iPad vs. iPad Pro: Which Apple tablet should you get?

With tablets getting faster and more powerful, replacing your home computer with an iPad is no longer a far-fetched idea. In fact, with four different iPads in the current lineup, Apple is doubling down on this trend. If you’re weighing your options, keep reading, and we’ll break down the difference between two of those iPads: the current 7th-generation iPad and the latest iPad Pro.

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What’s the difference between iPad and iPad Pro? 

If you’ve been considering a new iPad, you may be wondering about the difference between the entry-level iPad and the beefed-up iPad Pro. You’re probably asking yourself if you can get by with a standard iPad. Or maybe you’re wondering what it is that makes iPad Pro more professional, so to speak. 

Well, in addition to some of the upgraded internal components — designed to allow the device to perform faster and handle more — there are a couple of major differences you’ll notice with iPad Pro:

  • No home button. Similar to newer iPhones, iPad Pro doesn’t have a home button.
  • Thinner bezel. Because there’s no physical button on iPad Pro, its display doesn’t have a thick border.
  • Bigger screen. iPad Pro has two screen size options: 11 inches and 12.9 inches.
  • More storage. iPad Pro can come configured with up to 1 TB of built-in storage.

iPad vs. iPad Pro: The display

Arguably the most noticeable and most significant difference between the two models is that of their screens. The standard iPad was recently upgraded to a 10.2-inch screen, but iPad Pro comes in two sizes: 11 inches and 12.9 inches. Aside from the size, iPad comes with a familiar LED display, while iPad Pro has a Retina display, as seen in the newer Macs and iPhones.

The lack of a physical home button on iPad Pro allows it to have a larger screen than its 10.2-inch counterpart. And without a home button, iPad Pro’s display is able to have a thinner border and can go almost from edge to edge without interruption. 

iPad vs. iPad Pro: Storage options

If you’re thinking about using your new iPad as a replacement for your computer, then storage capacity should factor into your decision. iPad (7th generation) is only offered with a disappointing 32 GB or 128 GB, meaning you may have to resort to using iPadOS’s external hard drive features or some type of cloud service, like Google Drive or iCloud Drive. 

Fortunately, if you’re leaning more toward iPad Pro, you can get built-in storage capacities of 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB.

iPad vs. iPad Pro: Performance

Another very noticeable difference between iPad and iPad Pro is how each performs. While calling the baseline iPad slow would be an unfair assessment, iPad Pro is certainly in a different league when it comes to performance. 

More intensive apps, like AR games or graphics-heavy apps, may run slower on a standard iPad. There is even a chance that you’ll notice app features missing entirely — elements that are readily available on iPad Pro. 

If you’re asking yourself what all this means, consider that the standard iPad’s processor is the A10 Fusion, which has been in Apple devices starting with iPhone 7 in 2017.

How do I know if it’s an iPad or an iPad Pro?

The easiest way to tell if you are holding an iPad or an iPad Pro is to check if there’s a physical home button on the front of it. You can also tell depending on the size of the display, based on whether it’s the 10.2-inch display of a standard iPad or one of the larger display sizes available on iPad Pro. If you are still having difficulties distinguishing what device you’re holding, here’s how you can figure it out:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General > About > Model.

Is an iPad Pro better than an iPad?

Unequivocally, yes. iPad Pro is designed to be a higher-end device, and it delivers on every front. In addition to the other factors discussed in this article, there are features like Apple Pencil support, where iPad Pro also beats out iPad. Although you can use Apple Pencil on iPad (7th generation), Apple has redesigned and upgraded it with Apple Pencil 2, creating a more precise accessory that will only work iPad Pro.

All things considered, there is one area where iPad beats out iPad Pro, and that is the price. At a price point that’s almost $500 cheaper, iPad (7th generation) is still a great device that can handle day-to-day tasks like checking your email and browsing the internet. Where it starts to get a little murky is if you want to use it for high-end illustration or photo editing.

Both iPad and iPad Pro are great devices, and iPad Pro truly delivers on what its name promises, albeit with a fairly hefty price tag. Apple has done an impressive job of updating the iPad, bringing in support for its Smart Keyboard and other accessories. However, it still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of storage capacity and processing.

The only question left is whether you need the professional-level iPad Pro or if you can go with the more cost-friendly iPad (7th generation).

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