I’ve been a user of tablet since the first generation iPad. I recall standing in line at Future Shop (now defunct) to purchase Apple’s promise of “touching the internet”. My memory of that iPad was nothing short of spectacular. At a time when phones were just starting to browse the web in full render, comes a device that competed directly with netbooks at the time, and without any challenge, was the end of the netbook. This was around the same time the company I was working for purchased 100 iPads with 3G to distribute to the remote auditors for onsite inspections, running an AS400 session through Citrix. At the time, this was groundbreaking.
After a year of use, the value of that iPad started to diminish. Whether it was the lack of apps or the lack of productivity power, I decided to sell it, recovering 80% of the purchase price. Not a bad investment given that tech has the worst depreciation value between all the consumer goods.
Over the years I was given an iPad 2 and iPad Air through work to keep. I didn’t think twice about gifting them to family members since I was convinced that the iPhone in my pocket was able to do it all, and they can’t replace my ThinkPad.
Fast forward seven years and after much deliberation and thought, I took the plunge and purchase an iPad Pro 10.5. The reviews I read online all agreed on one thing, if you’re not an artist, you’re better off purchasing the regular iPad for half the price. By the time I made the trip Best Buy (I had a $50 gift card, or else I would’ve went to the Apple Store) I had made up my mind that the “new” iPad is all I need. After all, the only difference was the 4 speakers, a bit more power, and pencil/keyboard support, which I wasn’t going to buy anyway.
This all changed the moment I picked them up both in the store, the iPad Pro to the iPad was the equivalent of an E Class to a Camry. Yes, both run the same exact iOS, same features, same apps, and the size difference is minimal. There is something about the display that just puts over the top, and all of a sudden the $350 price premium is justified. I’m not saying here that the iPad is inferior, but if you can afford the Pro, then you’ll have a machine that will satisfy your tablet needs for years to come.
I purchased the iPad Pro and went home, opened the box and making sure it doesn’t bang on anything or comes in contact with any rough surfaces, preserving the perfect finish Apple is famous for.
No matter what Apple says about knowing delivering solutions to their customers that make their life better, being productive on the iPad (Pro or otherwise) is still a challenge. iOS, with all its sleek features and smooth operation, still has something to be desired. Multitasking and the taskbar introduced in iOS 11 do help with the productivity, there is however a missing piece that I can’t put my finger on it. Be it the lack of a mouse (I’m typing this using a Bluetooth keyboard on the iPad Pro) or the lack of having windows float on the screen instead of the default full screen setup, I’m not sure what it is.
Slowly you get to learn how to accomplish different tasks on the iPad that you previously wouldn’t used a PC for, there is however no Pro features that are hardware dependant that would make you more productive on this tablet than the regular or older versions.
Let’s admit it, Apple’s devices are luxury. They are made for people who are willing to pay top dollar for technology that is built to work for years. Whether this technology delivers on Apple’s hype is a different story.
If you are thinking of picking one up, just keep in mind that you are paying a premium for a device that doesn’t deliver any Pro features isn’t he way we came to expect what Pro is.