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IPad pro generation differences. A List of iPad Generations and Models

iPad Pro 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyer’s Guide

In April 2021, Apple updated its popular iPad Pro lineup, introducing a faster M1 chip, a Liquid Retina XDR display, a Thunderbolt port, and more, replacing the previous models from March 2020.

Although the 2020 and 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌ models have now been discontinued by Apple, it is not unusual to find them available at discounted with third-party retailers. Some other users who already have the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ may also be considering if it is worth the upgrade to the 2021 model.

Should you consider sticking with or purchasing the older ‌iPad Pro‌ to save money, or do you need the latest model? Our guide answers the question of how to decide which of these two iPad Pros is best for you.

Similarities

Being only a year apart, the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ has more in common with its 2021 successor than it has in contrast, including key features such as the design and rear camera setup.

  • Industrial design with flat edges
  • Face ID enabled by TrueDepth camera
  • Liquid Retina display with 264 ppi, full lamination, oleophobic and anti-reflective coating, P3 Wide Color, and True Tone
  • ƒ/1.8 12MP Wide and ƒ/2.4 12MP Ultra Wide rear cameras with LiDAR scanner
  • 2x optical zoom out, 5x digital zoom in, brighter True Tone flash, and Smart HDR 3 for photos
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps, time-lapse video with stabilization, and audio zoom
  • TrueDepth front-facing camera with Retina Flash, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, Cinematic video stabilization, 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, Animoji, and Memoji
  • Stereo recording with studio quality mics
  • Four speaker audio
  • All-day 10 hour battery life
  • Wi‑Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • USB‑C connector
  • Compatible with Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
  • Available in Silver and Space Gray

Apple’s specification breakdown shows that the two ‌iPad‌ Pros share an overwhelming majority of features. Even so, there a number of meaningful differences between the 2020 and 2021 ‌iPad‌ Pros that are worth highlighting, including their display technologies, processors, and front-facing cameras.

Differences

  • Liquid Retina LED display with 600 nits max brightness (typical)
  • A12Z chip
  • Neural Engine
  • 6GB RAM
  • Storage configurations up to 1TB
  • ƒ/2.2 7MP TrueDepth camera
  • Smart HDR for photos
  • USB-C
  • 5.9mm thickness
  • 1.04 pounds / 1.41 pounds
  • Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display with 1,000 nits max full-screen brightness. 1,600 nits peak brightness, and HDR (12.9-inch model only)
  • ‌M1‌ chip
  • Next-generation Neural Engine
  • 8GB or 16GB RAM
  • Storage configurations up to 2TB
  • ƒ/2.4 12MP TrueDepth camera with Ultra Wide camera, 2x optical zoom out, and Center Stage
  • Smart HDR 3 for photos
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps
  • Thunderbolt / USB 4 port
  • 6.4mm thickness (12.9-inch model only)
  • 1.03 pounds / 1.5 pounds

Read on for a closer look at each of these aspects, and see what exactly both ‌iPad Pro‌ generations have to offer.

Display Technology

The 12.9-inch 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌, as well as the two generations of the 11-inch models, have the exact same Liquid Retina LED display, featuring 120Hz ProMotion, full lamination, an anti-reflective coating, P3 wide color, and True Tone.

2021’s 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ has an entirely new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display. In addition to the display features of the other ‌iPad‌ Pros, the Liquid Retina XDR display uses over 10,000 LEDs across the back of the display to deliver 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio. The result is an improved visual experience that captures the brightest highlights and subtle details in even the darkest images.

Now creative professionals, including photographers, videographers, and filmmakers, can view and edit true-to-life HDR content on the ‌iPad Pro‌. There is also an enhanced cinematic viewing experience for HDR and Dolby Vision content.

If you can take advantage of the new display by consuming or creating HDR media, the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ presents a clear upgrade over the 2020 model. If you’re looking at the 11-inch size, the identical displays mean this won’t be a factor in your decision.

A12Z vs. M1 Chip

The two generations vary considerably when it comes to chips. The 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models contain the A12Z chip, which is an iteration of the previous A12X chip from the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌, which itself was a variant of the A12 chip from the iPhone XS. The 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌ contains the ‌M1‌ chip from Apple’s latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.

Both the A12Z and the ‌M1‌ chip have eight cores, four of which are high-performance cores and four of which are high-efficiency cores. Both processors can leverage all eight cores for the GPU.

The A12Z is built on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process, while the ‌M1‌ is made using a newer 5-nanometer process. The A12Z features a maximum clock speed of 2.49GHz, and the ‌M1‌ chip has a much higher clock speed of 3.2GHz.

Benchmarks for the ‌‌M1‌‌ chip in the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ show that it is much more powerful than the A12Z, with similar scores to the ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌, which is also a passively cooled mobile device with the ‌‌M1‌‌ chip. The ‌‌M1‌‌ in the ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌ achieves a Geekbench single-core score of 1700, while the ‌‌iPad Pro‌ with the A12Z achieves 1121. In multi-core, the ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌ has a score of 7374, while the A12Z in the ‌‌iPad Pro‌ has a score of 4655.

