ZDNet reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: A genuine alternative to a laptop for business users

“When Apple first launched the iPad back in 2010, it was quite emphatic that the emphasis for this new category of device was on content consumption rather than content creation — entertainment rather than work, in other words,” Cliff Joseph writes for ZDNet. “With iPad sales falling in recent months, Apple has clearly decided that the time is right for an iPad update that puts productivity front and centre.”

“The iPad Pro delivers the performance of a pretty respectable laptop, and is more than capable of running Microsoft Office as well as more demanding graphics and video applications. With that in mind, Apple has also backtracked on its traditional opposition to accessories such as keyboards — which was based on its argument that the iPad was never intended to replace a laptop,” Joseph writes. “The pressure-sensitive Pencil works well, and is likely to prove popular for design and graphics work.”

MacDailyNews Take: Not making a keyboard is not the same as opposing keyboards. Bluetooth keyboards for iPad have been around for as long as iPad has existed. And, when, specifically, did Apple make the “argument that the iPad was never intended to replace a laptop?”

Apple's all-new iPad Pro with Apple Smart Keyboard
Apple's all-new iPad Pro with Apple Smart Keyboard

“On the side of the unit are three little circular electrical contacts that Apple calls the Smart Connector. This is primarily designed to provide power and data for Apple’s Smart Keyboard, but it can be used by third-party developers as well, and has already given rise to keyboard alternatives such as Logitech’s CREATE keyboard (which we rather like). Apple also told us that the Smart Connector could be used to develop docks and other devices,” Joseph writes. “There’s little doubt that that the iPad Pro will have instant appeal for creative users in fields such as design, graphics and photography. However, its larger screen and enhanced performance also offer business users a genuine alternative to a laptop when running Microsoft Office and other productivity apps.”

Read more in the full article here.

Dalrymple: ‘I don’t want an iPad to replace my Mac’ – November 19, 2015
Apple’s super-sized ‘iPad Pro’ shines for work, play and creativity – November 19, 2015
Blame early software for iPad Pro’s weak work ethic, display size for its awkwardness at play – November 19, 2015
The iPad Pro’s keyboard problems need more work – November 19, 2015
After a week with Apple’s iPad Pro, I’m letting it go – November 18, 2015
TIME Magazine reviews iPad Pro: ‘The best computer Apple has ever made’ – November 16, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro debuts with forced reboots, missing Apple Pencils – November 16, 2015
Apple’s perplexingly incomplete launch of the iPad Pro – November 16, 2015
I’ve ditched my MacBook for an iPad Pro; here’s why – November 16, 2015
A designer’s take on the iPad Pro – November 13, 2015
iPad Pro: Day 2 and already making my work better, easier, and faster – November 13, 2015
Why Apple’s new iPad Pro makes Mac users feel weird – November 12, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro is faster and more affordable than beleaguered Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 – November 12, 2015
Analyst: Apple’s iPad Pro and its powerful A9X CPU pose threat to Intel – November 12, 2015
Video: Apple Pencil for iPad Pro vs. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 stylus – November 12, 2015
Apple’s joyless iPad Pro launch: WTF are the Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards? (4-5 weeks away) – November 12, 2015
Apple’s A9X-powered iPad Pro offers Mac-like speed – November 11, 2015
Wired reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: ‘The best tablet, and the best case for tablets, anyone’s ever made’ – November 11, 2015
Horace Dediu reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: Unlike anything we’ve ever seen before – November 11, 2015
Ben Bajarin reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: ‘The start of something new’ – November 11, 2015
Is Apple’s epic iPad Pro for you? – November 11, 2015
Gruber reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: A MacBook replacement for many
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: Graphics folks will love it, but I’m sticking with my iPad Air – November 11, 2015
The Verge reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: Could this replace my MacBook? – November 11, 2015


      1. I suspect that dddd intended to write, USB-C, or USB 3.0, or Thunderbolt, or some other useful port that doesn’t require pocketfuls of insanely overpriced Apple adapters. With two ports, this multiprocessor machine might even be able to do two things at once. Silly for people to assume that a Pro might actually want to plug in more than one thing at a time, though. That doesn’t fit within Ive’s paper-thin vision.

  1. To be fair Apple quite clearly on launch placed the iPad as an addition to a laptop rather than as a replacement, for very good reasons to start with. I just think that they have probably hesitated for too long pushing it in that direction however. That said with the power of the chips that now go into it and future, even more powerful versions, and with the prospect of competitors making pro version tablets that will threaten the laptop market anyway, especially the two in ones, Apple had little choice but to address this potential market. Time will tell if their approach is the correct one.

    1. The screen size of the iPad Pro is competitive with a MacBook. The keyboard on a MacBook makes it a better device for a limited subset of uses. The TouchScreen makes the iPad (Pro) better for a larger subset of uses, in my opinion.

      The utility of the Pencil versus the TrackPad/Mouse is more interesting. Right now, Apple and iOS have in some ways restricted the versatility of the Pencil (from what I have read because they haven’t shipped mine yet) so the Mouse/TrackPad wins for now on most traditional pro apps. Given time, and the support of Apple, software developers could quickly make the utility of the Pencil leap beyond the Mouse/TrackPad.

      The biggest question for me is regarding the App Store and the policies in place where it comes to Pro level programs that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars as opposed to most apps now that sell for cents, or dollars, or free with ads.

      I would love to see Apple open a “Pro App Store” with a business structure and policies tailord more to pros than to consumers. As a pro, it is a pain in the neck to search for a pro app, with an often very limited market size, that gets burried under a load of games.

  2. People will choose what they feel most comfortable and effective using for the tasks THEY need to perform. This was true before iPad Pro; previous iPads were already “genuine” laptop alternatives for some customers. For other customers, even the iPad Pro is not a viable alternative.

    The key consideration between iPad and MacBook is not the new iPad keyboard or performance level or screen size or business apps. It’s the interface. iPad has a touchscreen interface. MacBook has a keyboard/trackpad interface. The interface determines which device type is best for the tasks you perform on a computer.

  3. This is a product in search of a problem to solve. Its trying to be mobile, and not be mobile. Its trying to be a laptop and not be a laptop. It has no keyboard, but decides to have a keyboard wart. It can do iOS apps, but it cannot do thousands of Mac apps. Sure, it will work for some, but it is an albatross. Ive tried it and sent the POS back.

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