iPad Pro Overview Updated October 2, 2021

iPad Pro

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623 'iPad Pro' stories

October 2013 - October 2021

New iPad Pro vs 2020 iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is Apple’s professional tablet choice. This iPad promises to fill any professional user’s needs with a stunning display and high specs. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

History

The first-generation iPad Pro was first available in November of 2015 with a giant 12.9-inch screen. Later in March of 2016, Apple announced a smaller version, with a 9.7-inch display. Apple also introduced the first-generation Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard with this iPad

The Apple Pencil was a key accessory to this iPad since it rejects the user’s palm while in use and is designed for low latency to enable smooth marking on the screen. The Smart Keyboard makes it easier for the user to take notes and work anywhere with the iPad.

As of April 2021, the first-generation iPad Pro runs Apple’s latest software, iPadOS 14.

The second generation arrived in June of 2017, featuring the A10X Fusion processor and up to 512GB of storage. The 9.7-inch model was replaced with a 10.5-inch version.

In October of 2018, Apple introduced the third-generation iPad Pro, giving the tablet its biggest update yet. With a bezel-less design, the 12.9-inch model became smaller, while Apple replaced the 10.5-inch version for the first-generation 11-inch iPad Pro.

ipad comparison

Apple added Face ID to the tablet, with the ability to unlock the iPad in any orientation. This was also the first mobile product from the company to feature a USB-C port. With up to 1TB of storage, Apple also introduced the second-generation Apple Pencil, now charging when attached to the iPad’s side, and a new Smart Keyboard Folio that protects the iPad when closed.

In March of 2020, Apple introduced the fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 11-inch model. These iPads were the first product to feature a redesigned camera module and the LiDAR Scanner.

in April of 2021, Apple unveiled the fifth-generation iPad Pro with the M1 chip, Thunderbolt port, 5G support, and the mini-LED display technology in the 12.9-inch model.

iPad Pro Specs and Accessories

Apple sells today the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th generation) and the 11-inch model (third generation). Both versions feature the M1 chip, which is up to 50% faster than the A12Z Bionic in the previous model, 5G support, a Thunderbolt port, and up to 2TB of storage.

For the first time, Apple says the models with more than 1TB of storage have 16GB of RAM, and versions with less than 1TB of storage have 8GB of RAM.

The iPad Pro uses Face ID technology and has a redesigned camera module, with 12MP Wide Len, 10MP Ultra Wide Len, and a LiDAR Scanner, which is used for AR applications and helps to enhance focus while recording videos or taking pictures.

The TrueDepth camera now has a 12MP Ultra Wide Len with the “Center Stage” feature, which always puts the user in the center of a video call.

With up to ten hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi or up to nine hours using a cellular data network, this iPad is available in Silver and Space Gray.

The fifth-generation Pro model works with the Magic Keyboard, featuring a trackpad, backlighted keys, a hinge to adjust the viewing angle, and a USB-C port for pass-through charging. It’s available in white and black. This model also uses the second-generation Apple Pencil, which charges attached to the iPad. You can learn more about the 2021 iPad Pro here.

iPadOS 15

The iPad Pro runs iPadOS 15. Previewed during the WWDC21 keynote, the operating system brings a redesigned Home Screen with widgets and App Library support.

In the productivity section, Apple, unfortunately, didn’t bring all the features pro users wanted to take full advantage of their new M1 iPad Pro, even though, later this year, it will be possible to create apps using Swift Playgrounds, as you can learn more about it here

There’s a new multitasking menu on the top of the screen. When you click there, it’s possible to see what configurations you can use on Split View or just go to Slide Over with just a tap.

The experience with an external keyboard allows users to get more done with all-new keyboard shortcuts and a redesign of the menu bar.

