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Pre-order the new M1 iPad Pro now: Pre-orders open TODAY

iPad Pro (2021) pre-order
(Image credit: Future)

There was a lot to take from Apple's Spring Loaded event last week, and none more exciting than the announcement of a brand new iPad Pro with M1 chip. And you don't have long to wait if you want to order one, as pre-orders have gone live today (30 April), with Apple announcing delivery being "available second half of May".

There's plenty to get fired up about with the 2021 iPad Pro. As mentioned, it will come with the Apple-made M1 chip, plus 5G for cellular models, and a beautiful 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display. And, as this is Apple, we imagine pre-orders will be snapped up very quickly. But we also think a lot of reputable online retailers will be stocking up in the coming weeks, so hopefully there won't be too many disappointed people out there. 

Of course, with the pre-orders opening up for the M1 iPad Pro (2021), there's a good chance that retailers will be dropping their prices on previous iPad models in the coming days and weeks, so check out our dedicated page for all the best iPad deals around. 

Below, we detail all you need to know about the new M1 iPad Pro (2021), including how it compares to previous iPad Pro iterations. The short version? We're very impressed!

Apple iPad Pro M1 (2021)

(Image credit: Apple)

M1 iPad Pro (2021): Pre-order

Pre-orders of the new M1-chipped iPad Pro (2021) are open as of 20 April. Right now we'd say your best bet is to go straight to Apple to pre-order your model, but in the coming days we expect to see a lot more of the 11-inch and the 12.9-inch iPad Pros available at the following retailers too. 

US retailers 

UK retailers

M1 iPad Pro (2021): What's new

The iPad Pro 2021: Display 

The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro comes with the best iPad display to date. Unlike the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models that came with a liquid retina display, the 2021 iPad Pro comes with a mini-LED display, which Apple is calling a Liquid Retina XDR.

It comes with 10,000 mini-LEDs, and 1,000 nits full-screen brightness, and 1,600 nits peak brightness, which will definitely be noticeable when you're taking the tablet outside this summer, or just working under bright lights indoors. 

For context, the display on the M1 MacBook Air is 400 nits, and the M1 MacBook Pro is 500 nits – so this is pretty impressive! Add to that a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and you've got a digital creative's dream. Though it's worth repeating that this massive tech jump is only for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021), as not the smaller 11-inch Pro comes with the same Liquid Retina display as the 2020 model. 

The iPad Pro (2021): M1 chip

Just like last year's MacBook Air M1, MacBook Pro M1 and the Mini Mac M1, the 2021 iPad Pro comes with Apple's M1 chip. That's right – an iPad with the same chip as a MacBook Pro! It's a big leap forward compared to the 2020 iPad Pro's A12Z chip, and Apple said that it translates into around 50% faster CPU – that's a lot of processing power. If you're a photo or video editor, this may well be reason enough (combined with the new XDR display) to get the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro M1. But it's worth noting that for many creative tasks, there was nothing wrong with the already fast  A12Z chip, so it's worth bearing that in mind. 

And while we're talking about speed, this year's model boasts a USB-C port supports Thunderbolt, allowing for truly swift file transfers to and from the iPad, especially if you're using one of the best external hard drives, such as an SSD. Combine that with the 5G on the LTE models, and you've got by far the fastest iPad yet.

M1 iPad Pro (2021): Specs

Here are the prices that Apple are selling its new WI-FI iPad Pro for (so be sure not to pay for much more than the following!) Worth noting that if you're going for the entry level 11-inch iPad Pro (2021), you'll be paying the same as last year's model, but will all that M1 processing power. If you do want the Liquid Retina XDR display of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, however, you are going to be paying a little bit more. Also, if you want a cellular version of the iPad Pro (2021), you'll have to add around $200/£150 to the below prices. 

M1 iPad Pro 11-inch (2021)

  • Capacity: 128GB - $799 / £749; 256GB - $899 / £849; 512GB - $1099 / £1049; 1TB - $1499 / £1399; 2TB - $1899 / £1729
  • Weight: 1.03 pounds (466 grams)
  • Connection: USB-C, Thunderbolt
  • Battery: 28.65-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
  • Display: 11-inch Liquid Retina (same as 2020 model), 2388x1668 resolution at 264ppi
  • Chip: Apple's M1
  • Camera: 12MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture, 60 fps 4K Video recording

M1 iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021)

  • Capacity: 128GB - $1099 / £999; 256GB - $1199 / £1099; 512GB - $1399 / £1299; 1TB - $1799 / £1649; 2TB - $2199 / £1999
  • Size:  280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 (mm)
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds (682 grams)
  • Connectors: USB-C, Thunderbolt
  • Display: 12.9-inch LR XDR, 2732x2048 resolution at 264ppi
  • Chip: Apple's M1
  • Camera: Up to 12MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture, 60 fps 4K Video recording
  • Battery: 40.88-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery

M1 iPad Pro (2020): Deals

As you'd imagine, with the pre-orders of the new M1 iPad Pro (2021), last year's models will be having some good price cuts in the coming days and months. Here are the best deals online right now, on the 2017 and 2020 iPad Pros. 

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Beren Neale is commissioning editor at Creative Bloq.