Why the new 2018 iPad Pro won’t replace my MacBook

Taken by Rhys Adams

As with most Apple launches, I’m first in line to order their latest offerings. This time around was the iPad Pro 11" at just over £1070, but can it replace my laptop?

At over £1,000 you are putting this iPad Pro in the same league as quite a few Laptops, yep, they’ll be Windows based but they’ll run full office products, Adobe products and many other things.

In fact, when the Microsoft Surface Go came out this year I picked one up as it gave me the full office experience whilst enabling me to connect with our work server (also windows) to allow me to work remotely.

Let start on the good bits about the iPad Pro:

  1. Its beautiful, the re-design is much better than the previous model. Clean edges and a fantastic screen, despite it not being OLED.
  2. Easy to set up, restored for a backup of my previous iPad Pro 9.7" — It was workable in just over 2 hours.
  3. Keyboard cover, despite being expensive is lovely to use on an on-going basis.
  4. Very quick, I can jump from App to App, open videos, open photos and use Microsoft Office to save things.
  5. The size is important to me, from flying to being on the train, its small form factor allows me to work from confined spaces.
  6. USB-C — I don’t care if I need to get more accessories, my USB-C collection is growing and I welcome the connectivity bonuses this new port brings to the party.

So now lets get on to the negatives of the iPad Pro:

  1. Whilst the Smart Keyboard is great to use, its missing a vital piece of technology that makes my £300 Microsoft Surface Go looks much better! A trackpad! Yep I know I’m going to get abuse for this but think about it. Microsoft allow Excel to run on the iPad, but have you ever tried to select and update cells, move things, etc. Its a nightmare and I’m forever using Undo.
  2. Selecting text, my god, I’m sure this has got harder with time. I tried selecting a paragraph of an email to copy and paste, even that was difficult. Sometimes it didn’t even give me the option to copy. Even emphasising text proved a challenge.
  3. Multitasking. I don’t care what Tim Cook says, the solution that Apple has offered is not Multitasking. Its restrictive and does not allow the fluidity that using a MacBook, or again, my trusty Microsoft Surface Go allows. It’s hard work.
  4. Battery life, I’m sure this iPad doesn’t last as long as my old one. I used to get a fair amount of work out of it. I’ve used it for about 2/3 hours today using Adobe Draw and its down to 34%. Surely this isn’t right.
  5. Lets got there… Adobe products. Yep, I know we’ve got a full photoshop product due to launch but the makeshift apps, at the moment, aren’t the real deal. Whilst its nice to draft leaflets or illustrations with these products, its not the real deal.
  6. Files… Its not finder and is extremely restrictive. Adding files, syncing and general use is hard work. Whilst drag and drop works ok when organising files and folders, if you mis-hit the file it opens.
  7. I’ve touched on this already, but its expensive. I’ve not even got the top of the range model but the cost is stupid. Same price would get me a refurbished Macbook Air that will do a better job.

I think this iPad could be much better, but with Apple restricting input devices such as Mice and Trackpads, its really holding the device back. I understand that they want to keep MacOS and iOS separate but Apple products are not cheap and I now have three devices; iPhone, iPad and Macbook Pro, when really all I need is a portable Macbook and and iPhone.

I’m an Apple Fanboy and buy into all of the hype, but even I appreciate the simplicity, the portability and the flexibility of the Microsoft Surface Go. I’ve got a few days to decide whether or not I’m going to return this new iPad Pro and at the moment, its closer to money back than for keeps.

Let me know what you think about the iPad Pro, Apple’s higher prices and the functionality of iOS. Do you think it can really replace a laptop?