Apple iPad Pro M1 review: an amazing display

Without a doubt, the iPad Pro is the best tablet money can buy, but it's also the most costly, so it'll be overkill for most people.

Apple iPad Pro M1 has an ultra-premium tablet features a TV-like monitor, a Mac M1 chip, and a smart camera for video calls. Apple’s newest iPad Pro gets a new screen that rivals the best TVs, let alone tablets and laptops, as well as the game-changing M1 processor.


The fifth-generation Apple iPad Pro is available in two models, one with an 11-inch screen for £749 and the other with a 12.9-inch screen for £999. Both have the latest M1 processor, but only the larger model – which we reviewed here – has the gorgeous new screen.

The screen of the Apple iPad Pro M1

The new screen is an evolution of the conventional LCD monitor known as “mini LED,” which has previously only been used in high-end televisions. Behind the LCD panel, an array of 2,596 individual LEDs only illuminates bright sections of the image, resulting in super-bright lights and deep, inky blacks in dark areas.

If you feed an HDR movie to an Apple iPad Pro, you’ll get probably the best picture this side of a £1,500 television. Night scenes are particularly appealing, with lights piercing the pitch-black darkness, while sunrises are vibrant and colorful. Only the best smartphone displays, such as the one on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, come close to the iPad Pro’s peak HDR brightness of 1,600nits, with very few rivals achieving a brightness of more than 500nits (a normal measure of screen brightness).

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Outside of HDR video, the screen is limited to the same 600nits brightness as previous iPad Pros, which is still brighter than most smartphones, laptops, and monitors but helps keep the battery life at a good 10 hours.

Detailed specifications of Apple iPad Pro M1

  • 9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with a resolution of 2732×2048 pixels (264 pixels per inch).
  • Apple M1 (8-core CPU/8-core GPU) processor.
  • 8 or 16 GB RAM.
  • 128/256/512GB or 1/2TB of storage.
  • iPadOS 14.5 is the operating system.
  • 12MP wide-angle, 10MP ultrawide, and Lidar scanner cameras, plus a 12MP TrueDepth selfie camera.
  • Wifi 6 (5G optional, nano/eSim), Bluetooth 5, Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 connectivity.
  • 6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm Dimensions.
  • 682g in weight (4G version: 684g).

The cost of the Apple iPad Pro M1

The iPad Pro is available in space grey or silver, with prices starting at £749 for the 11-inch model and £999 for the 12.9-inch model. Both have 128GB of storage and are wifi-only. 5G models cost an extra £150 plus a monthly mobile broadband fee. Apple’s iPad costs £329, the iPad Air costs £579, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7+ costs £799, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 7 start at £999 and £799.


The 12.9-inch iPad Pro for 2021 is a powerful machine. It has one of the best displays on the market, making it ideal for video. With the M1 chip, it has a lot of power and a battery life of nine hours or more. It also has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and 5G connectivity as an option.

However, it’s only an iPad at the end of the day, which means it has some drawbacks as a device substitute as opposed to a similarly priced laptop. However, it’s this type of multipurpose system that becomes invaluable, whether for the best-in-class video calling experience, large media app support, or even novel uses like tennis coaching, art production, or video editing.

Without a doubt, the iPad Pro is the best tablet money can buy, but it’s also the most costly, so it’ll be overkill for most people.