2020 iPad Pro vs 2018 iPad Pro: Should You Upgrade?

2020 iPad Pro vs 2018 iPad Pro: Should You Upgrade?

 2020 iPad Pro vs 2018 iPad Pro: Should You Upgrade?

Looking at the two recent iPad Pro devices released by Apple, it’s clear that the two models are built for performance and while the 2018 model is a few years older than the 2020 model, it still has its place. Considering the 2020 iPad Pro vs 2018 iPad Pro: Should you upgrade?

While the iPad Pro 2018 is still a power to reckon with, 2020 iPad Pro makes some improvements on the preceding 2018 edition resulting in a better future-proof device. Some of the best features in the 2020 iPad Pro edition include studio quality microphones, advanced sensors for AR, and the dual camera setup with ultra-wide angle. 

With that said, the 2018 iPad Pro edition has most features present in the newer 2020 version except for some iconic features that are critical to video editors, content creators, and AR developers. 

2020 iPad Pro vs 2018 iPad Pro: Where’s the Difference?

In the 2018 iPad Pro, Apple was pushing the Neural Engine in the processor renown to increase the device’s capability. However, the main feature at the time was Face ID. In their recent 2020 iPad Pro, it’s using a similar approach but the key feature is the LiDAR scanner designed to increase AR experience. 

While the two devices are not too far apart, the changes made in the new model can mean a lot to the seasoned user. 

iPad Pro 2020 vs iPad Pro 2018: The Differences

While keeping most specifications constant, Apple has made a few changes to differentiate the iPad Pro 2020 from its predecessor and at the same time make it future proof. The new iPad Pro comes with 6GB RAM as the standard for all models in this lineage which is 2GB more than what you’ll get on the older 2018 model. 

Unlike its predecessor, the 2020 iPad Pro is powered by A12Z Fusion chip which is faster than the Bionic chips used in earlier models. 

Storage gets better with the recent iPad Pro as Apple has not included the 64GB option present in 2018 iPad Pro. Instead, the lowest storage you’ll get is 128GB all the way to 1TB which is an impressive move.  

What’s not So Different?

Apple decided to maintain the screen size at 11 inches and the display resolution is not different. The bezels on the display have not changed in iPad Pro 2020 and it still supports Face ID.

Both models are powered by the iPad OS 13 but they are expected to get an upgrade to iPad OS 14 in future.   

Both iPads support Apple Pencil compatibility and the OS 13 makes them compatible with a mouse or a trackpad. In addition, both are compatible with the Magic Keyboard so you don’t have to purchase the newer model to enjoy the hyped keyboard. 

Processor/performance Features

The 2018 iPad Pro has successfully delivered excellent performance courtesy of the A12X Bionic chip coupled with either 4GB or  6GB RAM. If you were fascinated by this processor, the newer iPad Pro model has taken things a notch higher. The A12Z Bionic processor is more powerful and the devices come with 6GB RAM as the standard.

Definitely, the 2020 iPad Pro packs more power but the difference between the two models is not significant. But make no mistake-the A12Z processor is quicker. The difference isn’t recognizable when the device is in average use but clearly noticeable when running tasks that are heavy on memory resources like 3D design modelling and 4K video editing.

Unlike its predecessor, the 2020 iPad Pro has  studio quality microphones making it better for recording audio. This is good news to users looking for a device that can be used in a professional studio setting.

According to Apple, the A12Z Bionic processor is designed to outperform most laptops sold today. There is some truth in this claim considering the fact that the Bionic processor found in the 2018 iPad Pro model is exceptionally fast!

Apple went beyond the chip and upgraded the GPU with a graphics processor that has 8 cores. This means applications that are heavy on graphics will load and run faster in this new iPad Pro.

Camera Setup

Apple decided to add two rear cameras on their newest iPad Pro and this is evidently one of the main upgrades in this iPad compared to the older model. One camera is a 10MP ultra-wide lens while the other one is a 12MP wide lens with a 125-degree view. In addition, the True Tone flash has been enhanced and is now brighter than in the 2018 iPad Pro.

Although the setup is not distinctively different, the ultra-wide lens camera won’t let you use tap-to-focus or autofocus feature. The front camera has remained the same as found on its predecessor but still offers great quality.

Within the rear camera array, the designers incorporated a LiDAR scanner intended to deliver higher accuracy when using augmented reality apps. However, users who are into developing augmented reality applications and specifically when using the Apple AR Kit.

LiDAR Scanner: A Bold Stride

If you are not aware of what Lidar is, it’s likely you don’t really need it at the moment. However, it does not mean you won’t need it in the future. To stay updated on computing topics, Netbooknews is a great resource to learn from. 

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is an advanced system of light beams used to accurately pinpoint spatial location of objects. While most high-tech devices have started incorporating this tech into their systems, Apple is not left behind and they added the feature to enhance the Augmented Reality experience in the iPad Pro 2020.

Truth be told. AR has yet to become a significant part of daily life and that’s why the LiDAR scanner in the iPad Pro is not a must-have feature for all users. However, AR developers and VR/AR hardcore gamers will find this feature to be quite helpful. At the moment, it’s safe to say that it is more of a niche feature rather than a mainstream feature. Nevertheless, it’s ideal for early adopters who want to get going as the AR technology gets better.

Should you Upgrade To the iPad Pro 2020?

If you are using the 2018 iPad Pro and you only need to run average day-to-day tasks it doesn’t make sense to upgrade to the new model. That is unless you really want to take advantage of the recent dual camera setup.

But if you are looking forward to owning a powerful device that is ready to perform heavy tasks without breaking a sweat, upgrading to the 2020 iPad Pro is a worthy cause. The extra 2GB of RAM, faster processor, and better camera can make a huge difference in your daily usage needs.

In addition, combining the new iPad Pro with Apple’s Magic Keyboard can offer you a laptop level computing experience and it can easily outperform some laptops in the market. If you need help troubleshooting your backlit keyboard, this guide will show you how to do it.


The iPad Pro 2020 is a great option if you are considering buying your first iPad but not so if you have no interest in its additional features. The sensing technology introduced by its LIDAR scanner empowers the iPad Pro with an in-depth understanding of 3D resulting in a fulfilling augmented reality experience.

A blogger with a zeal for learning technology. Enchanted to connect with wonderful people like you.