Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the ultimate PC replacement? Hah

Last night during Apple's event, Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of World at the technology giant announced that the 9.7-inch is the "ultimate PC replacement". Well, to that I'd say, "Rubbish!" Citing the "600 million" PC users still stuck on five year old PCs, Schiller said, "That's really sad."

I've got a five year old PC and it's running perfectly fine! So, thank you very much. 2011 was the year Intel launched its stellar Sandy Bridge platform and it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that there's been nothing like it since. There's no way I'd exchange my Intel i5 for an iPad.

But what's up with Apple? Why the sudden push towards a Pro platform and this talk of the iPad, of all things, as a PC replacement?

Tablet sales have been dwindling these last few years and I think that decline can be attributed to the fact that tablets are no longer the media consumption device of choice. When we're already doing all we want on the phone, why would we need a tablet?

In its heydays, tablet computers offered a browsing experience that was unfettered by the shackles of the mobile web. Five years ago, developers were still learning how to deal with the mobile browsing experience and concepts such as responsive design were still relatively new. Many websites today still struggle in that department, but they're a vanishing minority. At the time, cheap laptops were underpowered and bulky, phones too slow and screens too small.

Any kind of media was just better on a tablet, except maybe music, and I remember getting myself my first iPad (the third generation one) just for media consumption. Back then, I was overjoyed with the device. The gorgeous, 9.7-inch retina display (still unmatched by most displays), the pleasure of browsing the "desktop" web on the go and the ability to watch videos without squinting was exactly what I wanted.

Today's web is very mobile friendly and there's literally an app for everything. A screen size of 5-inches and above is more than enough for video and phones aren't really lacking in the power department either. Editing photos or 4K video is as easy on a phone as on a tablet.

It wasn't long before my iPad started gathering dust and I sold it soon after. A brief stint with an Nvidia Shield and Surface Pro 4 also didn't do much to convince me of the need for a tablet. If anything, the Surface Pro not only showcased just how good a Windows laptop could be, but also how bad a Windows 10 tablet experience can be.

This is just me of course, but as a person that detests laptops for their fiddlesome touchpad and bulk, I'd love a tablet type device that could replace it. Sadly, there's nothing in the market to fill that void just yet. The iPad Pro is powerful for what it is, but it can't beat something like, say, the Surface Pro in terms of sheer power or Windows for flexibility. Android? I just wish it would make up it's mind with regards to tablets (but maybe Android N will fix that).

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is not cheap (Rs 49,900), has "good" speakers, requires a Rs 10,000 keyboard, has a "task-switcher" and can display two windows side-by-side. Oh, and it runs Microsoft Office.

Rs 60,000 will get you a MacBook Pro with a 13-inch screen, an i5 CPU, 500GB HDD and all the power of OS X and you can open as many windows as you'd like. That same Rs 60,000 will get you any number of similarly specced Windows devices. Both of these run Microsoft Office and any number of other, feature-rich and more importantly, productive applications.

In what context is the iPad Pro (12.9-inch or 9.7-inch model) a viable PC replacement?


Published Date: Mar 24, 2016 10:03 am | Updated Date: Mar 24, 2016 10:03 am