iPad Pro 12" with the iPad Pro 11"

M1 iPad Pro 11″ vs 12.9″ | Best Buying Guide

M1 iPad Pro 11″ vs 12.9″ | Best Buying Guide

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  • Post last modified:February 20, 2023
  • Post category:Tech
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iPad Pro 12" with the iPad Pro 11"

There is no doubt that Apple makes the best tablets in market currently. There are very few devices outside the Apple ecosystem that could actually rival any iPad. Though the iPad is king, there are very many to choose from the lineup; The iPad, the iPad mini, the iPad Air 4, the iPad Pro 11-inch and finally the iPad Pro 12.9-inch.

Apple has made huge changes to each one of these devices over the past one year. First, the iPad Air 4 was refreshed last year with an edge-to-edge display. The iPad mini was also revamped this year with the same edge to edge display. Finally, the iPad Pro 11-inch and the iPad Pro 12.9-inch each received one of the most powerful ARM chips in the market right now; the M1 Chip.

iPad Pro 12"

In this article we are going to focus mainly on the two top of the food chain iPads. We are going to compare them spec to spec and I’ll finally help you choose the right one according to your needs and of course personal preference.


iPad Pro 12.9″iPad Pro 11″
12.9-inch, Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD display11-inch, Liquid Retina IPS LCD Display
120Hz display with HDR10, Dolby Vision and 1000 nits (typ) 1600nits (peak)120Hz display with HDR10, Dolby Vision and 600nits (typ)
Glass Front, Aluminum Back, Aluminum FrameGlass Front, Aluminum back, Aluminum frame
Apple M1 ChipApple M1 Chip
128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM, 1TB 16GB RAM, 2TB 16GB RAM128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM, 1TB 16GB RAM, 2TB 16GB RAM
Triple Camera Setup; 12MP (wide) 10MP, 125˚ (ultra-wide) TOF 3D LiDAR scanner for depthTriple Camera Setup; 12MP (wide) 10MP, 125˚ (ultra-wide) TOF 3D LiDAR scanner for depth
4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120/240fps4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120/240fps
12MP, 122˚ (ultrawide) Selfie Camera12MP, 122˚ (ultrawide) Selfie Camera
Quad Speaker setupQuad Speaker setup
Supports Face IDSupports Face ID
Apple pencil SupportApple pencil support
USB Type-C 4 (Thunderbolt 4)USB Type-C 4 (Thunderbolt 4)
18W Fast charging18W Fast charging
Comes in Silver or Space GrayComes in Silver or Space Gray
Starts from $1099Starts from $799

Design Language.

iPad Pro 12" with the iPad Pro 11"

Both of these devices are well crafted and designed. You can easily tell that Apple dedicated a lot of effort and time towards the overall design of these iPad Pro models. They come in a full Aluminum chassis that is just as good hold as it is to look at. Both of them come in two color options; either Space Gray or Silver which is my favorite.

At the back of these devices, we have a similar triple camera setup, comprising of a 12MP (wide), a 10MP, 125˚ (ultra-wide) and a TOF 3D LiDAR scanner for depth. The good news is that both devices have identical cameras, so this should not be a determining factor. The camera quality is well above average and even competes with other flagship smartphone cameras. One of the features of this camera system that most people don’t seem to understand, is the LiDAR scanner. It has two basic functions; improve focus during shooting and also as a depth sensor.

For those interested in learning more about the LiDAR scanner; here is a simple to understand explanation. LIDAR stands for light detection and ranging. LIDAR utilizes infrared light emitted by the LIDAR sensor to scan its surroundings. Basically, the infrared light it emits bounces off surfaces to give an accurate 3D render of the surroundings based on the precise distance that it measures.

iPad Pro 11" on a wooden table

For the front facing camera, they both feature a 12MP, 122˚ ultra-wide lens. It does a good job especially during video conferencing and Facetime. One of the handy features that Apple rolled out recently for the iPad, is known as center stage.

Center stage simply means that that the camera will keep track of your movement so that you are always at the center. For example, if you move slightly to either side of the device, the camera will try to keep you at the center by tracking your movement.

