Since the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros have the same internals, it really all comes down to whether or not you need the most screen estate possible. However, most people will probably go for the 11-inch version since it's cheaper and more lightweight.
Let's break it down
If you care about the specs, both the iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch are the same. They both have the A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine and M12 coprocessor, Liquid Retina displays with 264PPI, ProMotion technology, wide color and True Tone, laminated displays, 12MP/4K rear-cameras with Ultra Wide lens, 7MP TrueDepth cameras with Portrait Mode, four speakers, Face ID, and come in 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB storage capacity. Really, the only difference between them is the fact that one has an 11-inch display (2388x1668 resolution) and the other is 12.9 inches (2732x2048 resolution).
|iPad Pro 11-inch||iPad Pro 12.9-inch|
|Cost||From $799 and up||From $999 and up|
|Pixels per inch||264 ppi||264 ppi|
|Weight||1.04 pounds (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular)||1.42 pounds (Wi-Fi) and 1.4 pounds (Wi-Fi + Cellular)|
|Chip||A12Z Bionic||A12Z Bionic|
|Display||Liquid Retina||Liquid Retina|
|Ultra Wide lens||Yes||Yes|
|Front camera||7MP True Depth||7MP True Depth|
|Full size keyboard accessories||No||Yes|
Overall, we think the 11-inch iPad Pro is the better pick, as it's much more versatile while still providing a ton of of power. The 11-inch iPad Pro still works great as a second display in tandem with your current Mac through Sidecar (macOS Catalina required), and it's much easier to fit into your existing bags for travel purposes. It's essentially the same size as the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, just with more screen since it did away with the large bezels and Home button. We also prefer the 11-inch for doing things like reading and watching videos, as it's easier to hold without wrist fatigue.
The only reason to go for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is if you plan on doing a lot of typing with your iPad, since the 12.9-inch has more full-size keyboard accessories designed for it. Think of it as more of a laptop replacement than a tablet. The 12.9-inch is also a must if you plan on drawing and sketching with an Apple Pencil, since there is more room on your canvas to work with. Plus, it's much easier to write out notes with an Apple Pencil on the 12.9-inch due to the larger screen.
If you can adjust to smaller, more compact keyboard accessories, and don't plan on drawing or handwriting notes too much, then the 11-inch iPad Pro should be good enough for you. It's also much easier to transport with you, and you won't get tired of holding it. Plus, it's $200 cheaper than the 12.9-inch, and it would be a great complement to your existing setup.
Portable and lightweight powerhouse
The 11-inch iPad Pro is the perfect size for those who want a powerful iPad without having to deal with size or weight. Despite the smaller size, it still has the same internals as its bigger sibling, but it's much easier to transport around, as long as you don't mind making some small sacrifices. Plus it's $200 cheaper.
When you need the best of the best
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is more like a computer replacement for those who want to do all (or most) of their work with iOS. It has much more screen estate to work with, making drawing, handwriting, and typing a breeze. However, the large size can be cumbersome to hold and it isn't as portable as the smaller version.
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