Some thoughts on the iPad Pro
There’s been a lot of iPad related discourse in recent weeks, following a pretty disastrous iPadOS 16 beta journey. I’m not going to wade into that territory too much, but the renewed discussion on the device has made me stop and think a little about my usage of the device, particularly the iPad Pro 12.9”. I adore the iPad mini for its more specific use case and how it fits into my life, so that gets a free pass from me.
I love the iPad Pro 12.9” but it really isn’t a nice device to take off your desk. Some Saturdays I get a bit of ‘me’ time and sit in a coffee shop for a few hours whilst waiting for my daughter at her drama class and I usually take the big boy but it’s just not nice to lug about. I can blog so much easier on my iPhone for the rare posts I actually share. And the iPad mini is also easier to carry, and nicer to read on, and decent with videos.
If the iPad Pro is just going to sit on my desk, it asks the inevitable question of … what is the point of having an iPad Pro over a MacBook Air (which is cheaper in some configurations) or a Surface?
This may be the last iPad Pro I buy quite honestly. It’s a confused system currently, and it’s not solely down to what iPadOS 16 has brought to the table. Partly, I’m sure, due to the demands of its customers, Apple has a very confused plan for the device. They are trying to make it an everything device but right now it embodies the old adage jack of all trades, master of none. With relation to the 12.9” iPad Pro it’s honestly too big to use as a tablet for many uses. It’s heavier than a MacBook to carry around with you, it’s less capable also when it comes desktop use. I really do love using it connected to an external monitor, flakiness and all, but again a MacBook or Surface device would be cheaper, and more capable.
Since the first iPad Pro was released consumers lamented that it doesn’t really do more than a normal iPad. The second a feature is added for M1s / Pros only, however, most of those same people kicked up a fuss that features shouldn’t be locked to new devices. So, once again, Apple are caught trying to please every corner of the market with a single device, and all older devices, and every form factor, and on and on. It’s just a hopeless cycle of adding advanced features that have to be hidden away in some obscure drop down so it doesn’t confuse grandma who uses the device for YouTube videos of knitting tutorials. The advanced features aren’t allowed to flourish, or grow, for want of alienating the other group of product users. So once again, it’s hamstrung from every angle.
My iPhone and iPad Mini have strong use cases for me, as does my gaming PC. I love the thought of the iPad Pro, but in practise it provides nothing for me I can’t do elsewhere. A Surface, or MacBook Air would, however. In all honesty I really have no need or use for any of them. It may be time to give up on the iPad Pro and stop trying to shoehorn it’s confused model into my life.