The Verge reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: Could this replace my MacBook?

“When I first picked up the iPad Pro at an Apple event this past September, I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit. For one, its size: it is holy-crap-look-at-this-iPad big. And with a price tag that easily jumps up to around a thousand dollars, it’s the most expensive iPad ever,” Lauren Goode writes for The Verge. “But after a few days of using the iPad Pro, I started to look at iPad differently. The large tablet pretty much demanded it. I’ve always been a bit of an iPad skeptic, never understanding how people can use them all the time for productivity, even with a Bluetooth accessory keyboard attached. By day three with the iPad Pro, I had started to wonder, Could this replace my MacBook?

“I know that the iPad Pro can’t do all of the things my MacBook Pro can do. And, as of right now, the iPad is still not quite the computing savior that Steve Jobs predicted it would be five years ago,” Goode writes. “But I would still consider this a worthy runner-up to a laptop, or the one (non-smartphone) device I would take with me next time I travel — something I’ve never felt confident about before when it came to the iPad. This new iPad is powerful, it’s fast, it has a large display, and it never lagged when I was multitasking or switching between apps. It’s not better than my laptop, but makes far fewer sacrifices than I expected.”

Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iPad Pro can replace the vast majority of people’s MacBooks because people never had an alternative to a MacBook to accomplish what they use a personal computer for: Web browsing, email, light word processing, music-video-photo storage and playback, and maybe some messaging (but they do most or all of that on their iPhones or iPhone wannabes).

Note: Obviously, we are not talking about our readership which skews heavily toward techies who use their Macs for far more than the vast majority of current personal computer users.

For the vast majority of people even a crappy low-end Windows laptop is vast overkill for what they do. Therefore, the headroom for iPad remains virtually limitless, especially as Apple’s A-Series chips, iOS and iPad apps become ever more powerful.

This “iPad pause” will not last forever.

Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: Graphics folks will love it, but I’m sticking with my iPad Air – November 11, 2015


    1. Agreed. A better question might be; could any laptop replace an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil? No? If you are asking these questions, you don’t get it. I am a Pro. I am not about to give up my MacBook Pro. I would also never give up my iPad, now to be replaced or supplemented with the new iPad Pro and Pencil I ordered at about 12:38 am Pacific Time. They are both powerful tools, but different tools. A hammer drill and a Dremel are both rotary tools that have some overlapping capabilities, but one could never replace the other.

      The real questions should be: Will the iPad Pro make me more productive? Will it make my life easier and add to my pleasure? Will it be useful enough to justify the purchase price and costs of ownership? For me, those questions were easy to answer. This thing will make me money, and I will have fun using it.

      1. “could any laptop replace an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil?”

        Absolutely, provided you aren’t relying exclusively on software that is only available on the iPad and has no equivalent for a regular PC.

        See Surface Pro, Surface Book, and I believe several OEM PCs with digitizers and designs that prioritize thinness and lightness.

        Of course, if you’re tied exclusively to the Apple ecosystem for some reason or another, your options are going to be much more limited.

    2. Yes. If you’re some kind of “pro” then obviously the tools of the iPad will not replace your conventional computer(s).

      Not 100% of the time.

      How often though is it that all you do is:
      – Email
      – Web Usage
      – Social Media
      – Games
      – Watch Movies
      – Watch TV
      – Listen to Music
      – Listen to Podcasts
      – Project management
      – Draw Diagrams
      – Write
      – Spreadsheets
      – Lists
      – Notes
      – Brainstorm
      – Phone Calls
      – Read Books
      – Read Magazines
      – Read documents sent by coworkers
      – Annotate documents sent by coworkers
      – Personal Administrivia (taxes, household crap)
      – Simple picture editing
      – Movie editing
      – Faxing
      – Research
      – Control your Smart Home
      – Manage and use your cloud storage

      I.e. what the vast majority of people ONLY do with computers. Yes yes, I know, You’re the chief animator at PIXAR and the mere thought of not having a MacBook is objectionable to you, oh wait, I think he’s using one.

      So when you’re not using your high end UNIX workstation, because these days you’re probably not using a Mac, most people buying Macs are doing what’s in that above list, could you not use an iPad?

      Apple is targeting the 80% and quietly changing who and what “Pros” are. You can see it in everything they’re doing from the iPad to the MacBook, to the MacPro. Smaller, thinner, closed, more appliance like.

      So if a reviewer talks about replacing a MacBook, it’s not that they’re reviewing it wrong, you’re thinking about it wrong.

