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Why The 2021 Apple 11-inch iPad Pro Is A Must Have
- Apple M1 chip for next-level performance
- Stunning 11-inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
- TrueDepth camera system featuring Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
- 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR Scanner for immersive AR
- Stay connected with ultrafast Wi-Fi
- Go further with all-day battery life
- Thunderbolt port for connecting to fast external storage, displays, and docks
- Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
- Four speaker audio and five studio-quality microphones
- Support for Apple Pencil (2nd generation), Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard Folio
The iPad Pro is available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, and if you want to use it primarily as a tablet rather than a stand-in for a laptop, the smaller version is definitely the one to choose. In terms of size and design, the new 11-inch iPad Pro is identical to last year’s model. It has dimensions of 178.5 x 247.6mm with a thickness of just 5.9mm, and is slightly lighter than its predecessor at 466 grams.
This makes the iPad Pro 11-inch comfortable to hold and easy to use, and with an aluminum frame and back and rounded corners, the iPad continues to feel like a premium device. It’s available in just two colors: Space Grey and Silver, which is a shame, as we’d have loved to see the new iPad Pro available in more colors, like the new iMac and indeed the iPad Air.
Button and port placement is similar to older iPad Pro models, with the volume keys on the right when you’re holding the tablet in portrait orientation, with the power button on the top and the thunderbolt-equipped USB-C port at the bottom. There are four speakers, located on the top and bottom if you’re holding the iPad in portrait, or on the sides in landscape – the preferred orientation for watching videos.
Unfortunately, the camera continues to remain on top of the iPad in portrait orientation, which isn’t ideal for video calls if you’re talking to a group of people and have the tablet in landscape mode, as it’s off to one side. There’s a SIM card slot on the right edge and the pin connector on the back for attaching the Magic Keyboard. As on the previous iPad, the Apple Pencil magnetically attaches to the right edge, where it also charges.
Up until last year, the display specs of the larger 12.9-inch model and the 11-inch model were identical. However, for 2021, Apple has introduced a new XDR display on the larger 12.9-inch model powered by mini-LED technology, which the 11-inch version misses out on.
That’s not to say the iPad Pro 11-inch has a bad display – far from it. You still get Apple’s IPS display, with excellent color fidelity and ProMotion technology that enables a 120Hz refresh rate for fast and smooth scrolling. The higher refresh rate also improves the Apple Pencil experience, with lower latency.
However, considering how intrinsic the display is to the tablet experience if you don’t mind the larger size of the iPad Pro 12.9-inch – and you can afford the extra outlay – we’d recommend that you go for the larger model. The much higher peak brightness and the contrast ratios on the larger iPad make for a screen that’s simply stunning.
The iPad ecosystem has grown over the past couple of years, with multiple manufacturers offering a variety of protective cases, keyboard covers and stylus options.
The 2021 version of the iPad Pro 11-inch works with the Apple Pencil, as well as with the Magic keyboard from last year. Apple has released a new white model of the Magic keyboard, but the color is the only thing that’s new.
If you’re looking for alternatives to Apple’s offerings, Logitech makes a nice keyboard cover for the iPad that’s more affordable than Apple’s offering.
There hasn’t been any change in terms of the new iPad Pro’s battery capacity or claimed battery life compared to last year’s model. The new iPad Pro has a 28.65-watt-hour battery that Apple claims gives you 10 hours of usage of the Wi-Fi model and nine hours on the 5G model using cellular data.
Obviously the mileage varies depending on what tasks you’re using the iPad for. For example, rendering 4K videos or 3D models will definitely inflict a bigger hit on the battery than watching a movie on Netflix or browsing the web. With mixed usage we were able to get eight hours from a full charge.
We did notice the battery depleting a tad faster, especially in standby mode with the Magic Keyboard connected, which makes sense, as that accessory draws power from the iPad Pro.
Charging speeds on the iPad Pro are 18W, which is lower than many other competing tablets in the market; however the strong battery life along with the excellent stand-by time mean charging isn’t something you need to worry about much. Thankfully, Apple does provide a charger in the box with the iPad, which isn’t something new iPhone users can say.
Should you buy the iPad Pro 2021?
This Ipad is perfect for you if.
You want an iPad that will last five years
The new iPad Pro 11 is super-capable when it comes to hardware, and should last you a good number of years. The M1 processor will surely take the iPad into new territories.
You want a companion device to your main computer
The iPad makes a wonderful companion to your larger-screen laptop or desktop computer, making it easy to do a range of every day takes quickly and easily, and its 11-inch screen means it’s more easily portable than the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Your workload is straightforward
If your work routine is fairly straightforward – writing emails, creating documents, and researching on the web, then the iPad with the Apple Pencil can capably serve as your primary computing device.