/Apple’s new iPad Pro improves upon last year’s with a faster processor and 5G support — but the upgrade is really for power users

Apple’s new iPad Pro improves upon last year’s with a faster processor and 5G support — but the upgrade is really for power users


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  • The 2021 Apple iPad Pro features improved specs while keeping the 2020 model‘s $799 starting price.
  • iPad Pro pre-orders began on April 30, and the new tablet and units are expected to ship in mid-May.
  • The M1 processor and 5G are nice features, but 2020 iPad owners should wait for a bigger upgrade.  

On April 20, Apple announced the fifth-generation of its iPad Pro line. The new tablet has a lot of the same features as the 2020 edition, but adds an upgraded display, 5G connectivity support, Apple’s M1 processor (CPU), and bigger storage capacity.

Pre-orders for the 2021 Apple iPad Pro started on April 30 from Apple and other major retailers. Tablets will be delivered in mid-May, according to Apple.

Prices for the 11-inch tablet start at $799, and the new 12.9-inch version starts at $1,099. Here’s how the new iPad Pro models stack up to their predecessors.

The 2021 iPad Pro has the same resolution as the 2020 iPad Pro, but the new 12.9-inch edition uses a mini-LED design versus the standard LED backlight found on the 2020 model. Mini-LED can provide better contrast and higher peak brightness to create a more realistic image with better high dynamic range (HDR) performance.

2021 iPad Pro models also incorporate a faster CPU and better graphics performance thank to the addition of Apple’s M1 chip. We’ve been impressed with the performance improvements this chip makes in other recent Apple products, like the MacBook Air.

Other upgrades include new support for 5G on cellular models, as well as a new option for up to 2TB of storage versus last year’s max of 1TB. The front camera has been upgraded as well, making the jump from 7MP to 12MP. 

These improvements make the new iPad Pro a better buy for power users over the previous version, especially the 12.9-inch model thanks to its advanced display. That said, we view this as more of a mid-cycle upgrade rather than a full overhaul. 

Apple iPad Pro (2021) versus Apple iPad Pro (2020)

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