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

Industrial style with flat edges.
Face ID allowed by TrueDepth video camera.
Liquid Retina display with 264 ppi, complete 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 support 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.
4 speaker audio.
” All-day” 10 hour battery life.
Wi‑Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connection.
USB‑C connector.
Suitable with Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
Offered in Silver and Space Gray.

Apples specification breakdown shows that the two iPad Pros share a frustrating majority of features. Nevertheless, there a number of meaningful distinctions in between the 2020 and 2021 iPad Pros that deserve highlighting, including their screen innovations, processors, and front-facing cameras.

In April 2021, Apple updated its popular iPad Pro lineup, introducing a much faster M1 chip, a Liquid Retina XDR display, a Thunderbolt port, and more, changing the previous designs from March 2020.
Although the 2020 iPad Pro designs have actually now been discontinued by Apple, it prevails to find them readily available at affordable rates with third-party sellers. Some other users who already have the 2020 iPad Pro may also be considering if it is worth the upgrade to the 2021 model.
Should you consider sticking to or buying the older iPad Pro to conserve cash, or do you need the most current design? Our guide addresses the question of how to choose which of these two iPad Pros is finest for you.
Being only a year apart, the 2020 iPad Pro has more in typical with its 2021 follower than it has in contrast, including crucial functions such as the design and rear video camera setup.

2020 iPad Pro

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

2021 iPad Pro

Keep reading for a more detailed look at each of these aspects, and see just what both iPad Pro generations need to offer.

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

Display Technology
The 12.9-inch 2020 iPad Pro, in addition to the 2 generations of the 11-inch designs, have the specific same Liquid Retina LED screen, including 120Hz ProMotion, full lamination, an anti-reflective coating, P3 broad color, and True Tone.
2021s 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a totally new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED screen. In addition to the display screen functions of the other iPad Pros, the Liquid Retina XDR display uses over 10,000 LEDs across the back of the display screen to provide 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio. The outcome is an improved visual experience that records the brightest highlights and subtle details in even the darkest images.
Now innovative professionals, including professional photographers, filmmakers, and videographers, can see and modify true-to-life HDR content on the iPad Pro. There is likewise an improved cinematic viewing experience for HDR and Dolby Vision content.
If you can benefit from the new display by consuming or producing HDR media, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro provides a clear upgrade over the 2020 model. The similar displays indicate this will not be an aspect in your decision if youre looking at the 11-inch size.
A12Z vs. M1 Chip
When it comes to chips, the two generations vary substantially. The 2020 iPad Pro models include the A12Z chip, which is a version 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 includes the M1 chip from Apples newest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.
Both the A12Z and the M1 chip have 8 cores, 4 of which are high-performance cores and four of which are high-efficiency cores. Both processors can leverage all eight cores for the GPU.
The A12Z is built on a 7-nanometer production procedure, while the M1 is used a newer 5-nanometer process. 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.
Standards for the M1 in the iPad Pro are not yet available, however they will likely be similar to the MacBook Air, which is likewise a passively cooled mobile phone with the M1 chip. The M1 in the MacBook Air achieves 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 efficiency enhancement over the A12Z, but it will likely not be noticeable in a lot of tasks. The A12Z was currently a powerful and capable chip, and it is tough to recommend the 2021 design over the 2020 model simply on the basis of processor unless you can definitely utilize the additional efficiency.
The A12Z processor in the 2020 iPad Pro is combined with 6GB of RAM. The 2021 iPad Pro has either 8GB or 16GB, just like Macs with the M1 chip. iPad Pro setups with either 1TB or 2TB of storage consist of 16GB of RAM, while all other storage setups include 8GB of RAM.
6GB in the 2020 iPad Pro will be appropriate for casual users, however 8GB will be defter at handling numerous windows of the very same application and a series of extreme background tasks.
Eventually, iPadOS is exceptional at memory management, so it is not likely that the amount of RAM in your iPad will be crucial.
Both iPad Pro models are readily 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 configuration.
The maximum 1TB of storage in the 2020 iPad Pro will be sufficient for many users, but for power users who plan to save a very big amount of information on their iPads, the choice is offered with the 2021 iPad Pro.
Video camera
Both iPad Pro designs include the precise very same rear electronic camera setup in terms of hardware. Nevertheless, the 2021 design adds Smart HDR 3 and extended vibrant range for video as much as 30 fps.
Larger video camera differences emerge on the front of the iPad Pro. The 2020 iPad Pro features a ƒ/ 2.2 7MP TrueDepth front-facing video camera, while the 2021 model features a ƒ/ 2.4 12MP TrueDepth camera with Ultra Wide cam.
The enhanced specs of the 2021 designs video camera facilitate a 2x optical zoom out and Center Stage for video calls.
Spotlight uses the much larger field of vision on the brand-new front camera and the machine discovering abilities of the M1 chip to acknowledge and keep users centered in the frame. As users move, Center Stage immediately pans to keep them in the shot. When others participate in, the electronic camera identifies them too, and efficiently zooms out to fit everyone into the view.
Cellular Connectivity
The 2020 iPad Pro designs feature connection to standard 4G LTE in cellular configurations. The 2021 iPad Pros, on the other hand, are the very first to include 5G connection, allowing the iPad Pro to reach speeds up to 4Gbps.
5G is significantly faster than 4G, however it will only be worth it for users with the cellular iPad Pro setups and a matching strategy from a carrier.
The 2020 iPad Pro features 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 as much as 40Gb/s. As being considerably quicker, Thunderbolt opens up the potential for compatibility with a much wider variety of Thunderbolt-only accessories such as external difficult drives and screens. Thunderbolt also is backward-compatible with USB-C, so the 2 ports look similar.
Even though Thunderbolt is much faster than the 2020 iPad Pros basic USB-C port, a lot of users likely will not have Thunderbolt accessories that can take benefit of these speeds, so for most users, the 2021 design will not deserve it for Thunderbolt alone.
Both iPad Pro designs support devices such as the Apple Pencil 2, in addition to Apples Smart Keyboard Folio and Magic Keyboard. Since they both support the exact same devices, there is no factor to purchase one model over the other when it concerns the likes of trackpads or keyboards.

