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

In April 2021, Apple upgraded its popular iPad Pro lineup, presenting a quicker M1 chip, a Liquid Retina XDR screen, a Thunderbolt port, and more, changing the previous designs from March 2020.
The 2020 iPad Pro models have actually now been ceased by Apple, it is typical to discover them available at reduced costs with third-party retailers. Some other users who currently have the 2020 iPad Pro might likewise be thinking about if it is worth the upgrade to the 2021 model.
Should you think about sticking with or purchasing the older iPad Pro to conserve cash, or do you need the current model? Our guide answers the question 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 common with its 2021 follower than it has in contrast, including crucial features such as the style and rear cam setup.

Apples specification breakdown reveals that the 2 iPad Pros share a frustrating majority of functions. However, there a number of significant distinctions in between the 2020 and 2021 iPad Pros that deserve highlighting, including their display technologies, processors, and front-facing video cameras.

Industrial design with flat edges.
Face ID made it possible for by TrueDepth cam.
Liquid Retina display screen with 264 ppi, complete lamination, anti-reflective and oleophobic finish, P3 Wide Color, and True Tone.
ƒ/ 1.8 12MP Wide and ƒ/ 2.4 12MP Ultra Wide rear 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 electronic 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 connector.
Compatible with Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (2nd generation).
Readily available in Silver and Space Gray.

2020 iPad Pro

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

2021 iPad Pro

However, it should be thought about that accessories such as the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard have to be acquired individually from the iPad, so will rise the total rate. If the 2021 iPad Pro, which starts at $799, is already moving out of your price range and you want a device such as the $299 Magic Keyboard, you might need to opt for the older iPad Pro to bring down the overall expense.
For 2020 12.9-inch iPad Pro users who use the Magic Keyboard and are looking to update to the more recent model, it should be noted that because the 2021 design is a little thicker, you might wish to acquire a brand-new Magic Keyboard too for a much better fit. The 2020 Magic Keyboard fits the 2021 12.9-inch design, Apple notes that it is just “functionally compatible” 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 be able to capitalize, you might want to think about the iPad Air, which starts at $599. The iPad Air offers a great deal of functions shared with the iPad Pro, such as the most current all-screen design, a quickly, capable processor, practical features like USB-C, and compatibility with the newest Apple devices, all at a lower rate point.

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 camera with Ultra Wide video camera, 2x optical zoom out, and Center Stage.
Smart HDR 3 for pictures.
Extended dynamic variety for video as much as 30 fps.
Thunderbolt/ USB 4 port.
6.4 mm density (12.9-inch model only).
1.03 pounds/ 1.5 pounds.

Continue reading for a closer take a look at each of these elements, and see exactly what both iPad Pro generations have to provide.