The ‌M1‌ chip shows a clear performance improvement over the A12Z, but it will likely not be noticeable in most tasks. The A12Z was already a powerful and capable chip, and it is difficult to recommend the 2021 model over the 2020 model simply on the basis of processor unless you can definitely use the additional performance.

Memory

The A12Z processor in the 2020 ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ is paired with 6GB of RAM. The ‌2021 ‌iPad Pro‌‌ has either 8GB or 16GB, just like Macs with the ‌‌M1‌‌ chip. ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ configurations with either 1TB or 2TB of storage contain 16GB of RAM, while all other storage configurations contain 8GB of RAM.

6GB in the ‌2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ will be adequate for casual users, but 8GB will be defter at handling multiple Windows of the same application and a range of intense background tasks.

Ultimately, iPadOS is excellent at memory management, so it is unlikely that the amount of RAM in your ‌‌iPad‌‌ will be important in most cases.

Storage

Both ‌iPad Pro‌ models are available with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌ adds a new 2TB storage option for an extra 400 over the 1TB configuration.

The maximum 1TB of storage in the ‌2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ will be more than enough for most users, but for power users who intend to store a very large amount of data on their ‌iPads, the option is available with the ‌2021 ‌iPad Pro‌‌.

Camera

Both ‌iPad Pro‌ models feature the exact same rear camera setup in terms of hardware. Even so, the 2021 model adds Smart HDR 3 and extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps.

Bigger camera differences emerge on the front of the ‌iPad Pro‌. The 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ features a ƒ/2.2 7MP TrueDepth front-facing camera, while the 2021 model features a ƒ/2.4 12MP TrueDepth camera with Ultra Wide camera.

The improved specifications of the 2021 model’s camera facilitate a 2x optical zoom out and Center Stage for video calls.

Center Stage uses the much larger field of view on the new front camera and the machine learning capabilities of the ‌M1‌ chip to recognize and keep users centered in the frame. As users move around, Center Stage automatically pans to keep them in the shot. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to fit everyone into the view.

Cellular Connectivity

The 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models feature connectivity to standard 4G LTE in cellular configurations. The 2021 ‌iPad‌ Pros, on the other hand, are the first to feature 5G connectivity, allowing the ‌iPad Pro‌ to reach speeds up to 4Gbps.

5G is considerably faster than 4G, but it will only be worth it for users with the cellular ‌iPad Pro‌ configurations and a corresponding plan from a carrier.

Ports

The 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ features a standard USB-C port, while the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ features a Thunderbolt port. USB-C on the ‌iPad Air‌ can transfer at a speed of 10Gb/s, while Thunderbolt supports speeds of up to 40Gb/s. As well as being considerably faster, Thunderbolt opens up the potential for compatibility with a much broader range of Thunderbolt-only accessories such as external hard drives and monitors. Thunderbolt also is backward-compatible with USB-C, so the two ports look identical.

Even though Thunderbolt is much faster than the ‌2020 ‌iPad Pro‌‌’s standard USB-C port, most users likely will not have Thunderbolt accessories that can take advantage of these speeds, so for most users, the 2021 model will not be worth it for Thunderbolt alone.

Accessories

Both ‌‌iPad Pro‌ models‌ support accessories such as the ‌‌Apple Pencil‌‌ 2, as well as Apple’s ‌‌Smart Keyboard‌‌ Folio and Magic Keyboard. Since they both support the same accessories, there is no reason to buy one model over the other when it comes to the likes of keyboards or trackpads.

Nevertheless, it should be considered that accessories such as the ‌‌Apple Pencil‌‌ and Magic Keyboard have to be purchased separately from the ‌‌iPad‌‌, so will push up the overall price. Therefore, if the 2021 ‌‌iPad Pro‌, which starts at 799, is already moving out of your price range and you want an accessory such as the 299 Magic Keyboard, you may need to opt for the ‌older ‌iPad Pro‌ to bring down the overall cost.

For 2020 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ users who use the Magic Keyboard and are looking to upgrade to the newer model, it should be noted that since the 2021 model is slightly thicker, you may want to purchase a new Magic Keyboard too for a better fit. Although the 2020 Magic Keyboard fits the 2021 12.9-inch model, Apple notes that it is only functionally compatible and may not fit precisely due to the added thickness.

Other iPad Options

If the ‌‌iPad Pro‌ is too expensive or you feel you will not be able to take advantage, you may wish to consider the ‌iPad Air‌, which starts at 599. The ‌iPad Air‌ offers a large number of features shared with the ‌iPad Pro‌, such as the latest all-screen design, a fast, capable processor, practical features like USB-C, and compatibility with the latest Apple accessories, all at a lower price point.

