Apple iPad Pro 11in (2021) Review

As with many Apple units, the important thing query concerning the smaller of the brand new iPad Pro vary isn’t ‘is it any just right’, it’s ‘who’s it for’? It’s no longer the iPad for many iPad consumers – that’s arguably the iPad Air – neither is it the cash’s-no-object, final powerhouse of its 12.9-inch sister.

As a substitute, the 11-inch iPad Pro is for many who can’t sit down nonetheless. It’s what you throw to your bag as you shuttle round, writing, drawing, developing and/or running – an life we misplaced for a very long time and are simplest beginning to get again. Most often to get this degree of efficiency you’d desire a 15-inch laptop computer, however right here it’s in a kind you’ll disregard you’ve were given with you, a kind you don’t query about whether or not you must take with you – it’s simply there to your day, tote or purse in a position for when you wish to have it.

Drawing on 2021’s 11-inch iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil being examined by way of illustrator
Leylah Morley. 

Because the title and worth suggest, that is aimed toward pros – or a minimum of financially enthusiastic amateurs – who wish to use it for extra than simply enjoying video games and observing Netflix. It’s for professional artists, creatives or trade customers – and for the ones customers, the iPad Pro on my own gained’t be sufficient. You’ll both wish to couple it with the Apple Pencil for developing or the Magic Keyboard for running (or each), so that you’ll want to issue that into the fee.

With out those, the iPad Pro is sort of a automobile engine with out a chassis – it’s clearly tough however you’ll’t in truth move any place with it.

Design and Construct

By itself, the iPad Pro is as swish and trendy as you’d be expecting. The digital camera stands proud the again, however you’ll nonetheless fortunately sort or draw with it flat on a table. The silver business design of the perimeters isn’t as cool because it as soon as was once, however it’s sensible with well-place buttons, USB-C for charging and connecting equipment and a magnetic strip on the best to carry your Pencil whilst it wi-fi fees.

The Pencil is a wonderfully balanced and weighted stylus – gentle sufficient to make use of for lengthy sessions however closely sufficient to make marks exactly. It’s degree of force and tilt sensitivity is almost as just right as the rest Wacom capsules can ship. There’s additionally a tapable button at the best that works properly to briefly exchange equipment in apps from Photoshop to Notes.

The Magic Keyboard is similarly properly designed: the iPad Pro clips magnetically to it, with a point of tilt adjustment. From the entrance, the iPad display screen seems to levitate in entrance of you, whilst underneath your hands is the most productive keyboard I’ve ever used outdoor of a 15-inch laptop computer or standalone desktop unit. It’s responsive and there’s a just right quantity of shuttle, with the touchscreen simply in succeed in to briefly faucet and pull and push. Lots of Apple’s apps – and others – put controls and menus on the backside of the display screen, the place you’ll briefly faucet to make contextual picks the place mere keyboard shortcuts gained’t suffice (akin to which phrase you intended while you went on spelling safari, writing saffoce as a substitute of suffice).

The touchpad is titchy, however I infrequently use it – favouring the pill display screen as a substitute. The opposite oddly unuseful function is the keyboard’s personal USB-C port. Sure, plugging your energy lead into it’s sleeker as your cable runs alongside your table/desk slightly than putting off the proper fringe of the panorama iPad – but it surely fees extra slowly that means. Perhaps Apple has some concept that I’ll be running away on my iPad-as-a-laptop on a table more often than not, in short pulling it off the Magic Keyboard when inspiration moves and I want to lie down at the settee and comic strip my Spring/Summer time 2022 assortment – however I’m extra of a ‘once I plug it in, I want it to fee ASAP’ kinda individual. And I think all of us are.

That is all very beautiful – however is just about precisely what I wrote concerning the earlier style. What’s new within the 2021 style is what’s sandwiched between display screen and backplate.


This yr’s iPad Pro is the primary to function Apple’s M1 chip, as discovered within the corporate’s MacBook 13.3-inch Air and Pro laptops. The usage of artificial benchmarks, the 2021 iPad Pro was once as much as 56% sooner than ultimate yr’s 12.9-inch style and 73% sooner than the present iPad Air.

However what does that translate to in actual apps. Unfortunately, little or no – for now. You’ll see a lot sooner processing as you render video initiatives, however that apart you don’t understand a lot distinction between this yr’s iPad 11 Pro and the former style.

I’m positive we’ll see apps one day that make the most of the M1 chip. The following model of everybody’s favorite virtual artwork app Procreate has some pretty-amazing-looking 3-d equipment that require the M1’s efficiency – however that’s nonetheless just a preview with out a company liberate date.


