iPad Pro 2021: Features, Specifications and Review

The iPad Pro of 2021 has as its main novelty being the first to incorporate a chip identical to that of a Mac, which is already something significant in a tablet at first. Now, what more benefits do they have? How does everything influence your day to day? In this article we take a look at every highlight of these new iPad Pro M1 released by Apple this year.

Same design, albeit with slight changes in thickness

Apple repeats the two sizes (11 and 12.9 inches) and colors (silver and space gray) of the predecessors of these iPad. There have been practically no aesthetic changes that are noticeable to the naked eye, so it will be difficult to distinguish them from the previous generation. Of course, this does not have to be negative if we consider that it was already a very optimized design on the front since 2018 with a screen with reduced bezels and a clean rear with the Smart Connector at the bottom, the company logo on the center and with the camera module in the upper left.

iPad Pro 2021

Where are the changes then? Well, only in the thickness of the large model, which has gained 5 centimeters with respect to its predecessor, reaching 0.64 centimeters. This increase is due to a change in its screen that we will talk about in the next section. Of course, both sizes have increased in weight , having an 11-inch model of 471 grams in its WiFi version and 473 in its LTE version. 682 and 684 grams is what the 12.9 model weighs in their respective WiFi and WiFi + Cellular versions.

MiniLED display, but only for the large iPad Pro

In the run-up to the presentation of these iPad Pro we had many rumors about the incorporation of miniLED technology. In the 12.9-inch model it was taken for granted that it would incorporate it, but not so much in the 11-inch model. Finally this rumor became reality and it is that only the large model has adopted this new screen technology. However, let’s go by parts.

The 11 ″ iPad Pro screen is spectacular with a resolution of 2,388 x 1,668 at 264 pixels per inch and a brightness of up to 600 nits. All this with the present ProMotion technology, which is the one that refers to the 120 Hz refresh rate. If you do not know what this is, it means that the iPad will update the content of its screen 120 times per second, providing greater visual fluidity both when scrolling through the system interfaces and in some video games adapted to it.

pantalla ipad pro 2021

The screen of that iPad looks really good in any type of light circumstance and despite having an IPS technology, it is quite advanced. We honestly believe that few will be able to qualify such a screen as insufficient, but it is clear that in comparison with its older brother it loses integers.

The miniLED panel of the 12.9 ″ iPad Pro is in itself a technological advance over the previous one. Its resolution is 2,732 x 2,048 at 264 pixels per inch and it also has a maximum brightness of 600 nits and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The improvement of this screen will be especially noticeable by graphic editors who seek the highest possible precision of colors, since it is a panel with a very balanced wide range and that at no time lose their naturalness.

Is it a drama to have the IPS panel on the 11 model? Absolutely. Can you tell the difference with the big one? Also. Obviously if you do not have them next to each other you may not notice it so much, but if you have ever handled an IPS panel like the one on the small model, you will notice a big change in that 12.9-inch iPad Pro and its new display technology.

Nothing to reproach at the performance level

For the first time, Apple gave us the RAM data of the iPad Pro , something that normally is not so important in their devices due to the good optimization of the processor. But if we consider that this is a RAM that is integrated into the M1 chip , it was something to brag about. We have 8 GB in the versions of 128, 256 and 512 GB of internal storage, but it reaches 16 GB in the versions with capacities of 1 and 2 TB.

Obviously we are facing something unprecedented, since they are the first Apple tablets to incorporate the same brain as a computer. We knew the M1 very well from having tested it on Macs and therefore had very high expectations. Although we will comment on the negative points in the next section, to highlight positively is the fact that it goes like a bullet. Obviously, at a technical level and pure data, much more can be said, but about what is the behavior in the day to day that in the end is what matters, we cannot make any complaint.

It works great for all kinds of actions; from the most trivial and everyday tasks such as browsing the internet, consuming multimedia content or making use of office apps. But where above all it is noticeable that we are facing a large processor is when we start with somewhat heavier processes such as photo or video editing, being able to render the content in record times very on par with what we find in computers like the MacBook Air. What’s more, at the hardware level this iPad Pro is the same as these computers.

iPadOS is not (at the moment) up to par

And this is where the perhaps most striking point of this review arrives and that is that the software has not been up to such a beast of hardware. This could change very soon with the update of iPadOS 15, which has not even been presented at the time of writing. With the most recent versions of iPadOS 14 we encountered limitations. Once the visual aspect is overcome and understanding that in the end it is not macOS, professional applications such as Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro or full versions of the popular Photoshop are missing.

ipados en ipad pro 2021

On a Mac with Apple Silicon we can already use many iPhone and iPad apps, but the reverse does not happen. It is understandable that transforming a macOS desktop interface into a touch interface adapted to the iPad is not easy, but we understand that having capable hardware now, the means will not be that complicated.