Unless you need ‌iPad Pro‌ features such as a more advanced camera setup, ‌Face ID‌, more RAM, or stereo audio recording, the ‌iPad Air‌ is the best option for the average consumer. For more on whether you should buy the ‌iPad Air‌ or the ‌iPad Pro‌, see our iPad Air 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyer’s Guide.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the upgraded features of the 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌ models are significant but very specific. It will only be worth getting the 2021 model over its predecessor or upgrading to it from the 2020 model if you have a clear use case for features like Thunderbolt, more RAM or storage, or a better front-facing camera.

The ‌M1‌ chip shows a distinct performance bump over the A12Z, but most users will likely not have workflows that can take advantage of the added power. The 2021 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌’s mini-LED display is a notable upgrade from the previous model, and will be a game changer for consumers or creators of HDR media, but for 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ users in particular, there is little point in upgrading.

5G connectivity is the only other reason that it may be worth buying the 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌, but again only a minority of users who choose the cellular configuration will likely be able to take advantage of it.

Nevertheless, the ‌M1‌ chip and larger amounts of memory will make the 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌ more future-proof. If you are intending to keep your ‌iPad Pro‌ for more than a few years, it may be worth buying the newer model to ensure better performance over time through successive updates and with more demanding apps.

For the latest pricing on 2020 and 2021 models, check out the iPad Pro section of our Apple Deals roundup.

A List of iPad Generations and Models

Apple typically comes out with at least one new iPad generation every year. With so many available products, it’s easy to lose track of everything Apple has to offer in the iPad department. This might be frustrating if you’re looking to buy one of these handy devices. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of all the available iPad products to help clear up any confusion about your choices.

Keep reading for a complete overview of iPad generations and models.

The Differences Between iPad Generations

You might be wondering why Apple keeps coming out with new iPad generations each year. The answer is quite simple. Each new iPad generation model typically performs significantly better than its predecessor.

Apple generally doesn’t interfere with the physical aspect too much. The company might add new colors or tweak the device’s size, but the overall design remains relatively constant.

The upgrades primarily pertain to the inner workings of an iPad. A new generation model usually comes with new features and more powerful chips.

iPad Models

Apple currently offers four main iPad models:

Each model gets new additions regularly, with new generations coming to the market every year.

Although Apple has discontinued some generations, you can still find them at other retailers.

iPad

The standard edition of the iPad might be the least advanced, but it’s also the most affordable option.

The newest addition came out in 2022. The tenth-generation 10.9-inch iPad uses the A14 Bionic chip. Although far behind the most powerful iPad chip, the A14 Bionic offers excellent performance and great value for the money.

As far as storage goes, baseline models offer 64GB, but you can go for the 256GB option if you need more space.

It features a 10.9-inch LCD screen with a 2,360-by-1,640-pixel resolution. Apple added a True Tone feature that adjusts color balance based on the lighting conditions.

The front-facing camera also boasts significant improvements compared to previous iPad models. The selfie camera is now 12MP, nearly double the resolution of its predecessor. The rear-facing camera is also 12MP.

The iPad is a versatile entertainment device with many functions that offer excellent value compared to its price.

iPad Generations

As of 2022, Apple has come out with nine generations of the regular iPad model.

  • Tenth Generation: 10.9-inch iPad released in 2022.
  • Ninth Generation: 10.2-inch iPad released in 2021.
  • Eighth Generation: 10.2-inch iPad released in 2020.
  • Seventh Generation: 10.2-inch iPad released in 2019.
  • Sixth Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2018.
  • Fifth Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2017.
  • Fourth Generation: 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display released in 2012.
  • Third Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2012.
  • Second Generation: 9.7-inch iPad 2 released in 2011.
  • First Generation: 9.7-inch iPad released in 2010.

Note that Apple has discontinued all generations preceding the 2021 iPad.

iPad Mini

The iPad mini is the smallest iPad, but its size doesn’t affect its powerful features.

Apple came out with the latest generation of iPad mini in 2021. This model outperforms the standard iPad in the CPU department with an A15 Bionic chip.

When it comes to the camera, both front and rear-facing cameras are 12MP. The former features an ultra-wide sensor, while the latter includes True Tone flash and Smart HDR features.

The 2021 iPad mini features an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with a 2,266-by-1,488-pixel resolution. Although this model lacks the iPad Pro’s ProMotion technology, it makes up for it with the matching True Tone and P3 Wide Color models.

The iPad mini is small in size but mighty in performance. It’s a perfect choice if you find the other models too bulky.

iPad Mini Generations

The iPad mini currently stands at six generations.

  • Sixth Generation: 8.3-inch iPad mini released in 2021.
  • Fifth Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2019.
  • Fourth Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2015.
  • Third Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2014.
  • Second Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2013.
  • First Generation: 7.9-inch iPad mini released in 2012.

The 2021 iPad mini is the only model currently being sold. Apple has discontinued all the previous versions.

iPad Air

For years, the iPad Air has offered a middle ground between the budget-friendly iPad and the powerful but high-priced iPad Pro.