Display Technology
The 12.9-inch 2020 iPad Pro, along with the 2 generations of the 11-inch models, have the specific very same Liquid Retina LED display screen, featuring 120Hz ProMotion, full lamination, an anti-reflective finish, P3 broad color, and True Tone.
2021s 12.9-inch iPad Pro has an entirely new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display. In addition to the display screen features of the other iPad Pros, the Liquid Retina XDR display uses over 10,000 LEDs throughout 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 result is an enhanced visual experience that records the brightest highlights and subtle details in even the darkest images.
Now innovative experts, including photographers, videographers, and filmmakers, can view and modify true-to-life HDR content on the iPad Pro. There is also an enhanced cinematic viewing experience for HDR and Dolby Vision content.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro provides a clear upgrade over the 2020 design if you can take advantage of the new display by consuming or producing HDR media. If youre looking at the 11-inch size, the similar displays suggest this wont be an aspect in your decision.
A12Z vs. M1 Chip
The two generations vary considerably when it comes to chips. The 2020 iPad Pro models contain 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 most current MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.
Both the A12Z and the M1 chip have eight cores, 4 of which are high-performance cores and 4 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 process, while the M1 is used a more recent 5-nanometer procedure. The A12Z features a maximum clock speed of 2.49 GHz, and the M1 chip has a much higher clock speed of 3.2 GHz.
Criteria for the M1 in the iPad Pro are not yet readily available, but they will likely be similar to the MacBook Air, which is also 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 attains 1121. In multi-core, the MacBook Air has a score 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 a lot of jobs. The A12Z was already a capable and powerful chip, and it is difficult to recommend the 2021 model over the 2020 model merely on the basis of processor unless you can certainly utilize the extra performance.
The A12Z processor in the 2020 iPad Pro is coupled with 6GB of RAM. The 2021 iPad Pro has either 8GB or 16GB, much like Macs with the M1 chip. iPad Pro setups with either 1TB or 2TB of storage contain 16GB of RAM, while all other storage setups contain 8GB of RAM.
6GB in the 2020 iPad Pro will be adequate for casual users, but 8GB will be defter at dealing with multiple windows of the very same application and a variety of extreme background jobs.
Eventually, iPadOS is outstanding at memory management, so it is not likely that the quantity of RAM in your iPad will be very important for the most part.
Both iPad Pro models are readily available with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The 2021 iPad Pro adds a brand-new 2TB storage option for an additional $400 over the 1TB setup.
The optimum 1TB of storage in the 2020 iPad Pro will be sufficient for many users, however for power users who mean to keep a very big amount of information on their iPads, the alternative is available with the 2021 iPad Pro.
Video camera
Both iPad Pro designs feature the precise very same rear camera setup in regards to hardware. Even so, the 2021 design adds Smart HDR 3 and extended vibrant variety for video as much as 30 fps.
Bigger cam distinctions emerge on the front of the iPad Pro. The 2020 iPad Pro includes a ƒ/ 2.2 7MP TrueDepth front-facing electronic camera, while the 2021 model features a ƒ/ 2.4 12MP TrueDepth electronic camera with Ultra Wide video camera.
The improved requirements of the 2021 models video camera facilitate a 2x optical zoom out and Center Stage for video calls.
Phase uses the much bigger field of view on the brand-new front camera and the machine learning abilities of the M1 chip to recognize and keep users focused in the frame. As users walk around, Center Stage immediately pans to keep them in the shot. When others participate in, the electronic camera identifies them too, and smoothly zooms out to fit everyone into the view.
Cellular Connectivity
The 2020 iPad Pro designs include connection to basic 4G LTE in cellular setups. The 2021 iPad Pros, on the other hand, are the first to feature 5G connectivity, enabling the iPad Pro to reach speeds up to 4Gbps.
5G is significantly faster than 4G, however it will only deserve it for users with the cellular iPad Pro setups and a corresponding strategy from a provider.
The 2020 iPad Pro features a basic USB-C port, while the iPad Pro includes a Thunderbolt port. USB-C on the iPad Air can transfer at a speed of 10Gb/s, while Thunderbolt supports speeds of up to 40Gb/s. As being considerably much faster, Thunderbolt opens up the potential for compatibility with a much broader range of Thunderbolt-only devices such as external hard drives and monitors. Thunderbolt also is backward-compatible with USB-C, so the 2 ports look identical.
Even though 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 make the most of these speeds, so for the majority of users, the 2021 model will not be worth it for Thunderbolt alone.
Both iPad Pro models support accessories such as the Apple Pencil 2, in addition to Apples Smart Keyboard Folio and Magic Keyboard. Because they both support the same accessories, there is no reason to purchase one design over the other when it pertains to the similarity keyboards or trackpads.

Unless you need iPad Pro functions such as an advanced camera setup, Face ID, more RAM, or stereo audio recording, the iPad Air is the finest option for the typical consumer. For more on whether you ought to purchase the iPad Air or the iPad Pro, see our iPad Air 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyers Guide.
Last Thoughts
In general, the upgraded functions of the 2021 iPad Pro designs are extremely particular but significant. It will just be worth getting the 2021 model over its predecessor or updating to it from the 2020 design if you have a clear usage case for features like Thunderbolt, more RAM or storage, or a much better front-facing electronic camera.
The M1 chip shows an unique performance bump over the A12Z, but many users will likely not have workflows that can benefit from the included power. The 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pros mini-LED display is a notable upgrade from the previous design, and will be a game changer for consumers or creators of HDR media, but for 11-inch iPad Pro users in specific, there is little point in updating.
5G connectivity is the only other factor that it may be worth buying the 2021 iPad Pro, but once again just a minority of users who choose the cellular configuration will likely be able to take benefit of it.
The M1 chip and larger 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 few years, it may be worth buying the more recent model to ensure better performance gradually through succeeding updates and with more demanding apps.
For the current rates on 2020 and 2021 designs, check 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 screen. The 2020 iPad Pro designs contain 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 contains the M1 chip from Apples most current 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 includes a Thunderbolt port.