Apple iPad Pro 2021 vs iPad Pro 2020: Should you upgrade?

Apple iPad Pro 2021 vs iPad Pro 2020: Should you upgrade?

Apple has recently launched the 2021 iteration of the iPad Pro. The new iPad Pro 2021 is now powered by the latest M1 chip. How much improvement does it bring to the table compared to its predecessor, iPad Pro 2020? Find out in the comparison below.

Apple iPad Pro (2021) specs:Apple iPad Pro (2020) specs:
11-inch (2388 x 1668) Liquid Retina display, 264ppi11-inch (2388 x 1668) Liquid Retina display, 264ppi
12.9-inch (2732 x 2048) Liquid Retina XDR display, 264ppi12.9-inch (2732 x 2048) Liquid Retina display, 264ppi
ProMotion technology, True Tone, Wide color (P3), Fully laminatedProMotion technology, True Tone, Wide color (P3), Full laminated
Apple M1 chipApple A12Z Bionic chip
16-core Neural EngineNeural Engine, Embedded M12 coprocessor
128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB storage
Dual-rear cameras:Dual-rear cameras:
• 12MP F1.8 (main)• 12MP F1.8 (main)
• 10MP F2.4 (ultra-wide)• 10MP F2.4 (ultra-wide)
12MP F2.4 TrueDepth Camera + Center Stage feature7MP F2.2 TrueDepth Camera
5G, 4G LTE (Cellular model, nano-SIM, eSIM)4G LTE (Cellular model, nano-SIM, eSIM)
WiFi 6WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Face IDFace ID
USB Type-CUSB Type-C
Thunderbolt / USB 4 port
LiDAR ScannerLiDAR Scanner
Four-speaker audioFour-speaker audio
Five microphonesFive microphones
28.65 Whr battery (11-inch)28.65 Whr battery (11-inch)
40.88 Whr battery (12.9-inch)36.71 Whr battery (12.9-inch)
20W USB-C Power Adapter18W USB-C Power Adapter
Apple Pencil supportApple Pencil support
Magic Keyboard supportMagic Keyboard support
iPadOS 14iPadOS 14
247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm(11-inch)247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm (11-inch)
280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm (12.9-inch)280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm (12.9-inch)
466g (WiFi), 468g (WiFi-Cellular) (11-inch)468g (WiFi | WiFi-Cellular) (11-inch)
682g (WiFi), 684g (WiFi-Cellular) (12.9-inch)641g (WiFi), 643g (WiFi-Cellular) (12.9-inch)
Space Gray, SilverSpace Gray, Silver

Summary of improvements of the Apple iPad Pro 2021:

• Liquid Retina XDR display (12.9-inch model)
• Newer and more powerful chipset – M1 chip
• 2TB storage option
• Higher front camera resolution – 12MP F2.4 TrueDepth camera
• New Center Stage feature
• 5G connectivity (WiFi + Cellular model)
• Thunderbolt / USB-4
• 20W wired fast charging support


Starting with the display, the two retain the same 12.9-inch and 11-inch display options. Both iPad Pros boast displays with a resolution of either 2388 x 1668 on the 11-inch variant or 2732 x 2048 on the 12.9-inch variant. Even so, the iPad Pro 2021’s 12.9-inch now features a Liquid Retina XDR display. It is now packed with a Mini-LED panel instead of an IPS LCD panel. Such an upgrade on display may deliver improved brightness and contrast for a better viewing experience. Meanwhile, the latest iPad Pro’s 11-inch model retains the same display features as its predecessor.


For the processor, the iPad Pro 2021 gets the newer M1 chip versus the A12Z chip on the iPad Pro 2020. Apple promises that the 8-core CPU of the M1 delivers up to 50% faster performance, while its 8-core GPU provides up to 40% faster graphics performance to iPad Pro. We can expect better performance on the latest iPad Pro in this case, with its newer and more powerful chipset.

