iPad Professional 2020 vs. iPad Professional 2021 Purchaser’s Information

iPad Professional 2020 vs. iPad Professional 2021 Purchaser’s Information

In April 2021, Apple up to date its fashionable iPad Professional lineup, introducing a quicker M1 chip, a Liquid Retina XDR show, a Thunderbolt port, and extra, changing the former fashions from March 2020.

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Even supposing the 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ fashions have now been discontinued by way of Apple, it’s common to seek out them to be had at discounted costs with third-party outlets. Every other customers who have already got the 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ can also be making an allowance for whether it is well worth the improve to the 2021 type.

Must you believe sticking with or buying the older ‌iPad Professional‌ to save cash, or do you want the newest type? Our information solutions the query of the way to come to a decision which of those two iPad Execs is right for you.


Being just a yr aside, the 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ has extra in not unusual with its 2021 successor than it has by contrast, together with key options such because the design and rear digital camera setup.

  • Business design with flat edges
  • Face ID enabled by way of TrueDepth digital camera
  • Liquid Retina show with 264 ppi, complete lamination, oleophobic and anti-reflective coating, P3 Extensive Colour, and True Tone
  • ƒ/1.8 12MP Extensive and ƒ/2.4 12MP Extremely Extensive rear cameras with LiDAR scanner
  • 2x optical zoom out, 5x virtual zoom in, brighter True Tone flash, and Sensible HDR 3 for footage
  • 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 strengthen for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps, time-lapse video with stabilization, and audio zoom
  • TrueDepth front-facing digital camera with Retina Flash, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting fixtures, 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 lifestyles
  • Wi‑Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • USB‑C connector
  • Appropriate with Magic Keyboard, Sensible Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (second technology)
  • To be had in Silver and House Grey

Apple’s specification breakdown displays that the 2 ‌iPad‌ Execs percentage an vast majority of options. Even so, there a lot of significant variations between the 2020 and 2021 ‌iPad‌ Execs which are price highlighting, together with their show applied sciences, processors, and front-facing cameras.


2020 iPad Professional

  • Liquid Retina LED show with 600 nits max brightness (standard)
  • A12Z chip
  • Neural Engine
  • 6GB RAM
  • Garage configurations as much as 1TB
  • ƒ/2.2 7MP TrueDepth digital camera
  • Sensible HDR for footage
  • USB-C
  • 5.9mm thickness
  • 1.04 kilos / 1.41 kilos

2021 iPad Professional

  • Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED show with 1,000 nits max full-screen brightness. 1,600 nits top brightness, and HDR (12.9-inch type solely)
  • ‌M1‌ chip
  • Subsequent-generation Neural Engine
  • 8GB or 16GB RAM
  • Garage configurations as much as 2TB
  • ƒ/2.4 12MP TrueDepth digital camera with Extremely Extensive digital camera, 2x optical zoom out, and Heart Level
  • Sensible HDR 3 for footage
  • Prolonged dynamic vary for video as much as 30 fps
  • Thunderbolt / USB 4 port
  • 6.4mm thickness (12.9-inch type solely)
  • 1.03 kilos / 1.5 kilos

Learn on for a more in-depth take a look at each and every of those sides, and spot what precisely each ‌iPad Professional‌ generations have to provide.

Show Era

The 12.9-inch 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌, in addition to the 2 generations of the 11-inch fashions, have the very same Liquid Retina LED show, that includes 120Hz ProMotion, complete lamination, an anti-reflective coating, P3 extensive colour, and True Tone.

iPad Pro Mini LED Article
2021’s 12.9-inch ‌iPad Professional‌ has a completely new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED show. Along with the show options of the opposite ‌iPad‌ Execs, the Liquid Retina XDR show makes use of over 10,000 LEDs around the again of the show to ship 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of top brightness, and a 1 million-to-1 distinction ratio. The result’s an advanced visible enjoy that captures the brightest highlights and delicate main points in even the darkest pictures.

m1 ipad pro display

Now ingenious execs, together with photographers, videographers, and filmmakers, can view and edit true-to-life HDR content material at the ‌iPad Professional‌. There may be an enhanced cinematic viewing enjoy for HDR and Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material.

If you’ll profit from the brand new show by way of eating or developing HDR media, the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Professional‌ items a transparent improve over the 2020 type. If you are taking a look on the 11-inch measurement, the equivalent presentations imply this may not be an element to your resolution.

