Disadvantages: Front camera still on the side when used as a laptop, very expensive due to euro zone inflation
I’m a longtime convert to Apple’s iPad Pro for getting work stuff done. I use it to archive stories, use enterprise software, make zoom calls, store documents, access files from external drives, watch movies, edit photos (and videos), and anything else you need from a work-oriented laptop would expect, which you also use for your downtime.
With accessories like the Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro has been one of the best and most flexible laptops you can buy for a while.
The latest 12.9-inch model with Apple’s M2 chip is now also one of the most powerful. This updated iPad Pro has more raw power than the vast majority of laptops out there.
The question arises as to what exactly this power can be used for. For the work routines I have, it’s marginal to last year’s M1 model or even the 2020 model with its A12z processor.
And in using it over the past few weeks, I’ve only noticed a thing or two.
The main one is using Apple’s Pencil stylus. It now has a “hover” feature that shows you where the tip of the stylus will connect on the iPad Pro’s screen once it’s within an inch of it. This is probably most useful for graphics professionals and artists for whom a misjudged millimeter can mess up a project. I for one found it marginally useful for digital signatures where the signature field was very narrow or restricted.
While I haven’t seen the extra power of the M2 processor in my work routines, it’s worth remembering what they are. In short, it’s a similar upgrade from the M1 MacBook Pro to the M2 MacBook Pro.
So you’ll notice it when you’re dealing with large files or particularly graphics-intensive processes. That’s because you now have roughly double the memory bandwidth as the M1 model, with a 35 percent boost in the GPU and a 15 percent jump in the CPU.
There’s also an updated media engine that can now handle ProRes raw footage and process it fairly quickly.
There are also some minor technical changes to the cameras. The rear can now do ProRes at 30fps in 4K, while the front-facing lens has been upgraded to Smart HDR 4.
The WLAN standard has also been upgraded slightly, from Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 6E.
Otherwise, there’s not much else that differs from last year’s M1 model.
In a way, the M2 iPad Pro 12.9 takes a little breather from the jump in specs we saw on last year’s M1 model.
But all of those upgrades still feel fresh today.
The four speakers built into the device round off the high-end display well
The Liquid Retina XDR display, for example, is absolutely stunning – better than most high-end TVs you’ll see in stores today. The mini-LED technology and high dynamic range make watching videos a much better experience than on almost any other laptop or tablet I’ve tested. (This goes double if you have AirPods that support spatial audio.) And it’s nice and bright too, hitting a friendly 1,000 nits for things like outdoor photos and video, or 1,600 nits at peak.
The four speakers built into the device round off the high-end display well; This is one of the few tablets or laptops that you can comfortably watch a movie on without needing headphones for quality sound.
It’s also one of the few devices that doesn’t require a separate USB-C mic for high-quality voice recording – the five built-in mics are excellent.
There’s more RAM (up to 16GB) and storage (up to 2TB) than before 2021.
5G is also available for the cellular models, although I’m amazed at the popularity of this option in Ireland as anyone can hotspot their iPhone with almost unlimited data on most standard phone plans. (However, the eSim option comes in very handy when traveling outside the EU.)
And the USB-C connectivity (Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4), along with the file management and cursor-friendly compatibility of the iPad operating system, also removes most of the friction that has been there for many people making the switch from a MacBook or MacBook considered Windows laptop. This USB-C port (made easier by iPadOS) also lets you connect an external Pro Display monitor with up to 6K resolution.
The iPad Pro 12.9 M2 has two rear cameras, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens
Then there’s the Magic Keyboard, which while expensive, transformed productivity with the iPad Pro. It’s basically the same as the MacBook Air M2’s keyboard.
The iPad Pro 12.9 M2 has two rear cameras, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. There’s also a lidar scanner, useful for augmented reality apps, which I only dabble in occasionally. The front-facing 10-megapixel TrueDepth camera is okay, but represents one of only two real quibbles I have about this device.
For anyone who uses the iPad Pro 12.9 as a laptop, this lens is still out of place for me. It’s halfway up the left side, a spot that was once considered the “top” of the device when tablets were mostly handheld like large smartphones.
Apple has somewhat acknowledged the issue in its latest iPad design (see review on Independent.ie). On this device, the front-facing camera lens has been placed in the same position as you would find on most laptops, making work-related calls look a lot more natural.
The other minor downside is the unfortunate price difference between the EU and the US. The entry-level model for this year’s M2 iPad Pro 12.9 has now shot up to €1,479, a whopping €250 more than the M1 model. This is entirely due to the euro’s depreciation against the dollar, as the same device costs just $1,099 (plus local sales tax) in the US.
Even if you have the money, this is a great work and play device.
It’s a high-end machine that’s as good as or better than most laptops.
https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/reviews/apples-new-ipad-pro-m2-has-more-computing-power-than-most-modern-laptops-42150208.html Apple’s new iPad Pro M2 has more processing power than most modern laptops