Apple iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) Review: Untapped Potential


The iPad Pro sequence has all the time had probably the most highly effective Apple silicon, and on this 12 months’s refresh, it will get Apple’s M1 SoC which we have already seen run circles round Intel CPUs in units such because the MacEbook Air, Mac mini, and most lately, the iMac. Along with a greater processor, the brand new iPads even have extra RAM, a Thunderbolt port, a brand new Face ID digicam, and non-compulsory 5G connectivity.

These options might be present in each the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro this 12 months, with the one actual distinction between the 2 sizes being the show expertise. The 12.9-inch mannequin will get a brand new ‘Liquid Retina XDR’ show which makes use of mini-LED backlighting for greater brightness and distinction ranges, making it splendid for enhancing and viewing HDR content material. As a lot as I used to be trying ahead to testing this, it isn’t the iPad Apple despatched me, so for this evaluation, I can be testing the 11-inch mannequin with its commonplace ‘Liquid Retina’ LCD panel.

While iPads weren’t initially designed to interchange laptop computer computer systems, the brand new Pro fashions appear to have {hardware} that might rival the MacEbook Air. Plus, with equipment such because the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, you may technically use an iPad Pro as a laptop computer. The huge query is, must you?

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The 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) seems to be similar to the 2020 mannequin


Apple iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) India pricing and variants

The iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) begins at Rs. 71,900 for the 128GB Wi-Fi solely mannequin, and the fee will increase dramatically as you go up the storage ladder. Apple, for the primary time, clearly states the distinction in RAM between variants. The 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage variants have 8GB of RAM, whereas the 1TB and 2TB variants have 16GB. The mobile (5G) fashions price an extra Rs. 14,000 over the Wi-Fi fashions, throughout all storage variants.

As a consequence, the iPad Pro (11-inch) can get very costly. The 1TB 5G variant that Apple despatched me prices a loopy Rs. 1,48,900. This is premium Ultrabook and even MacEbook Pro territory, and we have not but accounted for any equipment, which you may undoubtedly want if you wish to take full benefit of this machine. The 2021 iPad Pros are nonetheless solely out there in two colors — Silver and Space Grey.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) design

At first look, the 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) seems to be equivalent to the 2020 mannequin. However, there are some delicate variations. While the general measurement and thickness are equivalent, the brand new 11-inch mannequin is 5g lighter (468g vs 473g for the 5G variations of every). The design features a matte-finished aluminium physique with uncovered antenna bands alongside the flattened sides and a pill-shaped cutout on the best for extra 5G antennas.

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The 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) is surprisingly slim and lightweight for a pill of its measurement


There are 4 audio system in whole, a Thunderbolt port (Type-C) on the backside, and a SIM tray on the best. The Indian mobile fashions (A2459) help one eSIM and a bodily SIM, so it must be doable to modify between networks while you journey, however you may’t use each networks actively (dual-SIM mode) like on an iPhone. Sub-6GHz 5G is supported by the models bought in India, however mmWave 5G is simply out there on models bought within the US. The again of the iPad Pro has a twin digicam bump within the top-right nook, a big Apple brand within the center, and three contact pins on the backside for connecting to equipment.

The show is equivalent to that of final 12 months’s iPad Pro, which continues to be among the finest you may discover on a pill – second solely to Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The 11-inch Liquid Retina show makes use of an IPS LCD panel with a 2,388×1,668 pixel decision. It helps options that we have seen on earlier Pro fashions comparable to a 120Hz refresh fee, 600nits of brightness, True Tone color temperature adjustment, and full protection of the P3 large color gamut. The show has rounded corners identical to the body. There are thick black bezels, which makes good ergonomic sense on a pill.