A12Z vs. M1 Chip

The 2 generations range significantly in the case of chips. The 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ fashions include the A12Z chip, which is an iteration of the former A12X chip from the 2018 ‌iPad Professional‌, which itself used to be a variant of the A12 chip from the iPhone XS. The 2021 ‌iPad Professional‌ incorporates the ‌M1‌ chip from Apple’s newest MacBook Air, MacBook Professional, Mac mini, and iMac.

a12z bionic clean

Each the A12Z and the ‌M1‌ chip have 8 cores, 4 of which can be high-performance cores and 4 of which can be high-efficiency cores. Each processors can leverage all 8 cores for the GPU.

The A12Z is constructed on a 7-nanometer production procedure, whilst the ‌M1‌ is made the use of a more recent 5-nanometer procedure. The A12Z includes a most clock velocity of two.49GHz, and the ‌M1‌ chip has a miles upper clock velocity of three.2GHz.

new m1 chip

Benchmarks for the ‌‌M1‌‌ chip within the ‌‌iPad Professional‌‌ display that it’s a lot more robust than the A12Z, with an identical rankings to the ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌, which may be a passively cooled cellular instrument with the ‌‌M1‌‌ chip. The ‌‌M1‌‌ within the ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌ achieves a Geekbench single-core rating of 1700, whilst the ‌‌iPad Professional‌ with the A12Z achieves 1121. In multi-core, the ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌ has a rating of 7374, whilst the A12Z within the ‌‌iPad Professional‌ has a rating of 4655.

The ‌M1‌ chip displays a transparent functionality development over the A12Z, however it’s going to most likely no longer be noticeable in maximum duties. The A12Z used to be already a formidable and succesful chip, and it’s tricky to counsel the 2021 type over the 2020 type merely at the foundation of processor until you’ll indubitably use the extra functionality.


The A12Z processor within the 2020 ‌‌iPad Professional‌‌ is paired with 6GB of RAM. The ‌2021 ‌iPad Professional‌‌ has both 8GB or 16GB, similar to Macs with the ‌‌M1‌‌ chip. ‌‌iPad Professional‌‌ configurations with both 1TB or 2TB of garage include 16GB of RAM, whilst all different garage configurations include 8GB of RAM.

6GB within the ‌2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ shall be good enough for informal customers, however 8GB shall be defter at dealing with more than one home windows of the similar software and a variety of intense background duties.

In the end, iPadOS is superb at reminiscence control, so it’s not likely that the quantity of RAM to your ‌‌iPad‌‌ shall be essential typically.


Each ‌iPad Professional‌ fashions are to be had with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of garage. The 2021 ‌iPad Professional‌ provides a brand new 2TB garage choice for an additional $400 over the 1TB configuration.

The utmost 1TB of garage within the ‌2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ shall be greater than sufficient for many customers, however for energy customers who intend to retailer an overly great amount of information on their ‌iPads, the choice is to be had with the ‌2021 ‌iPad Professional‌‌.


Each ‌iPad Professional‌ fashions function the very same rear digital camera setup when it comes to {hardware}. Even so, the 2021 type provides Sensible HDR 3 and prolonged dynamic vary for video as much as 30 fps.


Larger digital camera variations emerge at the entrance of the ‌iPad Professional‌. The 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ includes a ƒ/2.2 7MP TrueDepth front-facing digital camera, whilst the 2021 type includes a ƒ/2.4 12MP TrueDepth digital camera with Extremely Extensive digital camera.

The enhanced specs of the 2021 type’s digital camera facilitate a 2x optical zoom out and Heart Level for video calls.

new ipad pro 11 inch

Heart Level makes use of the a lot greater box of view at the new entrance digital camera and the device finding out features of the ‌M1‌ chip to acknowledge and stay customers focused within the body. As customers transfer round, Heart Level robotically pans to stay them within the shot. When others sign up for in, the digital camera detects them too, and easily zooms out to suit everybody into the view.

Cell Connectivity

The 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ fashions function connectivity to straightforward 4G LTE in cell configurations. The 2021 ‌iPad‌ Execs, however, are the primary to function 5G connectivity, permitting the ‌iPad Professional‌ to achieve speeds as much as 4Gbps.

5G is significantly quicker than 4G, however it’s going to solely be price it for customers with the cell ‌iPad Professional‌ configurations and a corresponding plan from a service.


