Because the new iPad Pro (2022) didn’t show up at the iPhone 14 launch event in early September, all eyes are to October – that’s because some leaks suggest Apple is hosting an iPad launch event then.
That means we’ll see the company’s newest top-end slate as well as the 2022 version of the entry-level iPad. Well, if the leaks are correct, but we really hope they are, so that we actually see more than one iPad this year.
The rumors so far don’t make the new iPad Pro sound like a huge reinvention, but we are starting to get the impression that they could bring some useful refinements.
The iPad Pro (2021) was one of our favorite slates from last year, as Apple’s Pro tablets offer loads of power and great-looking screens, so if the company carries on its winning streak the 2022 version could be one of the best tablets of 2022.
Apple needs to make sure its iPad Pro (2022) is impressive, not least because it has some steep competition from Samsung, with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
Ahead of an official unveiling for the tablet, we’ve listed all the information provided by leaks and rumors below. There’s also a wish-list for the tablet, which explores what we want to see based on its predecessors and trends in the tablet market.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple’s sixth-gen tablet designed for professionals
- When is it out? Likely October
- How much will it cost? Probably starting at $799 / £749 / AU$1,199 and going way, way up
iPad Pro (2022) price and availability
Most recent leaks make it sound like the iPad Pro models will launch towards the end of 2022, bucking Apple’s trend of debuting them at the beginning of the year – well, save for the rumored 14-inch iPad, as most leakers point to that showing up in early 2023.
We’ve heard from multiple leakers now that an October launch is likely. Plus, Apple has revealed that iPadOS 16 won’t land until after iOS 16, and with these operating system updates likely to land alongside relevant hardware, that means the new iPad Pro probably won’t land until after the iPhone 14 either. So with the iPhone 14 set for a September 7 unveiling, an October iPad Pro launch would make sense.
As Apple’s most expensive line of tablets, you can’t expect the new iPad Pros to be cheap. The iPad Pro 11 (2021) started at $799 / £749 / AU$1,199 and went up to $2,099 / £1,899 / AU$3,099, while the 12.9-inch model started at $1,099 / £999 / AU$1,649 and capped out at $2,399 / £2,149 / AU$3,549.
An iPad Pro (2022) leak points to the tablets being a little bit more affordable, surprisingly. We’ve heard that the 11-inch version will cost $799 for 128GB storage and cellular connectivity, while the 12.9-inch version will go for $1,099 for those same specs.
Those prices are a fair bit below the corresponding configuration prices for the 2021 model, suggesting that the 2022 series might hurt your wallet a little bit less.
News and rumors
The first thing to know about the iPad Pro 2022 is that despite talk that Apple is exploring larger iPad Pro screen sizes for some point in the future, it will probably be the same size as the iPad Pro 2021, meaning you’d be able to get it in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes. That’s what Ming-Chi Kuo (an analyst with a great track record for Apple information) reckons anyway, though one smaller leaker thinks that a 14.1-inch version is coming.
In the same report, Kuo claimed that the iPad Pro 11 (2022) would get a Mini LED screen. The iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) apparently will as well, but that’s not an upgrade for the 12.9-inch model, as the current version already uses Mini LED.
There is a major leaker who thinks that the new iPad Pro (2022) line won’t get a large version though, so take it with a pinch of salt.
It’s worth noting that we had previously heard that the iPad Pro 2022 might get an OLED screen instead, but more recent reports suggest that switch is further out. A screen change which seems more likely is that the 11-inch iPad Pro could get mini-LED, a display tech only used on the 12.9-inch model in 2021.
In other news, according to a report, the next iPad Pro will follow suit from the iPhone 12 and adopt MagSafe – that’s the ability to connect, via magnets, to clip-on peripherals like magnetic chargers and cases.
In addition this report suggests the tablet will come with a glass back and will support wireless and reverse wireless charging – the latter is so you can power up other gadgets using the tablet. Later rumors suggested that the tablet might not have an entirely glass back, as that would make it incredibly fragile, but that the Apple logo on the rear could be made of this material, so MagSafe would work in that one particular spot.