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The pins behind the 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) assist it energy equipment comparable to Apple’s Magic Keyboard


The iPad Pro 11-inch has a TrueDepth digicam setup on the entrance for Face ID, however with a brand new 12-megapixel sensor and a brand new function known as Centre Stage – extra on this later. In the field, you may discover the same old documentation, a 20W charger, and a USB Type-C to Type-C cable. Overall, the brand new 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) is not too completely different on the skin, nevertheless it’s the adjustments on the within that make it particular.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) specs and software program

The greatest improve with this technology is in fact Apple’s new M1 SoC, which is claimed to ship as much as 50 % quicker CPU and as much as 40 % quicker GPU efficiency in comparison with the A12Z Bionic SoC within the 2020 iPad Pros. Not that anybody is actually complaining about final 12 months’s fashions being sluggish, however extra efficiency is rarely a nasty factor. Unlike a few of Apple’s base mannequin Mac computer systems, for which Apple has used M1 chips with a 7-core built-in GPU as an alternative of 8 cores, all variants of the 11-inch iPad Pro get the full 8-core GPU. The quantity of RAM does range although, as we talked about earlier.

The iPad Pro 2021 additionally helps Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. There’s a LiDAR scanner within the rear digicam cluster. There are 5 microphones which promise studio-quality sound recording and far-field Siri activation. The USB Type-C connector now helps Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4 protocols identical to Apple’s Mac computer systems. This permits for greater bandwidth connections, so now you can do issues like connect with Apple’s personal Pro Display XDR at its full 6K decision.

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The 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) has a shiny show and the iPadOS software program helps fundamental multitasking


The iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) runs iPadOS 14 (examined on 14.6) which feels polished and refined. Multitasking is feasible due to options comparable to Split View and Slide Over, which take a while to get used to, however work nicely when you get the hold of them. You can have the widget bar completely displayed on the house display (when in panorama mode) or select to entry it with a proper swipe. The general utilization expertise is not a lot completely different from the iPad Air (2020) we reviewed earlier this 12 months, besides that system animations and scrolling are much more fluid due to the excessive refresh fee. Sadly, some fundamental apps comparable to a calculator and climate forecast are nonetheless lacking, so you may should download options for these.

Apple’s upcoming iPadOS 15 replace will introduce loads of new options for the iPad comparable to the power to position widgets anyplace on the house display (just like the iPhone), new accessibility controls for Split View and Slide Over, and many extra which can be widespread to the upcoming iOS 15 replace.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) efficiency

Let’s sort out this part in two utilization situations — first, when utilizing the iPad Pro as a daily pill and second, as a productiveness machine with the non-compulsory Magic Keyboard and Pencil.

As a pill, I used to be fairly shocked at how gentle the brand new iPad Pro 2021 mannequin is, contemplating its measurement. Holding it one hand and utilizing it did not get fatiguing even after lengthy stretches. Touch response was wonderful and the interface felt extremely snappy on this 16GB RAM variant. There is a excessive probability of blocking the FaceID sensor when utilizing the iPad Pro in panorama orientation, however the UI provides you a little bit immediate to warn you of this when unlocking the iPad or signing in to apps.

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Games look and run nice on the 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch)


The show has excellent color calibration out-of-the-box, and brightness is greater than satisfactory. Colours regarded vivid and punchy with out going overboard. Games and movies regarded nice on the iPad Pro 2021’s show too. Asphalt 9: Legends and Call of Duty: Mobile ran very nicely and regarded very good. Audio high quality from the 4 audio system was excellent too, with clear vocals and mid-range frequencies, though the bass felt a bit weak. The brute drive of the M1 SoC actually exhibits in benchmarks. The M1 iPad Pro (11-inch) scored 10,41,519 factors in AnTuTu, in comparison with 6,48,660 factors from the 2020 iPad Air with the A14 Bionic SoC and about 7,00,000 factors from a 2020 iPad Pro (11-inch).

The cameras on the iPad Pro (11-inch) are among the many greatest you may discover on any pill. The rear digicam {hardware} hasn’t modified in comparison with final 12 months’s mannequin, however there’s help for Smart HDR 3 this time for pictures. You get a 12-megapixel foremost digicam with out OIS which may document as much as 4K 60fps video, a 10-megapixel ultra-wide digicam, and the True Tone flash. It would have been good to have Night mode or the power to shoot Dolby Vision HDR video on this 12 months’s Pro mannequin, however you may’t.

