iPad Pro M2: What Does "Pro" Even Mean?


This is the new one too. Oh neat. I heard about that. What does the new one do? Well, you know, it's got the. . . (stammering) More of the same, uh? (upbeat hip-hop music) Hey, what's up? MKBHD here and this is the new, new, new iPad Pro. You couldn't tell from the outside because it is the same as the one we got with the M1 chip a year and a half ago. It has the same excellent display, the sweet ProMotion mini LED on the 12. 9-inch version and the LED on the 11-inch. It's the same USB-C port with Thunderbolt, the same battery, same stereo speakers, same webcam placement, same second-gen Apple Pencil support. Literally from the outside,

You cannot tell it is a new one unless you know that this little bit of text on here That says iPad Pro at the bottom. It used to just say iPad before, so that's new. Okay, I got it, I got it. This one has the new M2 chip inside instead of the M1. Oh, tight. So like that can do more stuff, right? Well no, it does the same stuff, but faster again. It's the same iPad, But it has an M2 chip inside now instead of the old M1 from a year and a half ago, which to a logical person would imply that this one is capable of something that the old M1 version wasn't capable of. And technically, yes. So the M1 chip was already ludicrously over the top fast for an iPad. Very powerful. The M2 is another bump up to that. So in raw performance, You're looking at 10 to 15% faster CPU and 30 to 40% faster graphics all with the same battery life.

It's just silly at this point. It's also still running iPad OS 16 that every previous iPad is also running. But this iPad has more raw horsepower than a lot of mid-range and higher-end laptops, even more than Apple's own M1 iMac. So yeah, if there was some theoretical application that you were running on your iPad and the M1 just wasn't up to the task, It just wasn't powerful enough to handle it, Then this M2 iPad may finally be able to handle that. Just kidding, that's probably not a real scenario. But this will shorten the time of some exports of your absolute largest video or 3D projects you're doing on the iPad. Oh, you know what else? This version has WiFi 6E. 60, what? 6E. So this one, it's gonna be a little more future-proof, a little faster, which is kind of cool I guess. I don't know. You know what else though? What? ProRes video.

This one can shoot, it's capable of shooting ProRes video. That, I think I heard about that. Sounds pretty cool. Can I see it? So I'd have to download another app to show you, which I don't have right now, but it is capable of it. Yeah, you might have seen it on Apple's site and in their marketing materials that ProRes video capture is one of the new features, But it's not in the stock camera app. If you were just getting this iPad just to make it your mobile video studio Like in the commercials, First of all, I don't know if we could be friends, But hey, if that's you, you do you, You get this iPad, you take it out of the box, You fire it up and you open up the camera settings as I did, You won't find ProRes in there because it's not supported by Apple's own iPad camera app. So you'll require a third-party app like FiLMiC Pro for that video studio. Oh, probably the biggest new feature is

the Pencil Hover. Right, mine does not do that. Exactly, So that's exclusive to the M2 for some reason. But yeah, it's the new one. So basically when you get the Apple Pencil close to the iPad screen within 12 millimeters, It'll show you a preview of what you're about to do. So similar to some other professional Wacom tablets, You get a little preview of what's about to happen When you put the pen on the screen and then you do it. So if you're about to hit an icon or a widget on the home screen, It'll show that. And if you're about to paint or write something, It can show that. And then even if you're doing some watercolor brushes In the Notes app, Not only does it show where the brushstroke will be, but it shows you a mix of what two colors would look like if you painted on top of each other. But you can also adjust the size of the brush stroke with a pinch with one hand while you move the pen around with the other.

It's pretty sick actually. So this works across iPad OS and all Apple's apps. And then even some third-party apps  are also starting to take advantage of this hover thing. Pixelmator Pro, for example, will show previews of applied effects and filters on a hover, so it's great. Now, again, I don't know if this would've been impossible to do with the M1 chip, But they didn't, so yeah, that's the difference. But then that's it. It's their best iPad ever by a small amount of the new chip, ProRes video, WiFi 6E, and Hover, which got me thinking about all the existential questions again of like what is this product even? Why is this iPad so ridiculously powerful? What is an iPad Pro? Like in 99% of use cases, regular people will never be able to tell the difference between an M1 iPad Pro and an M2 iPad Pro. That doesn't mean they shouldn't have made it. It's still better, that's cool. But maybe in those last 1%,

The real pros will be able to notice and feel the difference. And they should get this one over the refurbished M1 iPad Pro. But what is that 1%? What is an iPad Pro user? What is a pro-iPad user? And that just zooms me out to their bigger question, What does Pro mean in Apple's lineups? Because they use that word a lot. I went through every single product that Apple sells right now That has the word Pro in the name. And it turns out there are two definitions, two buckets of what Pro is. One is what you would think Pro is, which is professional, which is people who make money from using a certain product and then that money helps them pay for it. It's just a professional relationship. You're a pro user of that product. And the other is an enthusiastic user Who likes the high-end version? So this is how I divide it up in their current lineup.

Now, also, these aren't super rigid lines. I think you could make some arguments. You could argue that some people take enough phone calls on their AirPods Pro that they are pro AirPods users. And there are plenty of MacBook Pro users also who just had money to burn and wanted the one with the nicer screen. They just got the more expensive one. And there's a professional colorist already down in the comments typing away that the Pro Display XDR isn't a real editing display. So we can bend these lines for sure, but the iPad to me still feels like the blurriest mix of them all. Maybe it's just 'cause I know a lot of these people, but there are a lot of enthusiastic users, but there are also lots of professionals making the iPad Pro work for their workflow. Maybe they're bending it around the iPad a little bit, but there are lots of people using Pixelmator, and Procreate, and the DaVinci Resolve app is coming to the iPad soon. So that's real, hardcore, excellent apps that people are making money with

and use for their work, but then at the same time, like our graphic designer Tim here would probably laugh at the idea of using an iPad instead of the Wacom tablet. And also I'm a video editor and as powerful as this iPad is, I can't use Final Cut Pro on the iPad Pro still. So I guess all this is to say It doesn't mean anything. Don't put yourself into a bucket. The word Pro is just used to sell you on something and to make you feel like you're getting the best thing. And professionals like nice things, so I would like the pro thing too. And of course, some other companies still use different words. Samsung and Xiaomi love Ultra, for example. Some others still use the word plus. But my bottom line on this new iPad Pro with M2 is if you're someone going iPad shopping, Yes, this is now the best iPad you can get and it's phenomenal. It's good.

But also, if you think about how exactly You're gonna be using this iPad, and ProRes video never crosses your mind, Drawing with a pencil isn't on your list, You can have this same experience for $300 off already at this point by getting an M1. I'd like to think that we're in for possibly a bigger iPad Pro update soon in the future, things like adding the webcam to the long side instead of the short side where it's stayed for so many years. Or more meaningful things like display improvements, battery improvements, speaker improvements, camera updates to the latest sensors, and things like that. They could all happen. But until then, I'm gonna keep using my nearly three-year-old A12Z iPad Pro That does all the same stuff that I want out of an iPad Pro, but without the newest chip. Don't let this distract you from the fact that the iPad is still an incredible tablet, by far one of my favorite tablets ever made. But if the iPad Pro's potential could please present itself, That'd be great. Until then, the paradox of the iPad Pro prevails.

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