Tablets enjoyed a true “renaissance” in 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic period when many wanted a compact device from which they could work or consume content of all kinds, but in 2022, the market has returned to its former dullness. Most of the launches in this category were boring, but there were still a few that caught the eye
iPad Pro M2
The iPad Pro M2 might be one of the most boring models of 2022, offering the same design we’ve already known for about 4 years, but we’ve picked it at the most interesting because of its hardware. Sure, it has an identical screen to the 2022’s M1 model, but the fact that it incorporates Apple’s new M2 chip, just released in the summer on the 13″ MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, shows that Apple is confident these devices can be used for serious work.
Incidentally, with the iPad Pro M2, Blackmagic Design announced the availability of DaVinci Resolve on iPadOS, a portable version of one of the most advanced video editing and colorization programs on the market. So you can continue editing projects started on a high-performance PC directly on the iPad, or collaborate on projects with other users anywhere.
Somehow iPad Pro is now a tablet in a class of its own, offering the same hardware as Apple’s productivity laptops in a more compact form factor. Still, we can’t help but wonder if this upgrade was even necessary. The iPad Pro with the M1 was still extremely capable, especially within the limitations of the iPadOS operating system, which can’t access the full performance of these processors anyway.
ASUS ROG Flow Z13
ASUS has come up with a surprise in the tablet area in 2022 with a “gaming” tablet. And we’re not talking about running mobile games, we’re talking about a gaming tablet with PC hardware and OS. The ROG Flow Z13 is not only one of the most compact gaming PCs, but it can run just about any PC game released lately with an integrated GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. Sure, it won’t be able to offer the best performance on the market, but those who need more can turn to the RTX 3080 video card dock, which turns this little tablet into a true high-end gaming PC.
The only real downside to this product is the software. Windows doesn’t offer a very good user experience in tablet mode, so you’re pretty much always dependent on the detachable keyboard. At least these come in the box and don’t have to be bought separately, as with other devices of this kind.
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
If the iPad Pro is in a category of its own because of the performance on offer, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra can be put in a category of its own because of its size. Samsung believes there are users who want productivity tablets with huge screens, and the Tab S8 Ultra comes with a 14″ one.
Basically, when you add a keyboard, it becomes a true laptop, and Samsung even offers the ability to access the DeX desktop interface directly on this generous screen. It also helps that we’re talking about a 120Hz OLED display, one of the largest of its kind.
The downside would be that regardless of the screen size and performance on offer, the OS is still Android, and the processor is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a significantly less powerful phone chip than an Apple M1 or M2. Basically, all three companies have good ideas, but they should be integrated into one device, not two or three.
The ideal tablet would use the screen from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, with the processor from the iPad Pro M2 and the Windows operating system, which can run professional software without other limitations. Apple could solve at least part of the problem by releasing a tablet with macOS. Certainly these three were the most interesting tablets of 2022, each with advantages and disadvantages over the competition.