With the Quick Note feature, users can use the Apple Pencil to add a quick note. They just need to slide the pencil through the bottom right corner to the center of the screen and start writing.

iPadOS 15 is already out, with version 15.0.1 also available. Learn more about it here. In a future update, Apple will bring SharePlay for the iPad, which will let users share their screen, listen to Apple Music songs together, or watch Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+, and others while in a call.

iPadOS 14

With iPad OS 14, Apple has redesigned widgets for the Home Screen, added a new enhanced sidebar, compact calls function, and Scribble. With this function, you don’t have to put Apple Pencil away to do other things. You can write by hand in any text field across iPadOS, and your words automatically convert to text.

Messages received pinned conversations, group photos, and inline replies. It’s possible to mention people in iMessage now and give your Memoji a more personalized look.

In April, Apple released iPadOS 14.5, with some major changes in the iPadOS 14 cycle:

  • App Tracking Transparency: iPadOS 14.5 includes the new App Tracking Transparency feature. This requires that applications ask permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites. For example, when you open the Facebook app, you’ll see a prompt that says the app would like to track you across other apps and services. There will be two options from which to choose: “Ask App Not to Track” or “Allow.”
  • Siri: There is a new Siri intelligence feature that helps the virtual assistant adapt to your preferring music application. Apple also added two additional Siri voice options from which to choose. The company has said that these changes are part of its ongoing commitment to diversity.
  • Emoji: iPadOS 14.5 adds over 200 new emojis.
  • Podcasts: Podcasts Show Pages are redesigned to make it easier to start listening to a podcast. Option to save and download episodes, automatically adding them to your library for quick access. Top Charts and popular categories in Search help discover new shows.
  • Horizontal boot screen on the iPad
  • Updates to the Music app, including swipe gestures, a lyrics sharing feature, and more.

Although iPadOS 15 is available, users can stay with iPadOS 14.8 with important security patches and bug fixes.

Pricing

iPad Pro (2021) pricing starts at $799 for the 11-inch model, with a 128GB storage option, and Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $2,399 with the 12.9-inch model, 2TB storage option, and Wi-Fi + Cellular. Here are the full prices of the third-generation 11-inch model and the fifth-generation 12.9-inch version Apple sell:

11-inch iPad Pro and accessories:

  • 128GB with Wi-Fi: $799
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $949
  • 256GB with Wi-Fi: $899
  • 256GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,049
  • 512GB with Wi-Fi: $1,099
  • 512GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,249
  • 1TB with Wi-Fi: $1,299
  • 1TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,499
  • 2TB with Wi-Fi: $1899
  • 2TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $ 2.099
  • Magic Keyboard (11-inch): $299
  • Apple Pencil (2nd gen): $129

12.9-inch iPad Pro and accessories:

  • 128GB with Wi-Fi: $1099
  • 128GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,299
  • 256GB with Wi-Fi: $1,199
  • 256GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,399
  • 512GB with Wi-Fi: $1,399
  • 512GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,599
  • 1TB with Wi-Fi: $1,799
  • 1TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $1,999
  • 2TB with Wi-Fi: $2,199
  • 2TB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $2,399
  • Magic Keyboard (11-inch): $349
  • Apple Pencil (2nd gen): $129

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store. You can also find the Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil.

2021 iPad Pro Launch

The fifth generation launched on May 21. Orders started on April 30.

Fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro review

In our video review of the fifth-generation iPad Pro, we say this is the perfect model to upgrade if you want the power of the M1 chip on the iPad but it still needs a better software update to unleash its full power.

Hardware-wise this is the complete package. The 2021 iPad is basically a Mac computer without macOS. But it’s so much more than a Mac, and that’s what makes the iPad such a compelling product. The iPad has a display that’s better than any MacBook, can connect to the Internet independent of Wi-Fi, has a better speaker system, features easy Face ID authentication, works with the Apple Pencil, and so much more.

If Apple can provide big enhancements in areas like multitasking, external display support, and file management, I think the iPad will finally be able to compete with the Mac and be the laptop replacement that so many people have wanted it to be.

Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the iPad Pro and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

Rumors

Even though Apple just released the new iPad Pro, there are already some rumors about its next generation.

According to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company has been investing in more miniLED display suppliers as it plans to adopt the technology in more products as of the next 11-inch iPad Pro model.

Kuo’s report also corroborates that the 2022 iPad Pro will likely keep the same screen sizes as the current generation, which are 11 and 12.9 inches. A Bloomberg report in June claimed that Apple has been developing a redesigned iPad Pro with a glass back, but it’s unclear whether Apple will actually adopt the new design in 2022. Mark Gurman also said in his Power On newsletter that the company has been exploring iPad models with larger screens, but Kuo believes that we shouldn’t expect this next year.

iPad Pro Stories October 6

A new supply chain report suggests that we’ll see OLED iPad Pro models in 2024, but there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding Apple’s plans for the various display technologies.

There is a potential four-stage transition strategy for iPad displays, with Apple having already moved to the second of these …

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iPad Pro Stories September 24

A horizontal iPad Pro orientation is set to become the new normal with future models, suggests a leaker with a decent track record.

Currently, there are a number of ways in which an iPad signals vertical – or portrait – orientation as the default, rather than horizontal or landscape …

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iPad Pro Stories August 13

Apple’s current iPad Pro hardware is remarkably strong, but the Xerox machine that is Xiaomi thinks it can out-iPad the iPad. Astonishingly inexpensive price aside, Xiaomi has some good ideas on how to make an iPad…

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iPad Pro Stories August 9

If you’re looking for special iPad deals, Apple on Monday began selling the 2020 iPad Pro models in its Apple Refurbished Store. Customers can now buy a refurbished iPad Pro from the previous generation for as low as $609.

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iPad Pro Stories August 3

Following a big move to bring the iPhone 12 to almost 20,000 Delta flight attendants back in April, the airline is again partnering with Apple and AT&T to upgrade all of its pilot’s electronic flight bags with the new M1-powered iPad Pro and 5G.

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iPad Pro Stories July 28

Satechi launched its Aluminum Stand and Hub for iPad Pro/Air last month with a foldable design that brings 6 ports, integrated USB-C cable connector, and features like 4K output at 60Hz and 60W power. We’ve been testing out this handy iPad accessory that also works with MacBooks for a few weeks, read on for our full review.

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The 2020 iPad Air is a compelling tablet and will be the top pick for a lot of users. However, while it matches and even surpasses the 2020 11-inch iPad Pro in a variety of aspects, the latter still holds the upper hand when it comes to certain use cases. And now the 2021 iPad Pro with M1 chip outperforms both. Let’s break down the similarities and differences to help you decide if you should buy the iPad Air or the 11-inch iPad Pro.

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iPad Pro Stories July 19

A close look at the miniLED backlighting in the 12.9-inch M1-powered iPad Pro

One of the headline features of this year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro was the miniLED backlighting – or what Apple calls the Liquid Retina HDR display. A pair of new photos posted on Weibo provides a very close look at this tech …

iPad Pro Stories July 14

While Apple entered the 5G phone market after Samsung, the iPhone 12 line has been a major splash for 5G adoption. Competition between US carriers to win over iPhone customers with the best 5G experience is real, so we’re curious how the next generation of wireless service has been so far for readers.

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iPad Pro Stories July 13

JetBlue first got FAA approval to use iPads on the flight deck of its fleet of airliners back in 2013, and is now introducing the latest M1-powered iPad Pro models.

JetBlue says that the iPad quickly proved to be an invaluable tool, replacing reams of paperwork as well as providing convenient access to operational apps …

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iPad Pro Stories July 9

Apple announced earlier this year a new generation iPad Pro with the M1 chip, 5G support, and a Mini-LED display. The new display technology, however, is exclusive to the 12.9-inch model — at least so far. In a new research note obtained by 9to5Mac, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that both 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a Mini-LED panel in 2022.