However, the 2022 iPad Air made some serious advances toward the iPad Pro side. This fifth-generation iPad Air is also the latest addition to the iPad family.

ipad, generation, differences, list

The most significant upgrade is the M1 chip, which you can also find in the iPad Pro. This impressive chip can rival desktop-level processors. Not only does the 2022 iPad Air contain this powerhouse chip, but it’s also the most affordable M1 device on the market.

This model’s screen hasn’t been changed significantly. It’s a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina LCD screen with a 2,360-by-1,640-pixel resolution. While this is the same pixel density as the iPad Pro, the iPad Air can’t get as bright as the Pro model. However, its screen still offers a substantial brightness of 500 nits.

The front-facing camera has had a notable upgrade, from 7MP to 12MP. It comes with an ultrawide sensor with Center Stage.

If you’d like the premium look and performance of the iPad Pro without breaking the bank, the iPad Air might be your best option.

iPad Air Generations

If you’re interested in purchasing an iPad Air, you can choose from five generations.

  • Fifth Generation: 10.9-inch iPad Air released in 2022.
  • Fourth Generation: 10.9-inch iPad Air released in 2020.
  • Third Generation: 10.5-inch iPad Air released in 2019.
  • Second Generation: 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 released in 2014.
  • First Generation: 9.7-inch iPad Air released in 2013.

The fifth generation of iPad Air is the only one not discontinued by Apple.

iPad Pro

The name of this model is pretty self-explanatory. The iPad Pro is a professional tablet, offering superior processing power and screen quality.

Apple launched the latest iPad Pro generation in 2022. As with every previous generation, the sixth generation offers two models of different sizes: 11 inches and 12.9 inches.

The newest addition to the iPad Air series caught up to iPad Pro fifth generation in the CPU department, but the latest iPad Pro’s most notable feature is the M2 chip that can handle almost any processing task you might have. However, the iPad Pro offers a smoother screen with ProMotion technology and multiple rear-facing cameras.

Another unique feature is the ability to choose between two sizes. The only considerable difference between these two iPad Pro models is the size of the Liquid Retina display.

The smaller version is equipped with True Tone technology and Wide Color support.

In addition to these features, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro also includes a mini-LED backlight system. This increases the screen’s brightness and helps control the screen’s light output.

The 2022 iPad Pro boasts multiple impressive cameras:

What sets these rear cameras apart from other iPad cameras is the ability to record 4K videos.

If you’re an artist, designer, or editor, the iPad Pro might be a worthwhile investment.

iPad Pro Generations

The iPad Pro is undoubtedly the most advanced iPad model. If its powerful features appeal to you, you can buy one of the 10 available models.

Each generation of iPad Pro models comes in two sizes. Apple releases both sizes simultaneously, with the first generation being the only exception.

  • Sixth Generation: 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro released in 2022.
  • Fifth Generation: 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro released in 2021.
  • Fourth Generation: 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro released in 2020.
  • Third Generation: 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro released in 2018.
  • Second Generation: 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro released in 2017.
  • First Generation: 12.9-inch iPad Pro released in 2015 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro released in 2016.

The 2021 iPad Pro is currently sold in both sizes. All the previous models have been discontinued by Apple.

Choices Galore

Now that you know every iPad model and generation Apple has ever come out with, it’s up to you to take your pick.

It can be challenging to make up your mind with many available options. This guide has also gone through the most prominent features of each iPad model to help you make an informed decision.

Have you considered getting an iPad? Which model appeals to you the most? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below.

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021: The best just got (slightly) better

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) and iPad Pro 11 (2022) have landed, replacing the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) and iPad Pro 11 (2021) that launched some 17 months prior.

There was no big show though, just a press release, and the low-key nature of the announcement tells you one simple thing about these new models: they’re very similar indeed to their immediate predecessors. Don’t expect any bold new features or components here.

With that said, there are a couple of important distinctions to draw between the two most recent iPad Pro generations. Here’s how they compare, spec for spec, and based on our experience reviewing them.

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021 price and availability

The iPad Pro 2022 launched on October 18, 2022 in two sizes. The 11-inch starts from 799 / £899 / AU1,399, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at 1,099 / £1,249 / AU1,899. Adding cellular connectivity and storage to both will bump those figures up significantly, however.

In both cases, the mentioned are for the 128GB Wi-Fi-only models, but you can add cellular connectivity and scale the storage capacities up to 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and even 2TB. If you want a top-spec 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2022 with 2TB of storage and cellular connectivity, expect to pay an eye-watering 2,399 / £2,679 / AU4,099.

The iPad Pro 2021 hit shops on May 21, 2021, and also arrived in the same two sizes. The 11-inch model started from 799 / £749 / AU1,199, while the iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch started from 1,099 / £999 / AU1,649.

Again, you could add cellular connectivity and more storage, with the range topping out at the 2,399 / £2,149 / AU3,549 4G-ready iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch, with 2TB of storage.

As you can see, pricing has stayed the same in the US, but has been bumped up significantly for the iPad Pro 2022 in the UK and Australia, thanks to adverse global economic conditions.