Nonetheless, it needs to be considered that accessories such as the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard need to be acquired independently from the iPad, so will rise the general rate. If the 2021 iPad Pro, which starts at $799, is currently moving out of your rate range and you desire a device such as the $299 Magic Keyboard, you may need to choose for the older iPad Pro to bring down the total cost.
For 2020 12.9-inch iPad Pro users who utilize the Magic Keyboard and are wanting to update to the more recent model, it needs to be noted that considering that the 2021 design is somewhat thicker, you might wish to purchase a new Magic Keyboard too for a better fit. The 2020 Magic Keyboard fits the 2021 12.9-inch model, Apple notes that it is just “functionally suitable” and might not fit specifically due to the included thickness.
Other iPad Options
If the iPad Pro is too costly or you feel you will not have the ability to capitalize, you may wish to consider the iPad Air, which starts at $599. The iPad Air offers a large number of functions shared with the iPad Pro, such as the latest all-screen design, a quickly, capable processor, useful features like USB-C, and compatibility with the current Apple accessories, all at a lower price point.

Unless you need iPad Pro functions such as a more advanced camera setup, Face ID, more RAM, or stereo audio recording, the iPad Air is the very best alternative for the average consumer. For more on whether you ought to buy the iPad Air or the iPad Pro, see our iPad Air 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyers Guide.
Final Thoughts
Overall, the updated features of the 2021 iPad Pro models are significant but extremely particular. It will just be worth getting the 2021 model over its predecessor or upgrading to it from the 2020 design if you have a clear usage case for functions like Thunderbolt, more RAM or storage, or a better front-facing electronic camera.
The M1 chip shows a distinct efficiency bump over the A12Z, but a lot of users will likely not have workflows that can take advantage of the included power. The 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pros mini-LED display screen is a significant upgrade from the previous model, and will be a video game changer for consumers or creators of HDR media, but for 11-inch iPad Pro users in specific, there is little point in upgrading.
5G connection is the only other factor that it may be worth buying the 2021 iPad Pro, however once again just a minority of users who pick the cellular setup will likely be able to make the most of it.
The M1 chip and bigger amounts of memory will make the 2021 iPad Pro more future-proof. If you are planning to keep your iPad Pro for more than a couple of years, it might deserve purchasing the newer model to guarantee better efficiency in time through successive updates and with more requiring apps.
For the most recent pricing on 2020 and 2021 models, examine out the iPad Pro area of our Apple Deals roundup.

2021s 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a completely brand-new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display. The 2020 iPad Pro designs include the A12Z chip, which is a version 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 contains 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 standard USB-C port, while the iPad Pro features a Thunderbolt port.