The 2020 ‌iPad Professional‌ options a regular USB-C port, whilst the ‌‌iPad Professional‌‌ includes a Thunderbolt port. USB-C at the ‌iPad Air‌ can switch at a velocity of 10Gb/s, whilst Thunderbolt helps speeds of as much as 40Gb/s. In addition to being significantly quicker, Thunderbolt opens up the potential of compatibility with a wider vary of Thunderbolt-only equipment akin to exterior arduous drives and screens. Thunderbolt is also backward-compatible with USB-C, so the 2 ports glance equivalent.

iPad Pro USB C Feature Purple Cyan

Although Thunderbolt is way quicker than the ‌2020 ‌iPad Professional‌‌’s usual USB-C port, maximum customers most likely won’t have Thunderbolt equipment that may profit from those speeds, so for many customers, the 2021 type is probably not price it for Thunderbolt by myself.


Each ‌‌iPad Professional‌ fashions‌ strengthen equipment such because the ‌‌Apple Pencil‌‌ 2, in addition to Apple’s ‌‌Sensible Keyboard‌‌ Folio and Magic Keyboard. Since they each strengthen the similar equipment, there is not any reason why to shop for one type over the opposite in the case of the likes of keyboards or trackpads.

ipad pro

Nonetheless, it must be regarded as that equipment such because the ‌‌Apple Pencil‌‌ and Magic Keyboard should be bought one by one from the ‌‌iPad‌‌, so will push up the full value. Subsequently, if the 2021 ‌‌iPad Professional‌, which begins at $799, is already transferring from your value vary and you wish to have an adjunct such because the $299 Magic Keyboard, you could want to go for the ‌older ‌iPad Professional‌ to deliver down the full value.

For 2020 12.9-inch ‌iPad Professional‌ customers who use the Magic Keyboard and wish to improve to the more recent type, it must be famous that because the 2021 type is fairly thicker, you could need to acquire a brand new Magic Keyboard too for a greater are compatible. Even supposing the 2020 Magic Keyboard suits the 2021 12.9-inch type, Apple notes that it’s only “functionally compatible” and would possibly not are compatible exactly because of the added thickness.

Different iPad Choices

If the ‌‌iPad Professional‌ is simply too dear or you are feeling you’re going to no longer be capable of take merit, you could need to believe the ‌iPad Air‌, which begins at $599. The ‌iPad Air‌ provides a lot of options shared with the ‌iPad Professional‌, akin to the newest all-screen design, a quick, succesful processor, sensible options like USB-C, and compatibility with the newest Apple equipment, all at a cheaper price level.

ipad air 4 colors

Except you want ‌iPad Professional‌ options akin to a extra complex digital camera setup, ‌Face ID‌, extra RAM, or stereo audio recording, the ‌iPad Air‌ is the most suitable option for the typical client. For extra on whether or not you must purchase the ‌iPad Air‌ or the ‌iPad Professional‌, see our iPad Air 2020 vs. iPad Professional 2021 Purchaser’s Information.

Ultimate Ideas

Total, the upgraded options of the 2021 ‌iPad Professional‌ fashions are vital however very explicit. It’s going to solely be price getting the 2021 type over its predecessor or upgrading to it from the 2020 type you probably have a transparent use case for options like Thunderbolt, extra RAM or garage, or a greater front-facing digital camera.

The ‌M1‌ chip displays a definite functionality bump over the A12Z, however maximum customers will most likely no longer have workflows that may profit from the added energy. The 2021 12.9-inch ‌iPad Professional‌’s mini-LED show is a notable improve from the former type, and shall be a sport changer for shoppers or creators of HDR media, however for 11-inch ‌iPad Professional‌ customers specifically, there’s little level in upgrading.

5G connectivity is the one different reason why that it can be price purchasing the 2021 ‌iPad Professional‌, however once more just a minority of customers who make a choice the cell configuration will most likely be capable of profit from it.

Nonetheless, the ‌M1‌ chip and bigger quantities of reminiscence will make the 2021 ‌iPad Professional‌ extra future-proof. If you’re meaning to stay your ‌iPad Professional‌ for various years, it can be price purchasing the more recent type to make sure higher functionality through the years via successive updates and with extra difficult apps.

For the newest pricing on 2020 and 2021 fashions, take a look at the iPad Professional segment of our Apple Offers roundup.

Comparable Roundup: iPad Professional
Purchaser’s Information: 11″ iPad Pro (Don’t Buy), 12.9″ iPad Professional (Do not Purchase)
Comparable Discussion board: iPad

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