If you’re looking to pick up any notable iPad Pro at a decent price, keep your eyes trained on our best iPad Deals roundup, which we’re constantly updating with the best Apple tablet discounts, right across the range.

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021 design

The iPad Pro 2022 and the iPad Pro 2021 sport flat-out identical designs. We’re talking genuine spot-the-difference stuff here.

This is evidenced by the fact that both 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants have identical dimensions of 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm and 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm, respectively. It’s the same when it comes to weight, with both 11-inchers weighing 466g, and both 12.9-inchers weighing 682g. You can add the same 3 or 4g for the cellular models too.

In terms of the look of the two generations, well, that’s pretty much the same too. These are the same slim all-aluminum tablets, with the same flat edges. All of which means that any accessories (such as cases) bought for one generation should work perfectly with the next, no matter how tight the tolerances.

It’s a shame Apple didn’t, at least, get a little more adventurous with the color schemes for the iPad Pro 2022, though. Just like the iPad Pro 2021, it comes in silver and Space Gray. Apple introduced loads of colors with the new iPad 10.9 (2022), so why not here?

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021 display

Just as the 2022 and 2021 iPad Pro models look identical, so too Apple has stuck with exactly the same displays.

For the smaller iPad Pro variants, that means an 11-inch 2388 x 1668 IPS LCD with a 120Hz ProMotion adaptive refresh rate, and a typical top brightness of 600 nits.

The larger models use a display that’s unequivocally superior than their compact brothers. This is a 12.9-inch 2048 x 2732 mini-LED LCD, which again comes with a 120Hz ProMotion adaptive refresh rate, but which benefits from a much higher typical brightness of 1000 nits. It can also stretch to 1600 nits in peak scenarios.

In a nutshell, mini-LED displays offer brighter, more vibrant, and more contrasty images than straight IPS LCDs. HDR content, in particular, looks richer on these larger iPads.

The only real divisions here, then, lie between the two distinct iPad Pro sizes, rather than between the two generations.

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021 camera

Warming to its low-key theme, Apple has left the iPad Pro 2021’s camera system well alone for the iPad Pro 2022.

All four of these tablets have the same dual-camera set-up on the back, which includes a 12MP wide sensor and a 10MP ultra-wide. These are assisted in each case by a ToF 3D LiDAR scanner, for highly precise depth detection, primarily used for object scanning and AR (augmented reality) experiences.

There are also 12MP selfie cameras all round, which can handle face unlocking and Center Stage face tracking during video calls.

ipad, generation, differences, list

The only camera differences come about due to the provision of that new M2 processor, which enables some advanced video capture capabilities. We’ll discuss these in the next section.

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021 specs and performance

And so we come to the major difference between the iPad Pro 2022 and the iPad Pro 2021. While the two 2021 models run on Apple’s custom M1 chip, the two 2022 models run on the newer Apple M2.

Both the M1 and the M2 pack 8-core CPUs, but the M2 has a 10-core GPU to the M1’s 8-core. While Apple reckons that the M2 CPU is only 15% faster than the M1 equivalent, it says that the newer chip’s GPU is a whole 35% faster.

The iPad Pro 2021 was fast enough in everyday tasks, while there’s no game available on the App Store that can even approach the limits of any of these tablets. So while we found the iPad Pro 2022 immensely powerful, it’s power that most people won’t really need in general use.

However, the new M2 gives the iPad Pro 2022 an improved ‘Media Engine’ and superior image processing chops. This allows it to record ProRes video, whereas last year’s model could only transcode it. Meanwhile, the M2 can transcode ProRes footage significantly faster than the M1.

One other spec bump relates to the iPad Pro 2022’s connectivity. This year’s model comes with Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and (in the case of the cellular models) 5G. That compares favorably to the iPad Pro 2021’s Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and 4G, respectively.

The iPad Pro 2022 also benefits from enhanced Apple Pencil 2 connectivity. If you’ve got Apple’s latest stylus, you’ll find that the latest iPad Pro’s screen can detect when the nib gets within 12mm.

Apple has taken advantage of this with a number of hovering interactions. When you hover the Pencil over a text box, for example, it will expand. Talking of which, the new iPad Pro 2022 has enhanced performance when recognizing handwriting.

You can also use Apple Pencil Hover for brush previews in supported creative apps.

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021 battery

Apple is making the same claim of 10 hours of battery life for the iPad Pro 2022 as it did for the iPad Pro 2021. That should come as no surprise.

Given the identical size and weight of these two iPad Pro generations, they almost certainly use the exact same batteries as before. That would mean a 10,758mAh cell for the 12.9-inch models, and a 7,538mAh cell for the 11-inch models.

In practice we found that the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) seemed slightly easier to get 10 hours of life out of than the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022), but in both cases life varies a lot based on what you use the tablet for.

Takeaway

Say what you like about Apple, it doesn’t tend to make a huge song and dance about genuinely incremental upgrades (cue iPhone 14/iPhone 13S jokes).