The dual-lens rear digital camera is completely appropriate for the issues you need to use a rear digital camera on an iPad for: shooting issues to make use of in roughs, notes and sketches, or appearing other folks what your cats are as much as right through FaceTime calls.

The entrance digital camera is way progressed – each with regards to symbol high quality and capability. Photographs right through FaceTime, Zoom and Groups calls are a lot progressed. Apple has additionally borrowed a function from Fb’s Portal units, routinely framing photographs round other folks – zooming out or in as other folks go away or transfer into its box of view. It’s somewhat of a gimmick, however there’s something properly intimate about it zooming into to 1 individual when others go away, like a pal at a raucous birthday party turning spherical to center of attention their consideration simply on you.


One of the best ways to explain this iPad’s battery existence is ‘greater than lengthy sufficient’, which is what you wish to have from a product designed for the grab-and-go way of life. We controlled to flow video ceaselessly over wifi for 12 hours and 12 mins and in my daily trying out for each creative advent and trade paintings I by no means discovered the ability proportion shedding low sufficient that I were given frightened I used to be going to expire of juice.

Daily battery existence was once additionally for much longer than any laptop computer I’ve examined – which may marvel you making an allowance for the iPad Pro 11’s 28.75Wh battery has round part the capability of even the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s. However then battery existence is ready potency up to capability.


The iPad’s working machine is each one in all its best possible and worst options. It’s focussed – running best possible in the event you paintings in a single software at a time, with your entire belongings within that app. Whether or not you’re drawing and portray in Procreate or writing paperwork in Phrase, the combination of contact and Pencil/Keyboard makes developing and manipulating media easy – till you wish to have to convey issues in combination.

The restricted nature of the iPad’s reinforce for a key component of desktop OS’s – drag-&-drop, one thing that outlined MacOS’s attraction within the early days of desktop computing – implies that pulling in combination disparate components from textual content and symbol you won by way of Groups and electronic mail into apps like PowerPoint is a lot more painful than on desktop.

Now speaking about drag-&-drop for a tool with an 11-inch display screen might sound ridiculous – however that is about objective. For the iPad Pro to exchange a laptop computer, it’s were given that can assist you paintings – and if drag-&-drop doesn’t have compatibility then another workflow has to exchange it. And the iPad Pro simply doesn’t have it.

This may increasingly exchange in iPad OS 15, which is due in subsequent month or so – which introduces a multi-tasking view with right kind break up display screen layouts. However we’ll reserve judgement on whether or not that is sufficient till we’ve attempted it.

There are different puts the place the iPad Pro is missing as a day-to-day trade tool. You’ll technically attach an iPad to an exterior show, however that simply mirrors your display screen. And because the iPad has a three:2 facet ratio and your observe is most likely 16:9 or 16:10, you’ve black bars of wasted house down each and every aspect of the display screen.

That is frustratingly awkward – particularly in order the Sidecar function allows you to plug the iPad Pro right into a Mac and use it as a 2d, touchscreen show.


The loss of true exterior observe reinforce might simply be the only function that forestalls the 11-inch iPad Pro being the laptop computer alternative it will so simply be – but when that doesn’t subject to you otherwise you price the iPad Pro’s just-get-up-and-go portability. Simply don’t really feel you wish to have to improve from ultimate yr’s style relatively but.


iPad Pro 11in (2021, M1): Specifications

  • M1 processor
  • 8GB of RAM (with 128GB/256GB/512GB fashions) or 16GB (1TB and 2TB fashions)
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB of garage
  • 11in Liquid Retina show (2388×1668 at 264ppi), 600 nits, True Tone, Extensive Color, Totally Laminated, ProMotion
  • 12MP/10MP (f/1.8 and f/2.4) rear-facing cameras, SmartHDR, 2x optical zoom, True Tone Flash, 4K video at 60fps, Slo-mo 1080p at 240fps, Steady autofocus, Cinematic video stabilisation
  • 12MP (f/2.4) TrueDepth front-facing digital camera, 2x optical zoom, Centre Level, Retina flash, Sensible HDR 3 for footage, Portrait modes, Cinematic stabilisation for video, 1080p HD video at 25/30 or 60fps, Animoji & Memoji
  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5
  • GPS
  • USB-C (Thunderbolt/USB 4) port
  • Face ID
  • 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm
  • 466g/470g (Wi-Fi/mobile)

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