iPad Pro 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyer’s Guide

Industrial design with flat edges.
Face ID enabled by TrueDepth cam.
Liquid Retina screen with 264 ppi, full lamination, anti-reflective and oleophobic coating, P3 Wide Color, and True Tone.
ƒ/ 1.8 12MP Wide and ƒ/ 2.4 12MP Ultra Wide rear electronic cameras with LiDAR scanner.
2x optical zoom out, 5x digital zoom in, brighter True Tone flash, and Smart HDR 3 for pictures.
4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, slo-mo video assistance for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps, time-lapse video with stabilization, and audio zoom.
TrueDepth front-facing camera with Retina Flash, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, Cinematic video stabilization, 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, Animoji, and Memoji.
Stereo recording with “studio quality” mics.
Four speaker audio.
” All-day” 10 hour battery life.
Wi‑Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connection.
USB‑C port.
Suitable with Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
Offered in Silver and Space Gray.

In April 2021, Apple upgraded its popular iPad Pro lineup, introducing a much faster M1 chip, a Liquid Retina XDR display, a Thunderbolt port, and more, replacing the previous models from March 2020.
The 2020 iPad Pro designs have now been ceased by Apple, it is common to discover them available at discounted rates with third-party merchants. Some other users who currently have the 2020 iPad Pro may likewise be thinking about if it is worth the upgrade to the 2021 design.
Should you consider sticking with or buying the older iPad Pro to conserve money, or do you require the most recent model? Our guide addresses the concern of how to decide which of these 2 iPad Pros is finest for you.
Being just a year apart, the 2020 iPad Pro has more in typical with its 2021 successor than it has in contrast, including essential functions such as the style and rear camera setup.

Apples specification breakdown reveals that the two iPad Pros share an overwhelming bulk of features. Nevertheless, there a number of meaningful differences between the 2020 and 2021 iPad Pros that are worth highlighting, including their screen innovations, processors, and front-facing electronic cameras.

2020 iPad Pro

Liquid Retina LED display screen with 600 nits max brightness (common).
A12Z chip.
Neural Engine.
Storage configurations approximately 1TB.
ƒ/ 2.2 7MP TrueDepth cam.
Smart HDR for photos.
5.9 mm thickness.
1.04 pounds/ 1.41 pounds.

2021 iPad Pro

It ought to be considered that accessories such as the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard have to be bought individually from the iPad, so will push up the general price. For that reason, if the 2021 iPad Pro, which begins at $799, is currently moving out of your cost range and you want an accessory such as the $299 Magic Keyboard, you might need to choose the older iPad Pro to reduce the overall expense.
For 2020 12.9-inch iPad Pro users who utilize the Magic Keyboard and are seeking to update to the newer model, it must be noted that since the 2021 design is a little thicker, you may wish to purchase a new Magic Keyboard too for a better fit. Although the 2020 Magic Keyboard fits the 2021 12.9-inch model, Apple notes that it is just “functionally suitable” and may not fit specifically due to the added thickness.
Other iPad Options
If the iPad Pro is too pricey or you feel you will not be able to capitalize, you may want to consider the iPad Air, which starts at $599. The iPad Air uses a great deal of features shown the iPad Pro, such as the most current all-screen design, a quick, capable processor, practical functions like USB-C, and compatibility with the most recent Apple devices, all at a lower cost point.

