Should You Buy an iPad Pro in 2023? 5 Key Drawbacks to Consider First

Hey there! With growing buzz extolling the powered-up M2 processor and hovering Apple Pencil of Apple‘s latest iPad Pro lineup, you may feel tempted to splurge. Before taking the plunge, let‘s carefully examine 5 substantial drawbacks that should factor into your buying decision.

While undeniably capable, the iPad Pro demands premium pricing and appeals more to creative professionals than casual users. By understanding limitations around pricing, capability mismatches, incremental updates, storage restrictions, and portability, you can determine whether alternatives like the iPad, iPad Air, or tablets from other brands better suit your needs and budget.

I‘ll break down each critical issue in depth below, equipping you with the details necessary to make an informed choice as a savvy shopper. Just maybe, you‘ll discover reasons why an iPad Pro rests a bit further down your wishlist priority order for now. Let‘s dig in!

Wince-Worthy Pricing

Right out the gate, that staggering Apple price tag confronts would-be iPad Pro buyers. Just for the 11-inch base configuration with 128GB of storage, you‘ll pay $799 minimum. Want to future-proof a bit with 256GB instead? That jumps cost to $899.

Now compare to Apple‘s entry-level 10th generation iPad released in late 2022 – essentially the same software experience on a slightly smaller 10.9" screen but with speedy A14 Bionic processing, 64GB storage, long battery life, etc. How much does that cost? A cool $449 – nearly 50% cheaper!

Let‘s check a couple more data points:

DevicePrice (128GB model)Screen SizeBattery LifeWeight
iPad Pro 11" (M2 chip)$79911.0"up to 10 hrs1.05 lbs
iPad 10th Gen$44910.9"up to 10 hrs1.07 lbs
Galaxy Tab S8$69911.0"up to 13 hrs1.1 lbs

Sure the iPad Pro bests the others on paper. But likely not by margins that justify the enormous price premium in practical daily use.

Respected review site CNET calls the iPad Pro‘s pricing into question too, saying "for a lot of people, the iPad Pro is overkill". The savvy shopper passes on exclusivity pricing to focus value.

More Power Than You Require

Digging into the specs above hints that the average user won‘t fully utilize everything the iPad Pro brings to the table. Its blistering M2 chip rips through intensive tasks like video editing, 3D modeling, and graphics manipulation with ease. Cool stuff if you actually do that kind of work!

But for reading, web browsing, streaming movies, running social apps, FaceTiming with friends, etc – not so much. The iPad Pro wields a sledgehammer for those lightweight jobs. And that shiny new Apple M2 silicon? It scored only a 12-15% performance boost over 2021‘s already lightning-quick M1 iPad Pro. Probably not something you‘ll regularly notice or even need.

Plus Apple still has some work enabling the M2 chip‘s full potential in iPadOS. Reviewers critique how software limitations hamper leveraging the headroom provided by the bleeding-edge processor. That translates to plenty of untapped performance sitting idle rather than benefiting you daily.

DeviceChipBenchmark ScoreReal-World Speed Increase
iPad Pro M1 (2021)M17,298
iPad Pro M2 (2022)M28,49416%

For most shoppers, the standard iPad and its A14 Bionic silicon has plenty of kick. Or the Galaxy Tab S8 with robust Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 power looks great too for eager Android fans. Either serve up more than enough oomph for playful poking around.

Annual Upgrades Disappoint

Since its price remains so astronomic, customers reasonably expect each new iPad Pro version to blow them away with exciting enhancements. But in reality, Apple iterates cautiously, leaving some generations like 2022‘s feeling a bit like an off year.

