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Apple iPad Pro 11-inch vs. iPad Pro 12.9-inch: Which 2020 iPad Pro is best?

Since launching the iPad Pro in 2015, Apple has made headway towards building a truly powerful tablet that meets the needs of both recreational and professional users. With the 2020 iPad Pro range, Apple moves one step closer with powerful performance, a powerful display, and new peripherals to make working or surfing the web that much easier.

We take a look at the newest iPad Pro releases from Apple and guide you through what you need to know if you’re in the market for a new tablet and wondering which iPad Pro offering is right for you.

Specs

iPad Pro 11-inch iPad Pro 12.9-inch
Size 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches (247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm)  11.04 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches (280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm)
Weight Wifi Only: 1.04 pounds (471 grams)

Wifi & Cellular: 1.04 pounds (473 grams)

Wifi Only: 1.41 pounds (641 grams)

Wifi & Cellular: 1.41 pounds (643 grams)

Screen size 11-inch IPS LCD 12.9-inch IPS LCD
Screen resolution 2,388 x 1,668-pixels (265 pixels per inch) 2,732 x 2,048-pixels (265 pixels per inch)
Operating system iPadOS 13.4 iPadOS 13.4
Storage space 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
MicroSD Card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services No No
Processor Apple A12Z Bionic Apple A12Z Bionic
RAM 6GB 6GB
Camera Triple 12-megapixel wide, 12MP ultra-wide, Time-of-Flight LiDAR sensor rear, 7MP camera with Face ID front Triple 12-megapixel wide, 12MP ultra-wide, Time-of-Flight LiDAR sensor rear, 7MP camera with Face ID front
Video 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps (Wide); 60 fps (Ultra Wide) 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps (Wide); 60 fps (Ultra Wide)
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports Lightning Lightning
Water resistance No No
Battery Up to 10 hours mixed-use Up to 10 hours mixed-use
App marketplace Apple App Store Apple App Store
Network support All major carriers (cellular version only) All major carriers (cellular version only)
Colors Silver, Space Gray Silver, Space Gray
Price $799+ $999+
Buy from Apple Apple

Performance, battery life, and charging

The 2020 iPad Pro models both feature Apple’s upgraded A12Z Bionic processors and a whopping 6GB of RAM, priming the tablet for smooth performance capable of multi-tasking and graphic-intensive applications. Apple claims the new tablets offer up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi and up to 9 hours when using cellular. Like all current Apple iPhones, the iPad Pro charges via a USB C power adapter, or by being connected to a computer via USB C, which works best with Apple’s current Macbooks.

There’s little to split the two tablets here, so this category has to be a tie.

Winner: Tie

Design and durability

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The iPad Pro maintains its revamped aluminum body, flat-edged, four-speaker design from the 2018 model. Similar to the current iPhones, the 2020 iPad Pro models do not feature fingerprint sensors, favoring Face ID instead. The 2020 models come in just two colors this time, leaving the choice between silver and space gray. As far as durability goes, we would advise against dropping any tablet with such a large glass surface area, and there’s no mention of water resistance. This area is another tied game.

Winner: Tie

Display

Apple Magic Keyboard Image used with permission by copyright holder

While both models offer the exact same pixels per inch on their Retina displays, the extra (almost) 2 inches on the larger model help take advantage of the beautiful screens on these iPads. So if you’ll be spending most of your time watching the latest shows on Netflix or drawing your next masterpiece, then that extra real estate will come in handy.

Winner: Apple iPad 12.9-inch (2020)

Camera

Image used with permission by copyright holder

After the iPhone 11 got a dual-lens camera and the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max received triple-lens cameras, Apple finally updated the iPad Pro camera to a dual-lens system. The increased camera firepower has a real chance to show off when using the LiDAR scanner technology for augmented reality applications. Other than that, the 12MP and 10MP rear cameras are a bit of overkill for a tablet, but they are there when you need them.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Image used with permission by copyright holder

We love iPadOS, Apple’s iPad only operating system that has elevated the iPad experience since its initial release in late 2019. From a newly designed home screen, to a split-screen view option and advanced navigation with Multi-Touch gestures, iPadOS is a joy to use and Apple has done a great job keeping it updated. Since both of these devices ship standard with iPadOS 13.4, we consider them a tie in this department.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This generation of iPad Pro comes closer to being a laptop replacement than any of its previous iterations. The proverbial bow tied on the laptop replacement potential comes in the form of the Magic Keyboard which mimics the lower clamshell section of Apple’s Macbook, complete with trackpad. If you’re looking to take full advantage of this in an office setup, then the 12.9-inch is the way to go.

The 120HZ ProMotion technology is pitched to the average consumer as providing improved scrolling, Apple Pencil support, a faster refresh rate, and smoother motion content. But this technology really shines under artistic and design applications, and if you’re using this for artistic, graphic, or industrial design then the 12.9-inch is a no brainer.

Winner: Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020)

Price and availability

You can order either of the new iPad Pros straight from Apple. The 11-inch version starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi-only 128GB model, and the 12.9-inch starts at $999 with the same configuration. Cellular versions of these configurations will run you $949, and $1,149 respectively, which is a modest pay increase for cellular access almost anywhere you go. These devices can get quite pricey, topping out with the cellular enabled 1TB version of the 12.9-inch model for $1,649 before sales tax.

Overall winner: Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020)

This generation of iPad Pros brings nearly identical specs to the table. The only major differences are price and size, leaving the challenge of deciding which model is best largely based on these factors. With that in mind, we think the iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the stronger choice. While it has a higher starting price, the larger screen means it’s an easier sell for productivity-lovers, especially those working in a visual design field, or if you’re looking for a laptop replacement.

If you’re looking for a powerful, portable tablet, then you should pick the iPad Pro 11. But if you want to really supercharge your productivity, the iPad Pro 12.9 is the way to go.

Editors' Recommendations

Andre Revilla
Andre Revilla is an entrepreneur and writer from Austin, TX that has been working in and covering the consumer tech space for…
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