11-inch iPad Pro
The 11-inch iPad Pro was updated in March 2020 to host a new LiDAR system, dual rear cameras, improved Gigabit LTE, and an all-new Magic Keyboard. The ProMotion Liquid Retina Display that goes edge to edge, USB-C, and Apple Pencil are all still here making this an amazing all-round tablet computer.
● Edge-to-edge ProMotion Display
● A12Z Bionic
● Face ID
● Apple Pencil support (second gen)
● USB-C port
● Liquid Retina Display
● LiDAR for improved AR
● Starting at $899
Page last updated: 41 minutes ago
The 11-inch iPad Pro is the smaller of the two premium iPads and sold as an ultraportable professional tool meant to augment or replace your Mac. Instead of offering a Mac with a touchscreen and changing macOS to be suitable for touch, Apple did a major overhaul of its tablet line with new hardware and software. Apple hopes to capture the laptop and tablet market with a single device. The iPad Pro starts at $799.
AppleInsider reviewed the 2020 11-inch iPad Pro and gave it a 4 out of 5.
What has changed about the 11-inch iPad Pro design?
The smallest iPad Pro has gone through multiple changes since its inception. This model received a small update from 9.7 inches to 10.5 inches in 2017, shrinking the bezels a bit. Then, in 2018, the home button was removed to increase the screen size to 11 inches. The new uniform bezel accompanied by the speakers at each corner means that this device is completely orientation agnostic.
The 11-inch iPad Pro also has flat sides, making it easier to grip on the edge, allowing for Apple Pencil's inductive charger to sit on one side of the device. The back of the iPad Pro is perfectly flat too, housing a new smart connector and protruding camera, as well as 90 magnets for case attachment. The new smart connector location requires that keyboard accessories fit as a case all the way around the device.
Perhaps one of the most important features is the USB-C port, which allows for easy connection to a myriad of devices without needing a proprietary cable. Connect a USB-C hard drive, an external monitor like the LG Display, or even charge your iPhone with this port. The addition of USB-C helps make the iPad Pro a Mac alternative for many people.
The fourth-generation iPad Pro has a new dual-camera system with built-in LiDAR. A 12MP wide-angle and 10MP ultra wide-angle camera allows for improved photography and depth capture. The camera system uses a similar sensor to those found in the iPhone XR series of phones, so don't expect iPhone 11 levels of quality. It also lacks night mode.
The LiDAR sensor is used for 3D environment mapping, allowing for improved AR. The scanner works from up to 5 meters away and gets results instantly, making AR apps more accurate and easier-to-use.
A teardown of the 11-inch model revealed a slightly smaller battery, which seems to be for hosting the new larger camera system.
What's a Computer?
One side effect of Apple pushing its iPad line to be more capable as a standalone device is the concept of being "iPad-only." A controversial ad from Apple in November of 2017 sparked debate surrounding the idea of using an iPad full-time. This led to numerous articles and online debate surrounding the idea.
Power and app availability won't be an issue, given that the A12Z Bionic processor is more powerful than most consumer PCs, and Apple's iPad App Store hosts powerful professional tools. iPadOS takes this even further with better multitasking and external storage support and a new mouse cursor.
If you choose the iPad Pro as your primary or only computer, you will find a wholly different platform requiring many workflow changes. If learning how to use a new device does not intimidate you, then iPad Pro may be worth a shot. However, if you have specific software not on iPadOS, or want to develop apps, going iPad-only isn't for you. Apple designs all of its devices with overlap and the idea that cannibalization of different products will occur.
The A12Z Bionic
Apple is well-known for the power of the ARM chipsets operating all of its mobile devices and latest Macs. These processors are custom 5-nanometer or 7-nanometer chipsets with an 8-core GPU. Apple claimed that, at release, the 7nm A12Z Bionic was outperforming most Windows laptops. All of the 2020 iPad Pro models come with 6GB of RAM and have better WiFi and cellular connections.
While touted as a pro device, the 11-inch iPad Pro is also a competent gaming machine. Games are beginning to update to utilize the 120Hz refresh rate for even smoother gameplay, and the A12Z handles this without any issue. With the introduction of Apple Arcade this year, we will likely see more games taking advantage of this powerful processor.
What accessories work with the 11-inch iPad Pro?
Due to the smart connector's location on the current-generation iPad Pro, Apple is the only company with compatible accessories: the Smart Keyboard and Magic Keyboard. Other keyboards will connect over Bluetooth or USB-C, and usually attach directly to the iPad Pro to form a clamshell design.
The second-generation Apple Pencil is the only one that will work because the first-generation Apple Pencil pairs over Lightning, which the modern iPad Pros do not have. The second-generation Apple Pencil uses a magnetic mount on the iPad Pro for storage, charging, and pairing. The Logitech Crayon will also work with the iPad Pros, since Apple included the proprietary pairing tech in the 11-inch iPad Pro.
The USB-C port offers many other accessory options like external drives, monitors keyboards, controllers, and hubs Many devices use this standard, opening the door to iPad owners using accessories they already own. The USB-C port also lets users charge an iPhone via the iPad's battery.
A new Magic Keyboard launched in May with an all-new design derived from the Smart Keyboard Folio. The iPad sits on a magnetic mount, hovering above the keyboard and trackpad. It works with both the third and fourth-generation models. A USB-C port in the base of the keyboard allows for pass-through charging while the iPad is connected, leaving the port free on the iPad itself. The keyboard's port does not support data transfer.
You will need a new case if upgrading from any previous model to the newest fourth-generation pro iPad. These are some recommended cases that went on sale after they were announced.
11-inch iPad Pro Pricing
You can purchase the 11-inch iPad Pro in space gray or silver. It is configurable to have 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. This model is priced $799, $899, $1099, or $1299 respectively. Add $130 to the total if you want to add cellular to any option.