      1. Keep in mind, this is just a generic list of things people do with computers and doesn’t even scratch the surface of the iPad specific tools that have been created that you cannot run on existing conventional computers. I.e. Lift that iMac up and look at the stars why don’tcha?

        All of this being said, while the iPad can easily replace a computer for your average home computer user / student, the “truck” is still vital for the serious PRO.

        I don’t draw a single picture or edit a single movie, but I need to be able to connect to external storage, external devices, external EtherNet, have TRUE access to my WiFi modem to run tests, store terabytes of data locally, big screen, REAL multitasking, control multiple remote machines simultaneously and so on.

        I’ve been committed to the Mac for years and I plan on being for some time and I’d like to see the Mac getting more attention here.

        I get it. I can wander the world with an iPad doing my 50% to 80% life activities, but when I sit down to do certain kinds of work, it just won’t do.

        My connection to Apple is through the Mac. Not iOS. I don’t care about watches. If I start looking at LINUX or gasp Windows 10, the foundation my loyalty to the brand will suffer greatly.

    1. In terms of business, think about someone like Tim Cook. Tim isn’t writing code. Tim isn’t doing any engineering of any sort. He’s chiefly a communicator and director. This is true of the top half of most businesses. Sales, marketing, middle management, human resources, and so on. When Tim grabs his iPad and leaves his office, and goes to meetings all day, that’s probably the gist of the nature of the work he does.

      The iPad is definitely a business tool.

    2. Sorry but you simply do not understand th term business. The Mac is used more in business these days than ever it was, small businesses are using them in droves. What you describe as business are really areas where it was used very little anyway where specific software and hardware peripherals were and still are aimed at specialist functions with a Windows bias. Fact is creative and media are still dominated by Macs and as IBM have proved it is increasingly becoming a business tool for other industries big and small and everywhere where image is important. 3 out of 4 shops in my parade where computers are visible through the window are now Macs unheard of even 6 or 7 years ago. The iPad is and will be an important business tool too because most business functions have nothing to do with had core heavy lifting needing specialits tools any more.

  1. I don’t think the iPad pro is a replacement for any laptop. In trying to blur the line between the tablet and a laptop, Apple thought the iPad pro is a good replacement. I don’t think so. I am happy with my MBP and iPad air2 any day.

  2. not certain how representative i may or may not be of potential ipad pro purchasers, but i want one and will get one,

    however the notion that it can or will replace my older macbook is, despite tim cooks enthusiasm and predictions, quite unlikely. it will allow me to do things i can’t do, graphically, with a laptop, but i only see it as an augmentation device not a replacement.

    if desk tops are trucks and laptops are pick-ups there will always be a place for them in any household or business – especially those that have hard drives and handle removable media capability. i want my data onboard and at home, not in the cloud.

    while a nice big ipad pro definitely opens some new doors for creativity, media consumption and even business, it won’t prompt me to close any old ones.

  3. How can we speculate on a device not here yet.

    I see it as the war between flip phone(laptop) and slide phone(ipad).

    It will be more convenient to drag around, press home button, take notes with Siri, instead of flipping up your laptop, finding a seat and start typing in…

    As for the creative side bundle with convenience there will be a huge push forward… Give it time…

    1. There are USB drives for iPad. Look up the Leef iBridge and SanDisk iXpand.

      I think iPads are extremely customizable. It’s a high speed computer, with a big screen that can display any type of interface developers can imagine, with wireless and wired interfaces that connect with other devices and online services, and huge marketplace of third parties making hardware accessories and software for it. The possible ways to customize iPads are staggering, mostly limited by the imagination.

  4. My Macbook is heavy compared to an iPad, but that aside, it is a far better mobile device because it does everything I need. An iPad will not. Most of my every day apps are specialized 3rd party graphic production apps, things which Apple has abandoned in favor of entertainment consumption apps.

  5. I do think that this shows the way Apple is headed. It seems highly unlikely to me that we will see Mac laptops let alone desktops become iOS devices. I suspect though that Apple will simply advance the iPad plus keyboard combination to overlap upwards. There is no reason why this combination over time cannot be almost indistinguishable visually from a laptop but with that option to use screen and keyboard separately. It will be Apples answer to the PC combo devices which have a poor power to price ratio as yet. Apple will then see how the market goes and push its resources accordingly between iPads and MacBooks. How that goes will no doubt depend on just how iOS develops and interacts with the Mac OS but I just don’t see iOS in a laptop any time soon or the often touted Arm based Mac until the market is given time to judge the worth of IPad Pro inspired iPads and further developed iOS against lighter and thinner wifi centric MacBooks within the space they increasingly overlap.

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