On April 20, 2021, Apple hosted a virtual event to launch a refreshed lineup of its iPad Pro. The latest lineup features two iPad Pros, including an 11-inch model and a 12.9-inch model. Apple has taken a big step ahead with the latest models and has integrated some top-of-the-line features and specs, including a mini-LED XDR display, the uber-powerful M1 chipset, and 5G connectivity.
There is no visual change in the design compared to the 2020 lineup, but it is a whole new device on the inside. We have included everything you need to know about the latest iPad Pro models, such as specs, pricing, availability, and some alternatives that you can consider.
- 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display and 11-inch Liquid Retina display
- Apple M1 chip
- 12MP+10MP dual rear cameras and 12MP Ultra-Wide front camera
- 128GB base storage and 2TB highest storage
- Apple Pencil (2nd gen) support
- Improved Magic Keyboard
- Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) connectivity
Apple iPad Pro 11 & 12.9-inch (2021): The Basics
As we mentioned in the beginning, iPad Pro comes in two models featuring an 11-inch screen and a 12.9-inch screen. Among the two, the big screen variant is more advanced with 2732×2048 pixels resolution.
It boasts a Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display that packs more than 10,000 LEDs in the background to enable up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The 11-inch variant features a Liquid Retina display with 2388×1668 pixels resolution. Both the models support ProMotion, True Tone, HDR, and Dolby Vision.
Under the hood, the iPad Pro is powered by Apple’s proprietary Apple M1 processor. It packs an eight-core design touted to be 75x faster than the first-gen iPad, while the graphics performance is up to 1500x faster. The 128GB/126GB/512GB storage options get 8GB of RAM, while the 2TB storage model gets 16GB of RAM.
Apple has made some changes in the ports onboard. The latest iPad gets Thunderbolt and USB 4 port, which is claimed to offer 4x more bandwidth than the previous-gen iPad for wired connections. Furthermore, both the new iPad Pro variants pack support for external displays with high resolution, including Pro Display XDR at 6K resolution. Connectivity options on the new iPads include Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), 5G, Bluetooth v5, and more.
Concerning optics, the new iPad Pro sports a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with f/2.4 aperture and 122-degree field of view. It supports Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control.
One of the special features for the front camera is called Centre Stage that comes in handy during FaceTime video calls. This feature uses motion tracking to keep the caller in the frame even when they are moving around. It automatically switches to normal video-calling when more people join the call.
On the rear, the new iPad Pro sports a Pro camera system featuring a 12MP wide lens with f/1.8 aperture and a 10MP Ultra-Wide lens with f/2.4 aperture. The setup supports up to 2x optical zoom and up to 5x digital zoom.
Apple has launched a new and improved magic keyboard that goes hand-in-hand with the latest iPad Pro. The tablet also supports 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. Both the iPad Pro 2021 models ship with a 20W USB Type-C power adapter. The 11-inch variant weighs up to 470 grams, and the 12.9-inch model weighs up to 685 grams. The smaller one measures 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm, while the bigger one measures 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm.
|Tablet||Apple iPad Pro 11 & 12.9-inch (2020)|
|Operating system||iPadOS 14|
|Display||12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display and 11-inch Liquid Retina display|
|Processor||Apple M1 Chipset|
|Rear camera||12MP+10MP dual rear cameras|
|Front camera||12MP Ultra-Wide camera|
|Connectivity||802.11ax Wi-Fi 6; 5G, Bluetooth 5.0, eSIM|
|Ports||Thunderbolt / USB 4|
|Battery||28.65/40.88Wh, up to 10 hours|
|Dimensions||247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm (11-inch) and 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm (12.9-inch)|
|Weight||470 g (11-inch) and 685g (12.9-inch)|
Pricing and Availability
The 11-inch iPad Pro 2021 starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi variant and $999 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular variant. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021 starts at $1,099 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,299 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. They are available in Space Gray and Silver color options. As one could expect from an Apple accessory, the new and improved Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro model costs $349 and $299 for the 11-inch screen variant.
Apple iPad Pro 11 & 12.9-inch (2021) Alternatives
There are not many tablets out there that can match the prowess of the latest iPad Pro models. However, those who want an affordable alternative to the iPad Pro should consider the previous-gen iPad Pro models. The 2020 lineup is pretty much like the latest iPad Pro in terms of design, and the 2018 iPad Pro models are still a good buy for lesser pricing. The 2020 iPad Pro lineup supports the same accessories like Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil (2nd-gen).
The next alternatives are for those who want Windows OS and top-notch tablet functionality. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 and Pro X are some of the best tablets to consider.
Next in the line is the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ by Samsung. It is one of the most powerful Android tablets out there. You can consider this one as you will still be getting some top-of-the-line features and specs that can easily match up to Apple’s latest iPad Pro lineup. You will also get the stylus functionality with Samsung’s S-Pen.
- Very powerful
- Great XDR screen
- Premium design
- Up-to-date software
- Good keyboard options
- Apple Pencil 2
- Four great speakers
- Blooming effect
- Very pricey
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