iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) vs. iPad Pro 12.9 (2020): Does the M1 do a distinction?


Apple has released the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021), featuring a MacBook-stage M1 chip, a mini-LED account for, and 5G strengthen. It for sure looks to be like devour a beautiful capsule, but is it of route that considerably better than 2020’s iPad Pro? Final twelve months’s mannequin moreover boasts some mouthwatering specs, an beautiful show conceal conceal, and beautiful efficiency, so it’s no longer straight glaring if it’s price upgrading to the more moderen mannequin.

To acknowledge this quiz, we build the 2 Apple medication to the test in a head-to-head comparability. We peep their specs, designs, displays, efficiency, cameras, instrument, and special parts, evaluating which one is the most attention-grabbing gadget total. This must quiet lend a hand you do a option that’s appropriate for you.

Please show conceal: Here’s a comparability of the 12.9-stir objects of both gadgets. In the occasion you’d believe to peep at some varied iPad objects, test out our article on the most attention-grabbing iPad to set up in 2021.


iPad Pro (2021) iPad Pro (2020)
Size 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm (11.05 x 8.46 x 0.25 inches) 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm (11.05 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches)
Weight 682 grams (Wi-Fi), 685 grams (5G) (1.5 pounds) 641 grams (Wi-Fi), 643 grams (LTE) (1.41 pounds)
Cowl conceal 12.9-stir Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD 12.9-stir Liquid Retina IPS
Cowl conceal option 2048 x 2732 pixels (265 pixels per stir) 2048 x 2732 pixels (265 pixels per stir)
Working procedure iPadOS 14 iPadOS 14
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
MicroSD card slot No No
Processor Apple M1 Apple A12Z Bionic
Digicam Twin 12-megapixel and 10MP ultrawide, LiDAR, 12MP ultrawide entrance Twin 12MP and 10MP ultrawide, LiDAR, 7MP entrance
Video 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Fingerprint sensor No No
Water resistance No No
Battery 10,758mAh


Immediate charging (18W)



Immediate charging (18W)

App marketplace Apple App Retailer Apple App Retailer
Community strengthen AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon (Mobile objects simplest) AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon (Mobile objects simplest)
Colors Silver, Grunt Gray Silver, Grunt Gray
Mark $1,099+ $1,000+
Prefer from Apple Ideal Prefer
Review gain 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Draw, account for, and sturdiness

There’s no fundamental create purple meat up this twelve months with the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021), but that’s no longer of route a scandalous part, and this twelve months’s Pro capsule is admittedly same to final twelve months’s, with the same edge-to-edge account for and slim bezels. Each gadgets incorporate aluminum frames and rears, and whereas their dimensions are almost precisely the same, the more moderen iPad Pro is 0.2mm thicker. This isn’t of route noticeable, even though what is noticeable is the 40-gram distinction in weight, which implies that the 2021 iPad Pro is ready a 10th of a pound heavier than its older sibling.

While their designs are all but indistinguishable, the iPad Pro (2021) does offer a tangibly improved account for. Admittedly, it’s the same dimension and does feature the same form of pixels (2048 x 2732), but it completely finds Apple using mini-LED technology for the principle time. On the whole, such tech permits for enhanced backlighting that improves the brightness of the account for whereas moreover deepening the blacks on offer. All the things is richer and more vivid, with the mini-LEDs allowing for deeper blacks and enhanced brightness.

As for sturdiness, neither capsule is water-resistant, even in the occasion that they attain feature scratch-resistant glass that’s moreover oleophobic (i.e. it repels oil and fingerprints). This locations them on stage pegging, but in consequence of the more moderen iPad Pro does believe a detectably better show conceal conceal, we’re giving it this opening spherical.

Winner: iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)

Performance, battery lifestyles, and charging

Evidently, the 2020 iPad Pro changed into one unheard of beast of a capsule, featuring an A12Z Bionic chip and 6GB of RAM. Nonetheless, Apple has made up our minds to achieve away with a mobile chip for its latest mannequin, as a replacement going with the M1 chip mature in its latest iMacs and MacBooks. That’s appropriate, the iPad Pro (2021) is admittedly a highly transportable computer computer, and with 8GB — or 12GB — of RAM, this could honest outperform the 2020 version by a noticeable margin.

This represents a definite step ahead in phrases of efficiency, and whereas things aren’t reasonably the same in phrases of inside of reminiscence, the more moderen iPad Pro quiet has a cramped edge. While it begins with 128GB of RAM as no longer unique (appropriate devour the 2020 iPad Pro), it’d be upgraded to a whopping 2TB. All every other time, this of route does do it a more nimble computer computer, even in the occasion it’s probably you’ll perhaps well well believe to pay Apple an astonishingly costly $2,199 in the occasion you’d devour that quantity of storage.