Sure enough, the company isn’t shouting about the iPad Pro 2022, because it’s barely any different to the iPad Pro 2021 before it. The new premium tablet range has got the exact same design, display, camera system, and – quite likely – battery as its predecessor.

The differences are there, however. There’s been a marked improvement in performance, as well as superior Apple Pencil integration, and better connectivity, across the board.

We would have liked to have seen some more meaningful improvements here, but the simple takeaway from all this is that the best tablet on the market by some margin has just gotten even better.

These both rank among the best iPads and the best tablets, but the 2022 model is the slightly better option. if you can stomach the price.

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iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: Why you should NOT upgrade

Ding, ding! Welcome to the iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021 face-off!

Unfortunately for the iPad Pro 2022, it didn’t get spotlighted with a snazzy event this year to flaunt its goodies. Unlike the iPad Pro 2021, which got unveiled at the Spring Loaded virtual event, Apple announced the iPad Pro 2022 with an unglamorous press release — likely because its minimal upgrades aren’t worth a flashy spectacle.

Yes, the iPad Pro 2022 is packed with a new M2 chip as well as a slew of new features, but after doing some self reflection on your lifestyle and pro workflow, you must ask yourself if these sparkly new additions are worth your hard-earned money.

For some, yes, the iPad Pro 2022 is an alluring tablet upgrade because it can help boost their productivity levels to new heights, but others may not care to shell out extra cash for bells and whistles that do not benefit them much. As such, let’s figure out whether you fall into the former or latter camp with this thorough comparative analysis.

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: Price and availability

From the perspective of price, one would assume that consumers would benefit from snagging the iPad Pro 2021 because it’s an older-generation tablet, but as it stands now, there aren’t any price changes between the iPad Pro 2021 and the iPad Pro 2022.

In other words, if you don’t have an iPad at all (or you have an embarrassingly outdated Apple tablet), and you mindlessly bought an iPad Pro 2021 thinking it was the cheaper option, you’d be wallowing in regret right now. Both currently have starting of 799.99 (11-inch) and 1,099 (12.9-inch).

You may be wondering, How can I buy the M1 iPad Pro 2021 on the Apple website? You can’t! The Cupertino-based tech giant already pulled it down, but you can buy it on Best Buy.

On the plus side, as of this writing, Amazon slashed 200 off the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro for the 512GB model (it’s typically 1,400). Both the iPad Pro 2021 and iPad Pro 2022 offer configurations with the following storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB. All but the last two come with 8GB of RAM (the 1TB and 2TB models feature a whopping 16GB of RAM).

It’s worth noting that you can get a Wi-Fi only tablet or an iPad Pro with Wi-Fi and cellular support; the latter adds 200 to your price tag.

You can pre-order the iPad Pro 2022 today via Apple’s official website. It will ship on Oct. 26.

Winner: iPad Pro 2022

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: Design

Apple didn’t change a nary thing about the iPad Pro 2022. They’re totally identical, so if you wanted to upgrade to the new iPad Pro because you’re banking on getting oohs and ahhs from onlookers, don’t hold your breath!

Both generations sport that familiar sleek-and-slim, all-aluminum slate with flat edges with the Look at me! I’m an Apple device! logo on the back. On the upper-left corner, you’ll find a triple-lens setup housed inside a squircle casing that is reminiscent of the iPhone. On the front, there’s a front-facing camera that lets you use Face ID to unlock the device. You’ll also find a quad speaker setup and a magnetic holder on the top edge for charging and holding the Apple Pencil.

The volume up/down buttons are placed on the upper-right side of the tablet. To turn on and off the iPad Pro, there’s a top button on the upper-right corner.

Whether you snag the 11-inch or 12.9-inch variant of the last-gen iPad Pro or the current-gen model, both have identical dimensions. The former comes in at 9.7 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches and up to 1.04 pounds while the latter is 11.04 x 8.5 x 0.25 inches and up to 1.51 pounds.

And you know what really grinds my gears? If Apple doesn’t want to change its design, that’s fine. Why fix something that’s not broken, right? But they could, at the very least, give us some new colors. Once again, iPad Pro 2022 only comes in boring Silver and Space Gray. Yawn!

Winner: Draw

iPad Pro 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021: Display

Sorry to bore you again, but there are no generation-over-generation changes for the display.

As mentioned, the iPad Pro 2021 and iPad Pro 2022 offer two display sizes: 11-inch and 12.9-inch. The former comes with a Liquid Retina display while the latter features a Liquid Retina XDR display. XDR stands for Extreme Dynamic Range, which is basically HDR (High Dynamic Range) boosted to a whole new level with better contrast, brighter whites and deeper blacks.

The 11-inch variant comes with a 2,388 x 1,668-pixel display while the 12.9-inch model features a 2,732 x 2048-pixel, mini LED panel. Many were crossing their fingers for an OLED display on the 12.9-inch model, but unfortunately, we have to wait a little while longer. According to a rumor from The Elec, Apple won’t ship its first OLED iPad until 2024. Womp, womp!

