The iPad Pro is an interesting development in personal computing, as finally Apple has entered the fray with an attempt at a “laptop replacement” device. The iPad Pro might be late to the party, with Microsoft about to preview the fourth iteration of their Surface Pro line, according to CNET, but there are many reasons why Apple might see more success than Microsoft.
The biggest concern is the decision to run with iOS on the iPad Pro. That’s effectively a decision to run with a scaled up mobile experience, on what amounts to a huge screen. The iPad Pro is, therefore, taking the same approach as Samsung with their Pro tablets, which failed to gain traction last year, according to BGR.
Unusually for Apple, the iPad Pro seems to have some design oversights, such as the lack of a place to store your “pencil” if you choose to take advantage of that add-on, and a keyboard cover that looks tricky to use in early shots of it in action. With even Samsung’s older, basic “Ativ” devices docking their S Pen, it’s surprising that the iPad Pro doesn’t have an elegant solution for this. iPad users are, however, used to working without a stylus, and Apple is clearly of the view that it won’t be a major feature for many.
Microsoft’s Surface, in stark contrast with the iPad Pro, comes with the full version of their Windows operating system. This means that enterprise users have the full power of desktop apps at their fingertips. The iPad Pro has been adapted to make “desktop style” use easier, with split-screen apps and the addition of a stylus and keyboard cover, but will be restricted to the tablet versions of many essential apps for businesses, such as Office and Photoshop.
This, however, is where the iPad Pro will benefit from Apple’s powerful market share. Microsoft’s Office release for iOS 9 led the International Business Times to declare that the iPad Pro was a “legit laptop replacement,” and recent tests have shown that Photoshop runs smoothly on iOS devices. The addition of a natively supported stylus, and a near full-featured version of Office, coinciding with the launch of the iPad Pro, gives Apple a much more convincing offering than Samsung brought to the table over 12 months ago.
Combined with the excellent security the iPad Pro will support out of the box, Apple’s usual flair for design — the iPad Pro is thin, light, has a much higher definition screen, and great battery life — the keyboard, and the improved iOS productivity apps, make it hard to imagine that the iPad Pro won’t be a capable laptop replacement for a significant number of users.
[Image Source: Apple Press Info]