Does size matter? In the case of a tablet, the short answer is yes, while the long answer remains in an obscure “it depends.” Apple unveiled the 5th generation iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) and 3rd generation iPad Pro 11 (2021) at an event in April 2021. The two devices sit above the fourth-generation iPad Air (2020), the eighth-generation iPad (2020), and the fifth-generation iPad mini (2019).
Since Apple released the high-end iPad Pro models in 2015, the screen size choice has been between 11-inch and 12.9-inch. You can only find the latter size in the iPad Pro series, so keep that in mind if you are aiming for this size. This article will compare the 2021 iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″ models at first. However, we want to help you decide the screen size that suits you better, so we will focus on similarities, differences, and the most frequently asked questions.
iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″ (2021): Tech Specs
Let’s have a glimpse of the features of the 2021 models of the iPad Pro 11″ vs. the 12.9″.
|Features||iPad Pro 11″ (2021)||iPad Pro 12.9″ (2021)|
|Size (H x|
W x D)
|9.74″ x 7.02″ x 0.23″||11.04″ x 8.46″ x 0.25″|
|Weight||1.03 pounds (Wi-Fi) and 1.04 pounds (Wi-Fi + Cellular)||1.5 pounds (Wi-Fi) and 1.51 pounds (Wi-Fi + Cellular)|
|Display||11-inch Liquid Retina (IPS)||12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR (miniLED)|
|Resolution||2,388 x 1,668 at 264 pixels per inch||2,732 x 2,048 at 264 pixels per inch|
|Brightness||Up to 600 nits (typical)||Up to 600 nits (typical)|
|Refresh rate||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Speakers||Four stereo speakers||Four stereo speakers|
|Processor||Apple M1||Apple M1|
|Storage capacity||128 GB|
|RAM||8 GB (in 128, 256 and 512 GB versions)|
16 GB (in 1 and 2 TB versions)
|8 GB (in 128, 256 and 512 GB versions)|
16 GB (in 1 and 2 TB versions)
|Battery life||Navigation and video playback using Wi-Fi: 10 hours||Navigation and video playback using Wi-Fi: 10 hours|
|Front camera||12 Mpx ultra-wide-angle lens with f/2.4 aperture||12 Mpx ultra-wide-angle lens with f/2.4 aperture|
|Rear cameras||12 Mpx wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture|
Ultra wide-angle with f/2.4 aperture
|12 Mpx wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture|
Ultra wide-angle with f/2.4 aperture
|Connectors||USB-C compatible with Thunderbolt (USB 4)|
|USB-C compatible with Thunderbolt (USB 4)|
|Biometric systems||Face ID||Face ID|
|Connectivity in all models||Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax); 2.4 and 5 GHz; simultaneous dual-band; speeds up to 1.2 Gb/s|
|Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax); 2.4 and 5 GHz; simultaneous dual-band; speeds up to 1.2 Gb/s|
|Compatibility of official accessories||Smart Keyboard Folio|
Apple Pencil (2nd gen)
|Smart Keyboard Folio|
Apple Pencil (2nd gen)
It is clear that the differences in terms of performance and characteristics are not the central pillar when deciding your next purchase.
The 2021 iPad Pro generation is built with cutting-edge technology. Whether you buy the 11-inch or the 12.9″ model, you will get the best of the best in your hands. These are the main similarities between the two iPad Pro 2021 models that you should look at before pointing out differences and making your final decision:
Available only in Macs until now, both iPad Pro models come with one of the greatest Apple breakthroughs: the M1 chip. The excellent performance of the Apple-made chip has no limits: multitasking demanding apps, playing videogames, editing photos and video at a professional level, and practically anything you wish to do with your device.
Up to 10 hours of battery use
There is no difference in the iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″ battery. They both have up to ten hours of continuous use, which translates into an all-day battery if you use it for work or studying for long periods. If you use the iPad sporadically, you can use it without charging it for several days.
Pro Camera System and Wide-View Angle
The iPad Pro has a dual-camera system, and both models enjoy an ultra-wide-angle with an f/2.4 aperture. This camera system is perfect for augmented reality experiences. Moreover, thanks to the LiDAR scanner, the Apple device knows what’s in front of it at the millimeter level.
