By now, most tech consumers know that the 2018 MacBook Pros are fast — really fast. Said consumers also know that Tim Cook claimed, on stage, that the new iPad Pro is faster than 92 percent of all laptops — including the ones with Intel Core i7 chips. Most Apple fans listening in likely didn’t think he was referring to Apple’s own laptops, however.
Business Insider put it this way: “The new iPad Pro is almost as fast as one of Apple’s $2,800 laptops — but it only costs $800.” The media outlet continued on this tack, elaborating further.
“The iPad Pro’s 5030 Geekbench single-core speed score is not too far behind the 5053 score a current-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i7 processor earns, as pointed out by MacRumors. The new tablet falls a little behind on a multiple-core score, even though it has eight cores. It got a 18,106 multi-core score from Geekbench, as compared to a 21,351 score for the laptop.”
So far, there are no official comparisons between the iPad Pro and other systems. Presumably, reviewers have units in hand and are running benchmarks. It is not too difficult to identify what machines are being used.
Bear in mind that the MacBook Pro mentioned by Business Insider is a 15.4″ computer with a 6-core i7 processor. This is the higher-end configuration of the available product line, though you can see the scores of other Mac laptops on the Geekbench site. All but the i9 iteration produced lower single-core scores. The iPad Pro posts higher single and multi-core scores than all models from the 2017 MacBook Pro lineup.
The new iPad Pro utterly obliterates scores from the Core i5 13″ MacBook Pro, which starts at $1,799 and goes up from there. There is no need to even bring up any other Mac laptops from the older product line, as they wouldn’t stand a chance in terms of raw benchmarking power.
While Apple is pouring the necessary silicon into positioning the iPad Pro as the equivalent of a pro laptop, there are still differences that will leave many reaching for the laptop — even if it doesn’t have the top benchmark speeds. For certain types of work, laptops are easier to navigate because they have pointer control. iOS still cannot handle input from a mouse or trackpad.
There is also the matter of available apps. Right now, there are no iPad apps that are the equivalent of Logic or Final Cut. These are Apple’s premium creative tools for musicians and videographers. If Apple cannot port these apps to the iPad, it is doubtful that we will see equivalent apps from other companies — despite the fact that the iPad Pro can handle the load.