It is rare for many PC gamers to praise Apple. Not only are their computers, or can I even call it that, incompatible with most games, the company is notorious for their closed-off architecture. For people who like tinkering with their machines, closing your devices for upgrades is heresy. They also charge a immense premium for their computers, which time and again, can be built for far less money if you build it from scratch. We’ve all heard their reasons, but they haven’t justified anything.
So, in their quest to disenfranchise PC owners or take away the basic definition of a computer, they’ve become more hated. Even more so in pushing the new iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. It is certainly beautiful, and every peripheral that comes with it (of course, sold separately) make the iPad Pro as close to a laptop replacement as you can get. Fully loaded, it would seem like a 2-in-1, and the stylus (please, with the Pen branding) make it a competent media creator. But as a laptop replacement, it just won’t cut it. In casual usage, it can be a laptop replacement. But you don’t buy a laptop, with a decent one setting a buyer back at least $600, because you want to use it casually. You do it because you want to bring desktop-tier power and capability with you on the go.
Furthermore, with all the reviews that have come in, it’s obvious that you should think twice about buying the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. And if Apple did anything right with another onslaught of iPad instead of a laptop, it’s that they keep pushing despite the criticisms they get. They’re pushing hardware innovation far longer than Microsoft, their long-time rival, which only started to influence hardware development with their Surface Studio.
Taking the Purpose of Laptops Further
Take the Dell XPS 13 as the perfect example of a laptop. It’s mobile and powerful, and tech reviewers all seem to agree about its merits. It’s got any tablet in the market, including the iPad Pro, completely beat. It’s a full-fledged PC with a power like one, in the smallest body possible. It’s not lacking ports, either, so it’s evident that should anyone want a laptop, their best option is an actual laptop like the XPS 13.
Nonetheless, for whatever flak Apple got for the iPad Pro, it seems like the logical next step for laptops.It’s mobile, powerful, and modular. That last one is a holy grail for PC users, and in Apple pushing the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement can only be good in that aspect.
Also, this is a company that produces their own laptops, so why undermine one of your best-selling devices? Well, look at it this way: Apple is placing the iPad on the forefront when the general public are ready to ditch their laptops, all while they still produce one of the best laptops in the world. The MacBook may lose their appeal by then, and Apple may already have a competent replacement for it in the form of a more powerful iPad and a software experience that replicates desktop use. Who knows, Apple may also have a replacement for the iPad by then, in the form of whatever they can make out of graphene.
As a PC user and gamer, I’m glad Apple is doing this. If we only relied on Microsoft to advance hardware, then the company have been disappointing us for a long time. They are a software company, first and foremost, so it’s only right for them to focus on what they know rather than meddling in sectors where they know little (looking at you, Zune).
It’s a Software Problem
The iPad having insufficient software capabilities to become a full laptop replacement isn’t a unique case. Even Windows with their Windows Pro for the Surface 6 has some shortages, and that’s Windows’ own effort. Apple is fantastic at creating pleasing user experience, but if the biggest software company in the world can’t get it completely right the first time, Apple will struggle too. Google struggles, but considering their entire ecosystem, Chrome OS can do a lot for how little it requires.
So, if you’ve used a tablet for far more than just watching Netflix, you’d know that these devices are one brilliant software upgrade from being full-fledged laptop substitutes. If only they’d get creative and suite apps that are native to the tablet, we’d have a lot less problems in shifting from laptops to tablets.
This is why the blame isn’t all on Apple. They already developed the hardware and the software, it’s up to the software developers to do their half of the work. Adobe’s been on the forefront of this dumbed-down apps issue, as their range of suites have been shortchanged for the iPad. Only the very basic is available for mobile devices, which is an obvious ploy for you to pony up for the full monty. If they were anything less brilliant at what they do, there’d be pitchforks at their gates. But they’re not, and that’s why people have put up with them for so long. And with the impending release of the full Photoshop in iOS, we can finally see what a full-blown software can do on the iPad. It is truly an exciting time for media creators and hopeful adapters.
There’s also the issue of peripherals. While there are a lot of options, these keyboards, styluses, and charging stands, you can’t use all of these accessories in one go because it doesn’t make sense. The keyboards are still not always comfortable to use. Overall, not many accessories improve on the mobility of the iPad. Still, a lot of third-party accessories can only be good.
So, maybe, when Apple was talking about replacing your laptop with an iPad, they may have been talking from a perspective in the future, when work-related apps are native to mobile devices and they’ve solved the peripheral conundrum. For now, we can only wait until they polish the field enough that we’ll be comfortable bringing an iPad instead of a laptop.