The 11″ and 12.9″ iPad Pro has a 122° front-facing camera. This means more room or people for your video calls, something that could help you with meetings, presentations, teaching, or learning online. In addition, the Centered Framing feature allows the camera to center you even when you move around.
If you use your tablet outside your home or other Wi-Fi networks, the iPad Pro 11″ and 12.9″ support 5G connectivity. If you have a 5G contract with your carrier, you’ll benefit from very high speeds in your iPad, and you will be able to stream anything you want at any place.
Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard
The current best companions for your new iPad are the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard. Taking notes and writing becomes so easy and comfortable when using them. Both the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch models support it.
Aside from the price, the most obvious differences lie in size, display, and weight. These are the fundamental aspects you must study before deciding which to buy.
The 11″ iPad Pro has the same dimensions as the traditional iPad: 9.74″ x 7.02″ x 0.23″. Thus, it might be more familiar, comfortable, and handy. On the other hand, the 12.9″ iPad Pro has a screen similar to that of a laptop, and its dimensions are 11.04″ x 8.46″ x 0.25″. It is perfect if you use it for work or plan to watch movies or YouTube videos on it. Not as comfortable if you plan to carry it around constantly, though.
As you can imagine, a bigger screen also means a heavier device. Here, it really depends on your usage and if you will travel with your device frequently. If that is not the case, and you want to get the biggest possible screen size at the expense of portability, the iPad Pro 12.9″ could be your choice. On the contrary, if you prefer portability and better handling, you can go for the 11-inch model.
The display is the main difference in this review, and the screen of the 12.9-inch model is not only bigger, but it is also better. The 12.9″ iPad Pro has a unique display called Liquid Retina XDR, which has an array of 10000 mini LEDs that turn off and on independently.
With a Liquid Retina XDR display, the areas of the screen that are darker, or need black color, are directly turned off. No gray-tinged blacks. It is undoubtedly the best iPad screen that Apple has ever developed, and it could revolutionize tablet displays.
iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″: Frequently Asked Questions
In order to help you choose between the iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions about the two screen sizes.
1. Do you need a Liquid Retina XDR display for an iPad?
The iPad Pro 12.9″ has possibly the best display available for a tablet nowadays. This said, you should consider if you need the most beautiful and brightest display, especially considering that the price disparity between the 12.9-inch and 11-inch models is higher than in the previous 2020 models (around $300).
2. What is the best screen size for drawing?
Although the 12.9-inch model has its advantages, the 11-inch iPad Pro has a decent amount of space to sketch and draw on. You can visit your local Apple store and try it out to see what suits you best. On top of that, think if you want to hold your tablet while drawing and consider the extra weight of the 12.9″ model.
3. Should I get the iPad Pro 11″ or the 12.9″ model for college?
Getting a new iPad Pro for college means that, almost certainly, you will be carrying it around often. Getting the 12.9″ model could not be the best idea for college since you will be paying more for a less portable tablet. In addition, you will get all the performance you could expect from a high-end iPad with the 11-inch model.
4. Is it the iPad Pro 12.9″ better for gaming?
The iPad Pro 12.9″ can be a handy gaming device, but it depends on the games you will be playing. Having a Liquid Retina XDR display will allow you to play games with a brighter screen of a higher quality. The extra space will give you better controls and better view options. However, playing games that require hand-holding the tablet, a bigger screen could mean a less comfortable gaming experience. In this case, check if the games you want to play support a control pad to improve comfort.
5. Do you want your iPad to replace your computer?
If you want your iPad Pro to be a computer replacement, consider the 12.9-inch model. Even if the iPadOS is still far from macOS, you will enjoy the extra screen real estate for multitasking, studying, and working.
Final Tip: Buy a Refurbished iPad Pro
Buying a refurbished iPad Pro can make you save time and money while getting a completely functional device. On RefurbMe, we specialize in offering the best refurbished Apple products from multiple merchants. The items have a warranty and have been thoroughly tested before being again sold.
If you want to know more about the dimensions of all the iPad models until now, read our article here. Also, don’t hesitate to check our bestselling products and subscribe to our newsletter with exclusive deals and the most important Apple-related news. Thank you for joining the community, and see you soon!