iPad Pro and Surface

Speaking of hybrid devices, Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge pits the iPad Pro with the Surface Pro 4 side by side a video, and closes it with this remark:


“The iPad Pro is a tablet first while the Surface Pro is a laptop first, both are trying to be right in the center…”



I think this quote really clears the smoke on what these devices are trying to be. The iPad is an evolution of the original iPad, while the Surface tries to be an evolution of the laptop form factor. And yes, I say “tries” by intention.

The iPad Pro doesn’t sacrifice anything of what makes an iPad an iPad. Its OS isn’t that much different from iPad, besides enabling a faster refresh rate for Multitouch and Apple Pencil input. Its hardware is almost literally a super-sized iPad Air, besides the bottom keyboard connector, improved speaker system, and improved processor. In fact, as you'd guess, the original iPad experience is enhanced on this new device. I’ll get to this later.

On the other hand, The Surface Pro 4 - rather the entire line of Surfaces thus far… actually, rather every tablet-laptop ever made - sacrifices a lot of what laptops were before. In short, neither is great as a tablet and a laptop, and I’d like to be proven otherwise.

In other words, only the Surfaces are trying "to be right in the center". Not the iPad Pro.

Also, keep in mind that while the Surfaces have been around much longer, people have yet to become familiar with the concept due to poor adoption, so any new Surface from this point on will still have the challenge of surmounting that unfamiliarity.

Back to the iPad Pro. John Gruber, in his iPad Pro review on Daring Fireball, makes this remark…


“The iPad Pro is “pro” in the way MacBook Pros are... it’s also a perfectly reasonable choice for casual iPad users who just want a bigger display, louder (and now stereo) speakers, and faster performance.”


…which is what I meant by the iPad Pro simply being an enhanced version of the original iPad experience. iPad Pro is a massive iteration on the iPads that came before it, but an iteration - an evolution - nonetheless. This also spares Apple from the unfamiliarity that plagues Microsoft’s Surfaces.

The iPad Pro is not a hybrid device like Microsoft’s Surfaces and the Lumia 950 I talked about previously, despite the iPad needing peripherals, like the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, to enable certain capabilities. It’s because Apple doesn’t have to encounter the fork in the road - the big tradeoff - that is deciding to be a laptop/tablet/smartphone-first. They only need to focus on making the best of one thing which each of their devices.

(Via The Verge)