John Gruber reviews Apple’s new iPad Pro: ‘A better value than any MacBook Apple has ever made’

“The iPad Pro is like a computer from an alternate universe. In the normal universe, Moore’s Law has stopped delivering significant year-over-year returns, and high-performance portables need fans to cool them,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “In the iPad universe, Moore’s Law still delivers year after year, and a super-fast, genuinely ‘pro’ portable needs no fan.”

“The new iPad Pros, equipped with Apple’s A12X system-on-a-chip, are now competitive in both single – and multi-core performance with the very fastest MacBook Pro you can buy,” Gruber writes. “[The] 15-inch MacBook Pro [2.9 GHz Core i9] costs $3,100 with the base amount of RAM and storage. The new iPad Pro starts at $800. That’s not an entirely fair comparison — for one thing, the base storage for that MacBook Pro is 512 GB and for the iPad it’s 64 GB. But even with 512 GB of storage, the new iPad Pro is just $1150 for the 11-inch model and $1,350 for the 12.9-inch. And that’s the current top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. The new iPads are faster than most recent MacBook Pro models.”

All-new designs push 11-inch and 12.9-inch Liquid Retina displays to the edges of iPad Pro.
All-new designs push 11-inch and 12.9-inch Liquid Retina displays to the edges of iPad Pro.

“The main appeal of an iPad has always been about the experience of using one. It still is. But put that aside for a moment and consider the new iPad Pro only as a portable computing device. Its performance, both from the CPU and GPU, is simply bananas. It’s nuts. Astounding performance per dollar, astounding performance per watt,” Gruber writes. “iPads were popular and useful when they were much slower than typical notebooks. Now they’re faster than all but the highest-end notebook PCs. They’re just staggeringly impressive, well-balanced computers.”

“Dollar for dollar, they’re a better value than any MacBook Apple has ever made,” Gruber writes. “”They match — and in some areas exceed — the CPU and GPU performance of MacBook Pros that cost $3000 or more. These are serious iPads for serious iPad users.

Much more in the full review – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: With Apple, usually, you get what you pay for and, if you pay for one of these new iPads, you could use it comfortably for the next five years, easy!


  1. My MacBook runs SilverFast, software that runs my Plustek Film scanner. An iPad Pro can’t do that. It’s useless to me.

    My MacBook also fits comfortably on my lap when I am typing a report. An iPad Pro can’t.

    I have zero interest in iPad Pro and a HUGE amount of interest in the Mac.

  2. Okay, I generally don’t like the guy, but he’s pretty smart, just full of shit on this one.

    It’s performance is strongly helped by what it doesn’t do too. And what it doesn’t do is part of the value of any laptop, not the least of which is owner control. Sorry Gruber, you’re shilling…

  3. I have owned 3 iPads, two of which irreparably damaged by dropping on corners, ultra-slick surface is a stupid idea.

    I still have one, but just started it up for the first time in 6 months to upgrade it in case I ever need it.

    Not sure why I would need it. Touch input is not good enough for serious work. Yes, REALLY!

    Let the flames begin. Do I care?

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