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Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)
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9/10
Informr score
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) currently has an Informr score of 9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 35 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Supports 5G
  • Center Stage is an excellent addition
  • Sets new records for tablet speed and performance
  • The Liquid Retina XDR display is amazing

What's bad

  • HDR content is the only way to appreciate the new screen tech fully
  • Expensive, especially with accessories.
  • iPadOS still feels a little clunky for productivity use

The new iPad Pro has so much in common with the MacBook that it might be hard to decide which one offers more. It comes down to what your preferences are. Here’s the run-down from reviewers around the world.

Design

Most reviewers were quick to note that this iPad Pro was ‘chunkier’ than the last but amended that it wasn’t by much. Everything else is virtually identical, however. It’s still one of the most premium-feeling tablets you can buy. The 12.9-inch model might be less than ideal for frequent hand-held use, though. So unless you have big hands, you might factor in the cost of a stand or case to help prop things up.

Display

The display above all else is what makes this version of iPad Pro a standout machine. It’s a Liquid Retina XDR display, meaning Apple has added HDR-capable micro lighting zones to the screen. This gets the tablet close to AMOLED contrast levels, and reviewers raved about the effect. They loved how bright the display could go without washing out the colors and contrast as well.

Performance

Featuring Apple’s latest M1 chipset, the iPad now extends its lead on every other tablet in power by a substantial margin. Simply put, there’s never been a more powerful tablet created. This is because the new Apple chipset is the same one powering their Macbook Air and Mac Mini devices. It’s no longer a mobile processor at all.

Whether you’re looking to edit 4K footage, play games, check email, or stream movies, the tablet will have zero problems bouncing back and forth between tasks without hesitating, buffering, or delay.

Software & Storage

The new iPad Pro runs iPadOS 14.5. While the software has come a long way, most reviewers felt that iPadOS holds the tablet back from its full potential. The range of storage options is expansive, having anywhere from 128GB - 2TB, which reviewers liked. While there’s no support for microSD storage, Thunderbolt 4 support means you can easily connect a card reader or external hard drive or SSD if you need work or store larger files.

Cameras

Tablets have never been known for their photography prowess. However, Center Stage -- a new subject tracking feature in the iPad’s front-facing camera -- seriously impressed reviewers. What does it do? While you’re in Facetime, it will actively follow your face attempting to keep you in the center of the video no matter where you move. Reviewers raved about it and found it an excellent addition in a world full of Zoom meetings. Better still, it just worked for most. There was no need to tweak lighting or fine-tune settings.

Battery Life

Reviewers discovered that the battery life of this tablet was surprisingly good. Under a rigorous web browsing test, it took around 10 hours to drain the battery completely. That’s more than enough for the average workday and a little evening media binging before bed.

Audio

The audio experience on the iPad Pro has always been a strong point. The four speakers on the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) are no exception. Reviewers found them to be loud and the listening experience balanced enough to skip their usual Bluetooth speakers. This is something that will likely improve further as Apple adds spatial and lossless audio to the iPad in a future software update.

Accessories

The Apple Magic Keyboard makes the tablet a little bit heavier but allows for hands-off use and a keyboard/track mouse. The Apple pencil goes without saying. Both greatly expand the functionality of the iPad but are also compatible with lower-priced models, so don’t make them the sole reason for going for the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021).

Specs at a Glance

  • Large, squared-off design
  • 12,9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Apple M1 Octa-core processor
  • 8/16GB of RAM
  • iPadOS 14
  • 128/256/512GB and 1TB/2TB storage options
  • 12MP lens, 2x Optical and 5x Digital cameras
  • 10-12 hours of battery life
  • 4-speaker audio
  • Apple pencil, Apple magic keyboard support

The Bottom Line

Reviewers found the price the most significant point to consider. After you add the Magic Keyboard and an Apple Pencil, you could spend a very similar total and get an M1-equipped MacBook Air. That said, if you prefer a touch-based interface, a more mobile experience, and top-notch audio, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) delivers. It’s fast, reliable, and tops nearly every benchmark imaginable.

