It’s been five years since the iPad was first announced by Steve Jobs back in 2010. At the time, tablets were still in their infancy and other manufacturers such as HP had struggled to get any real traction. It appeared we just weren’t ready to ditch the laptop.
The iPad changed this, selling in its millions and somehow convincing us we could keep the laptop PLUS have this expensive new toy for browsing at home.
Since then, Microsoft has made huge strides with it’s multiple incarnations of the popular Surface and Surface Pro, attempting to bridge the gap further into the laptop category.
To try and stem this, Apple has taken the decision to launch its own ‘Pro’ version of its popular tablet; complete with a stylus and keyboard that have familiar nuances to Microsoft’s.
Apple wants the iPad to now replace the laptop, but will it work?
iPad Pro Screen Size
The iPad Pro has a significantly larger screen than a standard iPad, coming in at 12.9 inches. This is close to the Macbook range, which starts at 11.6 inches.
For people using a combination of devices at work, this larger screen may just be enough to make you ditch your old Macbook and iPad so you’ve only got one device to carry around.
The upgraded size also allows for you to run two apps on the iPad Pro side by side and should make doing ‘work’ on an iPad much easier.
The Keyboard & Stylus
For an additional cost, you can get your hands on a beautiful cover for the iPad Pro, but this time it’ll come complete with a full width keyboard. Again, for working this will make the writing experience much closer to that of a standard laptop, whilst minimizing on space.
Then there’s the style, ‘Apple Pencil’, for tasks that require extra precision. For many regular iPad users, this won’t make much difference. However, for graphic designers, this may be the real game-changer. Apple has NEVER offered it’s own keyboard or stylus before and Microsoft should understandably be worried.
What is missing, however is a mouse. With no hint of one, or even an optional trackpad in sight, it may be the biggest barrier that Apple faces in encouraging people to switch to an iPad Pro from their laptop.
The Operating System
Running on iOS, the iPad Pro will have noticeable differences on this front from a Macbook. While iOS has come on leaps and bounds, Apple’s operating system across its desktop/laptop devices boasts additional functionality that some may not be able to live without.
It will be fast though, superior to a lot of laptops on the market and the processing power should be sufficient enough to more than handle day-to-day work or business tasks. This has been achieved through Apple’s new third generation A9X chip, boasting double the graphics performance of the iPad Air 2.
iPad Pro on the go
Although larger than the standard iPad, the Pro weighs just 0.76kg and is under 7mm thick, making it much less cumbersome than dragging a laptop around with you.
Battery life is claimed to be 10hrs between charges, again beating standard laptops and offering an improvement on the Macbook range.
You’ll be able to get your hands on an entry level version of the iPad Pro from £520 when it’s released in November. The Apple Pencil will cost an additional $99, with the keyboard being a further $169. In total, expect to pay around £700 for the full kit.
This compares to an entry level Macbook Air 13.3inch model at £849. This cost alone is higher than other tablet and laptop manufacturers, but if you’re already an Apple fan this will be of no surprise.