Macworld reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: Why the best iPad yet won’t work for everyone

“Well, I tried. I tried the whole ‘use the iPad Pro instead of my computer for a week’ thing and barely lasted a day,” Susie Ochs writes for Macworld. “It doesn’t fit my workflow like my MacBook Air does, so I stopped trying to force it — and that’s OK. Apple’s newest largest tablet doesn’t need to be a laptop replacement to be good, but for a $300 premium over the cheapest iPad Air 2, it does need to deliver more than just a larger screen.”

“As a work tool, the iPad Pro is a little like the Mac Pro, or the MacBook Pro, or even something specialized like a miter saw: If you really need it to do your job, you likely know you need it, and you don’t need me to tell you,” Ochs writes. “If you find yourself wondering if you really need it… you probably don’t.”

“Apps on the Pro launch faster, which makes Split View feel more fluid, since you’re switching apps and flipping back and forth in a blink,” Ochs writes. “But aside from Pencil support and overall speed, I’m hard-pressed to name a task I can do better on the iPad Pro than on the smaller (and more reasonably priced) iPads in the lineup.”

Apple's all-new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil
Apple’s all-new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another “Can this replace my MacBook?” review written by someone for whom the iPad Pro is not designed (brushing aside Apple Pencil support is ridiculous; the Apple Pencil is integral for many of those for whom the iPad Pro is actually intended) prompts us to repost what we wrote this morning:

People often ask us why we choose the 11-inch MacBook Air, of all things, for our mobile Macs and why we’ll likely choose 12-inch MacBooks next, if we don’t choose iPad Pros instead.

Portability. Period.

That’s it. That’s our specific use case. Can it run a browser, Mail, Messages, Pixelmator, and TextEdit (yup) while we’re on the road? Check! Okay, then, which weighs the least? We’ll take it!

“Bu, bu, but, it’s re-gawd-damn-dicuolous that there’s only one port on the MacBook!” some scream. Ad nauseam, no less. Guess what? We don’t care! For us that’s one port too many. We’ll never use it. Imagine that. If Apple made a MacBook with no ports and it weighed even less, we’d buy those instead.

If you’re going to be doing other things on-the-go, you might choose a MacBook Pro. That doesn’t make the MacBook or the iPad Pro a “mistake” by Apple. Those devices are just not for you vs. what the MacBook Pro offers for your specific needs. That’s why Apple offers a full range of portable computing options, from the iPod touch to the MacBook Pro.


    1. Well maybe Tim cook should have shut his trap then, instead of claiming it can replace a computer for most people. He invited these comparisons !
      And MDN who kept writing that they can’t wait to see how well it replaces their MacBooks. STFU hypocrites!

  1. Soon to be added to the ever expanding collection of “Brilliant Moments in Journalism”, joining the unforgettable …

    Why this dump truck fails as a school bus!

    and don’t forget …

    I like playing football and hockey, but chess is boring!

    and the classic …

    Winter sucks because I’m cold when I wear my favorite tank top!

  2. You could say the same for the regular iPad. But my in laws who never had a computer until 8 years ago hardly ever use it. They have an iPad and an iPad Mini also. My mom does about 60% of her computing on the Mini. My dad has never touched the Mac and does all his computing on the iPad.

  3. Great headline. I mean it.

    Steve Jobs’ quote about cars and trucks works here (of course). If this thing is pro, it’s a truck. Of course it’s not for everyone. Most can get by on a big screen smartphone.

    This is for creatives and perhaps sales teams. No one should be coding on this thing 😉

    Yes you can do Office/iWork on this thing but the keyboard may not appeal to you.

  4. The “can this replace my MacBook? reviews” are done by tech journalists who don’t possess the deep technology experience to adequately evaluate computing devices like the iPad Pro. These are amateur reviews, plain and simple.

    Because of their lack of experience, these reviewers are unable to begin with the premise that the iPad Pro is a completely different computing device, it is intended to be used differently than a laptop computer.

    The best thing to do is to ignore them.

    1. You nailed it there. Amature level reviews indeed! So many “average users” seem to be looking for ways that the iPad Pro will not work for them, instead of asking how it can improve their work experience. There are a few “pro” level user reviews that have uniformly been much more positive. If you are a ‘word jockey” above all else, keep your laptop and spare us your review.

      I have shown off my iPad Pro to quite a few “average users” and several pros. The reactions are generally positive for most, but completely off the charts positive by other creative professionals.

      I have yet to hear a negative comment from anyone using the device. If I get someone exploring NYC, Arches National Monument, or other 3D Apple Maps, I have to patiently beg to get my iPad Pro back.

      For me, this is an incredible research machine. I am confident it will also be a great machine for design, sketching, drawing, and some CAD work, especially with my slow to ship Pencil. It will also be great for client presentations. And so much more.

  5. The iPad Pro is just an oversized iPad, which itself if just an oversized iPod Touch. You don’t think so? Well then, what operating system does both run? How about chipset: ARM or x86/x64?. Yep, they are one in the same, just varying in size.

    Being bigger does allow side-by-side multitasking; but side-by-side multitasking doesn’t make it as productive as a PC.

    “Can it run a browser, Mail, Messages, Pixelmator, and TextEdit (yup) while we’re on the road?”

    But how well can your respond to those e-mails, messages, TextEdit on a device that doesn’t have pointer support, while using ‘mobile-device inspired’ keyboards to boot? By the way, how do you print those things when you’re done? How do you transfer your work to say a thumb-drive where you take that thumb-drive to a conference hall and plug it into a PC attached to a projector so you can share your data?

