Can an iPad replace a computer or does it need to?
I find myself completely baffled by what I have seen in the media over the new iPad Pro. I don’t own this device, so I am literally an observer, but the questions being asked, and the statements being made have me thinking hard about these questions.
Marques Brownlee says “The Best Ever…Still an iPad!”
Austin Evans says “This Is Not A Laptop Killer”
Unbox Therapy asks “Is The iPad Pro Worth Laptop Money?”
I also listen to TWIT every day and have processed the comments from This Week in Tech and MacBreak Weekly.
Since I am on the outside looking in, I really started to wonder why all of these people seem to be pissed about the new iPad Pro. It isn’t that the device isn’t brilliant because it is. It isn’t because it isn’t fast, because they all say it is. The screen is great, the weight is right, balance is fantastic. They love it! No, they hate it!
It really comes down to price. Apple has put this device squarely into laptop territory and so everyone thinks it should perform as a laptop. So I got to thinking. Is this correct?
Should Apple sell an iPad Pro at a laptop price? Should the iPad Pro replace your laptop? Where does this device fit in the market?
Truth is, I have spent a couple weeks thinking about this. Watching the videos and trying to come to a conclusion. It seems to me that the price is simply too high. Now we all know that Apple sells expensive devices to the people that can afford them. Do they have a right to sell an incredible device that simply cannot do the job of a laptop?
It seems that most people conclude that this is a powerful device that is being delivered for the future. In all cases, iOS 12 is blamed for holding this device back. So is Apple going to continue to build upon iOS 12 and create a better desktop experience? Who knows. It seems that at this point iOS 12 is designed primarily for iPhones and a phones needs, and it runs on the iPad Pro but not with all the features you would want in that device.
I’m going to throw another device in here, that is my favorite computer of all time, and I am writing on it now, the Surface Pro. It is a computer, it runs Windows 10, and I can do almost anything I want on this device. Right?
Well, I can’t run Apps. I mean I can run programs, and all of the software I need runs on it, and that is why it brings me so much pleasure. It has a pen, touch, full file system, USB ports, a detachable keyboard and it works well as a tablet or a full computer, but it doesn’t run phone apps.
The iPad Pro can run Apps but it is missing the full features of an operating system. It lacks a mouse and so you are forced to use the pen or your finger while typing. Does that even make sense? It has a file system, but not really. It doesn’t handle cameras, because it lacks drivers, but it will read a camera card with the right adapter. It lacks ports, but it does have a keyboard.
We have two ends of the spectrum here. Surface Pro is a full computer that doesn’t run phone Apps and iPad Pro runs iOS 12 a full mobile OS that runs Apps but doesn’t run desktop applications.
So I’m curious. Is Apple going to leave IOS alone and allow App developers to catch up? Will Microsoft be able to put Office 365 on the iPad Pro, and will all of the Adobe Creative Suite run on iPad Pro in the next year or two? Will Apple alter their OS and make it a full blown OS that supports a mouse, a file system, and well all the things MacOS can do?
Only time will tell, and I am really curious to see what turns out here. At this point, I think Microsoft’s investment in touch is paying off. Windows 10 is fantastic and is my primary OS day in and day out.
That said, I want to add that even though I love my Surface Pro I do use a full desktop system for editing video and I do have a massive 17″ gaming laptop for editing on the road. All of these systems run Windows 10, but I can argue that my Surface is not my only device.
Maybe Apple doesn’t need to do a thing. Maybe the iPad Pro is simply an expensive device for those that want a beautiful screen that they can take with them everywhere. Maybe everything all of us thinks the iPad Pro should be isn’t even necessary.
Maybe, just maybe Apple made the perfect product.
Lew from Unbox Therapy is going to try to use his iPad Pro as his only device. He is starting a two-week experiment, and I think it will be interesting to see what he reports back in two weeks.