Thursday Sep 28, 2023

iPad Pro (2022): All you need to know about the next-gen iPad Pro range

New gen ipad pro
Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash

Last year’s iPad Pro range brought significant changes to the premium iPad duo. As well as an upgraded Mini-LED display on the 12.9in model, Apple introduced its desktop chipset – the Apple M1 – to the range, allowing the tablets to harness the impressive processing power and battery efficiency usually exclusive to desktops and laptops.

While that’s impressive enough, Apple is hard at work on the next iPad Pro range behind closed doors. We round up all there is to know about the iPad Pro (2022) range right here, including the latest release date rumours and what to expect from the upcoming tablets.

When will the iPad Pro (2022) range be released?

With the iPad Pro (2021) range still close in the rear-view mirror, it should come as no surprise that Apple has yet to announce a release date for the next-gen tablet range.

With that being said, what we can do is look at previous releases to get an idea of when to expect the new iPad Pro range to appear. Going back to the release of the first-gen iPad Pro 11 in 2018, here’s how the iPad Pro release schedule looks:

  • iPad Pro range (2018): November 2018
  • iPad Pro range (2020): March 2020
  • iPad Pro range (2021): May 2021

As you can see, it’s not quite as clear-cut as the Apple Watch or iPhone, which tend to debut in September every year, but there is a vague first-half-of-the-year schedule over the past few years. If Apple is to continue that with the new models, we should see the new iPad Pro range appear sometime in the first half of 2022.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that a new iPad Pro will be released in 2022, but has yet to provide a release window.

If you can’t wait that long, take a look at our iPad buying guide to find out which is the best tablet for you right now, and we list the best.

How much will the iPad Pro (2022) range cost?

Much like the release date, there’s no word on possible pricing for the iPad Pro (2022) range, so we’ll reflect on past base pricing to give us a rough idea:

  • iPad Pro 12.9in (2020): £969/$999
  • iPad Pro 11in (2020): £769/$799
  • iPad Pro 12.9in (2021): £999/$1,099
  • iPad Pro 11in (2021): £749/$799
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As you can see, Apple isn’t afraid to tweak the pricing of the iPad Pro range from time to time. While the iPad Pro 11in (2021) is actually £20 cheaper in the UK than its predecessor, the iPad Pro 12.9in model saw a £30/$100 increase this time around – likely due to the upgraded mini-LED display.

That said, it doesn’t like to dramatically increase the price of an already-premium tablet range, so while the iPad Pro 11in may go up slightly depending on the upgrades on offer, we can’t see the 12.9in model breaking the sacred £1,000/$1,100 mark.

Latest iPad Pro (2022) design & feature rumours

Apple has spent the past year syncing the design language of its product range, with the iPad Mini 6 and iPhone 13 sporting the same industrial, angular look as the iPad Pro range.

With that in mind, we don’t expect Apple to redesign the wheel – or more appropriately, the iPad Pro – with its 2022 refresh. There will be a range of new features of course, and the rumour mill has been churning away.

Mini-LED on 11in model

One of the most prevalent rumours right now is arguably one of the most obvious; the 11in iPad Pro (2022) is expected to match the 12.9in model’s Mini-LED display, after missing out on the tech in the 2021 range. The news comes from the eerily accurate Ming-Chi Kuo, suggesting in a July 2021 note to investors that the iPad Pro 11in and MacBook Air will both get the mini-LED upgrade in 2022.

As we’ve seen from the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021), the upgraded display tech is a huge step forward from the standard LCD display used by previous-gen tablets. It allows not only more control over contrast with truly inky blacks, but it produces vibrant colours and it’s impressively bright too.

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In fact, Tech Advisor Editor Jim Martin described the Mini-LED display as “phenomenal” in his 4.5 star iPad Pro 12.9in (2021) review.

Glass rear for wireless charging

Despite not changing the overall form factor of the upcoming range, the new models of iPad Pro are rumoured to sport glass backs in place of the aluminium currently used. The reason for the switch to glass, according to Bloomberg, is to enable wireless charging to the iPad range for the first time.

The claim was backed up again in September 2021, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman doubling down on the glass rear and reverse wireless charging capabilities of the upcoming iPad Pro range. Given the fact that it’s readily available (not to mention a hugely popular feature) on the iPhone range, it makes sense for the tech to finally make an appearance on Apple’s tablet range.

In the same report, Bloomberg also suggests that the transition to a glass back will also enable reverse wireless charging for the first time. This would allow owners to charge a Qi-enabled iPhone or AirPods by placing them on the rear of the tablet – handy for quick top-ups.

A follow-up report in early 2022 from 9to5Mac suggests differently though. According to “sources familiar with Apple’s design plans”, the glass rear design might’ve been scrapped due to how fragile it’d make the device compared to its current aluminium body.

Instead, the company is developing prototypes with a larger Apple logo (similar in size to that of the new MacBook Pro) made entirely from glass to allow for wireless power transfer. The report also suggests that it’ll feature magnets – much like MagSafe on the iPhone – but with “stronger magnets to prevent accidents” and it’ll charge faster than iPhone models do too.

Refreshed design

As well as a glass rear and reverse wireless charging, one analyst suggests the iPad Pro could get an updated design – though the leaker isn’t sure if it’s for next year’s model, or it’s just something in the works behind closed doors at Apple Park.

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Discussing the leak via Twitter, @dylandkt suggests that a new iPad Pro could feature a horizontal camera placement and a horizontal Apple logo to match, with the ‘default’ orientation of the Pro tablets switching from portrait to landscape.

There’s no mention of other iPads getting the same treatment, and while that may sound odd at first, the Pro range does lend itself more to landscape scenarios than other tablets in Apple’s range. Creatives tend to draw in landscape orientation, editors edit in landscape and it’s in landscape when used with the Magic Keyboard too.

Of course, with no mention of the reorientation in any other design leaks, it’s worth taking this one with a pinch of salt, but it’s certainly an interesting idea.

M1 Pro, M1 Max, or M2 chipset

Given Apple’s transition to the M1 chipset on the iPad Pro (2021) range, it’s safe to assume that one of its successors will be featured in the 2022 range.

This could be either of the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips found in the redesigned 14 & 16in MacBook Pro range, perhaps with the Pro found in the smaller iPad Pro and the Max included in the larger model.

It’s also possible that Apple will debut a next-gen M2 chip in 2022 alongside the new iPad Pros, but this feels less likely, as it would be too soon after the unveiling of the M1 Pro & Max variants – so it’s more likely that we’ll see these added to the iPads.


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Hailey Josephine

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