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Best Apple iPad Pro (2021) alternatives

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Best Apple iPad Pro 2021 alternatives
The new iPad Pro series has been officially announced and it seems that Apple has done a great job with these devices. People are hyped and rightfully so - the most powerful chip in the Apple ecosystem - the M1 - has found its way to the new generation of iPads.

It’s not just raw power, though. There are lots of small refinements and upgrades in the Pro lineup - like 5G support, a better selfie camera, a Thunderbolt connector, and an upgraded display on the 12.9-inch model, employing futuristic mini-LED technology.

Also Read:

The pre-orders have started and if you want the maxed 12.9-inch version you’ll have to cash out a whopping $2,399. Of course, there are options regarding storage and connectivity but even the base 12.9-inch model costs over a thousand dollars now.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 specifications


Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2021)

  • Display 11.0 inches 2388 x 1688 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple M1 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 7540 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 14.x

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021)

  • Display 12.9 inches 2732 x 2048 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple M1 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 10758 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 14.x

Healthy competition is always a good thing, and you can get a wide variety of devices in this price bracket, so let’s take a look at the options. Here are the best Apple iPad Pro 2021 alternatives.

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch alternatives


Competing with an M1-equipped tablet is not an easy feat. If we take raw power alone, the alternatives are unicorn-rare. Power isn’t everything, though, and using iPadOS on top of the M1 has its limitations.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 11-inch

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7


View full specs

Apple’s biggest rival in the smartphone market has its own line of tablets to try and battle Cupertino’s dominance in the segment. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 promises a PC-like experience thanks to Samsung DeX docking technology.

The Galaxy Tab S7 is an Android tablet that comes with S-Pen support, an LCD TFT 11-inch 120Hz display, 8GB of RAM, and a microSD card slot. Granted, its octa-core processor is no match for the M1 but the price definitely is.

You can get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 for as low as $549 and there are also other options at Samsung.com (it’s as low as $50 if you trade in your old tablet or smartphone).

Microsoft Surface Go 2


The Surface line of machines is really impressive and Microsoft has a reason to be proud. You can find real iPad Pro competitors here, and some might even say that Surface devices are better. Heresy!

Jokes aside, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 has a lot going for it. It’s a Windows 10 machine, so you get all the functionality you need, plus it uses an Intel Core m3 processor which might not trash the M1 but it will guarantee you around 12 hours of battery life.

You can get lots of accessories, detachable keyboards, wireless mice, there’s also support for Microsoft Surface Pen. The base model starts at $399 - a real bargain for a Win10 machine.

Microsoft - Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen

- Intel Pentium Gold - 8GB - 128GB SSD - Device Only - Platinum

$549 99
Buy at BestBuy

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro


The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is an Android tablet that relies on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730G platform. Obviously, it’s not as powerful as the iPad Pro but it comes with an 11.5-inch OLED display, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and stylus support.

You can get one for as low as $399, which is half the price of the iPad Pro. The price more than makes up for the Tab P11 Pro shortcomings.

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Tablet,

11.5" Touch 350 nits, 6GB, 128GB, Android 10

$489 99
$599 99
Buy at Walmart

Apple iPad Pro 11 2020

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
9.0

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)


The Good

  • Great design, thin and portable
  • Fantastic performance, smooth animations
  • USB Type-C
  • 128 GB base storage

The Bad

  • Accessories are pricey (Magic Keyboard not even out yet)
  • Higher storage tiers can get expensive
  • File system is still a bit funky

Yep, there’s always the previous generation as a buying option when a new device hits the market. The iPad Pro 11 (2020) is still a very, very good tablet. The M1 chip in the new model is the only big difference and in real-life scenarios, it might not be that big of a deal.

What’s more, Apple has already removed the iPad Pro (2020) from its official store. This means great discounts for the model as retailers would want to clear their inventory. Users on the other hand could get a great tablet with all the iPadOS updates and support.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch alternatives


Things are more serious when it comes to iPad Pro 12.9-inch alternatives. This tablet features a mini-LED display that Apple calls Liquid Retina XDR, and we have to run some tests to see how this thing stacks against LCD and OLED tech.

Nevertheless, there are viable alternatives from the usual suspects.

Microsoft Surface Pro X


Another alternative from the Surface lineup comes in the face of the Microsoft Surface Pro X. It’s a solid tablet with a big screen and small bezels. You get full Windows 10 functionality, powered by the custom-made SQ1 and SQ2 ARM-based chips.

The Surface Pro X is another endurance champion from Microsoft - it can do 15 hours on a single charge, and that’s important when we talk tablets. Other than that, you get the usual slew of accessories to turn this device into a full-fledged PC, plus a 16/256GB memory option.

The Microsoft Surface Pro X starts at $999 a tad lower than the starting price of the iPad Pro 12.9 2021.

Surface Pro X -

13" Touch Screen - Microsoft SQ1 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - WiFi + 4G LTE

$999 99
Buy at BestBuy

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+


View full specs

We’re back at Samsung for its answer to the 12.9-inch iPad - the Galaxy Tab S7+. Unlike the smaller 11-inch model, this one features an AMOLED display, which is always a big plus in any Samsung device.

The display features a 120Hz refresh rate and you can use the S-Pen, of course. There’s the DeX support to turn this into a PC, and as far as memory goes, you can get up to 8/512GB max, but there’s a microSD card slot.

The Galaxy Tab S7+ runs on Snapdragon 865+, and features 4x AKG-tuned speakers. There’s a 10,000mAh battery on board, and you can charge it with up to 45W of power.

Pricewise, the maxed-out version of the Tab S7+ is still cheaper than the base iPad Pro 12.9, even before Samsung incentives come into play.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

5G, 128GB, Mystic Black

$1049 99
Buy at Verizon

HP Elite X2


If you want something as powerful as the iPad Pro (and also as expensive, too), look no further. The HP Elite X2 has it all. It’s really a laptop in tablet’s clothing. Even the base model comes equipped with Intel’s 11-gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB nVMe SSD storage.

The HP Elite X2 is one of the few machines equipped with a Thunderbolt 4 port (2 of these), and it’s also made out of premium CNC aluminum. Everything screams premium and you won’t regret buying one of these if you lean more towards the business side of things.

HP Elite X2 G4 13-Inch Tablet Computer

and Docking Station Bundle (i5-8265U, 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM) Windows 10

Buy at Amazon

Apple MacBook Air 2020


Here’s an alternative to the alternative that goes back to the same manufacturer. Your head is spinning right now? Fret not! If you decide to go for a MacBook instead, you’ll enjoy the same M1 power but the MacOS on top will let you actually use it.

I’m sure I don’t need to try and sell you this one too hard. The MacBook Air 2020 starts at $999, and even if you go for the 16GB/2TB maxed out variant, you’ll pay $1.999 - still cheaper than the top iPad Pro 12.9 option.

Apple MacBook Air (latest model)

13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage

Buy at Amazon

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Related phones

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2021) specs
Review
  • Display 11.0 inches 2388 x 1688 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple M1 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 7540 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 14.x
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021) specs
Review
  • Display 12.9 inches 2732 x 2048 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple M1 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 10758 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 14.x

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