At the time iPadOS 13 came to polish precisely the defects of iOS after an iPad Pro 2018 that was very reminiscent of this in the sense of having wasted hardware . We therefore take this point of view as tentative, waiting to see if the next major software update has just finished off these weak points and we have again a perfect match between both parties.

More than enough internal storage

Each user is different and uses devices that are not always the same as another, but in almost all cases, storage is usually key. Both iPad Pro 2021 start with a capacity of 128 GB that may already be more than ideal starting for a tablet that is focused on the professional public. Obviously there will be those who see it insufficient, but for that reason four other higher capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB and even 2 TB are added, the latter being an unprecedented capacity so far in these devices. If we have that it can also be combined with storage space in iCloud or any other cloud service, the drawbacks in this section are reduced to nothing.

ipad pro m1

At the battery level they comply, although with buts

The autonomy of any electronic device is important and more so when that device is focused on intensive use. As we said before when referring to that each user makes a different use, we cannot give an exact figure of battery life in these iPads due to how inaccurate it would be. In general, we can say that both the small and large models are more than suitable for a day’s work without requiring a charger. Now, if we use accessories such as the Magic Keyboard, which is powered by the iPad battery, the autonomy is reduced. It is not something drastic or what to worry about as a general rule, but if you use a keyboard of this type frequently you should know that the battery will last less.

Powerful, Compliant Audio for Multimedia Content

Up to four speakers are found in these iPad, two located at the bottom and two at the top. It is really difficult to transmit an experience of this type in a text, but if you are interested in knowing our opinion of this speaker system for the reproduction of multimedia content, we must say that we were pleasantly surprised. The four speakers act in stereo, giving an immersive experience that logically cannot be equated to that of an external and professional speaker system, but which can be more than enough to watch series and movies and even listen to music or podcasts.

Something striking and that does not always happen in devices of this type is that we do not perceive distortion at high volumes , despite the fact that the maximum volume level is really high. Precisely the latter is another noteworthy value and that is that even in situations where there is noise in the environment, the content can be heard clearly.

contenido multimedia ipad pro 2021

In terms of specifications , we have the following audio format compatibility:

  • AAC-LC
  • HE ‑ AAC
  • HE-AAC v2
  • Protected AAC
  • MP3, linear PCM
  • Apple Lossless
  • FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC-3)
  • Dolby Digital Plus (E ‑ AC ‑ 3)
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4; Audible Enhanced Audio; AAX and AAX +)
  • Spatial audio

Nice surprises in the cameras

Regarding the cameras, we find a front camera integrated in the TrueDepth in which the Face ID sensors are housed, while in the rear we find a double camera formed by a wide angle and an ultra wide angle . Specifications are as follows:

specs iPad Pro 2021 (11 “and 12.9”)
Photos front camera -12 Mpx camera and f / 2.4 aperture with ultra wide angle
– Zoom in: x2 (optical)
-Retina Flash
-HDR Smart 3
-Portrait mode
-Depth control
-Portrait lighting
Front camera videos -Expanded dynamic range for video up to 30 frames per second
– Cinema quality video stabilization
1080p recording at 25, 30 or 60 frames per second
Photos rear cameras -12MP wide-angle camera with f / 1.8 aperture
-Ultra wide angle camera with f / 2.4 aperture
-Zoom zoom: x2 (optical)
– Zoom in: x5 (digital)
-Flash True Tone
-HDR Smart 3
Rear camera videos -Recording in 4K at 24, 25, 30 or 60 frames per second
1080p recording at 25, 30 or 60 frames per second
-Expanded dynamic range for video up to 30 frames per second
-Zoom zoom: x2 (optical)
– Zoom in: x5 (digital)
-Video in time-lapse with stabilization
-Slow motion recording at 1080p at 120 or 240 frames per second
-Audio zoom
-Stereo recording

camaras ipad pro 2021

Given this, how important are these specifications on an iPad? Well, it really will depend on the approach that the user is going to give the device. A tablet is not the most suitable equipment for taking photos for a practical matter, since in the end it is much more uncomfortable than an iPhone and more so if we are talking about the 12.9-inch iPad Pro model. Now, that does not mean that they are not suitable for a multitude of functions focused on professional use such as recording videos with interviews, something that Apple itself already showed in the presentation of this team.

However, there is a very useful functionality for most, such as what we see in the front camera. An ultra wide angle with a 122 degree viewing angle has been added which can be very interesting in FaceTime video calls where you meet more people. A tracking system was also added through software that will make you always be in the main focus of the screen even if you move (as long as you do not go out of the angle, of course). Therefore, it is something really interesting if you often hold meetings in this way or you usually get in touch with friends and family like that.

