iPad Pro 2021 vs iPad Pro 2020

Apple has launched an all-new iPad Pro for 2021. The device introduces a host of changes on the inside, while the outside remains mostly the same. You get 5G, a new chip, a Thunderbolt port, and more. But how does it stack up against the predecessor? Here’s an iPad Pro 2021 vs iPad Pro 2020 comparison to clear your doubts and see how the two devices compare against each other.

New display but limited to the bigger one

The iPad Pro 2021 packs an all-new 12.9-inch display. It features a Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology and True Tone. The company is moving to a mini-LED panel, and it says that there are more than 10K mini-LEDs on the 12.9-inch model, which is far more than the 72 LED’s on the iPad Pro 2020. The new iPad Pro supports a 2732-by-2048 resolution at 264 PPI and 600 nits max brightness (typical), 1000 nits max full-screen brightness, and 1600 nits peak brightness (HDR).

mini-LED panels are finally here

However, the mini-LED panel is limited to the bigger iPad Pro. The 11-inch variant still features a LED-backlit IPS display with a 2388-by-1668 resolution at 264 PPI. It supports 600 nits max brightness (typical). That said, both the new models come with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, fully laminated display, antireflective coating, True Tone, ProMotion tech, and P3 color gamut.

New iPad Pro 2021

As for the iPad Pro 2020, both the 12.9-inch variant and the 11-inch model feature the same display technology. The bigger one sports the same 2732‑by‑2048 resolution at 264 PPI with 600 nits of max brightness (typical). However, Apple doesn’t reveal the peak brightness numbers for HDR, but it is likely less than the mini-LED counterpart. The predecessor also comes with the same fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, fully laminated display, antireflective coating, True Tone, ProMotion tech, and P3 color gamut.

Hence, the main difference here is the presence of mini-LEDs on the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This translates to a brighter and more power-efficient display. The rest of it seems to remain the same.

All lot has changed on the inside

Apple has gone all-out with the new iPad Pro 2021. It has equipped the tablet with the M1 chip that was introduced last year on the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini. Theoretically, the new iPad Pro is as powerful as its Pro mac sibling. It features an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU with next-gen Neural Engine and up to 16 gigs of RAM.

Additionally, it is claimed to provide 1500 times higher performance! More numbers on the performance front include 2X faster storage access and a 2TB storage option. Further, the USB-C port now supports Thunderbolt with USB 4 support. This means the new iPad Pro has 4X more bandwidth and can support up to 6K resolution on a Pro display HDR. The device now also supports 5G.

2021 iPad PRo
iPad Pro 2021

These specifications remain constant throughout the series, which means you will get the same performance on the 11-inch model as that of the 12.9-inch variant – similar to the predecessor.

Talking about the previous gen device, the iPad Pro 2020 is powered by the A12Z Bionic chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture and Neural Engine. Apple does not reveal the RAM capacity found on the 2020 model. While the iPad Pro 2021 has a new 2TB storage option, the iPad Pro 2020 is limited to 1TB. Both of them start at 128GB of storage.

Both the previous-gen and the current-gen iPad Pros are touted to offer p to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi or watching videos and up to 9 hours of surfing the web using a cellular data network on a single charge.

An ultra-wide camera on the front

Both the iPad Pro 2021 and the iPad Pro 2020 feature the same set of cameras. They sport a 12MP (f/1.8) wide and a 10MP (f/2.4) ultra-wide camera. They offer 2x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom. However, the 2021 model gets HDR 3 support for photos instead of HDR.

Video recording capabilities on both devices include 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps and 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps. You get an extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps on the new iPad Pro. Other features include Audio zoom, Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps, and stereo recording.

Front camera gets a boost

The major difference can be found in the front camera. Apple has equipped the iPad Pro 2021 with a 12MP ultra-wide camera as opposed to the 7MP wide sensor found on the iPad Pro 2020. You get 2x optical zoom and a feature called Center Stage on the new iPad Pro. The Center Stage feature helps you stay in the center of the view and pans with you or anyone else in the video. It can be used as a new way to connect with others on video calls where you have to be moving around.

ipad pro
iPad Pro 2020

You still have only FaceID for biometric authentication, which is enabled by the TrueDepth camera. There are four speakers on both generations. The devices support Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11a/b/g/n/​​ac/ax); 2.4GHz and 5GHz; simultaneous dual-band and speeds up to 1.2 Gbps. There is Bluetooth 5.0 on board for both as well. Sensors onboard include FaceID, LiDAR scanner, three-axis gyro, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a barometer.

The major differences in connectivity options include 5G and Thunderbolt port with USB 4 on the iPad Pro 2021.

So these are the major differences between the two offerings. Does the latest iPad Pro compel you to upgrade? Let us know in the comments below.



I’ve been associated with the tech industry since 2014 when I built my first blog. I’ve worked with Digit, one of India’s largest tech publications. As of now, I’m working as a News Editor at Pocketnow, where I get paid to use and write about cutting-edge tech. You can reach out to me at [email protected]

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Apple says that there are more than 10K mini-LEDs on the 12.9-inch model, which is far more than the 72 LED’s on the iPad Pro 2020.