    Portability? What is the weight difference between an iPad Pro and a Mac Air that makes the iPad Pro a better option to lug around? How about the size difference? Neither will fit in your pocket, so does the any differences in weight or size matter? I would think, if anything, battery-life would be the biggest argument one might have. Even that is now negligible.

    Yes, the iPad Pro has pen support, but your fingers are always there and will be your primary method of input. If you are a Serious Artist, you most likely will want Serious Software too. The Surface Pro line is your better option in this scenario, especially since the starting prices are the same for Artists: the 32 Gig iPad Pro (w/”non”-expandable storage) costs $799 and does not come with the Apple Pencil ($99 extra for that); while the 128 Gig Surface Pro 4 Core-M (w/”expandable” storage) is $899 with Pen included. The difference: With the Surface Pro you get to use Professional Grade, “We made the movie ‘Avatar’ using this software”, umm software.

    Look, I’ve seen so many people bring their iPads in from home trying to use it for productivity in the work place. Within weeks they are gone. In fact, the only tablets I see for productivity in the work place are Windows 2-in-1s. But in reality, any ultra-book can work just fine too. (PS: I work in a hospital, where there are both healthcare professional types, and corporate / administrative types. Neither find an iPad productive enough for their corresponding work. They will either use their smartphones due to portability or a laptop for their productivity.)

    1. That has been my experience as well. iOS doesn’t work — literally, because of Apple’s foolish decision to make files and file manipulation an abstract art. Even “productivity” apps like Microsoft’s office suite are a complete PITA on the iPad. Don’t even get me started on the so-called drawing apps…

      iPads are great for consumption, and I’m sure the “Pro” version is just peachy for porn and emails.

      1. Omission of of user managabls file sys…

        FOOLISH Indeed… Mind boggling…

        Love your comment “because of Apple’s foolish decision to make files and file manipulation an abstract art”

        God knows how many times i have written apple about this!!!!

    2. Very interesting post from a Microsofty! If a true artist was to move away from Apple products to Microsoft products they would have to spend a lot of their time worrying about specs and upgrades and viruses and malware and klugey interfaces and Blue Screen of Death but WORST OF ALL, THEY WOULD HAVE TO FACE OTHER ARTISTS WHO WOULD LAUGH AT THEM AND NO ONE WOULD TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY.

      1. Only a true Artist uses non-Microsoft products?

        I guess, for example, every video game to date was made on a Mac. All the graphics, all of the musical scores, etc… all done on a Mac. Interesting.

        (And somehow I’m the Fanboy)

      1. Makes perfect sense. The iPad is a great device and “casual” is it’s game.

        But a replacement for a Mac-Air in the fast and furious enterprise, not so much.

  6. The bottom line to this “question” is this. You either find it works for what you want it to do or you don’t. There is very little “soul searching” needed Apple will have a product that will sell well and make a lot of people happy. It does not have to be used or even liked by everybody in order for it too be successful in terms of sales and user experience. Steve Jobs said that their goal was very modest when they introduced the iPhone. A mere 10% of the market for Smart Phones was all he was hoping for. You don’t have to be #1 with every product you make or in every market that uses your products. As long as you don’t lose money and/or market share everything is A/OK.

  7. I think it’s funny that people are looking at or even considering the iPad Pro as a Mac laptop replacement. I got the iPad Pro and saw it as a replacement for my iPad Air so I can do more than just consume content on it. Never did I even give an iota of a thought to have it replace my MBP. For me, it’s a complementary device that can work in tandem with a traditional laptop. The Air couldn’t do that for me. To me, it just became an entertainment device that I hardly ever used.

    I wanted an iPad as a work device that could do *some* of the things I do on the MBP and also do things on it that I *can’t* do on the MBP – mainly using the Apple Pencil like note-taking, annotating documents, drawing flow charts, using MindMap stuff and other tasks that I prefer not to do on an MBP. I prefer to use the MBP as a desktop machine connected to a large display and other peripherals (extended keyboard, large trackpad, various drives, etc.) and only disconnect to take on long business trips that last 2~3 weeks.

    This is where I see the value of the iPad Pro. Besides being able to do certain tasks that heavily relies on using the Apple Pencil, I can now just take the iPad Pro out for short day outings visiting suppliers and customers. I don’t expect to work on huge spreadsheets (which is the main reason I need a 27″ display) while I’m out on such outings. But even at the office or at home, the iPad Pro will make me work differently that just sitting on a chair staring at a large display. It’ll make me brainstorm more and work on things with the Pencil that I would almost never do on a “normal” computer.

    I’m not a graphics pro or artist although I plan to dabble with some graphics apps for developing ideas and concepts on products, a factory or distribution center layout, etc. and also for fun as I always like to draw things but I didn’t get the iPad Pro for this reason at all. So, again, it all depends on the person using it for that person’s specific needs. Ultimately, these are all tools for people to use to get certain things done. It’s like musical instruments (which is the business I’m in) in a way. Some instrument models will work great for some people and not at all for others. One still has to know how to play to get good results.

  8. I was going to wait for iPad Pro 2, but caved and bought one last night. I figured if I sell my cellular 128gb iPad Air 2, I can make up quite a bit of its cost anyway, so why not.

    Plus if I was planning to go at least another year without the very top of the line iPad, it might as well be next year instead of this year. That way at least I have the larger Pro with a huge bump in specs.

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