Home / iPad / M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: What’s changed?

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: What’s changed?

Apple has launched the M2 iPad Pro alongside the iPad 10. The new chip takes iPad performance another step forward, but what’s changed from the previous-gen 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.

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

Now the 2022 M2 iPad Pro lineup is here with a number of tweaks and changes, but many of them are quite minor which could push customers toward the M1 iPad Pro or even iPad Air.

Below we’ll break down all the fine details of the M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro. We’ve also got a full comparison of the new entry-level iPad:

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro

Performance

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro chip specs

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

That delivers up to an 18% faster CPU, 35% faster GPU (10-core vs 8-core), and a 2x boost in memory bandwidth from 50GB/s to 100GB/s.

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

11″ M2 iPad Pro11″ M1 iPad Pro12.9″ M2 iPad Pro12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
ChipM2M1M2M1
CPU cores8888
GPU cores108108
Neural cores16161616
Storage128GB – 2TB128GB – 2TB128GB – 2TB128GB – 2TB
RAM8 or 16GB8 or 16GB8 or 16GB8 or 16GB
Memory bandwidth100GB/s50GB/s100GB/s50GB/s
Thunderbolt/USB 4
Cellular5G5G5G5G

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

Display

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro Display

Just like the M1 12.9″ iPad Pro, the M2 12.9″ iPad Pro is the only one that features the Liquid Retina XDR display with miniLED backlighting.

Shared display features across all pro models include up to 120Hz ProMotion, P3 wide color, full laminated displays, anti-reflective coating, and True Tone.

There appears to be just one difference between the new M2 11 and 12.9″ iPad Pro display and the M1 versions – the new Apple Pencil Hover feature.

11″ M2 iPad Pro11″ M1 iPad Pro12.9″ M2 iPad Pro12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Display11″11″12.9″ with miniLED12.9″ with miniLED
Resolution2388 x 16682388 x 16682732 x 20482732 x 2048
PPI (pixels per inch)264264264264
Display brightness600 nits600 nits600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR
True Tone
P3 wide color
ProMotion (120Hz)
Anti-reflective coating
Fully laminated display
Liquid Retina Display
Liquid Retina XDR Display
Apple Pencil Hover

Connectivity and accessories

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

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

11 and 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro11 and 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Apple Pencil gen 2 support
Magic Keyboard support
5G
WiFi 6
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth5.35.0
USB-C✅ USB 4✅ USB 4
Thunderbolt
Face ID

Interestingly, the new iPad Pro models didn’t get a Magic Keyboard Folio as the iPad 10.

Battery life

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

  • 10 hours of web or video use on WiFi
  • 9 hours of web use with cellular

Storage and price

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

11″ M2 iPad Pro11″ M1 iPad Pro12.9″ M2 iPad Pro12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
128GB WiFi$799$799$1,099$1,099
128GB + cell$999$999$1,299$1,299
256GB WiFi$899$899$1,199$1,199
256GB + cell$1,099$1,099$1,399$1,399
512GB WiFi$1,099$1,099$1,399$1,399
512GB + cell$1,299$1,299$1,599$1,599
1TB WiFi$1,499$1,499$1,799$1,799
1TB + cell$1,699$1,699$1,999$1,999
2TB WiFi$1,899$1,899$2,199$2,199
2TB + cell$2,099$2,099$2,399$2,399

Cameras, video, and audio

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro cameras
2021 iPad Pro rear-facing cameras

With the iPad Pro rear camera system, you’ve got a 12MP wide lens, 10MP ultra wide lens, LiDAR Scanner, and the 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, is Smart HDR 4 vs Smart HDR 3 photos and the ability to shoot ProRes video at up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB models).

11 and 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro11 and 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
12MP wide lens
10MP ultra wide lens
LiDAR
4K video
ProRes video up to 4K 30 fps
Extended dynamic range
Slo-mo video
Rear camera flash
TrueDepth camera with Face ID
Ultra wide 12MP front camera
2x optical zoom out
Smart HDR 3 photos
Smart HDR 4 photos
Center Stage auto-tracking
4-speaker audio
Stereo recording
5 studio-quality mics

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

Strangely, while the iPad 10 got a handy Landscape ultra wide front camera, the iPad Pro retains the front camera on the top (short side) bezel.

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

Color choices remain the same with silver and space gray.

Other small differences

Two more little differences you’ll see with the M2 iPad Pro:

  • Braided USB-C cable in the box instead of a plastic cable
  • “iPad Pro” wordmark on the back instead of “iPad” on previous iPad Pro models
  • M2 iPad Pro space gray may be slightly lighter than the M1 iPad Pro space gray finish with the antenna line for cellular models being more muted
Apple’s space gray finishes as shown on its website. M2 on left, M1 on right

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro conclusion

Why buy M2 iPad Pro?

When considering all the similarities between the M2 iPad Pro and M1 version, you’ll probably only want to pick up the new model if you’re a pro with workflows that will benefit from the M2 chip/ProRes support or you’re just okay with spending the money on the latest and greatest from Apple.

Orders are open now for the M2 iPad Pro at Apple, Amazon, and more with deliveries arriving starting October 26.

Why buy M1 iPad Pro?

When you can get the vast majority of the M2 iPad Pro feature set with the M1 iPad Pro and the processor difference not being an issue for most users, picking one up at a discount will probably be a popular move.

Also, don’t forget the iPad Air offers a compelling package at an even cheaper price than the last-gen iPad Pro. That is if you’re okay with the 11-inch size.

Read more 9to5Mac in-depth comparisons:

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