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Why iPad Pro won't replace any of your current gadgets

James A. Martin | Sept. 16, 2015
Apple's new tablet is 80 percent faster than most of the portable PCs shipped during the past year, according to the company, but for the average user, iPad Pro won't replace a desktop, laptop or tablet. Here's why.

Here's one big reason why: I use a three-screen setup in my home office. My Microsoft Word, Safari and Chrome windows live on the big iMac. On one external monitor, I keep a Wunderlist to-do list and Google calendar windows open at all times. I use the other external monitor for email. An iPad Pro couldn't possibly allow me to be this productive. 

The iPad Pro (probably) won't replace my tablet

That leaves my iPad Air 2 as the only potential sacrifice. But do I really want to curl up on the sofa after a long day with such a large and comparatively heavy tablet? (The iPad Air 2 weighs 0.96 lbs., compared to iPad Pro's 1.57 lbs.) Would I take the iPad Pro to the park to read an ebook or magazine? It's possible — but I doubt it. That said, I can envision reading The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and San Francisco Chronicle iOS apps every morning at home or in a coffee shop on an iPad Pro and loving it.

Bottom Line: iPad Pro really won't replace anything

In other words, at this early stage of the game, the iPad Pro will replace ... nothing, at least for most people.

Microsoft's Surface tablets, to which the iPad Pro has often been compared, can replace a Windows laptop, because Surface tablets run the full Windows 10 OS. Apple's latest tablet runs iOS, so it falls into its own category — it's much more powerful than a standard iOS tablet, but it can't do many things a Mac OS X computer can.

Apple has a history of risking the cannibalization of one product line when it introduces another. The iPhone slowly gobbled up the iPod's mainstream success, for example; and the iPhone 6 Plus ate into iPad mini sales.

With iPad Pro, Apple shrewdly developed a tablet that could replace a MacBook laptop for certain categories of users (such as graphics professionals), but for most, especially enterprise workers, the iPad Pro could become a third computing device that's used for specific applications.

Will IT departments balk at yet another computing device they have to buy, support and secure? Will mainstream consumers who already own an iPad upgrade to an iPad Pro? Will powerful tablets eventually replace notebooks completely?

Anything is possible, and Apple has an uncanny way of inciting fans to buy things they don't need, only to wonder later how they ever lived without them.   


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