On the plus side, according to our review of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021, we were impressed by its bright, vivid display, particularly while watching HDR content. As such, the 2022 model should bring the same visual treat to your eyes.

It’s also worth noting that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2022 model, thanks to its Liquid Retina XDR Display, features a Reference Mode perk that lets users match the color requirements needed in workflows where color accuracy is pertinent (e.g. photography and videography). This means pro users can edit HDR images and videos with every true-to-life detail right in their hands, Apple said.

Winner: Draw

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: Ports

The iPad Pro 2022 and its predecessor sport one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 charging port on the bottom edge.

Winner: Draw

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021 cameras

What? You thought Apple upgraded the cameras, too? Ha! Keep dreaming.

The iPad Pro 2022 and its predecessor share the same camera system: a dual-lens setup on the back that features a 12MP wide camera and a 10MP ultra-wide sensor. Thanks to a LiDAR scanner, users can enjoy augmented-reality experiences and other tasks that benefit from the laser rangefinder’s ability to perceive depth and map complex indoor environments.

As mentioned, there’s also a 12MP selfie camera that lets you use facial recognition to unlock the tablet.

Although I clowned the iPad Pro 2022 for not offering any upgrades to the camera, in some ways, the current-gen iPad Pro gets a boost from the new M2 chip. According to Apple, thanks to the power of M2, the new iPad Pro 2022 lets users capture ProRes video for the first time. And as a result, the tablet can transcode ProRes footage up to three times faster. In other words, if you’re a content creator, you can capture, edit and publish cinema-grade video, as Apple calls it, with just one device while you’re on the go.

Winner: iPad Pro 2022

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: performance

Now, here’s where things get interesting. Apple offers an M2-based 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, both delivering impressive performance and breathtaking battery life. The iPad Pro 2022, now packed with an M2 as well, will likely benefit from the chip’s power efficiency and beastly performance prowess (we’ll have to test it for ourselves to know for sure).

The iPad Pro 2021 has an M1 chip, but don’t sleep on this processor! It may be so 2021 as far as iPads are concerned, but trust me, it can still crush any activity or task you throw at it. In our review, the iPad Pro 2021 crushed its rivals with a stellar multi-core score of 7,298 on the Geekbench 5 overall performance test.

After running the Adobe Premiere Rush test on it, the last-gen iPad Pro took only 22 seconds to add a color filter before transcoding a 4K video to 1080p resolution. According to Apple, the M2 is 15% faster than M1, so imagine what the iPad Pro 2022 can do! The M2’s GPU is also reportedly 35% faster, too, so graphics-intensive tasks should process more efficiently and smoothly.

Winner: TBA

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: connectivity

The iPad Pro 2021 is stuck with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 and 4G (cellular models only). On the other hand, the iPad Pro 2022 bumps those specs to Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 and 5G (sub-6GHz and mmWave), respectively.

Sure, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E both support 2.4 GHz and 5GHz, but the latter has the advantage because it’s the only wireless standard that also supports the new 6 GHz frequency Band. Wi-Fi 6E can deliver ultra-fast speeds with low latency compared to earlier iterations.

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: Apple Pencil

If you’re an Apple Pencil user, you’re going to love the new second-gen Pencil feature for the iPad Pro 2022; it’s called Hover. By just hovering your Pencil over the display (up to 0.47 inches from the panel), the slate can detect its presence, allowing you to preview your marks before committing to them.

You can also use the Hover feature for other convenient tasks, too. With Scribble, for example, you can auto-expand text fields. Third-party app developers can also do what they please with this new feature, so as an artist or note taker, you may have a lot of fun with this cool new perk.

Not to burst any Apple fans’ bubbles, but it’s worth noting that this Hover feature is nothing new in the stylus industry; Samsung’s S Pen has a similar feature.

Winner: iPad Pro 2022

iPad Pro 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021: software

Other than an expected performance bump due to the M2 chip, the software experiences should be similar for both the iPad Pro 2021 and iPad Pro 2022 due to upcoming release of iPadOS 16.

The updated tablet OS is set to introduce enhancements to Messages, Mail, Safari, Live Text, Visual Look Up and the Weather app. Apple is also elated about the new Stage Manager feature, which delivers a new multitasking experience that lets users organize their Windows and apps in an easier, more seamless manner.

Later this year, Stage Manager will enable support for external displays with up to 6K resolution. Users will be able to [. ] work with up to four apps on iPad and up to four apps on the external display, Apple said. If you want to take advantage of this new feature, you’d be better off with the M2-based iPad Pro 2022 with 16GB of RAM; it will manage all of the simultaneous juggling better than its predecessor.

Winner: iPad Pro 2022

Bottom line

The purpose of this face-off isn’t to declare a winner per se. It’s a given that the iPad Pro 2022 is a step above its predecessor, but the question is, Is it worth the upgrade? For the vast majority of tablet users, I’d conclude that the iPad Pro 2022 is not worth the upgrade.