RAM and Storage

The iPad Pro 2020 models reportedly had 6GB of RAM. Now, the latest iPad Pro 2021 models offer larger 8GB of RAM for the 128GB, 256GB, and 512 GB models, whereas the 1TB and 2TB models have 16GB of RAM. With the latest iPad Pros’ larger RAM, it is expected to deliver faster processing speed.

For the storage, both iPad Pros have 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options. However, the iPad Pro now has a 2TB option, offering twice larger than its predecessor’s largest storage option. This is a huge advantage, especially for those who opt for a larger space to store more apps and content.


In terms of cameras, the two share the same dual-rear camera configuration with 12MP F1.8 (main) and 10MP F2.4 (ultra-wide) sensors. Both also boast the LiDAR scanner that can measure depth for better AR capabilities. The newer iPad Pro, however, sports a higher front camera resolution with its 12MP F2.4 TrueDepth camera and a 122-degree field of view compared to the 2020 model’s 7MP F2.2 TrueDepth camera.

In addition to this, the iPad Pro 2021 now supports the new Center Stage feature. This feature is said to use the ultra-wide camera and machine learning for video calls. This automatically pans as users move around to keep them centered in the frame. According to Apple, when others join in or leave the call, the view expands or zooms in. This feature works with FaceTime and other video conferencing apps.


Connectivity and other features

The iPad Pro 2021 adds 5G connectivity for the WiFi + Cellular model, an upgrade from the 4G LTE of the iPad Pro 2020. Moreover, the iPad Pro 2021 now offers Thunderbolt/USB-4 port, enabling faster and more versatile connections. As per Apple, Thunderbolt supports up to 40 Gbps bandwidth for connecting to displays, drives, and more.

Other features on both iPad Pros include WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, built-in GPS/GNSS (WiFi + Cellular model), four-speaker audio, and five microphones.

Both models also run under the latest and dedicated iPadOS 14, which has an optimized UI. The iPad Pro 2021 and iPad Pro 2020 also support the same accessories, including the new Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and both the 1st-Gen and 2nd-Gen Apple Pencils.


For the battery, both iPad Pro 2021 and 2020 11-inch model batteries are rated at 28.6Whr. On the other hand, the iPad Pro 2021’s 12.9-inch model has a 40.88 Whr battery, while the latest iPad Pro 2020 comes with a 36.78Whr battery.

Apple claims that both iPad Pro 2021 and 2020 boast a battery life of up to 10 hours on a single charge. Nonetheless, the former comes with 18W wired fast charging support, while the latter comes with a faster 20W.


The latest iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch is priced starting at PHP 62,990 (WiFi) and PHP 71,990 (WiFi + Cellular), while the 11-inch model is priced starting at PHP 45,990 (WiFi) and PHP 54,990 (WiFi + Cellular).

To recall, the iPad Pro 2020 12.9-inch arrived in the Philippines with starting prices of PHP 59,990 (WiFi) and PHP 68,990 (WiFi + Cellular). Its 11-inch model, however, came with starting prices of PHP 47,990 (WiFi) and PHP 56,990 (WiFi + Cellular).

Should you upgrade?

With all the cited improvements, the Apple iPad Pro 2021 seems to have a huge leap forward against the 2020 model. If you want a more powerful iPad Pro packed with an M1 chip, Liquid Retina XDR display (12.9-inch model), optional 5G connectivity, 2TB storage option, Thunderbolt, and more— then upgrading to the latest iPad Pro 2021 is a great choice. However, if you are still not pleased by these improvements yet, sticking to the iPad Pro 2020 model for another year is not bad at all. It’s also still a good purchase this year, especially if you can get it from a seller at a lower price.

What do you guys think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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3 Responses

  1. John Vincent says:

    Hi! To add, RAM is larger to the 2021 iPad Pro line. from the 128GB to 512 GB, has 8GB of RAM, and the 1TB-2TB models has 16GB of RAM in comparison to 2020’s 4GB and 6GB.

  2. R Rathelbeck says:

    when is the launch date in the Philippines for the new ipadpro with M1?

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