of the Media Engine for chewing through video could make the iPad Pro a great creative production tool. Videographers, YouTubers, and others in the field will see it as a viable option for work once sufficient tools are in place.

With DaVinci Resolve arriving on iPad before the end of 2022, that makes it even more attractive.

Even with the lack of physical changes, mostly static features, and relatively few new additions, the M2 iPad Pro continues to be a top choice for tablet buyers wanting high performance while on the move.

Where to buy Apple's iPad Pro

The new M2 iPad Pro can be purchased in 11-inch and 12.9-inch configurations from popular Apple resellers, with the latest offers available in our M2 11-inch Price Guide and M2 12.9-inch Price Guide. At press time, Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama is knocking $29.01 off AppleCare for either size model with this activation link and promo code APINSIDER.

Closeout iPad deals are also in effect on M1 models, with the lowest prices at your fingertips in our M1 11-inch iPad Pro Price Guide and M1 12.9-inch iPad Pro Price Guide.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,219member

    Maybe I'm getting old, but this statement just rings as being overly dramatic and excessive:
    Apple's refresh to the line introduces one extremely major change, that of the switch over from M1 to M2. The change in chip should provide a considerable performance boost for those buying it over the previous generation.

    Wasn't it expected? Why is it an "extreme" change? The M2 is not that much of a leap over M1. The move from A-series to M-series was more dramatic, wasn't it?


    twokatmewwilliamlondonAlex1NDAalsethmuthuk_vanalingamAniMillgrandact73watto_cobradstrausscommand_f
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Looks like a nice spec bump upgrade.  My only gripe with the iPad Pro is that they should bring the mini-LED to the 11" model.
    Alex1NAnilu_777curtis hannahwatto_cobradstrauss
  • Reply 3 of 35
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,134member
    That the 11 inch IPP does not get mini led, and the appalling pencil approach on the new basic iPad makes me think this product cycle may be shorter than usual.
    I think I will just get an M1 Air to replace this old IPP. It isn’t as though the ipadOS would take advantage of the M2.  That way I will regret it less when the real update to the 11 inch IPP happens.
    twokatmewwilliamlondonAlex1Ncurtis hannahmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 35
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    For most users the M1 is already not being pushed very hard. Video editors would tell a different story but I know that my M1 iPP isn’t straining at all when I have a 300 page document or a painting in Procreate with 70 or more layers. And certainly not when I’m watching videos or gaming. So for people like me the M2 wouldn’t provide any improvement. I got my iPP for the increase in RAM, so I could have all those layers at high resolution, and for the  big screen. An M1 or M2 wouldn’t make any difference. 
    twokatmewCheeseFreezewilliamlondonAlex1NAnilu_777AniMillgrandact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 35
    https://youtu.be/452rsMUM07Q

    My sentiment. Such a stupid release.
    williamlondonneoncat
  • Reply 6 of 35
    I definitely would not call going from M1 to M2 an extremely major change. An extremely major change would be moving the FaceTime camera from portrait to landscape. That’s the change I’m waiting for. I too frequently find myself covering up the camera with my left hand and it’s pretty frustrating. 
    Alex1NAnilu_777fizzmasterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    https://youtu.be/452rsMUM07Q

    My sentiment. Such a stupid release.
    And they’ll sell like there’s no tomorrow as the iPad continues to completely dominate the tablet market. There is simply no competition to the iPad. How does it make you feel to be completely ignored.
    edited October 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 35
    I cant believe I waited a year for this.    I’m so f’ing pissed at Apple — not because this release isnt a MAJOR redesign.  I’m pissed because they didnt address a number of problem areas on this release.

    1). Im sorry.  The camera on the iPad Pro SUCKS.  It’s a total joke. And this year will be no different.
    2). WHY didnt they move the front camera to landscape!!?  They even did it on the new ipad…but not the pro????
    3) Another year of calling the 11.9 Pro.  This f’ing really makes me mad.   Why give it the Pro distinction with a piece of sh*t screen?

    F you, Tim Apple.
    Alex1Ngrandact73urahara
  • Reply 9 of 35
    Genuine question…what exactly is the biggest competition to the iPP? Or iPad Air? Heck, the base iPad for that matter? 

    There was a time I’d see an Amazon Fire or whatever that Samsung thing was out in the wild.  But I can honestly say I don’t recall the last time I saw something other than an iPad in use.  Though maybe I’m just not paying all that close attention….thus the question. 

    With so many Samsung or Pixel owners that revile anything Apple, there has to be some product that scratches that tablet ‘itch’.
    Alex1Nmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 35
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    Genuine question…what exactly is the biggest competition to the iPP? Or iPad Air? Heck, the base iPad for that matter 
    Probably the Air. If I didn’t want a big screen, that’s probably what I would have gone with. 

    As far as outside the iPad world, the Surface maybe? I agree, there’s nothing in Android land that comes close. And yes if I see a tablet it’s almost always an iPad. 
    curtis hannahwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 35
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,134member
    The lack of competition, and increasing costs in the supply chain, are no doubt the two key reasons these updates are so underwhelming.
    I wouldn’t call alternative iPad models as competition.

