Apple today announced the new iPad Pro with the M2 chip, which the company said delivers the ultimate combination of portability, versatility, and performance.
The announcement comes on the cusp of an important holiday season, which may see fewer than expected sales in the mobile sector.
Apple and other tech companies are betting on the sales strength of higher-end products to pull them through a tough period.
“The next-generation iPad Pro pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on iPad, bringing even more versatility, power, and portability to the ultimate iPad experience,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said,
“Powered by the M2 chip, the new iPad Pro features incredible performance and the most advanced technologies, including a next-level Apple Pencil hover experience, Pro Res video capture, superfast wireless connectivity, and powerful iPad OS features.
There’s nothing else like it.”
M2 system-on-a-chip advancements
Apple’s next generation in the M-series of chips offers power efficiency, a unified memory architecture, and custom technologies featuring an 8-core CPU that is up to 150 percent faster than the M1 chip.
The 10-core GPU delivers up to 35 per cent faster graphics performance, Apple said.
Combined with the CPU and GPU, the 16-core Neural Engine can process 15.8 trillion operations per second – 40 per cent more than M1.
Apple says the M2 chip also provides 100 gigabytes per second of unified memory bandwidth, besting M1 by 50 per cent.
The chip supports up to 16 gigabytes of unified memory to make multitasking and working with large assets easier.
Apple's new media engine and image signal processor allow users to capture video in ProRes, which can be transcoded up to three times faster.
On the display side, the 11-inch iPad Pro M2 misses out on the better (and costlier) XDR display in the 12.9-inch model.
New Apple Pencil hover experience
Using iPadOS 16, the second-generation Apple Pencil’s hover provides a new dimension for users to interact with their screen, the company said.
Apple Pencil is now detected up to 12 mm above the display to allow users to sneak a peek at their mark before touch the screen.
This lets users sketch and illustrate with more precision, the company said.
With Scribble, text fields automatically expand when the pencil approaches the screen.
Handwriting converts to text at greater speeds.
Faster wireless connectivity
The new iPad Pro supports Wi-Fi 6E with the fastest Wi-Fi connections currently available.
Downloads are up to 2.4 Gbps, two times faster than the previous generation.
Wi-Fi and cellular models with 5G (sub-6GHz and mmWave4) support more 5G networks around the world.
iPad and sustainability
Apple said the new iPad models are designed to minimise their impact on the environment and include 100 per cent recycled gold – which is a first for iPad – in the plating of its multiple printed circuit boards.
The tablets also include recycled aluminum, tin, and rare earth elements.
Redesigned packaging in the new iPad Pro eliminates the outer plastic wrap, and 99 per cent of the packaging is fibre-based, bringing Apple closer to its goal of removing plastic from all packaging by 2025.
Pricing and availability
The new iPad Pro is available to order beginning today at the Apple Store and in the Apple Store app with availability in stores beginning on Thursday October 27
The new 11-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space gray finishes with 128 GB, 256GB, 512 GB, 1TB and 2 TB storage configurations available beginning at a price of $1649 for the Wi-Fi model, and $1949 for Wi-Fi and Cellular.
Available in the same storage options as the 11-inch model, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $2299 for the Wi-Fi model, and $2599 for Wi-Fi and Cellular.
The second-generation Apple Pencil is sold separately for $279, and the Magic Keyboard for the 11-inch modell costs $619, and $709 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Apple also has the Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro, costing $389 for the 11-incher, and $419 for the 12.9-inch model.
All prices include goods and services tax.