We’ve now heard multiple times that the iPad Pro (2022) will get MagSafe, with one report adding that it will apparently also get an M2 chipset – but that this will have the same CPU as the M1, just with more GPU cores and some speed improvements.
We’ve also heard that future iPad Pro models might be focused on landscape orientation, with a horizontal Apple logo and cameras. This could also mean a new aspect ratio, though that’s just speculation for now. It’s worth noting that the source of this leak claims not to be sure whether this change will happen in time for the iPad Pro 2022 though.
A major name in Apple news said that the iPad Pro (2022) would see a redesign over its predecessors, but while the source holds weight, there isn’t actually much information regarding what ‘redesign’ actually means.
Storage sizes could see an increase, with one leaker pointing to 512GB, 1TB, 2TB and even 4TB versions of the tablet.
Oddly, we’ve also heard that the iPad Pro 2022 could have a pair of 4-pin connectors, presumably in place of the single 3-pin Smart Connector used by current models. But what advantage this new connector would have, and whether current Smart Connector accessories would be compatible, is unclear. We’d certainly take this with a pinch of salt for now though.
What we want to see
1. Lower the price
If you’ve already read the pricing section above, we probably don’t need to go into more detail as to why we want to see a lower price from the iPad Pro (2022).
iPad Pro devices are incredibly expensive tablets, and if you’re buying extras like Apple Pencils, keyboard folios, carrying cases, various apps and more, you could find yourself forking over loads just to use the thing.
While the iPad Air 4 does offer lots of the Pro models’ specs at a lower cost, it’s not quite the same, so some people might want to get the iPad Pro (2022)’s power without the huge cost.
2. Bundle the Apple Pencil
Talking of expensive, let’s discuss the Apple Pencil. It’s a useful addition for the tablet – some would call it vital – but unlike Huawei’s M Pen or Samsung’s S Pen, the stylus doesn’t come bundled with the tablet.
This means, if you’re considering buying the tablet and want the Apple Pencil too, the cost proposition is even higher, which might nudge you towards one of the competing premium tablets.
Plus, bundling the Apple Pencil would help Apple crack down on the myriad knock-off Apple Pencils that don’t always work as intended.
3. Improve the battery life
We found both the 2021 and 2020 iPad Pros lasted about ten hours of standard use on a single charge. Sounds fine, right? Well, no, because ‘standard use’ involves watching Netflix, browsing social media and the like.
If you use your iPad Pro as a professional (like the name suggests), by editing video, music or images, working on multiple documents simultaneously, or even playing games, you can find the battery drains incredibly quickly.
In fact, battery drain on the iPad Pro is so fast that we’ve often found plugging it in while working only offsets the power use, but doesn’t charge it back up.
Power improvements need to be found, whether that’s by adding software optimizations that reduce power drain, or simply shoving in a bigger battery. Oh, and faster charging would be nice too – in this day and age, 18W simply isn’t fast enough.
4. No processing power restrictions
According to app developers, the iPad Pro (2021) limits how much RAM each app can use to only 5GB – since the top-end version of the slate offers 16GB of RAM, that’s a strangely low cap.
This could be an issue for apps that need lots of RAM to run, including AR tools and editing software, and indeed some developers have complained about this limitation.
A RAM cap could stop developers creating apps that need more power too, which would have implications for iPad software in the long run. We’d like to see this cap dropped, either for the iPad Pro (2022) or maybe beforehand for all iPads.
5. iPadOS improvements
iPadOS is a fine tablet operating system, but there are still some important productivity tools that are missing, despite iPadOS 15‘s improvements.
Multitasking is an issue, as you can’t view three apps simultaneously, or split the screen horizontally, two use cases which certain users might find very useful.
iPadOS 15’s Universal Control looks useful, as it lets you drag and drop files and windows between your iPad and a Mac – but iPhone compatibility would make this feature truly seamless for people.
There aren’t too many useful home screen widgets for the key productivity apps either, though that’s not something Apple can do much about, as it’s down to developers.