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Apple's new iPad Pro comes with the M2 chip, Apple Pencil updates

Apple's latest iPad is the first to feature the M2, Apple's custom silicon SoC.
Using an iPad Pro with keyboard in a cafe.
Image: Apple

Apple has unveiled the latest generation of the iPad Pro, "supercharged" by its M2 custom silicon. 

The new 2022 iPad Pro will have a higher performance due to the M2 chip and several new features such as a next-level Apple Pencil hover experience, ProRes video capture, Wi-Fi 6E, a four-speaker audio system, and iPadOS 16, according to Apple. 

The iPad Pro will come in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes. 

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $999 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, while the 12.9-inch version starts at $1,099 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,299 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Preorder is available today via the Apple site, and availability begins Oct. 26.

"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," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. 

The Apple Pencil (2nd generation) also gets a new hover feature; it's now detected up to 12 mm above the display, which allows a preview of marks before they're made, which Apple said means users can sketch and illustrate with even greater precision. For example, with Scribble, text fields automatically expand when the pencil gets near the screen, and handwriting converts to text faster. Third-party apps can also take advantage of this new feature.

Also: Apple unveils its 'completely redesigned' new iPad for 2022

With support for Wi-Fi 6E, downloads are up to 2.4Gbps, twice as fast as the previous model, and Apple said Wi-Fi + Cellular models with 5G (sub-6GHz and mmWave4) now support more 5G networks around the world.

On the software side, most notable is Stage Manager, which automatically organizes apps and windows, making it quick and easy to switch between tasks. Later this year, Stage Manager will support external displays with resolutions of up to 6K, so users will be able to arrange the ideal workspace, and work with up to four apps on iPad and up to four apps on the external display. Apple said full external display support for Stage Manager on M1 and M2 iPad models will be available in a software update later this year.

The M2 chip was originally built for Mac computers and can be currently found in the latest MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The new iPads are the first devices beyond Mac computers to feature the M2. Earlier versions of the iPad, such as the iPad Pro 2021 and the iPad Air 2022, feature the M1 -- the first version of Apple's custom ARM-based silicon. 

The new devices build on the iPad Pro 2021, which was released in April of last year. In addition to being the first iPad to feature the M1, that device featured an impressive mini-LED display.

A refresh of the iPad lineup should give the product segment a boost before the busy holiday shopping season. In Apple's Q3, the iPad delivered $7.22 billion in revenue, down 2% year-over-year. The new devices follow Apple's recent debut of the iPhone 14 lineup, as well as new Apple Watches and new AirPods.

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