iPad Pro (2022) vs. iPad (2022): Should you invest in the ‘Pro’?

Image: Apple

Once there was a clear demarcation between Apples basic iPad line and its iPad Pro models. Those who want a basic model for couch browsing, media consumption or traditional tablet activities could opt for the cheaper model, while those who want to get real work done use their device as a drawing tablet or replace their laptop would probably need a Pro model.

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Now those lines are blurred to the point where it’s harder to know which one is right for you. We’ll go over the differences in specs, price and features to help clear up this murky picture and ensure you get best tablet for your needswithout wasting money on features you’ll never use.


iPad Pro (2022)

iPad (2022)


10.9-inch or 12.9-inch IPS running at 2388 x 1668

The 10.9-inch IPS runs at 2360 x 1640

Apple Pencil support

Supports Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Supports Apple Pencil (1st generation)



A14 Bionic

Physical connection USB-4 (Thunderbolt) charging and data port, Nano-SIM tray (mobile models), magnetic connector USB-C charging and data port, Nano-SIM tray (mobile models)
Storage options 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB 64 GB, 256 GB
Cameras 12 MP wide and 10 MP ultra-wide rear cameras; 12 MP ultra-wide front camera with TrueDepth support 12 MP rear camera; 12 MP ultra-wide front camera
Wireless connection Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G (mobile models) Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 5G (mobile models)


Silver and Space Grey

Space grey, starlight, pink, purple and blue


10 hours of Internet browsing or video viewing on Wi-Fi

10 hours of Internet browsing or video viewing on Wi-Fi

Price Starting at $700 From $449

You should buy the iPad Pro (2022) if…

An iPad Pro lying on a wooden panel.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

1. You need a tablet replacement tablet in the truest sense of the word

Between its compatibility with Apple’s Magic Keyboardits inclusion of the same M2 chip that runs some of Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops and its ability to use second generation of Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro can replace a laptop for a significant portion of the population. This is especially true for creatives who can take advantage of the Apple Pencil’s excellent stylus input and benefit from the full viability of advanced video and image editing powered by the, let’s be honest, completely overkill M2 core.

The only remaining limitations of the iPad Pro compared to a MacBook are based solely on what software is available for it.

2. You want the best vlogging and video conferencing tablet

While both of these models have front-facing cameras with similar resolution and a 12MP rear wide-angle lens, the iPad Pro has a second 10MP ultra-wide rear camera and a front-facing shooter that supports TrueDepth technology for FaceID unlocks and other capabilities. This makes it a legitimate competitor to your first vlogging cameraor a video conferencing animal.

Review: iPad Pro (2022): The Ultimate Multitasking Experience?

Best of all, unlike almost any vlogging option, you can edit your video files on the same device you used to record them. This streamlined workflow can save you time and enough money to make up for the iPad Pro’s price difference. It’s five “studio quality” microphones that will also help you sound great on Zoom or YouTube.

3. Your mobile game requires the best hardware

Not only does the iPad Pro offer the largest screen size in its 12.9-inch model but it also has the best resolution (2732 x 2048 at that size) and Apple’s ProMotion technology, which boosts the display’s refresh rate to provide much smoother motion when needed, or battery-saving lower refresh rates when the image is static or moving slowly .

You might not notice the difference in video, but if you’re playing a ProMotion-enabled game, it’ll be instantly recognizable just how smooth the iPad Pro’s screen can be. If sound is important, it’s also worth noting that the iPad Pro has an upgraded four-speaker sound system, a significant improvement over the iPad’s landscape stereo speakers.

You should buy iPad (2022) if…

The new Apple iPad surrounded by the accompanying accessories.

June Wan/ZDNET

1. You buy a tablet for a child or media consumption on the go

Apple’s iPad line has lasted children entertained and educated for the better part of a decade. It’s also let us adults zone out and drown out our latest streaming obsessions in recent years. If basic video and audio streaming is your main concern, the iPad Pro is probably massively overkill. Sure, its screen is superior, but not to the point where it’s worth spending almost twice as much for most users, especially young ones.

Apple’s decision to include Bluetooth 5.2 in the iPad (2022) meaning it’s even a very close match to the iPad Pro’s Bluetooth 5.3, which offers only a slight upgrade in connection speed and minor power efficiency improvements. Think of it this way, you can get both of your kids an iPad or just one an iPad Pro. What do you think would lead to a more peaceful household?

2. You have a budget

Apple’s latest iPad is the cheapest option in its 2022 lineup, even cheaper than the smaller iPad Mini. That means it’s still the best option for those who want a cutting-edge tablet without breaking the bank. There are people who will actually make use of the Pro’s lightning-fast M2 core, its upgraded display and its 2nd generation Apple Pencil support. But if you’re not one of those people, there’s no reason to spend nearly twice as much on features you simply won’t use.

Review: iPad 2022 (10th generation): A confusingly good iPad

Instead, spend these funds on accessories like new Apple Magic Keyboard Folioor a nice pair of Bluetooth headphones. Both will do you a lot more good than a fancy CPU, you only use 1/10 of the processing power.

3. You don’t care about the Apple Pencil or plan to use it rarely

Apple’s decision to bring support for its Apple Pencil stylus line to non-Pro models made sense. After all, it turns an already great tablet into an incredible device for digital art, note-taking, project planning, and more. Support to first generation Apple Pencil, over the last few generations of iPad and iPad Air was a huge boon for creatives on a budget. Unfortunately, with the 10th generation iPad, things got a little less streamlined thanks to Apple’s switch from a Lightning power/data port to USB-C.

While this change was great for almost everything else, it meant that the 1st generation Apple Pencil’s built-in Lightning connector now had to a separate adapter cable to charge. Apple could have added support for the second-generation Pencil, but that would mean a magnetic charging port would be required, which would likely raise the iPad’s $450 price. For those who plan to make frequent use of the Apple Pencil but don’t need the power of the iPad Pro, iPad Air and its 2nd-gen Pencil support is a good option.

Alternatives to consider

Are you open to other options for iPad and tablets? Consider these ZDNET recommended devices:

Feel like the iPad is too basic, but the iPad Pro is overkill? Luckily for you, there’s a medium option out there that might be just the thing. The iPad Air (2022) includes 2nd-generation Apple Pencil support and an upgraded M1 core, but only raises the price by about $100-$200, depending on configuration and current promotional pricing. It’s an excellent choice if you’re not quite sure you need a Pro model yet, but you want to test the waters.

More: iPad (2022) vs. iPad Air (2022): Which is really better for you?

Sometimes less is actually better, even in tablets. Like when you want the same options as a full-size model in a smaller package. Apple’s latest iPad Mini fits that bill by including an A15 Bionic Chip, full range of connectivity options and the same camera array as the iPad (2022). Don’t expect to save money by choosing the smaller option, but the extra room in your travel bag may be worth it.

Review: Apple iPad Mini (6th generation): Unmatched portability and power

Android’s tablet options are far more diverse than Apple’s one-company lineup. This can make tablet shopping even more confusing when trying to decide which one might be best for you. Fortunately, our own June Wan did the work for you and tested the available managers to decide that The Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is the best Android tablet for most people.

More: The 7 best Android tablets of 2022

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