M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: what has changed?

The new iPad Pro with the M2 chip takes performance one step further, but what has all changed from the previous generation iPad Pro? Follow along for an in-depth look at what’s the same and what’s new when comparing the M2 iPad Pro vs. M1 iPad Pro to help you decide which is the best option.

In 2021, the 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro arrives with the powerful M1 chip, Thunderbolt connectivity, 5G for cellular models, and new camera features like Center Stage and more.

Now the iPad Pro 2022 M2 lineup offers a number of modifications and changes, but many of them are very minor, which may push customers towards the M1 iPad Pro or even the iPad Air.

Below we will break down all the subtleties of the M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro. We also have a full comparison of the new entry-level iPad and more:

M2 iPad Pro vs. M1 iPad Pro

performance

M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro chip specifications

The main difference between the new and old iPad Pro is the upgrade from the M1 chip to the M2.

This provides an 18% faster CPU, a 35% faster GPU (10 cores vs. 8 cores), and a twofold increase in memory bandwidth from 50GB/s to 100GB/s.

Note: The 128, 256, and 512GB models have 8GB of RAM, while the 1TB and 2TB models have 16GB of RAM.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
chip M2 m 1 M2 m 1
CPU cores 8 8 8 8
GPU cores 10 8 10 8
neuronal nuclei 16 16 16 16
storage 128 GB – 2 TB 128 GB – 2 TB 128 GB – 2 TB 128 GB – 2 TB
RAM 8 or 16 GB 8 or 16 GB 8 or 16 GB 8 or 16 GB
memory bandwidth 100 GB / sec 50 GB/sec 100 GB / sec 50 GB/sec
Thunderbolt / USB 4 port
cellular Fifth generation network Fifth generation network Fifth generation network Fifth generation network

Outside of the slight boost in CPU and GPU performance, all other specs like storage, RAM, Thunderbolt connectivity, and 5G remain the same between the new and old iPad Pro models.

Show

M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro screen

Just like the M1 12.9″ iPad Pro, only the M2 12.9″ iPad Pro features a miniLED-backlit Liquid Retina XDR display.

Display features common across all professional models include up to 120Hz ProMotion, P3 wide color, fully laminated displays, anti-reflective coatings, and True Tone.

There seems to be only one difference between the new M2 11 and 12.9 iPad Pro display and M1 versions — the new Apple Pencil Hover feature.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Show 11″ 11″ 12.9″ with miniLED 12.9″ with miniLED
the decision 2388 x 1668 2388 x 1668 2732 x 2048 2732 x 2048
PPI (pixels per inch) 264 264 264 264
screen brightness 600 nt 600 nt 600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR 600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR
true tone
P3 wide color
ProMotion (120 Hz)
Anti-reflective coating
Fully laminated screen
Liquid Retina screen
Liquid Retina XDR display
Apple Pencil Hover

Delivery and accessories

The new iPad Pro models work with the same Apple accessories as the previous generation iPad Pro. This includes the second-generation Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard Folio.

Some of the small upgrades with the M2 iPad Pro include Bluetooth 5.3 and WiFi 6E.

11 and 12.9 M2 iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 M1 iPad Pro
Support for the second-generation Apple Pencil
Magic Keyboard support
Fifth generation network
Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi 6e
bluetooth 5.3 5.0
USB-C USB 4 USB 4
lightning strike
face id

Interestingly, the new iPad Pro models don’t get the Magic Keyboard Folio like the iPad 10.

battery life

The 2022 iPad Pro models feature the M2 chip with the same battery life as their predecessors:

  • 10 hours of web or video use on WiFi
  • 9 hours of web use with a cell phone

Storage and price

Storage remains the same between old and new iPad Pro models. Also, the pricing – the original MSRP pricing – remains unchanged. However, keep an eye out for M1 iPad Pro discounts with the new models available now.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
128 GB Wi-Fi $799 $799 $1,099 $1,099
128 GB + cell $999 $999 $1299 $1299
256 GB Wi-Fi $899 $899 $1199 $1199
256 GB + cell $1,099 $1,099 $1,399 $1,399
512 GB WiFi $1,099 $1,099 $1,399 $1,399
512 GB + cell $1299 $1299 $1,599 $1,599
1 terabyte wifi $1499 $1499 $1,799 $1,799
1 TB + cell $1699 $1699 1999 dollars 1999 dollars
2tb wifi 1899 USD 1899 USD $2,199 $2,199
2tb + cell $2,099 $2,099 $2,399 $2,399

Cameras, video and audio

M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro cameras
2021 iPad Pro rear camera

With the iPad Pro’s rear camera system, you have a 12MP wide lens, a 10MP ultra-wide lens, a LiDAR scanner, and a True Tone flash.

On the back, you get a 12MP ultra-wide lens with Center Stage support.

The only changes between the M2 and M1 iPad Pro, for now, are Smart HDR 4 photos versus Smart HDR 3 and the ability to shoot ProRes video up to 4K at 30fps (1080p at 30fps for the 128GB models).

11 and 12.9 M2 iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 M1 iPad Pro
12MP wide lens
10MP Ultra Wide Lens
lidar
4K video
ProRes video up to 4K 30fps
Extended dynamic range
Slow motion video
Back camera flash
TrueDepth camera with Face ID
12MP ultra wide front camera
2x optical zoom out
Smart HDR 3 photos
Smart HDR4 photos
Automatic phase center tracking
4 speakers
stereo recording
5 studio-quality microphones

The iPad Pro’s front camera also features support for Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, and Animoji/Memoji.

Curiously, while the iPad 10 got an ultra-wide landscape front-facing camera, the iPad Pro keeps the front-facing camera on the top (the short side) of the frame.

Dimensions, weight and colors

Size and weight are identical between the M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro according to Apple:

  • M2 and M1 11-inch iPad Pro: 1.03 pounds, 9.74 inches (247.6mm) high, 7.02 inches (178.5mm) wide, 0.23 inches (5.9mm) thick
  • M2 and M1 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 1.5 pounds, 11.04 inches (280.6mm) high, 8.46 inches (214.9mm) wide, 0.25 inches (6.4mm) thick

Color options remain the same with silver and space gray.

Other small differences

There are two other small differences that you’ll see with the M2 iPad Pro:

  • The USB-C cable is braided into the box instead of a plastic cable
  • “iPad Pro” text label on the back instead of “iPad” on previous iPad Pro models
  • The M2 iPad Pro’s space gray color may be slightly lighter than the M1 iPad Pro’s space gray color, with the antenna line of the cellular models being more muted
Apple finishes in space gray as shown on their website. M2 on the left, M1 on the right

Conclusion M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro

Why buy M2 iPad Pro?

Considering all the similarities between the M2 iPad Pro and M1, you’ll probably only want to pick the new model if you’re a pro with workflows that will take advantage of the M2 chip/ProRes support or you’re okay with spending money on the latest and best from Apple.

The M2 iPad Pro is available at Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, BH Photo, and more with stock that looks good across the board.

Why buy the M1 iPad Pro?

When you can get the vast majority of the M2 iPad Pro’s features with the M1 iPad Pro and the processor difference isn’t an issue for most users, picking one up at a discount is probably a popular move.

Also, don’t forget that the iPad Air offers a great package at a cheaper price than the last generation iPad Pro. That’s if you’re okay with the 11-inch size.

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