iPad Pro 10.5: A Month’s Use Proves Apple’s Device Can’t Replace Laptop [Opinion]

Make no mistake — the new iPad Pro 10.5 is a beautiful device: the screen is beautiful, the device has a fantastic build quality, the speakers pump out excellent audio. Using the new iPad with the Apple Pencil ($99 optional) provides a very realistic writing experience. But as much as Apple tells you the new iPad Pro can replace your laptop, they are lying, or at least over-exaggerating.

When the iPad was first released in April of 2010, it was advertised and promoted as a device that stands somewhere between your smartphone and a full laptop. And that was the correct description. The iPad certainly had its purpose as a consumption device, but it never excelled as a content creation device. Now that devices such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro have proven that shrunken laptops can take the place of tablets and full-blown laptops, the iPad has become irrelevant. Just one year ago, BGR reported that iPad sales had hit a new five-year low.

As great as the iPad Pro 10.5 proves, it won’t make a huge dent in iPad sales. But it’s obvious that Apple keeps on trying, and the new iPad proves that Apple continues to make groundbreaking technology, even if the tablet doesn’t break much ground in being a tablet-laptop hybrid. Oh, but that screen!

iPad Pro has a True Tone display
The screen on the new iPad Pro is simply amazing. [Image by Daryl Deino]

Yes, the new iPad Pro screen is the most eye-catching one that you’ve ever seen on a device. It has the same 264 PPI resolution density as previous iPads, but the improved True Tone display makes colors pop out like never before. But the biggest change is that the screen’s refresh rate improves from 60Hz to 120Hz. What does that mean? You’ll immediately notice when you start scrolling, and the screen feels stuck to your fingers. Scrolling on internet pages looks so smooth that it’s almost scary. And when using the Apple Pencil on the new iPad, you’ll notice no delay in strokes appearing as you draw.

Watching movies and even listening to music on the new iPad Pro is a pleasure as the four speakers provide plenty of “oomph” and feel almost like Bose quality speakers. There’s only so much you can do with speakers on such a small device, and Apple passed that limit to provide a truly satisfying audio experience. Of course, the sound on the new iPad Pro isn’t loud or robust enough to fill up a party, but you’ll find that you may prefer listening to the iPad without headphones if you are in a hotel room or small place.

But the fun ends there. After using the device for a month, it’s safe to say that using the iPad Pro as a sole content creation device, even just for blogging, falls short. First, there’s the $160 Smart Cover for typing, and even though it has improved, your fingers may get angry after about an hour. Then, there’s the fact that the iPad still doesn’t have a touchpad. Of course, one may say that a touchscreen doesn’t really need a touchpad, but you’ll disagree after using the MacBook Pro and follow it up by using the new iPad Pro.

The iPad simply doesn't offer productivity software as robust as a desktop operating system does. [Image by Daryl Deino]

The biggest problem is that the iPad still runs on a mobile operating system. Though iOS (especially the new iOS 11) has certainly improved, it has its shortcomings when compared to desktop operating systems. You can write blog posts, edit photos, and even do some video work, but it all takes much longer than it does with a MacBook Pro or even a Windows PC device. For example, Affinity Photo does work well on the iPad, but it’s not Photoshop. And despite all the new video editing programs the iPad and iOS offers, they aren’t comparable to desktop software titles such as Final Cut Pro. Even if Photoshop and Final Cut Pro were available for the iPad, the device isn’t strong enough to handle these titles.

If Apple really wanted to make another dent in the 2-in-1 device market, they need to build a 2-in-1 device. How could a company like Apple, which has made so many wise and innovative decisions, not make a macOS tablet that would be relevant to mobile users? Yes, Apple continues to build the most radical and eye-popping devices on the market today. But that doesn’t deter from the fact that they have fallen behind, especially when it comes to tablets.

[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]