The latest iPad Pro may actually live up to Apple’s claims that the high-end tablet could replace your laptop, essentially making it the only device you’d ever need.
Tech benchmarking website Bare Feats found that the new 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models aren’t that far behind the new 13-inch MacBook Pro in terms of performance.
And Bare Feats wasn’t comparing the iPads to the base 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel’s Core i5 processor. It compared the iPads with the most powerful option for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, complete with the fastest Core i7 processor option. Check out the benchmark results below, where the higher the number indicates better performance:
In theory, and according to the benchmark, Apple’s latest iPad Pros could actually be faster than last year’s 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor.
On top of the iPad Pros’ incredible performance, Apple’s newest mobile operating system iOS 11 adds some key features to the iPad that makes it work more like a MacBook Pro laptop than ever before.
For one, iPads will have a Dock, just like you see on the desktop operating system macOS.
And there’s also a new app called Files that lets you browse and organize files store in iPads, like documents, photos, and PDFs.
At first glance, it may seem like the $900 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage could offer much better value than the $1,800 13-inch MacBook Pro with the fast Core i7 processor. They both have similar-size screens, and the iPad is half the price for almost as much power. Yet, it’s unlikely that the iPad could be the only “computer” you’d ever need, as it’s missing some key features.
Why can’t iPad Pros really replace your laptop?
Touchscreens like the iPad’s are great when it’s time to kick your feet up on the couch and browse through casual websites and social media. But when it’s crunch time at work, you’ve got to have another input method: a mouse, or a trackpad.
Imagine sitting at your desk and constantly raising your arm throughout the day to tap or swipe the iPad’s screen for web browser tabs, links, option menus, and scrolling. It would get tiring pretty quickly, not to mention it’s less efficient. It’s just not practical compared to a trackpad or a mouse, which requires less effort to control than a touch screen. With that in mind, your laptop can’t be replaced by an iPad and its touch screen. Many would still need a laptop for work.
And even if Apple added mouse support on its iPads, the iPad Pro’s 4GB of RAM wouldn’t cut it these days. My laptop has 8GB of RAM and I wish it had more. In fact, anyone who uses several tabs on Google Chrome would wish they had more than 8GB of RAM.
RAM, for the uninitiated, makes for speedy and smooth multitasking. It’s like your computer’s back pocket where it keeps things like apps and web browser tabs that you recently opened handy for when you need to open them again. The more RAM you have, the more apps and browser tabs you can run in the background without throttling your performance.
Plus, at the end of the day, iOS on the iPad is still a mobile operating system that runs the mobile version of apps. As good as it is, it’s still pretty limited for productivity, at least when you compare it to a fully featured and versatile desktop operating system like macOS.
The iPad is a tablet first
Indeed, the iPad Pro is an incredibly powerful tablet that can run powerful apps like Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom, and you can get Microsoft’s Office apps through the App Store, too. But for many, the iPad Pro simply wouldn’t cut it as a full-time work machine, and they’d need a laptop anyway.
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