    Combined those with a clear lack of coordination between the boffins working on the lightning to USBc change and team working on the Pencil with respect to the new base iPad though, it  really is a very bad sign of how things are going for ipad internally in Apple.
    edited October 2022 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 35
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,183member
    Apple's non-warranty battery replacement for the M1 is $99; for the M2 is $179.
    curtis hannahsellerington
  • Reply 13 of 35
    Literally just a chip upgrade, otherwise everything else is the same and none should change their minds on these, maybe someone buying a 2021 on a budget.

    It also maintains the 11inch having an inferior screen which is such a bad distinction given the Air and now base model have basically the same screen size wise.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 35
    I have never been an "if only Steve were still here" guy. UNTIL NOW. From the new iPad updates (with iPad Pro still having camera in wrong place) to this stupid dongle to keep the Pencil 1.0 in play, ...oh my gosh; how awful. I mean, ...would Steve Jobs have overseen such things? Wow: BAD
    curtis hannahmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobrawilliamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 15 of 35
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,134member
    Jobs probably turned over in his grave when the gen 1 apple pencil plan for the new iPad was drafted. 

    That’s ok though, he had already done so when the design and the charging method for the Magic Mouse was approved. So now he is right side up again. Tim Apple can be thoughtful like that. 
    edited October 2022 williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 16 of 35
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    One thing to keep in mind. Apple never said this was a huge release. If it was, they would have had an event to showcase it. They literally just updated the web site, and issued an announcement. By word and deed Apple made it absolutely clear that this was just a minor bump, not a redesign. So for those of you screaming how this is underwhelming, well duh. It’s just a chip upgrade. Apple never pretended it was anything else, and it was obvious for the last few weeks that was all it was going to be. The press, AI included, who want site hits, and various analysts trying to game the stock were the ones trying to hype a 20% processor speed bump as the second coming. 

    Don’t fall for the hype, and you won’t be disappointed. 
    edited October 2022 watto_cobrawilliamlondonbeowulfschmidtcommand_f
  • Reply 17 of 35
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,031member
    I have the 12.9 M1 and have ordered the M2 version - both at 256 GB WiFi - I use the iPhone tethered instead of the overpriced 5G radio.

    At this point the iPad Pro is the main device I use - the MBP 14 is almost exclusively a desktop creature and my 60 year old eyes prefer the iPad Pro to my phone, so I decided to jump to the newer chipset. The lack of changes to the rest of the design are not a BFD to me.

    One of the nice things about the outside being unchanged is you can save and not have to replace the Magic Keyboard w Trackpad. Apple does not take them in trade and they are more than a little overpriced IMHO.
    AniMilldewmewatto_cobracommand_f
  • Reply 18 of 35
    AniMillAniMill Posts: 152member
    @Davgreg I am with you. I have the 14” MBP as a desktop alternative to the Mac Studio which I couldn’t get when needed. I’ve had my 11” iPP for 3 years and still love it. The screen - contrary to poopular belief- is still gorgeous. But yes, that 12.9 does look finer in some situations.

    With the M2 release, I’m looking to upgrade my 11” to the 12.9”, then sell my 14” MBP M1 for a Mac Studio M2 when it’s released. This will be a fantastic dCinema production solution.
    edited October 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 35
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 746member
    Apple doesn’t really seem to know what to do with the iPad other than make it faster and brighter. It would be great if some software companies stepped in and started releasing full versions of their software for it built around the Magic Keyboard. I use my iPad to call back to my computers (with Screens app) and on a fast connection it is almost like working in front of them. This experience would be great in an iPad form factor. Apple also needs a proper desktop for iPad and more RAM. I can have a lot of historical data in a browser and when I leave and come back it force refreshes and pulls up the current data. 
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 35
    thttht Posts: 5,355member
    DAalseth said:
    One thing to keep in mind. Apple never said this was a huge release. If it was, they would have had an event to showcase it. They literally just updated the web site, and issued an announcement. By word and deed Apple made it absolutely clear that this was just a minor bump, not a redesign. So for those of you screaming how this is underwhelming, well duh. It’s just a chip upgrade. Apple never pretended it was anything else, and it was obvious for the last few weeks that was all it was going to be. The press, AI included, who want site hits, and various analysts trying to game the stock were the ones trying to hype a 20% processor speed bump as the second coming. 

    Don’t fall for the hype, and you won’t be disappointed. 
    Yes, people have to be disciplined in thinking that the mediarati and the Internet aren't actually presenting reality or perceptions. It's a weird concentration of news and dramatization to make people read or watch, and it often is just not something of import to the 99% of the audience.

    A typical article is that the new model isn't good enough for owners of the previous model to upgrade too. Readers should be thinking "who does that?" Nobody should be doing that. They have 1 year old machines, and there are articles discussing whether they should upgrade? That's craziness. If you want to do it, more power to you, but 99% of the installed base of the prior year model shouldn't be doing that, and they don't. It's like telling someone that they should or shouldn't upgrade from their 2021 model year car to a 2022 model year car.

    It really is a fine line between good and bad criticism.
    muthuk_vanalingamDAalsethwatto_cobrawilliamlondoncommand_f
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