Let‘s compare the last couple iPad Pro releases head-to-head:

SpeciPad Pro
M1 (2021)
iPad Pro
M2 (2022)
Screen11", 2388 x 166811", 2388 x 1668Same display
Dimensions & Weight9.74" x 7.02" x 0.23"
1.04 lbs
9.74" x 7.02" x 0.23"
1.05 lbs
Marginally heavier
Battery LifeUp to 10 hrsUp to 10 hrsNo improvement
Cameras12MP wide
10MP ultrawide
ToF 3D LiDAR scanner
12MP wide
10MP ultrawide
ToF 3D LiDAR scanner
Identical capabilities

Besides the M2 chip spicing up speed, most aspects look awfully similar, no? Reviewers largely agree, with tech site The Verge calling changes "relatively minor year on year". Waiting another year may reward you with a more transformational update.

Limited Onboard Storage

All that horsepower suits editing 4K videos and manipulating 50 megapixel images. But it quickly runs into the frustrating reality of scant base storage to actually store all that rich content.

Out of the box, Apple skimps with just 128GB onboard. Even their mid-tier 256GB configuration, which adds another $100 to the cost, rates as average capacity these days. And you can quickly burn through it capturing 4K footage from the rear 12MP camera or downloading a few large productivity apps.

What about offloading to the cloud? Sure, but shelling out $$ each month for iCloud storage adds up, with Apple charging $9.99 monthly for the 2TB plan.substituting external MicroSD card storage, while rival tablets from Samsung, Amazon, and others enable easily augmenting what ships built-in via card expansion to 512GB or even 1TB capacities for under $100.

But Apple prefers you pay them handsomely instead for storage upgrades, with the maximum available 2TB internal config more than doubling cost to a shocking $2,399!

SD Card?
SD Card
Cost (1TB)
iPad Pro 11"128GB2TB ($400 upgrade)No
Galaxy Tab
128GB1TB ($150 upgrade)Yes$139
Fire HD 10

Clearly the Pro does itself (and you) no favors on the storage front – an unfortunate limitation considering its prosumer aspirations.

Portability Poses Challenges

Objectively from the specs, the svelte iPad Pro shaped by smooth rounded corners and measuring just 0.23 inches thin projects highly portable. Complete the scene with a smart folio case and Apple Pencil tucked magnetically alongside.

But looks deceive once you account for the sheer scale sitting front and center – that expansive 11-inch screen. Toting around the 1 pound-plus slate grows tedious quick. Trying to manipulate its nearly 10-inch length single-handed invites awkward juggling or drops. And stashing it inside bags or jacket pockets monopolizes interior space fast alongside other everyday carry items.

Where the iPad Pro gives ground on mobility, the 8.3-inch iPad Mini shines. A darling one-handed tablet coming in at just 0.68 pounds and packing Apple Pencil support too. Even the larger 10.9-inch iPad Air splits the difference at 1 pound flat.

Portability stands paramount for many tablet shoppers. If you foresee extensive handling on the go, the Pro‘s more ample proportions fail to do it any favors, despite slick styling.

DeviceScreen SizeWeight1-Handed Use
iPad Pro 11"11.0"1.04 lbsDifficult
iPad Air10.9"1 lbManageable
iPad Mini8.3"0.68 lbsVery Easy

We‘ve covered how the iPad Pro commands steep pricing, oversupplies power, iterate slowly year-over-year, skimps on storage, and compromises portability compared to alternatives.

As a shopper navigating today‘s tablet landscape, I hope examining those cons aids your buying journey regarding Apple‘s pricey Pro product.

Creative professionals who actively create graphics, edit videos, design products, work with photos or music, etc can justify investing in the iPad Pro as a portable workstation. Battery life, display quality, Apple Pencil integration, and shear M2 Bionic muscle rightly appeal to them.

Casual users simply seeking to browse, watch streaming movies, run social media and communications apps, play games, read books, etc thrive just as well on standard iPads, Android tablets, or Fire slates. The Pro price tag towers over simpler needs.

Of course every situation differs – maybe you receive an unexpected windfall and cost concerns fade. Or youSpot a rare iPad Pro deal or refurb. Regardless, I‘m glad we unpacked the landscape around Apple‘s power tablet today. Hopefully it proves helpful while charting your own ideal path forward as a smart, value-focused shopper!

All the best,
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