Arstechnica says, “If you have one of the previous couple iPad Pro models, only one thing might stir you to upgrade: the 12.9-inch iPad Pro's exceptional Mini LED display. This is the best screen we've ever seen in a tablet—it's one of the best screens we've seen in any personal computing device, period. If you're a content creator or even just an avid consumer of HDR movies on your tablet, the upgrade could well be worth it.”

Tom’s Guide states, “But those professionals who bought the iPad Pro 2020 — and catch themselves waiting for it to export video faster — should upgrade. It's without a doubt the best tablet there is — especially if you can see the difference between HDR and 4K HDR. I bet, though, that they'd love for iPadOS to mature a bit and provide the capabilities their Macs can.”


Operating system
iOS
Processor
Unknown
Screen Size
12.9"
Camera
12+ MP, f/1.8


What the Critics Are Saying...


IT Pro

So long as your workflow is mostly cloud and app-based, there's a good chance the iPad Pro will be more than up to the task. And when you get home, chilling in bed with a movie will help you wind down without wondering how much better it could have looked on the big screen downstairs. It's a pricey...

- Josh Brown, IT Pro
Gadgets Now

It’s been well-established that when it comes to the tablet experience, there’s nothing better you will find than the iPad Pro, or for that matter most iPads. The iPad Pro because of its capabilities — and now the M1 chip — can’t be looked as a tablet alone. It’s seriously good computing machine and...

- Aabhas Sharma, Gadgets Now
The Indian Express

Should you buy? Yes, if you are looking for a device that lets you work from home as well as office and when you go for a staycation in the hills. Also, a great upgrade for those on earlier generation iPads that are at least two years old. For those thinking of a device that is not as heavy or large...

- Nandagopal Rajan, The Indian Express
Tech Advisor

The new iPad Pro is overkill for most people, but for those who need its immense power or just want a large-screen iPad with a fabulous display, it's the best of the best.

- Jim Martin, Tech Advisor
What Hi-Fi

This is a hugely expensive tablet and the price is hard to justify for anyone who has no intention of taking advantage of its productivity potential, but it’s also the best tablet you can buy for watching movies on the move. Sure, this is a luxury device, but it’s an extremely persuasive one.

- What Hi-Fi


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Quick view

Screen Size
12.9"

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)'s screen size is 12.9 inches with 2048 x 2732 pixels resolution.

Processor
Unknown

There is a Apple M1 Octa-core processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the iOS iPadOS 14 operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 12+ MP, f/1.8 camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 12+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
128/256/512/1000/2000 GB

Internal memory is 128/256/ 512/1000/ 2000 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
40.88WHr

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 40.88 WHr battery. Apple's performance ratings are 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) Specs

Overview
Release Date May 15, 2021
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Operating System iOS iPadOS 14

Compare iOS Smartphones

Processor Apple M1 Octa-core
Internal Storage 128/256/512/1000/2000 GB
RAM 8/16 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
SAR Unknown
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Cellular
Networks
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE, 5G
Mobile / Cellular Data
5G, 4G/LTE
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
GPS Type A-GPS
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HFP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Memory Expansion Slot No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
12+ Megapixels, f/1.8
Zoom
2x optical, 5x digital
Flash
Yes (Quad LED)
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Panorama, Red-eye reduction, Self-timer, 2nd camera feature (10 MP, F2.4, Ultrawide), 3rd camera feature (TOF 3D LiDAR, Depth), HDR, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
H.264 / AVC
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 60 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
12+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Aperture F2.4,
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 60 fps
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 2048 x 2732 pixels
Pixel density 264 pixels
Size 12.9 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen
Power & Battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 40.88 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Video Playback Time Up to 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 10 hours
Internet Use (Cellular) Up to 9 hours
Standby Time Unknown
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Silver, Space Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 28.06 x 21.49 x 0.64 cm (11.1 x 8.5 x 0.3 in)
Weight 682 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack No
External Speakers Stereo
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
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