The 2021 iPad Pro’s battery is greater than the 2020 mannequin’s — 10,758mAh compared to 9,720mAh. Thanks to this distinction, it lasts a cramped bit longer between charges, even though its exercise of mini-LED technology will be reasonably energy intensive. Each iPads strengthen instant charging at 18W.

Winner: iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)



Issues are very shut in the camera division, assign for one critical development. Each gadgets feature a dual-lens rear camera, with a 12-megapixel wide lens and a 10MP ultrawide lens, to boot as a LiDAR sensor (that’s doubtlessly precious for augmented fact capabilities). They’ll both be as versatile and as precious as each and every varied, with our overview of the 2020 mannequin finding that it takes respectable photos in the huge majority of prerequisites, even though it isn’t reasonably up to the same stage because the iPhone 12 or main Android phones.

While the rear cameras tend to be the same, the iPad Pro (2021) packs a 12MP ultrawide selfie camera, unlike the 2020’s 7MP in vogue wide lens. Apple says this affords more pure video calls, whereas using the synthetic intelligence-powered Heart Stage feature must quiet enable for some impressively panoramic selfies because it ensures you’re constantly cropped in the center of any given shot. Given the regularity with which most of us exercise selfies and video calls this level to day, this proves to be more than appropriate a love gimmick, so we’re giving but but every other spherical to the more moderen iPad Pro.

Winner: iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)

Utility and updates

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) and its 2020 predecessor both flee iPadOS 14, which affords a range of advisable parts you don’t pick up with the iPhone, corresponding to sidebars, the Dock menu, and the gigantic Scribble feature (letting you exercise the Apple Pencil to write into on-show conceal conceal text fields and boxes).

This means they’ll be as precious as each and every varied, whereas Apple’s enviable observe file in rolling out updates moreover skill they’ll receive updates as usually and as promptly as each and every varied. It’s moreover price stating that Apple hasn’t but stopped supporting any iPad Pro mannequin (and we’re now onto the fifth generation), so that you’ll be in a area to make exercise of both for a pair of years earlier than in fact wanting to purple meat up.

Winner: Tie

Special parts

The iPad Pro 2021 copies the iPhone 12 vary by including the option of 5G strengthen. You can want to pay $200 additional for this privilege, but this could honest grant you pick up admission to to the fastest mmWave 5G bands, to boot because the longer-vary sub-6Hz frequencies. Here’s one thing no longer all flagship smartphones can boast of (even in 2021), so that you of route will be at the forefront of innovation with the 2021 mannequin.

As famed above, both objects attain with a LiDAR sensor. This enables using a range of augmented-fact apps, even though these remain few and a ways between for the time being, so that you almost for sure received’t be using it all that mighty. Each gadgets moreover harness Face ID (for unlocking and purchases) and even strengthen the Magic Keyboard accessory, letting you flip both of them true into a glorified computer computer.

All every other time, there isn’t a gigantic distinction between either gadget, however the inclusion of 5G strengthen is but every other feature that does simplest ample to tip the scales in want of the more moderen iPad Pro.

Winner: iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)

Mark and availability

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) is now on hand to present an clarification for from Apple’s web pronounce material, beginning at $1,099 and rising to $2,229 in the occasion you’d devour the 2TB version with 5G. It’s supported by all most important networks and sold by reasonably mighty every credible retailer.

Now that it has been officially usurped by the 2021 mannequin, it’s probably you’ll perhaps well well now no longer identify the iPad Pro (2020) without lengthen from Apple’s space. Unruffled, there are masses of appropriate deals on hand from outlets corresponding to Ideal Prefer and Amazon, and also you are doubtless to search out it at a itsy-bitsy ($100) minimize designate appropriate about now, so pick up browsing.

General winner: iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) isn’t a quantum bounce over the iPad Pro (2020), but it completely does offer enhancements in appropriate about every division. Its account for has been enriched by strategy of mini-LED technology, it has a severely succesful M1 processor, a more versatile selfie camera, and 5G strengthen. So whereas the older version has various the same necessary parts in negate, these new enhancements attain tip it over the threshold.

That said, in the occasion you’re no longer too fussed about selfies or 5G strengthen, the iPad Pro (2020) is for sure price buying in the occasion it’s probably you’ll perhaps well well fetch a brand new mannequin for decrease than its birth designate. This could honest final you for honest about as lengthy because the 2021 mannequin, and can attain the huge majority of the same things. Equally, in the occasion you believe gotten already purchased the 2020 mannequin, it doubtlessly isn’t price upgrading appropriate but.

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