iPad Pro: The ultimate guide

iPad Pro: The ultimate guide
iPad Pro: The ultimate guide (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Take an iPad, add much better cameras, faster processors, ridiculous refresh rates, wide-gamut color, four speakers, a smart connector for keyboards, and the Apple Pencil and you have iPad Pro — the computer for the rest of us.

Current models include the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the third-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Apple previously offered 9.7- and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models as well. For creative and mobile professionals, the iPad Pro might just be the dream machine.

Buying your iPad Pro

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Best iPad for artists (Image credit: iMore)

Of course, before you can enjoy using your new iPad Pro you first need to decide which iPad Pro you should get. Fortunately, for the 2021 iPad Pro, the two differently-sized models are essentially the same in all but display size.

Both run the super-powerful M1 chip that first debuted in Apple's Mac lineup and offer up to 10 hours of battery life. Whichever size you get, you'll enjoy Apple Pencil support, a compatible Magic Keyboard, USB-C connectivity, 12MP Wide and 10MP Ultra Wide cameras plus LiDAR, as well as a 12MP front-facing camera with support for Center Stage.

The storage configuration are the same across the board with 128GB at the base model all the way up to 2TB at the high end. If you don't know what iPad storage to get, we can help there too.

One key difference to note between iPad Pro models is the display technology used in each size. You'll get a gorgeous display with P3 wide color, ProMotion, and True Tone regardless of size, but the smaller 11-inch model offers a Liquid Retina display whereas the 12.9-inch variant has the more fancy Liquid Retina XDR display.

That XDR affix refers to the underlying technology mini-LED which allows for blacker blacks and up to 1,600 nits peak brightness for HDR content. If you want the absolute best display in an iPad, go for the 12.9-inch model.

Using your iPad Pro

iPad Pro 2021 review

iPad Pro 2021 review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

Whether iPad Pro is your first iPad, your first Pro, or simply your latest iPad Pro upgrade, the first thing you need to do is get it set up and running. You can set your iPad Pro up from scratch or restore from a previous backup, if you have one, and you can even move data over from an old Android tablet or Windows PC, if you're switching over.

We've also got guides on setting up Face ID on iPad Pro, how to use apple Pencil, and optimize your iPad battery life if you need to.

Getting more out of your iPad Pro

iPad Pro 2021 review

iPad Pro 2021 review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

With the Smart Connector, Apple Pencil, and USB-C adapters, there are more iPad Pro accessories than ever before and tons of ways to make the most of your powerful new tablet. That's not to mention all of the great iPad apps and amazing iPad games available on the App Store.

Apple also has a ton of great services like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade so you'll have no problem finding ways to put your iPad Pro to good use.

Be more Pro

For a lot of folks, iPad Pro is powerful enough to be a full-time laptop replacement and its gorgeous touch screen and exemplary speakers make it even more versatile. Whether you plan to use yours for work or play, the linked guides above will help you get the most out of Apple's best iPad.

Updated March 2022: Updated for 2021 iPad Pro.

Adam Oram

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.