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For a pill, the 2021 iPad Pro’s cameras are excellent


One annoyance I confronted is that the digicam app would not allow you to change the decision or body fee from the viewfinder in video mode, forcing you to go to the primary iOS Settings app. Image and video high quality was excellent for a pill. AR apps and video games work greatest on the Pro fashions due to the LiDAR sensor, which creates a extra correct digital map of the room you are in. Angry Birds AR was enjoyable to play, and apps comparable to JigSpace can help you visualise practical 3D renditions of objects. Apple Clips has some cool AR filters too, that are rendered properly on the iPad Pro.

2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) rear digicam pattern

2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) entrance digicam pattern


The entrance digicam has a brand new 12-megapixel sensor with a 122-degree discipline of view. It additionally helps Smart HDR 3 and might document video at as much as 1080p. There’s additionally a brand new function known as Centre Stage. It makes use of AI to detect your face and maintain it centred within the body always. If you progress round, it should robotically crop and reframe the shot to ensure you’re nonetheless within the centre. It works fairly nicely in apps comparable to FaceTime, Zoom, and Cisco WebEx Meet, and might be toggled on or off if wanted.

The iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) has completely no bother pulling off common pill duties, however now with a performance-shattering SoC just like the M1 inside, many may be questioning if the iPad Pro can be utilized as a laptop computer alternative to do extra intensive duties. In my opinion, this resolution continues to be a blended bag and whereas it could work for some, it will not essentially swimsuit everybody.

I’ve been utilizing the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) with the iPad Pro (11-inch) for a number of weeks. During this timeI hardly ever needed to fall again to my MacEbook Air for work functions, not like my expertise with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (Review). This is as a result of a lot of the apps that I depend on for work are already optimised for Apple’s tablets, which can’t be stated for the Android ecosystem. Slack, Pages, Microsoft Word, and so on work very nicely even when utilizing them in Split View or Slide Over modes.

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The non-compulsory Magic Keyboard enables you to use the 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) as a laptop computer 


There are some exceptions although, comparable to Zomato and Instagram, which solely run in portrait mode and are clearly simply iOS apps blown up for the large display. My USB Type-C hub was recognised correctly too, and thru it, I used to be capable of learn SD playing cards, pen drives, and so on through the Files app.

The Apple Magic Keyboard additionally works with final 12 months’s 11-inch iPad Pro and the iPad Air (2020). It’s nice for typing and may be very nicely constructed, though it does have its share of evident points for the steep worth it instructions, which we have talked about intimately in our iPad Air (2020) evaluation. The Pencil is a pleasant accent to have (albeit costly) when you’re into drawing or sketching. I did not find yourself utilizing it a lot throughout my testing interval, however that is simply me.

While I had no bother getting my day by day work achieved purely on the iPad Pro, it nonetheless feels as if the M1 SoC is being severely under-utilised. Keep in thoughts that whereas Apple makes use of the M1 identify for a similar chip used throughout the most recent iPad Pro, Mac Mini, iMac, MacEbook Air and MacEbook Pro fashions, Apple doesn’t publish speeds or different specs. These all have completely different thermal constraints and you will not get precisely the identical quantity of sustained processing energy on all these units.

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The non-compulsory Apple Pencil is a useful gizmo when you’re into drawing or sketching


Apple says that lots of professional apps comparable to LumaFusion for video enhancing, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for photograph enhancing, Procreate for graphic design, and so on, have been optimised for M1, which is nice, however I might have cherished the choice of utilizing full-fledged desktop apps on the iPad. It would not appear as if it will occur even when iPadOS 15 is out later this 12 months.

