The difference between the iPad Pro (2020) colors is smaller than any other color option in iPad history. The main reason is that there is no longer a color difference on the front bezel (what little of it remains). That, in conjunction with the fact that the 2020 line only comes in silver or space gray, makes it easier than ever to choose the color that's right for you.
With that in mind, let's talk about the differences between the two case colors on the back and side of the iPad Pro (2020).
Scuffs vs. scratches
The iPad Pro's beautiful brushed aluminum backside can withstand a lot of roughhousing, but that doesn't mean it's not impervious to scratches, dings, scuffs, and other such minor blemishes. Without keeping it enclosed in a protective case for its entire life, you're bound to get some scratches and scuffs on the backside of your iPad Pro throughout its lifecycle. Which blemish you're more worried about might determine which color you choose.
Silver is much better at hiding small scratches and scrapes caused by sliding it around on a table, keeping it in a bag with other things that have a rough texture, or laying it flat on hard surfaces all day. But scratches and scrapes show up more on the dark anodized aluminum of the space gray.
Space gray, on the other hand, is more likely to disguise dark scuffs like those caused by rubberized corners or plastic-coated countertops. If you're going to use your iPad Pro in an environment prone to scuffs (when material from the object you've hit transfers to the iPad Pro), you may want to go with space gray.
- If you want to hide small scratches and scrapes, go for SIlver.
- If you want to cover up more scuffs, then go for Space Gray.
Light vs. Dark
The most obvious decision is whether you want light or dark. The names may be "silver" and "space gray" but they're both just different shades of aluminum.
Black is traditionally the most common and popular color for electronics. Space gray isn't quite "true black" but it's more in line with what folks are used to seeing their electronics look like.
The silver iPad Pro, however, is certainly an iconic Apple color. For many years, long before space gray even existed, Apple products like the iMac and MacBook were made with silver anodized aluminum. It's a classic.
- If you want a color that keeps with traditional electronics aesthetics, take a look at Space Gray.
- If you are going for a classic Apple look, Silver is for you.
Case vs. naked
Now that the front of the iPad Pro looks the same whether you get silver or space gray, covering the backside with a full case pretty much negates the need to pick a color at all (unless you're going with a clear case, of course). So if you're planning on covering your iPad with a case for its entire life, the backside's color isn't going to be much of an issue for you.
Of course, there are cases, like the Smart Keyboard Folio and Smart Folio, which expose the entire edge of your iPad Pro. For that style, it's more important that your case complements your iPad.
What about gold or rose gold?
The 2020 lineup of iPad Pro does not come in gold or rose gold, but you're not completely lost. If you are determined to go gold or go home and nothing else will do, the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro does come in gold and rose gold. It just doesn't come with everything else that the 2020 iPad pro comes with.
If color matters more than features and your color is gold, you can still get an iPad Pro if you're willing to go with the smaller screen, the 2017 processor, and the previous design. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is still pretty stellar and costs significantly less.
Who should get the Silver iPad Pro (2020)
If you're more of a classic Apple fan, you're concerned with scratches but not so much with scuffs, or if you're just covering your iPad Pro with a case anyway, then silver is your horse.
The Silver iPad Pro handles scratches and scrapes well. You can choose between 11 or 12.9-inch sizes, and it has Face ID, A12Z Bionic, Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR scanner.
Who should get the Space Gray iPad Pro (2020)
If you're more of an electronics traditionalist, scratches don't scare you but scuffs may be an issue, or if you're just covering your iPad Pro with a case anyway, space gray is your jam.
The Space Gray iPad Pro can handle scuffs no problem, but scratches show up easily. It comes in 11 or 12.9-inch sizes with Face ID, A12Z Bionic chip, Ultra Wide camera, and has a LiDAR scanner.
Who should get the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro instead?
If color is the only factor that matters to you and gold or rose gold are the only colors you'll accept, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is still on the market and still one of the best iPad devices around (except for the 2020 iPad Pro, of course).
Go for the gold
Aging like fine wine
The 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes in Gold and Rose Gold varieties if you need it. It's a good option if you don't need Face ID.
Still don't know?
Color is a very personal thing. Now that the iPad Pro is limited to just silver or space gray and even the front bezel doesn't look any different, it's a matter of what feels right to you.
If you're still trying to figure out the right color for you, I suggest making a trip to your local Apple Store (once they re-open) and holding both in your hands to see which one feels right.
March 2020: Updated with the new iPad Pro (2020) lineup.
○ Which iPad model should you get?
○ Should you upgrade to iPad Pro?
○ iPad Pro vs. MacBook: Which should you buy?
○ What storage size should you get?
○ What color iPad Pro (2018) should you get?
○ Which U.S. carrier and plan should you get?
○ Should you get AppleCare+ or insurance?
○ The best way to buy your iPad
○ How to sell your iPad
○ Buy iPad at Apple
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Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).