5G connectivity comes to the iPad Pro

Apple did not repeat it over and over again as it did when it introduced the iPhone 12, but yes … The iPad Pro 2021 debut 5G. Of course, not in all versions, since WiFi will continue to have that unique connectivity. It is in the WiFi + Cellular versions that you can contract a data rate for the iPad, so if there is a company that offers it and has 5G connectivity you can enjoy it.

magic keyboard y ipad pro 2021

We already well know the advantages of this connectivity in terms of speeds, reaching really high peaks and that undoubtedly make this the connectivity of the future. But… that… from the future. Currently, 5G coverage is scarce and is only reached in some specific areas that are usually in large population centers. Therefore, today we could not say that this is a definitive reason neither for this nor for other devices that incorporate this technology, although obviously if it is a functionality that is useful to have it for the future.

Compatible accessories and prices for these

Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, these iPad Pro can be compatible with many accessories such as keyboards, mice, trackpads, headphones and more that work through this connectivity (including some of the Mac accessories). To this are added other possibilities thanks to the USB-C port compatible with Thunderbolt 4 , since it can connect to accessories such as external storage disks or monitors more efficiently.

dibujando ipad pro 2021

Regarding official accessories of these iPad Pro we find compatibility with the second generation Apple Pencil, which will connect and recharge the battery in the same way as in previous generations (magnetized on the right side). To this we add the Smart Connector on the back that allows it to be compatible with other accessories such as the company’s famous keyboard with trackpad or the classic Smart Keyboard. The prices of these and the official covers are as follows:

  • ‌Apple Pencil (2nd gen.): € 135
  • Magic Keyboard (11 inches): 339 euros
  • Magic Keyboard (12.9 inches): 399 euros
  • Smart Keyboard Folio (11-inch): 199 euros
  • Smart Keyboard Folio (12.9-inch): 219 euros
  • Smart Folio case (11 inches): 89 euros
  • Smart Folio case (12.9 inches): 109 euros

ipad pro 2021 y magic keyboard

There is something to keep in mind regarding the compatibility of the 12.9-inch Magic Keyboar , since due to the increase in thickness that the 2021 model has compared to the 2020 model, they are not completely compatible. If you have a previous generation Magic Keyboard, it will work on the new one, but it will not be as tight as if you buy one that is already standard prepared for the latest iPad Pro.

How much does the iPad Pro 2021 cost?

As you may have already guessed, there are different prices for both the small and large models, which in turn also have differences depending on the storage capacity and connectivity that is chosen. Therefore there is no single price for these tablets.

Prices iPad Pro 11 inches (2021)

  • Versions with WiFi connectivity
    • 128 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 879 euros
    • 256 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 989 euros
    • 512 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,209 euros
    • 1 TB of ROM and 16 GB RAM: 1,649 euros
    • 2 TB of ROM and 16 GB of RAM: 2,089 euros
  • Versions with 5G WiFi + Cellular connectivity
    • 128 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,049 euros
    • 256 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,159 euros
    • 512 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,379 euros
    • 1 TB of ROM and 16 GB of RAM: 1,819 euros
    • 2 TB of ROM and 16 GB of RAM: 2,259 euros

ipad pro

Prices iPad Pro 12.9 inches (2021)

  • Versions with WiFi connectivity
    • 128 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,199 euros
    • 256 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,309 euros
    • 512 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,529 euros
    • 1 TB of ROM and 16 GB RAM: 1,969 euros
    • 2 TB of ROM and 16 GB of RAM: 2,409 euros
  • Versions with 5G WiFi + Cellular connectivity
    • 128 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,369 euros
    • 256 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,479 euros
    • 512 GB of ROM and 8 GB of RAM: 1,699 euros
    • 1 TB of ROM and 16 GB of RAM: 2,139 euros
    • 2 TB of ROM and 16 GB of RAM: 2,579 euros

Conclusion, is it worth buying?

Despite the weaknesses we found when it comes to software, we believe that both the 11 and 12.9-inch models are worth it. Obviously you will have to be the one who values the most important points of these and if they compensate you financially, but the truth is that they are devices that probably have no rival in the market for their benefits.

usando ipad pro 2021 If you come from a 2020 model the change may be less and more if you go to the 11-inch model with the same screen, although at the performance level there are notable changes. Perhaps this is the situation that you should study the most. However, if you come from another generation or have never had an iPad Pro and are convinced that you will be able to take advantage of it, it is undoubtedly an extremely interesting investment in a team that will continue to have support for many years.