If you’re a casual user who simply uses the tablet for light productivity, streaming, and on-the-go busy work, then no, upgrading to the iPad Pro 2022 wouldn’t benefit you.

However, if you’re an Apple Pencil-using professional digital artist and time is money is one of your favorite adages, the iPad Pro 2022 is made for you. You’d benefit from the new Hover experience, enjoy the new Reference Mode perk, bask in the advantages Stage Manager will bring you, appreciate the M2’s power boost for (supposed) faster CPU and GPU processing, and more.

iPad Size Comparison Chart: Every iPad Generation Compared

Apple makes a bunch of iPads these days, and they’re all slightly different with respect to size, dimensions, specs, and design. Here’s a simple size comparison chart to show you how they’re all different…

iPad Size Comparison Chart – Models and Sizes

The latest iPad Pro models are the 2020 iPad Pro 12.9 and the iPad Pro 11, both of which are detailed above. You can still buy Apple’s older iPad Pro models, though you will have to do it through a third-party refurbished specialist like Gazelle – and you will save around 40% doing this too!

iPad Air Sizes

The iPad Air, launched in 2019, is Apple’s second-tier flagship. Sitting just below the iPad Pro in terms of pricing, the iPad Air is designed to offer a premium iPad experience, just without the imposing price tag of the iPad Pro.

The iPad Air is designed for pleasure, as a second screen to enjoy content on and the web, whereas the iPad Pro is designed as a work machine that also doubles as an awesome tablet.

The iPad Air, like the iPad Pro, however, does support the Apple Pencil, and you can pair wireless keyboards and mouse devices to it. The iPad Air just lacks some of the performance-punch you’ll find inside the iPad Pro.

iPad Size

The iPad is Apple’s entry-level iPad. It is designed to be cost-effective, powerful, simple to use, and is the one to go for if you’re after a relatively cheap Apple iPad.

The iPad does not pack in the same level of spec or hardware as the iPad Pro or iPad Air. This is why it retails for a lot less. It is still a great device, though, but it’s not quite as powerful as the iPad Air and iPad Pro.

If you’re just looking for a basic iPad, something to browse the web on, respond to emails, and run apps and games on, the entry-level iPad is a great option – it’s cheap, it runs all the same apps and games as the iPad Pro and iPad Air, and it looks gorgeous too.

iPad mini Sizes

The iPad mini is the smallest iPad Apple makes; it has a 7.9in display and is great for those that are looking for a more portable iPad option. The iPad mini will fit pretty much anywhere – from your jacket to a purse. And this makes it a great device for those that travel a lot.

The iPad mini carries more or less the same specifications and hardware as the standard, entry-level iPad; you have 3GB of RAM, Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset, and up to 256GB of storage, though there is also a 64GB model available which is considerably cheaper.

The iPad mini is a popular choice with consumers that want a smaller second screen, something that is more able and can be used with a single hand. The iPad mini is great for reading books on, browsing the web, playing games, and working/catching up with email on. It also supports the Apple Pencil too, so you can make notes on it as well.

What iPad Should I Buy?

Apple’s iPad comes in many shapes and sizes. You have several models to choose from at the moment: ]

The iPad is Apple’s entry-level iPad; it’s the cheapest option and is ideal for casual users. The iPad Air is designed for tablet users that want a slightly more premium experience than what you get on Apple’s standard iPad.

The iPad Air has better specs, a nicer design, and has more performance. It also costs slightly more too, though when you factor in its performance, this is to be expected.

The iPad mini is an odd one; it’s the smallest iPad Apple makes (it has a 7.9in display) and is only slightly larger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max (that phone has a 6.7in display). The iPad mini is fairly cheap too.

The iPad mini is ideal for users that want portability – the iPad mini will fit easily inside a bag or jacket

If you want a proper work machine, something that can replace your laptop, you’ll want to go with the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro is the most powerful iPad Apple makes; it supports keywords, mouse, and trackpads and, thanks to the latest build of iPadOS, it functions just like a MacBook.

If you want a machine you can work on and consume media on, the iPad Pro is essentially unbeatable. Even when you compare it to other hybrid PCs like Microsoft’s Surface X Pro.

Wrapping Up…

As you can see from the table and comparison chart above, Apple has made a fair few iPads over the years. The iPad line-up, either its standard models or Pro models, are updated every year, although the iPad Pro models are updated at a slower rate. As of right now, Apple’s latest iPads are as follows:

Latest iPad Models:

If you’re in the UK, AO carries ALL of Apple’s latest iPad models (see the full range here). And for the USA, your best bet is BH Photo – it has all models of the iPad, including older, cheaper models.

Alternatively, if you want to save 40% on the price of an iPad, you could go the refurbished route and pick one up via Gazelle – doing this will let you get a higher spec model with more storage for a lot less than buying new. And the refurbished iPads look and function as good as new. And check out Apple Pencil Tips Tricks: Get The Most Out Of The Apple Pencil! And check out This is The Best iPad For Drawing – Here’s Why!

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