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iPad Pro Stories June 27

With the iPad Pro, Apple introduced a 12.9-inch screen, its bigger touchscreen size yet. Now, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reports the company is in the early days of creating iPads with even bigger sizes. Would you consider buying one?

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When Apple announced the M1 iPad Pro in April with a new mini-LED display, the M1 chip, and up to 2TB of storage with 16GB of RAM, there was only one thing missing: the software that would take advantage of this high-end machine.

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iPad Pro Stories June 15

Market intelligence firm Counterpoint is out with its latest report on the global tablet market, which shows that the iPad market share increased in Q1, year-on-year.

Apple had already enjoyed 33% more iPad sales in 2020 than in 2019, and the data shows that the good news continued into the first quarter of this year …

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iPad Pro Stories June 12

In an unlisted video, Apple is promoting the new iPad Pro with the series “Your next computer is not a computer.” This time, the company creates a parody of The Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World” song.

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iPad Pro Stories June 11

Apple held its kick off keynote for WWDC 2021 earlier this week. WWDC21 brought lots of improvements to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS, but there are also some things users were expecting to see that didn’t ultimately make the cut.

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iPad Pro Stories June 4

Following its in-depth teardown of the M1 iMac last month, iFixit has now shared a video teardown of the M1 iPad Pro. In a new video posted to YouTube today, iFixit tears into the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro with a particular focus on the new Liquid Retina XDR display technology.

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Apple has a new iPad Pro design coming next year, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The report says that the new iPad Pro could feature a glass back to enable wireless charging on the iPad for the first time. Apple is also testing reverse wireless charging support to allow the iPad Pro to charge other devices.

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iPad Pro Stories June 3

When it came to trying the upcoming Brydge Max+ keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it seemed most sensible to write it up as a head-to-head against the Apple Magic Keyboard. Both are premium-priced keyboards with integrated trackpads, and are essentially chasing the same user demographic.

I’ve long been a fan of Brydge keyboards, and have used them with all my iPads – but have so far been using Apple’s Magic Keyboard with my 12.9-inch iPad Pro…

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Following Apple’s 2021 iPad Pro launch, Satechi is out today with what looks like a convenient new accessory, the Aluminum Stand and Hub. This dual-function device for iPad Pro/Air offers handy I/O in a foldable, portable package.

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iPad Pro Stories June 1

The 2021 iPad Pro models have arrived, and while they aren’t a huge departure from their predecessors, they include several compelling new features that largely appeal to pro users. In this iPad Pro (2021) review, we’ll discuss how these new tablets are driven by the same M1 chip that powers today’s Macs, affording greater performance than the A12Z chips found in last year’s 2020 iPad Pro models.

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iPad Pro Stories May 30

We’re a week away from Apple previewing iPadOS 15 at WWDC, and we’re all hoping for a substantial software upgrade for the iPad. Not just the low-hanging fruit from iOS 14 that didn’t come to the iPad, but a significant leap forward for pro users on the iPad Pro.

I’ve spent the first week using the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) with my MacBook Air shutdown and set aside, and the versatility of using a portable screen as a tablet, laptop, and desktop has been really great. It’s not that the iPad Pro can’t already get the job done for me. It’s more that the quality of life accomplishing the same tasks just isn’t as high on iPadOS as macOS. Here’s what I’ll be watching for at WWDC 2021 on June 7:

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iPad Pro Stories May 28

Reincubate Camo, the popular software that lets users leverage iPhone and iPad as high-quality Mac webcams has some nice news for 2021 iPad Pro owners – support for the new Center Stage auto-tracking camera feature. This effectively brings Center Stage to almost all video call platforms on Mac.

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Buying a new iPad always brings me to the same gigantic question: What do I do with it? My work life can fit on a MacBook Air, and my personal life fits on an iPhone. If the iPad Pro can’t completely replace at least one of those for me, then where exactly does it fit?

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