13-inch MacBook Pro vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Which One is Right for You?

If you’re looking for a horsepower laptop in the Apple ecosystem, then a MacBook seems like a great start. However, an iPad Pro is also a very promising contender thanks to its upgraded hardware. So, we’ve compared the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro side by side, so you can decide which one is right for you.


At first sight, these two devices look very different.

Let’s start with the iPad Pro first! The iPad comes in 12.9-inch sizes, along with Space Gray and Silver color options.

With 0.23-inch thick, the 2020 iPad Pro is the thinnest tablet Apple has ever made. Currently, the iPad Pro possesses a 10-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 12MP wide-angle camera, and a lidar sensor. Plus, there is also Apple’s magnetic Smart Connector, thus offering a laptop-like experience.

On the other hand, the MacBook Pro is slightly bigger with a 13.3-inch display and a 720p camera. And, the Mac laptop is also heavier at 3.1 pounds compared to iPad Pro which is at 1.41 pounds. Of course, the iPad Pro wins in terms of portability. However, we really like the MacBook Pro sleek design and more USB-C ports, which saves you some cash for an extra connectivity hub.


The iPad Pro’s key feature is, of course, the display. Apple equips its top-tier tablet with a superb screen that makes working on the go a joy.

For starters, both devices share the same True Tone tech to adjust proper color balance and intensity on-screen. However, the iPad display has a 2732 x 2048 resolution when compared to 2560 x 1600 resolution in the MacBook Pro. Also, the iPad ProMotion tech automatically adjusts the refresh rate up to 120Hz — double the refresh rate of the MacBook. Therefore, the result is a super-smooth experience and an incredibly natural feel on the iPad Pro.

On the other hand, the Magic keyboard used to be a huge advantage only for iPad users. But, now it’s finally equipped in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro. Also, there’s the Touch Bar here. This feature replaces the function keys with an OLED strip that presents interactive shortcuts to various common tasks.

Our advice here: No matter which one you choose, you will be happy with it.


13-inch MacBook Pro vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro

With the launch of the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro, there is something extra to consider. However, the test result of the new M1 model isn’t available yet. So, we will only focus on comparing the Intel 13-inch MacBook Pro vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro here.

We used Geekbench to test the overall performance of these devices. Surprisingly, the 12.9‌-inch iPad Pro‌ is the fastest one here. In fact, Apple’s modern A-series chips in the iPad can beat out many similar Intel processors.

To be more specific, the ‌iPad Pro‌ earned 1116 points in the single-core and 4686 points in the multi-core test. This is slightly higher when compared to the MacBook Pro’s single-core score of 859 points and a multi-core score of 3621 points.

However, what is worth mentioning here is the operating system. Actually, macOS is a more complete system, which supports plenty of heavy-duty apps, like Adobe Premiere. It’s built for computers, so users can easily install traditional desktop software. Meanwhile, iPadOS is basically a mobile operating system that offers iPhone apps at larger sizes.

Overall, the ‌iPad Pro‌ is faster than the ‌MacBook Pro when it comes to base models. It’s an incredibly powerful device that’s undoubtedly the best tablet you can buy. Pair it with an Apple Pencil, and you’ll have the perfect tool for digital painting, photo editing, or taking notes.


There are 2 main options for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi only): $999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB), $1,499 (1TB).
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi + cellular LTE): $1,149 (128GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB), $1,649 (1TB).

With new 13-inch MacBook Pro, it will start at $1,299 for the 256GB base model. And, the high-end version is $1,499 with 512GB SSD storage. Well, we don’t think the price is an important factor here because both devices have a similar price range.

Which Should You Buy? 

Ultimately, choosing between the two comes down to personal preference and your everyday tasks.

If you are a video editor or want to some video editing using professional software or programs, then the MacBook Pro is really worth your penny.

In the end, our pick is still the 13-inch MacBook Pro thanks to its pure power and flexibility. This laptop has a much larger range of customization options . And, all of those advantages only cost you an extra $300. Therefore, we feel it’s the best option for most people!

If you have any questions about the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, let us know in the comments!

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