This feature is handy especially in meetings and most of the conferencing apps have already integrated this feature. The one thing that I would request Apple to change on the selfie camera is its position. I think it would be best if they put the camera at the top rather than on the side which is really annoying especially during zoom meetings or facetime.


iPad Pro 12" with the iPad Pro 11"

One of the distinguishing features between these two devices is the type of display technology that they use. The bigger 12-inch iPad Pro uses a Liquid Retina mini-LED display while the smaller one uses a Liquid Retina IPS LCD display.

It is exciting to finally see Apple take their display a notch higher. Mini LED technology utilizes many tiny LED with numerous local dimming zones to mimic the OLED experience. If you are a tech enthusiast, then you probably know that OLED is the gold standard of all displays.

The deeper and richer blacks is what most displays aim for and the mini-LED just hit the sweet spot. It’s not perfect but it definitely checks most boxes for the ultimate viewing experience. The iPad has 10,000 mini LEDS with 2500 local dimming zones which is capable of outputting a maximum of 1600 nits of brightness in full HDR.

iPad Pro 11" on a black surface

The iPad Pro 11-inch on the other side, has the Liquid Retina IPS LCD display. This display is not as vibrant as the mini-LED but it is okay in itself. Since it does not have as many LEDs as compared to its bigger brother, the blacks are not as rich and to top it all, it has a max brightness of 600nits which is 1000nits less than mini-LED display. All in all, they both offer good viewing experiences but the mini-LED definitely takes the crown here.

The M1 chip and its performance

M1 chip

Everyone by now has already heard about the mighty M1 chip. Apple released it late last year into the Macbook Air, the Macbook Pro 13 and the Mac mini. But this year, they shocked everyone by adding the most powerful ARM chip into both iPad Pro models.

The M1 chip got everyone excited when it was released in the Macbook Air, the Macbook Pro 13 and the Mac mini. The performance portrayed was unlike anything in the market. The M1-enabled Macbooks crushed benchmarks, beating most RISC dedicated processors. The sad bit of it all, is that the iPad is not yet ready to take full advantage of all that power. This is mostly because of the iPadOS which is somehow limiting.

For those who are still confused about the whole M1 thing here is a simple to understand explanation. The M1 features one chip that integrates major components of a PC which would otherwise be scattered all over the motherboard. The M1 chip is comprised of the RAM (also unified memory), an 8 core CPU, up to an 8 core CPU, 16 core neural engine, 16 billion transistors (35% more than the A14) , media encode and decode engines, Thunderbolt / USB 4 controller all in a 5nm process.

iPad Pro 12" with the iPad Pro 11" on a white surface

This simply means that efficiency is greatly improved since most of the components needed are on the chip rather than on different parts of the motherboard making communication among components better and faster.All in all, the M1 chip is undoubtedly the best ARM chip on the consumer market right now but the iPadOS is not yet ready to take full advantage of this chip’s capabilities.

RAM and Storage options.

iPad Pro 12" and the iPad Pro 11" with the magic keyboard

Both of these devices offer the same RAM and storage options. This year, Apple bumped up the RAM to a maximum of 16GB and the storage to a maximum of 2TB. Honestly, these specs are crazy even for most PCs.

With iPadOS 14, most Apps had a limited amount of RAM usage of 5GB regardless of whether there was more. With iPadOS 15, Apple will however let more apps access more of the system RAM. The 16GB RAM option is not that beneficial unless you have some cash to spare. I find the 8GB RAM and the 512GB storage option to be the sweet spot.

Final thoughts

iPad Pro 12" with the iPad Pro 11" on a pink background

Both devices have similar specs except the display technology used in each and of course the size. The mini-LED is should not be a factor in itself to convince you to pick one over the other. I think it solely depends on the size that you prefer.

The iPad Pro 11-inch has a smaller footprint making it easily portable. The 12-inch iPad Pro on the other hand can prove to be cumbersome when carrying it at times due to its bigger size. At the same time, it offers a lot of screen real estate which the smaller version can’t. I find size to be the main distinguishing feature between these two devices, so choose wisely.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Kipkorir Bett

    Nice tablet but too expensive

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