2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro: First Thoughts

The 2021 iPad Pro is an incredible device. Now with an M1 chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, and the existing ProMotion feature— this iPad is incredibly fast in every way and is closer than ever to being a viable computer replacement for most people.

The most impressive part about this device, however, isn’t even the performance, it’s the display. With a large, almost MacBook-size Liquid Retina XDR Display with mini-LED, new iPad users and even those switching from an older model will be shocked by how good it is.

12.9″ 2021 iPad Pro

After using the new iPad Pro for a day, coming from the 2020 iPad Air, many things stand out. First, there’s Face ID. It’s something I was looking forward to trying, but I was left disappointed by, as, if you’re using your device horizontally, your hand or other object could be blocking the sensors.

With a Personal Hotspot, many people won’t need Cellular. However, this model was purchased with it, so we did some tests. Using AT&T with a 5G supported plan, speeds on this iPad were typically comparable to speeds on an iPhone 12 Pro Max with the same plan, carrier, and location, allowing us to browse the web, stream video content, and do other activities without issue. Interestingly, in some circumstances, the iPad showed a “5GE” badge, which is actually just a slightly improved 4G connection. Speeds will, of course, vary based on carrier and plan.

Is the 2021 iPad Pro worth it? It depends. With a price increase for the larger model (and the only one with a miniLED display), it can get expensive fast. If you’re looking to do basic tasks such as web browsing, reading emails, doing video calls, or play low-performance games, you should probably get the 2020 iPad or iPad Air. It’ll likely be a better value for your money. But if you want the latest-and-greatest device with a chip copied right from Apple’s latest MacBooks for outstanding performance and an incredible display, you’re unlikely to find a better device.

While we’d love to give you a review on the new Magic Keyboard in white as well, we didn’t purchase one for this review. You can, however, look forward to our upcoming review of what we believe is the most minimalistic iPad stand there is. You should follow us on Twitter and turn on notifications to stay up-to-date with out latest reviews, news, and more.

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Senior writer for Apple TLD
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