Show Technology
The 12.9-inch 2020 iPad Pro, along with the 2 generations of the 11-inch models, have the precise very same Liquid Retina LED screen, featuring 120Hz ProMotion, complete lamination, an anti-reflective coating, P3 broad color, and True Tone.
2021s 12.9-inch iPad Pro has an entirely brand-new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display screen. In addition to the display features of the other iPad Pros, the Liquid Retina XDR show uses over 10,000 LEDs throughout the back of the display to provide 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio. The result is an enhanced visual experience that catches the brightest highlights and subtle details in even the darkest images.
Now imaginative experts, including filmmakers, professional photographers, and videographers, can see and edit true-to-life HDR content on the iPad Pro. There is likewise a boosted cinematic watching experience for HDR and Dolby Vision content.
If you can make the most of the brand-new screen by consuming or developing HDR media, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro provides a clear upgrade over the 2020 model. If youre taking a look at the 11-inch size, the identical screens indicate this will not be a factor in your choice.
A12Z vs. M1 Chip
The 2 generations vary substantially when it pertains to chips. The 2020 iPad Pro designs include the A12Z chip, which is a model of the previous A12X chip from the 2018 iPad Pro, which itself was a version of the A12 chip from the iPhone XS. The 2021 iPad Pro consists of the M1 chip from Apples newest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.
Both the m1 and the a12z chip have 8 cores, 4 of which are high-performance cores and 4 of which are high-efficiency cores. Both processors can utilize all 8 cores for the GPU.
The A12Z is developed on a 7-nanometer production process, while the M1 is used a newer 5-nanometer procedure. The A12Z includes an optimum clock speed of 2.49 GHz, and the M1 chip has a much greater clock speed of 3.2 GHz.
Criteria for the M1 in the iPad Pro are not yet available, however they will likely be comparable to the MacBook Air, which is likewise a passively cooled mobile phone with the M1 chip. The M1 in the MacBook Air attains a Geekbench single-core score of 1700, while the iPad Pro with the A12Z accomplishes 1121. In multi-core, the MacBook Air has a rating of 7374, while the A12Z in the iPad Pro has a score of 4655.
The M1 chip shows a clear performance improvement over the A12Z, however it will likely not be obvious in most tasks. The A12Z was already a capable and effective chip, and it is challenging to recommend the 2021 model over the 2020 model merely on the basis of processor unless you can absolutely utilize the additional efficiency.
The A12Z processor in the 2020 iPad Pro is coupled with 6GB of RAM. The 2021 iPad Pro has either 8GB or 16GB, simply like Macs with the M1 chip. iPad Pro setups with either 1TB or 2TB of storage contain 16GB of RAM, while all other storage configurations include 8GB of RAM.
6GB in the 2020 iPad Pro will be sufficient for casual users, however 8GB will be defter at handling numerous windows of the exact same application and a series of extreme background jobs.
Eventually, iPadOS is exceptional at memory management, so it is not likely that the quantity of RAM in your iPad will be important.
Both iPad Pro models are available with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The 2021 iPad Pro includes a brand-new 2TB storage choice for an additional $400 over the 1TB setup.
The optimum 1TB of storage in the 2020 iPad Pro will be more than enough for the majority of users, however for power users who mean to store a really big quantity of information on their iPads, the alternative is readily available with the 2021 iPad Pro.
Both iPad Pro designs feature the precise same rear electronic camera setup in regards to hardware. Nevertheless, the 2021 model adds Smart HDR 3 and extended dynamic range for video as much as 30 fps.
Bigger electronic camera distinctions emerge on the front of the iPad Pro. The 2020 iPad Pro features a ƒ/ 2.2 7MP TrueDepth front-facing camera, while the 2021 design features a ƒ/ 2.4 12MP TrueDepth electronic camera with Ultra Wide cam.
The improved specs of the 2021 models video camera facilitate a 2x optical zoom out and Center Stage for video calls.
Spotlight utilizes the much bigger field of vision on the brand-new front electronic camera and the maker discovering capabilities of the M1 chip to acknowledge and keep users focused in the frame. As users move around, Center Stage instantly pans to keep them in the shot. When others join in, the video camera discovers them too, and efficiently zooms out to fit everybody into the view.
Cellular Connectivity
The 2020 iPad Pro designs include connection to standard 4G LTE in cellular configurations. The 2021 iPad Pros, on the other hand, are the very first to include 5G connection, permitting the iPad Pro to reach speeds up to 4Gbps.
5G is significantly faster than 4G, but it will only deserve it for users with the cellular iPad Pro configurations and a matching strategy from a provider.
The 2020 iPad Pro includes a standard USB-C port, while the iPad Pro features a Thunderbolt port. USB-C on the iPad Air can move at a speed of 10Gb/s, while Thunderbolt supports speeds of up to 40Gb/s.
Although Thunderbolt is much faster than the 2020 iPad Pros standard USB-C port, the majority of users likely will not have Thunderbolt devices that can take benefit of these speeds, so for many users, the 2021 design will not be worth it for Thunderbolt alone.
Both iPad Pro designs support accessories such as the Apple Pencil 2, as well as Apples Smart Keyboard Folio and Magic Keyboard. Since they both support the same accessories, there is no factor to purchase one model over the other when it pertains to the likes of keyboards or trackpads.

Unless you need iPad Pro functions such as an advanced video camera setup, Face ID, more RAM, or stereo audio recording, the iPad Air is the finest choice for the typical customer. For more on whether you should purchase the iPad Air or the iPad Pro, see our iPad Air 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyers Guide.
Last Thoughts
Overall, the updated features of the 2021 iPad Pro models are extremely particular however substantial. It will only be worth getting the 2021 design over its predecessor or upgrading to it from the 2020 model if you have a clear use case for features like Thunderbolt, more RAM or storage, or a better front-facing cam.
The M1 chip shows a distinct efficiency bump over the A12Z, however most users will likely not have workflows that can take advantage of the added power. The 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pros mini-LED screen is a noteworthy upgrade from the previous design, and will be a video game changer for customers or developers of HDR media, but for 11-inch iPad Pro users in specific, there is little point in updating.
5G connectivity is the just other factor that it may be worth purchasing the 2021 iPad Pro, but once again only a minority of users who pick the cellular configuration will likely have the ability to benefit from it.
The M1 chip and larger amounts of memory will make the 2021 iPad Pro more future-proof. If you are intending to keep your iPad Pro for more than a couple of years, it might be worth buying the more recent model to ensure better performance in time through successive updates and with more demanding apps.
For the current prices on 2020 and 2021 models, take a look at the iPad Pro section of our Apple Deals roundup.

Continue reading for a more detailed look at each of these elements, and see exactly what both iPad Pro generations have to offer.

Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display screen with 1,000 nits max full-screen brightness. 1,600 nits peak brightness, and HDR (12.9-inch model just).
M1 chip.
Next-generation Neural Engine.
8GB or 16GB RAM.
Storage configurations as much as 2TB.
ƒ/ 2.4 12MP TrueDepth video camera with Ultra Wide electronic camera, 2x optical zoom out, and Center Stage.
Smart HDR 3 for pictures.
Extended dynamic range for video as much as 30 fps.
Thunderbolt/ USB 4 port.
6.4 mm density (12.9-inch design just).
1.03 pounds/ 1.5 pounds.

2021s 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a totally new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display. The 2020 iPad Pro designs consist of the A12Z chip, which is a version of the previous A12X chip from the 2018 iPad Pro, which itself was a variation of the A12 chip from the iPhone XS. The 2021 iPad Pro includes the M1 chip from Apples latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.
The 2021 iPad Pro has either 8GB or 16GB, just like Macs with the M1 chip. The 2020 iPad Pro includes a basic USB-C port, while the iPad Pro features a Thunderbolt port.