iPad Pro Is Just A ‘Companion Device’ According To Microsoft

Microsoft says the iPad Pro is little more than a “companion device,” reports Forbes. They think their Surface Pro 4 greatly outmatches the iPad Pro because Apple users will always need another device to be fully productive.

“Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use, whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device. The strategies are very different,” remarked Dan Laycock, Senior Communications Manager at CES.

Jaron Schneider of Resource Magazine has some of the same issues as Day Laycock. “Before we get too far into this, one thing needs to be made clear- there is one thing that the iPad Pro is not: a computer,” he writes.

“The iPad is fast, reliable and though it can’t replace your laptop, it comes darn close. Though it’s not perfect, it’s an excellent first attempt at this style of product, though we will be setting the bar of judgement a bit higher since we are indeed talking about Apple.”

Released just two months ago in November of 2015, the iPad Pro is compatible with a stylus named the Apple Pencil, which is an accessory created to compete directly with the Microsoft Surface.

Dan Laycock also mentioned the Apple stylus, saying, “At one point in time, Apple declared that if there’s a stylus, that’s failure. We’re a huge believer in the pen; we know our customers love it.”

“So to see Apple do something that feels a little bit similar, that is clearly skewed for a bigger screen, and more productivity built in, and the ability to use a pen…We don’t see it as a one-to-one comparison, because this is a full PC, you’re running full apps.”

The ability to run full apps is something the iPad Pro hasn’t yet been able to accomplish. Running full versions of applications like Photoshop and Premiere are not possible for the iPad Pro. And, when Apple unveiled the ability to go split-screen with applications last Fall, many thought this would work with every application.

Jaron Schneider is here to point out that it’s a little bit different than that.

“Unfortunately, not only are there scant few apps built to take advantage of the iPad Pro’s potential, not even every app can go split screen. For example, I was able to use Chrome and Messenger together, but not Chrome and Gmail, since it appears Gmail hasn’t been either allowed by Apple to go split screen, or there is something in their app code that doesn’t allow it to happen. I’m willing to wager it’s the latter,” he writes.

Even the Apple Pencil isn’t as compatible as expected, with no place to store it inside the iPad itself. In fact, to charge the Pencil it needs to be plugged into the iPad Pro, which is a tad counter-intuitive.

Jaron Schneider finished up his own review by calling the iPad Pro the best one Apple has made.

“It’s not perfect, that inhibited by the Pencil experience and the weird way the cover folds, but overall it’s an absolutely enjoyable product. It’s far and away the best iPad Apple has ever made. There is room for improvement however, but in some pretty easy to solve places,” he said in closing.

It’s easy to see the differences between the two tablets, and maybe Apple will close the gap with the next version of its iPad Pro in the future.

[Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images]