For occasion, Adobe Premiere Rush works advantageous on the iPad Pro and I used to be capable of edit and scrub by means of a number of high-resolution streams from a GoPro Hero9 Black and a GoPro Fusion with none points. However, think about with the ability to use the desktop model of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere on an iPad. While you will discover respectable options for such apps for the iPad, you may most definitely should adapt to a unique workflow, to not point out buy these apps individually.

You additionally do not get full multitasking or file system entry in iPadOS such as you would on a Mac. Another function that is nonetheless sorely lacking is true exterior monitor help. Yes, you may mirror the iPad Pro to an exterior show, however what we’d like is the power to make use of an exterior monitor with no need the iPad’s show to be on on a regular basis.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) battery life

Apple claims as much as 10 hours of battery life with both internet utilization or video watching, and in my testing, I discovered these claims to be fairly correct. In truth, I typically ended up getting near 12 hours of runtime on a single cost. This quantity dipped a bit if I used lots of AR or video enhancing apps, however general, battery life was greater than passable. The iPad Pro (11-inch) ran for just below 11 hours in our HD video loop check. I used to be much more impressed with the battery life throughout precise utilization contemplating I had the iPad Pro (11-inch) docked to the Magic Keyboard virtually continuously, and I additionally charged the Apple Pencil occasionally.

Apple nonetheless bundles a charger within the field (20W) not like with its iPhones, and utilizing it, I used to be capable of cost the iPad Pro (11-inch) as much as 54 % in an hour and about 97 % in two hours. If you will have the next wattage USB-PD charger, you may cost the iPad Pro faster. Using the OnePlus 65W quick charger and a third-party charging cable, the iPad Pro (11-inch) charged as much as 63 % in an hour and reached one hundred pc in nicely below two hours.

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While the 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) can be utilized as a laptop computer, the M1 MacEbook Air continues to be the extra good choice



Apple actually hit a house run with the M1 SoC and it is solely pure to see this chip transition to a number of units. I would not be shocked to see future iPhone Pro fashions get a model of this SoC too. However, when you had been anticipating to see a large soar in app efficiency or battery life between an M1-based iPad Pro and the 2020 iPad Pro with the A12Z Bionic, then you definately may be disenchanted. I’m referring particularly to the 11-inch mannequin right here, as I have never used the brand new 12.9-inch mannequin with the flowery mini-LED show.

The iPad Pro line has all the time had best-in-class Apple SoCs however have additionally all the time been held again by iPadOS and iPad apps. It would not appear that iPadOS 15 will carry any main adjustments in the best way you employ an iPad or the form of apps you will get, which implies the brand new iPad Pros have lots of untapped potential that is simply ready for software program to catch up. You may see efficiency advantages in sure M1-optimised apps in comparison with the 2020 iPad Pros, however the distinction may barely be noticeable until your workloads can reap the benefits of them.

The unhappy reality is that we could by no means get desktop-class apps on the iPad, regardless of how highly effective the iPad will get, for one easy cause — Apple additionally sells laptops and desktop computer systems, and it would not need the iPad to cannibalise the gross sales of its different merchandise.

If you’ve got already sunk an excellent chunk of change right into a 2020 iPad Pro (11-inch) then it is secure to skip the 2021 mannequin. Unless you are dealing with efficiency points within the apps you employ commonly (which must be uncommon), I do not suppose the M1 11-inch mannequin will change your life in any method. If your workflow entails enhancing HDR content material on the go, you may presumably profit by upgrading to the brand new 12.9-inch iPad Pro as an alternative, however understand that you may should adapt your workflow to iPad apps.

For most individuals trying to expertise the ability of Apple’s M1 SoC, I believe the best choice continues to be the MacEbook Air. It’s the most-value-for-money Apple laptop you may at the moment purchase and is far more versatile by way of software program and usefulness than an iPad. The new 2021 iPad Pro (11-inch) is a good machine, but when you are going to be spending this type of cash on a pill, you may as nicely go all-in and think about the bigger 12.9-inch mannequin for its higher show. If it is simply the compact kind issue you are after and do not thoughts compromising on a number of options, the current-gen iPad Air is the subsequent neatest thing.


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